7:13pm PT by Kayla Kumari Upadhyaya
'The Voice': Pharrell Uses Season 9's Final Steal as Battles Wrap
As the final night of battles began on The Voice tonight, Pharrell Williams was the only coach with a steal left. And as the Blind Auditions this season proved, Pharrell doesn’t push his button for just anyone: He has to really feel it. It took a while, but finally, someone impressed him enough to make him go in for the final steal of season nine.
The first battle pairing of the night was young artists Amanda Ayala and Shelby Brown from Adam Levine’s team. Levine, fittingly, had the two 17-year-old artists sing “Edge of Seventeen.” Ayala and Brown have very similar voices, and they both have the power to take on such a bold song, but Brown struggled with some of the timing in their first rehearsal. At first, Brown was still a little too in her head, but by the time of their performance, both artists were singing on the same level and seemed like experienced performers. The other coaches thought it was a pretty even match, but in the end, Levine chose Brown as the winner, and Ayala went home.
Pharrell’s duo, Jubal Lee Young and Amanda Preslar, faced Amy Vachal in the next battle of the night. Pharrell had them sing “To Love Somebody” by The Bee Gees, and advisor Missy Elliott immediately was smitten with the chemistry between Young and Preslar. Vachal’s experience has been playing mostly in small coffee shops, so in their first rehearsal, she struggled to project on the level she needed to for the battle. In their final rehearsal, Elliott advised Vachal and Young to put down their guitars and really let loose. Without the guitar, Vachal sounded a lot stronger. Young and Preslar struggled a bit with doing three-part harmonies, but that comes with the territory of competing as a duo. In the performance, all three artists rose to the challenge of the three-person battle. Vachal projected, and Young and Preslar hit their harmonies. The energy in the battle could have been better, but the vocals were solid. Blake Shelton advised Pharrell to choose Vachal, which he did. Young and Preslar left the competition, but at least they have a wedding to look forward to.
In battles that were not broadcast, Pharrell kept Darius Scott, Gwen Stefani kept Summer Schappell, and Shelton kept Nadjah Nicole.
For the last battle of the night, Shelton paired two young artists who both have a very traditional country sound: Emily Ann Roberts and Morgan Frazier. He had them sing “I’m That Kind of Girl” by Patty Loveless — a song in both of their wheelhouses. During their rehearsals, it was very clear that it would be a tight competition. It was the best battle of the night, and Levine called his nemesis Shelton a “ding-dong” for pitting his best artists against one another. Shelton picked Roberts as the winner, but Pharrell was right there, ready to steal Frazier and carry her through to the Knockouts.
Next week, Rihanna comes to The Voice to help the coaches shape their artists as they head into the Knockouts. With the battles over, who do you think has the strongest team going into the next round of the competition? Could Stefani land her first win?