9:09pm PT by Ashley Lee
'The Voice' Recap: Battles Continue, But Gwen Stefani Can't Steal Singers
The second week of battles began on The Voice on Monday, filled with matches not only of the singers, but also the coaches. Particularly, Gwen Stefani.
The No Doubt breakout (who previewed the music video for her latest single, "Baby Don't Lie," after the episode) previously found herself in showdowns with Blake Shelton during the blind auditions, and kept sparring with Adam Levine throughout Monday night's battles.
Though she has perfected the art of the last-second button-push and even started singing the opening lines of her "Hollaback Girl" hit, Levine walked up to the contestant's family in the audience and shouted, "Don't betray your family!"
The episode of sudden-death duets were aided with guest mentors: Stevie Nicks to Levine, Little Big Town to Shelton, Alicia Keys to Williams, and Gavin Rossdale to Gwen Stefani.
See who will continue beyond the battle round:
Team Adam's Damien vs. Kelli Douglas
Song: "Knock on Wood"
The Otis Redding and Carla Thomas duet proved a struggle in rhythm for the two raw R&B singers in rehearsals, but onstage, they kicked off the episode with a show-stopper. The coaches praised Damien's ease and Douglas' tone (as well as her body, said Stefani), but in the end, Levine picked Damien.
Team Gwen's Jessie Pitts vs. Ryan Sill
Song: "I Need Your Love"
The two pop singers have different approaches — Pitts being more delicate and Sill sounding stronger — and they had to tweak their harmonies on the Calvin Harris and Ellie Goulding track and add more stage presence during rehearsals (that wasn't reminiscent of a boy band). The match, visually and vocally, had its challenges in the ring for each, and divided the coaches, but Stefani opted for Sill. Shelton, who admitted he has no idea who Goulding is, stole Pitts.
Team Pharrell's Katriz Trinidad vs. Blessing Offor
Song: "Do I Do"
The Stevie Wonder song is one that's filled with dynamics, and seems to favor devout fan Offor. Though Trinidad was treading new ground, she stepped up in rehearsals and followed Keys' stage directions. The battle surprised the coaches, and Williams went with Trinidad for her vocal training background. Levine and Stefani tried to steal away Offor, and he ended up on Team Adam, who has performed with Wonder before.
Team Adam's Matt McAndrew vs. Ethan Butler
The two male singers came at the Coldplay track from different angles — Butler with a choral sound and McAndrew trying out Chris Martin's falsetto. Both equipped with their acoustic guitars, their tender harmonies impressed so much that Shelton thought they were a duo act, and Williams applauded their unique approaches as a draw. Levine moved up McAndrew because of his "intangible" quality.
Team Blake's Bree Fondacaro avs. Taylor Brashears
Song: "You're No Good"
The sassy Linda Rondstadt classic brought on a couple issues with pitch and breath control, and the tweaks to the melody made in the rehearsal room landed flat in the ring. Williams wished Fondacaro let herself go more onstage, and Levine noted that Brashears attitude translated to the audience more efficiently onstage. Shelton continued on with Brashears.
Team Pharrell's DaNica Shirey vs. Toia Jones
The Beyonce power track was nothing but a platform for the skyscraping singers, and Williams and Keys encouraged them to draw emotional connections from the song to someone personal in their lives. The performance was inspiring to Stefani and what Levine called "slaying the dragon and slapping it in the face so you knew it was dead." In the end, Williams went with Shirey, and Stefani and Levine fought again over Jones for the steal. Once again, the singer joined Team Adam, who used both his steals in one night. Though she lost both her steal attempts tonight, Stefani is the only coach with a steal slot left.
The Voice continues Tuesday at 8 p.m. on NBC.
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