'The Voice' Recap: Battles Wrap With Polite Pairings
Usher is the only coach left with a steal, and the round's remaining singers tried to timidly asked for it with "pretty please" performances.
The Voice battles wrapped on Tuesday night -- well, the first round at least, because a brand new second round will feature Coldplay's Chris Martin next week -- and while most of the sudden-death duets have packed a punch throughout the season, the final three matchups were perfectly polite pairings. Yet one singer was aggressive enough to get Usher's last steal.
For the battles, Shakira recruited Miranda Lambert in as her guest mentor, Adam Levine called on Aloe Blacc, Usher had Jill Scott, and Blake Shelton pulled The Band Perry -- the first band to ever stop by The Voice as a guest mentor.
Meet the final victors to move on to the next round of The Voice (only to soon do it all over again):
Team Adam's Cary Laine vs. Sam Behymer
Song: "Give Me Love"
The country-singing mother and the indie nanny were asked to meet in the middle on the Ed Sheeran song, but Blacc called Behymer out for adding too many breaths of desperation (it only kind of works on Lorde's "Royals"), plus the occasional yodel ("The more quirk there is, the less singing I have to do," she oddly confessed). He also confronted Laine on her lack of emotional connection to the restrained song. Though both were pitchy throughout the performance, Levine picked Behymer, and Laine was sent home.
Team Blake's Kaleigh Glanton vs. Noah Lis
The family musician (in a duo with her father) and the vintage jazz crooner and entrepreneur were assigned the Michael Buble hit, and while the song fit right in Lis' wheelhouse, Glanton brought her own embellishments to it (even if she often fell off the rhythm). Lis tried to bring more to the table during the second rehearsals, but he was over-singing it, and laid back into his authentic style in the ring. Usher called it "too lounge" at first, but commended him over Glanton because she didn't showcase her own unique tone, while Levine noted that the song choice was inherently in Lis' favor, so he chose Glanton for stepping up to the plate. Shelton then agreed with this bromance partner and picked Glanton.
Team Shakira's Cierra Mickens vs. Emily B.
The two powerhouse singers were challenged with the Sara Bareilles hit. Emily B. struggled with dynamics, while Mickens had trouble with pitch. But once in the rhythmically-troubled battle, each of them still showcased their style with new phrasing (thanks for the suggestion, Lambert) that made the performance unique from the original rendition. Levine supported Mickens, Shelton commended Emily and Shakira chose Emily as well, leaving Mickens to be rewarded with Usher's final steal when she was already headed backstage.
The victors of a handful of unaired battles were also revealed:
Team Blake's Cali Tucker vs. Ryan Whyte Maloney: Maloney
Team Adam's Christina Grimmie vs. Joshua Howard: Grimmie
Team Shakira's Kristen Merlin vs. Lindsay Bruce: Merlin
The battles enter a second round on Monday at 8 p.m. on NBC.
What did you think of the latest battle rounds? Were the right singers sent home tonight? Sound off in the comments below!