7:45pm PT by Kayla Kumari Upadhyaya
'The Voice': Third Night of Battles Sees Three Judges Use Final Steals
The third night of battles on The Voice brought a wide range of performances to the ring as everyone fought to stay in the competition. Selena Gomez, Missy Elliott, John Fogerty and Brad Paisley all returned to give advice to the artists from Gwen Stefani, Pharrell Williams, Adam Levine and Blake Shelton’s season-nine teams. All four coaches began the night with one steal left.
The first battle pairing of the night came from Team Blake. Shelton paired Blaine Mitchell and Blind Joe and had them sing “Old Time Rock and Roll” by Bob Seger. Joe and Mitchell have very different sounds, but the song’s timeless style suited both of their voices and really allowed them to showcase their strengths. Both artists have the experience, but they want to take their careers to the next level. They kicked off the night with a rocking performance. Mitchell hit some crazy high notes, and Joe had a really soulful quality. Shelton began the night with a tough choice. He said the singing was really a tie, but he chose Blind Joe as the winner. Levine went in for the steal and snagged Mitchell for his team.
Next up was Team Adam, with a battle between Cassandra Robertson and Viktor Kiraly. Levine had them sing “Nobody Knows.” Kiraly has more professional experience, but Robertson has a very powerful voice and nailed the harmonies in their first rehearsal with Levine and Fogerty. They both sounded like true professionals in their final rehearsal, and it was clear that it was going to be another tight battle. The performance really built, and both artists put on an enthralling show. “Neither one of you could have possibly done better,” said Levine before choosing Kiraly as the winner. The other coaches did not opt to steal Robertson.
Team Gwen went next, and Stefani matched Chase Kerby with Korin Bukowski, giving them “Samson” by Regina Spektor to sing. The song especially suited Bukowski’s voice, but Kerby also has a beautiful falsetto. Their final rehearsal moved Gomez and Stefani emotionally, as Kerby and Bukowski took their singing to the next level and really connected with the emotions of the song. In their performance, Kerby and Bukowski were a perfect combination of vulnerable and powerful. It was a very different song for the Battle Round, but Stefani took a solid risk by having them sing such an emotional and soft song. It paid off, resulting in a performance that Shelton described as mesmerizing. Stefani picked Bukowski as the winner, and Kerby went home.
Evan McKeel and Riley Biederer from Team Pharrell were up next. Pharrell gave them “Higher Ground” by Stevie Wonder. The song choice definitely favored McKeel, but Biederer asserted herself and had fun with her ad libs. According to Elliott, Biederer had a fierce quality to her. In their final rehearsal, though, she still was struggling with parts of the song. However, she brought it in her performance. Both Biederer and McKeel packed their rendition with personality and fun. “If I were Pharrell, I would be freaking out right now,” said Stefani. Pharrell chose McKeel, and Stefani stole Biederer.
Team Gwen’s young artists Braiden Sunshine and Lyndsey Elm battled next, with Stefani giving them “No One Else to Blame” by Howie Day. Despite being only 15 years old, Sunshine rose to the challenge of going up against Elm. They both showed a lot of improvement in their final rehearsal — and then even more in their final performance. They sounded great, but unfortunately, it wasn’t all that exciting of a battle, although that may have had more to do with the song choice than with their actual performance. Still, all the coaches were impressed by both artists. Stefani chose Sunshine as the winner.
Team Adam’s Chance Pena had to go up against identical twins Andi and Alex Peot next. Levine gave them “Wherever You Will Go” to sing for their battle. As a trio, they sounded great together, and the song suited all of their voices. Pena made sure to showcase the power in his voice in their final rehearsal so that he wasn’t overpowered by the twins. In the performance, the three-part harmonies sounded very strong, but the Peot twins had an extra something special in their voices. But Levine still was stumped. “This is the hardest thing I’ve ever had to decide,” he said. He ultimately went with the twins. Shelton swooped in and stole Pena.
Tomorrow will be the last night of the Battle Round, and Pharrell is the only coach with a remaining steal. The Knockouts will kick off next week, with Rihanna dropping by as the key advisor. What was your favorite battle of the night? Sound off in the comments below.