7:15pm PT by Kayla Kumari Upadhyaya
'The Voice': Live Cross Battles Conclude
The Live Cross Battles continued Monday night on NBC's The Voice, with the second half of the top 32 going head-to-head in cross-team Battles. Coaches Blake Shelton, Adam Levine, Kelly Clarkson and John Legend got to choose which artists to pit against one another. After last week’s results, Shelton still has a steal left, and both Legend and Clarkson have their saves, which they will be able to use during Tuesday night’s results show.
Levine was tasked with the first Battle of the night, and he picked LB Crew to represent Team Adam and Clarkson to go against him. Clarkson selected Jej to represent Team Kelly. Crew sang the spiritual song “Wade in the Water,” making for a powerful performance. He sang with conviction and also showed off impressive runs and tone. Jej followed with a performance of “Versace on the Floor” by Bruno Mars, which was definitely a very different speed. He highlighted his range and style, but it wasn’t as memorable as Crew’s performance. Legend thought Crew bested him, and Shelton agreed.
Levine made the picks for the next Battle, too, asking Kalvin Jarvis to sing. This time, he picked Legend as the second coach, and Legend picked Julian King. Jarvis got things started with a performance of “New Rules” by Dua Lipa, putting his own twists on it with a slower arrangement that played to his R&B leanings. It felt distinctly him. Up next, King sang “Hello” by Adele, an ambitious song choice but one that paid off. He sang some of it in Spanish, also putting his own spin on the hit. His falsetto was impressive. Levine thought Jarvis gave a “frontrunner performance,” but Shelton was particularly impressed with the risks King took.
Shelton was in the hot seat next, picking Carter Lloyd Horne to Battle someone from Team Legend. Legend picked Jacob Maxwell. Horne went first, singing “Way Down We Go” by Kaleo. The song suited his lower register and growling tone. Maxwell sang “Still the One,” which had more emotional dynamics to it, but it was a bit of a sleepy performance compared to Horne’s. Shelton highlighted how much Horne has grown over the course of the season, and Legend praised Maxwell’s “special” tone.
Clarkson was up next, and she chose her trio the Bundys to sing against Team Blake. Shelton picked Andrew Sevener to go up against the threesome, who sang “The Letter.” Their harmonies sounded strong, and they played off each other well. It’s hard to face a trio, but Sevener was up for the challenge and sang “Modern Day Bonnie and Clyde,” lending a throwback country sound. He similarly commanded the stage well. Shelton was very pleased with the way Sevener took on the threesome, and Clarkson commended the siblings on their harmonies and chemistry onstage.
Legend next picked Shawn Sounds to sing against a member from Team Blake, who ended up being Karly Moreno. Sounds covered “Lay Me Down” by Sam Smith, and he belted out some big notes and gave an emotional, moving performance. Moreno sang “Down” by Marian Hill, which was a creative song choice, allowing Moreno to play with genre and style. She brought some jazzy vibes to her vocals, and Shelton praised her for doing something different.
Levine had his final team member Kendra Checketts sing against Team Legend, and Legend picked Jimmy Mowery, who had previously been on Team Adam but was stolen during the Battle Round. Checketts, who was a steal from Team Blake, played to her strengths by singing “Cold Water” by Major Lazer, showcasing her artistry and versatility. Mowery sang “Mercy” by Duffy, which was also a fitting song for him, allowing him to deliver a solid pop performance. Clarkson and Shelton thought Checketts had the edge.
Rebecca Howell was Clarkson’s next pick, and she faced Beth Griffith-Manley from Team Legend. Howell gave an energetic performance of “Any Man of Mine” by Shania Twain, bring her country belt to the table. She hit some big notes and put on a show. Griffith-Manley followed with a dramatic, captivating performance of “I Put a Spell on You.” Clarkson praised Howell’s vibrato, but Levine was particularly blown away by Griffith-Manley.
In the final Battle of the season, Team Blake’s Gyth Rigdon faced Abby Kasch from Team Kelly. Rigdon sang “Goodbye Time,” of which his coach has also recorded a cover, and it was a solid country performance within his wheelhouse. He showed off storytelling and performance skills. Kasch delivered the more complex vocal, singing “Cupid’s Got a Shotgun” by Carrie Underwood. Both were strong entertainers, and their coaches were pleased with the song choices. Levine thought Rigdon was finale-bound.
The results of Monday night’s Battles will be determined by viewer votes and will air live Tuesday night.