'The Voice': More Battles, More Tears

The Voice Season 11 - Battles 2 - Still - H - 2016

The Battle Round continued on season 11 of The Voice tonight, with coaches Miley Cyrus, Alicia Keys, Blake Shelton and Adam Levine all having to make tough decisions about who stays and who goes. The coaches had celebrity advisers Joan Jett, Bette Midler, Charlie Puth and Sammy Hagar on board to help prepare artists for this heated round of the competition.

The first battle of the night came from Team Miley. Cyrus paired blues singer Lane Mack and burlesque-show host Sophia Urista, having them sing “Money” by Pink Floyd. Jett encouraged both singers to play with more dynamics while singing. Cyrus was impressed by the voices of both and said it would come down to who performed the best in that live-audience setting. In their final performance, both artists brought a natural growl to their singing, making for a great rock show. Shelton praised Mack’s gritty voice but also said that Urista dug into the vocals. Keys described Urista as having a “special, unique energy.” The coaches seemed to be especially impressed with Mack’s energy, though. But Cyrus went a different direction and chose Urista as the winner. She’s undoubtedly a better fit on Team Miley. Surprisingly, none of the coaches opted to steal Mack. Cyrus was emotional about her decision and said, “I’m not made for this,” while Shelton joked that former coach Gwen Stefani cried every day during the competition.

Team Blake’s battle tonight consisted of successful songwriter Courtney Harrell, who put her career on hold after having a kid, and Ethan Tucker, who takes care of his grandmother in between gigs back home. Harrell was ecstatic to meet the legendary Midler. Shelton, impressed by both of his singers' original tones in the Blinds, had them sing “Gravity” by John Mayer. Midler had Shelton change the key for them so that Harrell could open up her voice on some high notes. Midler also wanted the two artists to connect more, so during their rehearsal, she made them hold hands while singing. It worked, and Harrell and Tucker found a stronger connection to take their battle to the next level, performancewise. Shelton said he was looking for the artist who could bring the most heart to the battle.

In their final performance, Harrell and Tucker took all the right advice from Midler. They were so locked into each other that it seemed like a true duet, even though they were competing with one another. Both had powerful voices and also tapped into the emotions of the song, leaving Shelton to make a difficult decision. Cyrus praised Harrell’s determination, but said she would probably choose Tucker. “Clearly, you’re both very talented,” added Levine. “This is crazy,” said Shelton, regretting his decision to match these two. After a dramatic commercial break, Shelton chose Harrell. "There’s nothing she can’t sing," said Shelton.

In battles not aired, Team Adam’s Ponciano Seoane and Team Miley’s Josette Diaz and Maye Thomas advanced.

Next up was a Team Alicia battle between soulful singers Dave Moisan and Michael Sanchez. She said she paired them together because she saw a bit of an opposition in their styles. She gave them “Valerie” by Amy Winehouse. Keys came up with an interesting concept for this battle and had them take turns playing the piano. In their final performance, Moisan and Sanchez both brought a lot of soul and grit to the song. Cyrus noted that Levine stood up so early in the performance that it looked like he was trying to get in an early steal. Levine stressed how mad he was that Moisan, who got a four-chair turn, isn’t on his team. Shelton said he felt Sanchez won the battle. “It’s actually even more difficult than I imagined,” Keys said of having to make her decision. She picked Sanchez as the winner. Sure enough, Levine swooped in to steal Moisan.

The battles continue next week on The Voice. What did you think of tonight’s performances?