7:08pm PT by Kayla Kumari Upadhyaya
'The Voice': Battle Round Begins
The Battle Round began Monday on NBC's The Voice season 18. Coaches Kelly Clarkson, Blake Shelton, Nick Jonas and John Legend were joined by celebrity advisers Dua Lipa, Bebe Rexha, Kevin and Joe Jonas and Ella Mai, respectively. This season implemented a new rule for the round. Saves can only be used in the event of there not being a bid for a steal, and the saves will also have to all compete in a four-way knockout at the end of the round.
The first battle came from Team Blake and Rexha. Shelton pitted Joei Fulco and Todd Tilghman against each other for a performance of Tina Turner's “The Best.” Rexha was impressed by their upper registers and worked with them to really blend their voices well. It yielded a cohesive Battle performance where neither artist really stood out, but both sounded strong. Shelton decided to keep Fulco on his team. Clarkson waited too long to make a bid at stealing him, so Shelton was able to then use his save right away on Tilghman. It was an odd choice, since each coach only has one opportunity to save, but Shelton clearly wanted to keep both of these two on his team.
Team Kelly was up next, and Clarkson chose Anaya Cheyenne and Chelle to sing “Scared to Be Lonely.” She worked with the powerhouse indie-pop singers on the ad libs, and in the final performance, Cheyenne stood out. They both showcased strengths, but Clarkson indeed went with Cheyenne as the winner, and Chelle was eliminated.
It was Jonas’ first time in the Battle round, and for his first pairing, he chose Roderick Chambers and Joanna Serenko to sing “When the Party’s Over” by Billie Eilish. The full Jonas Brothers crew helped the artists prepare their performance, working with them on dynamics and momentum. They gave a standout performance, playing to their strengths but also working together. In the end, Jonas kept Chambers, but Legend used his only steal of the round to snag Serenko.
Team Legend’s first Battle was between Mike Jerel and Zach Day, who sang “Adorn” by Miguel. It was a complex vocal, but the two artist rose to the occasion, Legend pushing them to really showcase their range. The song suited Jerel more, however, and Legend indeed picked him as the winner.
Shelton next paired Levi Watkins and Jamal Corrie, who are in the same lane on his team. They sang “Counting Stars” by OneRepublic, which Shelton thought was well suited for their similar sounds. Corrie was the more seasoned entertainer, but they gave a great performance together, with Watkins incorporating some of the vocal tips from Rexha. Watkins ended up delivering the stronger vocal, and Shelton picked him as the winner.
The final Battle of the night came from Team Nick. Michael Williams and Allegra Miles sang “How Will I Know,” and the Jonas Brothers worked with them on their dynamics and harmonies. Their final performance was emotional and vocally impressive — the best of the episode. Jonas chose Miles as the winner, but then he used his one save on Williams.
The Battle Round continues next week on NBC.