7:11pm PT by Kayla Kumari Upadhyaya
‘The Voice’: Season 13’s Battle Round Begins
The Battle Round began Monday night on NBC's The Voice, with coaches Blake Shelton, Adam Levine, Miley Cyrus and Jennifer Hudson all bringing in one of their pals from the music industry to serve as mentors. Joe Jonas helped out Team Adam, Rascal Flatts helped out Team Blake, Cyrus’ father Billy Ray Cyrus joined Team Miley, and Team Jennifer was joined by former Destiny’s Child member Kelly Rowland.
First up were Lucas Holliday and Meagan McNeal from Team Jennifer. Hudson gave them Bobby Brown's “My Prerogative," which she called an “unexpected song.” Both artists had issues blending their voices and were over-singing, and Rowland warned them against climaxing too soon. Heading into the Battle, Holliday seemed more prepared. But in their final performance, both sounded strong and worked the stage well. It was an exciting start to the night, and Levine called them both "infectious." Hudson chose Holliday, and McNeal went home.
Team Miley — the first all-women team in The Voice's history — was up next. Cyrus paired Moriah Formica and Shilo Gold, giving them The Guess Who's “American Woman” and explaining that she wants to give her team songs that celebrate women. Formica and Gold needed a lot of work in rehearsal, but they came to life in their final performance, both bringing confidence and strong vocals to the Battle. They blended well, but Formica stood out. Cyrus chose her, and Gold left the competition.
Next up were Keisha Renee and Noah Mac of Team Blake. Shelton had them sing Hank Williams's “I’m So Lonesome I Could Cry," which suited both artists, showcasing their ranges and style. Rascal Flatts worked with Renee and Mac on their phrasing. Renee sounded stronger in rehearsal, but both artists pulled through in the final performance. Renee just came off as the more seasoned singer. Shelton picked her as the winner, but Hudson swooped in to steal Mac, keeping him in the competition.
Team Jennifer was back up with Chris Weaver and Kathrina Feigh singing “Dangerous Woman” by Ariana Grande. Rowland and Hudson pushed both strong singers to add more drama to their performing. Both had to dial back their vocals a bit in the final rehearsal so that they were not overpowering one another. A successful Battle is all about walking the difficult line of blending well with your partner but still standing out. Weaver and Feigh both gave brilliant performances in the end, and Hudson was left with a very difficult decision. She chose Weaver as the winner, but Shelton stole Feigh.
Cyrus paired Brooke Simpson and Sophia Bollman for the next Battle, having them sing “You’re a Big Girl Now” by Bob Dylan. It was an odd song choice, but she came up with an interesting arrangement that highlighted their strengths. Simpson and Bollman blended very well together, and they delivered strong vocals as well as confident stage presence. Cyrus picked Simpson, who did seem to bring something a little extra special to the Battle, and Bollman was eliminated.
Team Adam was finally up for the last Battle of the night. Adam Pearce and Whitney Fenimore sang Tom Petty and Stevie Nicks' “Stop Draggin’ My Heart Around." Pearce, who secured a spot on season 13 after failing to turn any chairs during season 12, put a lot of power behind his vocal. Both artists had trouble connecting with one another while singing and playing guitar, but Levine and Jonas both worked with them to get better. Their final performance was a strong close to the evening, and both artists showed significant improvement as a result of good coaching. Levine struggled with his decision but ultimately chose Pearce. Shelton and Cyrus both tried to steal Fenimore, and Cyrus emerged victorious, adding another female powerhouse to Team Miley.
The artists who won their Battles on Monday night will advance to the Knockout Round in a few weeks. What was your favorite performance of the night?