'The Voice': Third Night of Battles Forces Coaches to Tighten Their Teams

Alicia Keys made the key steal of the night.
Trae Patton/NBC
'The Voice'

The Battle Round continued on The Voice tonight, with season 11 coaches Miley Cyrus, Alicia Keys, Blake Shelton and Adam Levine all preparing their artists with the help of celebrity mentors Joan Jett, Charlie Puth, Bette Midler and Sammy Hagar, respectively.

The first battle of the night came from Team Adam. Levine paired Johnny Rez and Nolan Neal, giving them “Sledgehammer” by Peter Gabriel. Levine noted that Rez has more of a pop voice in their rehearsals, and Hagar added that Rez has a very identifiable voice that he could easily imagine hearing on the radio. In their final performance, both men delivered, nailing the harmonies and putting on a good show. “That was a very evenly matched battle,” said Shelton, who was surprised because of the fact that Neal had a four-chair turn in the Blinds. But according to him, both artists killed it. The coaches seemed divided on who to pick. Levine said he wanted to go with the singer he felt the most connected to, and after a dramatic commercial break, he picked Neal. Rez was not stolen by another coach.

Next, Cyrus pit 17-year-old Darby Walker against college student Karlee Metzger. Cyrus said she picked a song she felt catered to both of them, having them sing “Brand New Key” by Melanie. Both Walker and Metzger have interesting but similar tones that worked well with the indie-pop sound. Cyrus praised Walker’s low harmonies in their rehearsal and encouraged Metzger to overcome her shyness. It was a bouncy and fun performance, and both artists showcased their personalities. Levine said Metzger was more vocally grounded but that he was impressed by the “infectious” performance overall. Both Levine and Shelton said they’d go with Metzger. “Darby, you have a very infectious energy about you,” added Keys. Cyrus picked Walker as the winner. “It has been such a pleasure to work with you,” Metzger told Cyrus. At that moment, Shelton jumped in to steal her. Cyrus was thrilled that Metzger is staying in the competition, thanking Shelton repeatedly.

Team Blake’s Blaine Long and Josh Gallagher faced off next, singing “Stranger in My House.” Midler was tough with them, describing Long as an “unmade bed,” but she helped them figure out how to tap into their full potential. She was impressed by the work Gallagher put in between the two rehearsals. They gave a solid country-rock performance, with Gallagher playing guitar. They didn’t mesh as well as some other battle partners do, so it didn’t really seem like a duet. But both showcased their strengths. Keys praised Gallagher’s showmanship. Levine said he would go with Gallagher. Shelton said that he feels like Long sells himself short when it comes to his abilities. He struggled with his decision, but ultimately went with Gallagher.

In battles not aired, Shelton chose Dana Harper, Keys chose Belle Jewel, and Levine chose Simone Gundy to advance to the Knockouts.

Team Alicia’s first broadcasted battle of the night went down between Josh Halverson and Kylie Rothfield, who sang popular The Voice choice “House of the Rising Sun.” It’s a song that artists really have to push to make their own, and Halverson and Rothfield were up to the challenge. Keys had both play the guitar so they could really show off their musicality. She also added an a cappella moment to the arrangement to really showcase their vocal abilities. It was one of the best battles of the night. Cyrus revealed that Keys had told her going into this battle that choosing between the two would be one of her hardest decisions. Cyrus said she would go with Halverson, and Levine noted that the two artists were completely different. Keys picked Rothfield as the winner, and Cyrus swooped in to steal Halverson and carry him through to the Knockouts.

Next up was another Team Blake battle. Shelton paired Gabe Broussard and Christian Fermin and had them sing “The Reason” by Hoobastank. Midler described Fermin’s voice as “light and beautiful, pitch-perfect,” while she described Broussard’s voice as more “open” and “powerful.” “Figure out a way to sell the song visually,” Shelton advised them. Midler similarly pushed them to really tap into the emotions of the song. They already sounded good, but they needed to make people feel. Their final performance was decent, with both artists tapping into the narrative of the song. But the song choice overall was a strange one, so it wasn’t a very memorable performance. Keys said she liked when Fermin played with the riffs and the melodies, but she concluded that she would choose Broussard. Shelton indeed went with Broussard.

The last battle of the night came from Team Miley. Cyrus had Aaron Gibson and Sa’Rayah sing “I’ll Take Care of You.” Cyrus really wanted to pull a rock performance out of the two artists. Gibson showed off his natural grit during their rehearsal, and Sa’Rayah showed off her range. Both are powerful singers, and Cyrus had Gibson play guitar as well. Jett wanted to hear the pain in their voices. The night ended on a very high note, with Gibson and Sa’Rayah both delivering a terrific rock-blues performance that moved all four coaches to their feet. Gibson and Sa’Rayah brought a lot of excitement to the night, and it was anyone’s battle to win. “You were born to sing that song,” Shelton said to Sa’Rayah. Cyrus said the person who needs her most is Gibson, shocking the audience with her decision. Fortunately, both Shelton and Keys wanted to steal Sa’Rayah. “You won that battle hands down,” said Shelton, adding that he has no one like her on his team. “I just felt you,” said Keys, moving Sa’Rayah to tears. Sa’Rayah joined Team Alicia.

It’s almost time for the Knockouts, but the Battle Round continues tomorrow night on The Voice. What did you think of tonight’s results?