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The second night of the Battle Round brought six more competitive battles to The Voice, with coaches Christina Aguilera, Pharrell Williams, Adam Levine and Blake Shelton all having to make some tough decisions. Celebrity advisers Gwen Stefani, Tori Kelly, Sean “Diddy” Combs and Patti LaBelle returned to offer season 10’s contestants crucial advice before their Battle Round performances.
The first battle pairing was Shalyah Fearing and Tamar Davis from Team Christina. Aguilera had them sing “Lady Marmalade.” The song was popularized in 1975 by Labelle, a girl group that was co-founded by Aguilera’s adviser Patti LaBelle, and Aguilera was featured on a version of the song that was used in Moulin Rouge, so both provided helpful points of view in the rehearsal. LaBelle again emphasized the importance of enunciation.
In the final performance, both Fearing and Davis proved to be formidable singers with a lot of power behind their voices, but Davis seemed to be the more experienced of the two. Aguilera crowned Davis as the winner, but Pharrell jumped at the chance to steal Fearing.
Next up, Team Blake’s Justin Whisnant and Mary Sarah went voice-to-voice with a performance of “Louisiana Woman, Mississippi Man” by Loretta Lynn and Conway Twitty. Shelton wanted both artists to tackle a vintage song, because that seems to be the wheelhouse for both contestants. In their final rehearsal, Stefani encouraged them to flirt a little more with the performance. In their battle, the two definitely found a strong connection. They brought a lot of energy to the performance. “Mary Sarah, your high notes were very nice,” Aguilera said. Pharrell praised the colorful tone and strong falsetto Whisnant showcased. Shelton picked Sarah as the winner. Whisnant thanked Shelton for the opportunity, but no coaches opted to steal him.
Team Pharrell’s first battle pairing of the night was Jessica Crosbie and Nick Hagelin. Pharrell acknowledged that Crosbie and Hagelin are very different artists, but he also added that he believes that opposites can lead to very interesting performances. He gave them “Electric Feel” by MGMT to sing. Crosbie tapped into a rougher side of her voice that we didn’t really get to see in her Blind Audition. Diddy encouraged them to bring some drama and confidence to the performance. “I really look at myself as a director of a film,” Diddy said of his strategy as a producer.
In their battle, both Crosbie and Hagelin brought a lot of intensity to the performance. The song choice suited Hagelin more, and yet, Crosbie stepped up to the plate. They both gave a strong performance, making Pharrell’s decision difficult. He chose Hagelin. “He worked on things I asked him to work on vocally,” Pharrell said of his decision. Levine stole Crosbie, keeping her in the competition.
Team Christina’s Chelsea Gann and Kata Hay were up next, singing “I’m The Only One” by Melissa Etheridge. Gann struggled a bit with putting power behind her voice in their rehearsals — something that came very naturally to Hay. But in their final rehearsal, they were more on the same level. LaBelle praised Hay’s energy. In their final performance, both artists brought a lot of power and grit to the performance. “Kata, you’re a firecracker,” Levine said. Hay definitely brought an edgier sound to the performance, but Gann had some killer high notes. Aguilera picked Hay, and Gann went home.
Team Adam’s first pair of the night was Natalie Yacovazzi and Nate Butler. Levine gave them a Tori Kelly song: “Hollow.” “I love when somebody has their own interpretation of my own song,” Kelly said. Butler got stuck in her head in their rehearsals, but she flourished in the final performance. Butler sounds a lot like Levine, but Yacovazzi adds something special to his team. Shelton pointed out that Yacovazzi has originality. Levine chose Butler as the winner. None of the judges stole Yacovazzi.
Hannah Huston and Maya Smith from Team Pharrell battled next, singing “Elastic Heart” by Sia, which suited both of their voices. Diddy encouraged Smith to come out her shell and pushed Huston to find some attitude while singing. Both showcased impressive range and dynamics, and both improved on their initial auditions, reflecting Pharrell’s success as a coach. He picked Huston as the winner, but Aguilera jumped in to steal Smith.
At the last second, Shelton also pressed his button and pitched to steal Smith. “I didn’t get you before. My heart is invested,” Aguilera said, stressing the fact that she turned for her in the blinds. Smith joined Team Christina.
Season 10 of The Voice continues next week. What did you think of the choices the coaches made? Sound off in the comments below.
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