'The Voice' Battles recap: 9 artists advance including Anatalia Villaranda, Lauren Duski & Ashley Levin
By Elizabeth Kwiatkowski, 03/21/2017
The Voice kicked off its twelfth-season "The Battle Round" with a handful of showstopping performances during Monday night's two-hour broadcast on NBC.
The infamous round began withThe Voice coaches Alicia Keys, Gwen Stefani, Adam Levine and Blake Shelton selecting a total of six Battle winners: Lauren Duski from Gaylord, MI; J Chosen from Albany, GA; Anatalia Villaranda from Temecula, CA; Mark Isaiah from Mt. Pocono, PA; Quizz Swanigan from North Little Rock, AK; and Casi Joy from Kansas City, MO.
When the above artists were declared victorious, the following contestants were sent home: Kenny P from Cleveland, OH; Missy Robertson from Sacramento, CA; and Gaby Borromeo from New York, NY.
During "The Battle Round," a coach pairs two of his or her team members up against one another to sing a duet. The artists must work hard, however, to stand out and deliver a better performance than their opponents. In this round, each coach is allowed two "steals," meaning an artist who loses a face-off may be stolen by a different coach so he or she can resume competing on The Voice.
Three lucky artists were stolen in last night's broadcast, and they were Brennley Brown from Apple Valley, CA; Felicia Temple from Teaneck, NJ; and Ashley Levin from Miami, FL.
The night began with Blake and his team adviser Luke Bryan matching up Brennley and Lauren for a Battle in which they had to sing "Better Man."
Blake didn't want to let either girl go, but he chose to advance the person whom he can envision going forward with his team, and that person was Lauren.
After Blake named Lauren the winner, Gwen and Adam both tried to steal Brennley. Gwen told Brennley not to make a mistake when choosing her coach because she wanted her from the moment she walked out onstage.
Gwen said she's drawn not only to Brennley's voice but also her spirit. Although Adam countered by singing the artist "Happy Birthday" on her fifteenth birthday and telling her that he has a lot of ideas on what to do in the future, Brennley ultimately joined Gwen's team.
Blake also paired Ashley and Casi for a Battle in which they had to perform "How Blue."
Blake immediately wished he hadn't matched these two girls, but at the same time, they were both in the same lane and so one naturally needed to go.
In the hope both girls would get to stay on the show, Blake chose to advance Casi to "The Knockout Round" because she has an "electric energy" when she's onstage as well as unique vocal tricks.
But Adam, Gwen, and Alicia all wanted to steal Ashley from Blake's team. Adam argued that Ashley won the Battle to begin with and noted how he was the only person to say that out loud.
Gwen expressed how she has a newfound love for country music and would love to explore that world with Ashley and teach her how to work the stage. Alicia complimented the artist for her "skill, desire, joy and love."
After stating that Adam never turned his chair around for Ashley in the first place, the artist chose to join "Team Alicia."
In another Battle, Alicia -- who is working with DJ Khaled as her team adviser -- matched Anatalia and Missy for a performance of "Tightrope."
Alicia noted the artists are so different. Anatalia had the pocket during the song, but Missy came out with a powerful and beautiful voice.
In the end, Alicia picked Anatalia as the winner because she's a firecracker onstage and is like "a female Bruno Mars" thanks to her vocal style and stage presence. Alicia believes Anatalia brings something to the table that no one has ever seen before.
Alicia also paired Felicia with Quizz for a high-energy rendition of "Titanium."
Alicia said Felicia broke her shield down and finally exposed herself, but Quizz has an incredible voice and takes direction well at only 13-years-old.
Alicia decided Quizz had won the Battle because he has an "innocence and vocal prowess that's undeniable." However, Blake opted to steal Felicia for his own team, saying that the only thing she didn't have going for her was not being 13-years-old.
Gwen's Battle that was shown on Monday night was J Chosen and Kenny P -- who were also guided by their team adviser Celine Dion -- for a performance of "I Was Made to Love Her."
Gwen regretted pairing these men up. Kenny was a natural onstage, while J Chosen's confidence on stage really improved.
Gwen ultimately decided to follow her heart, naming J Chosen the winner of the Battle since his personality shined. Gwen called him a "frontrunner" on her team going forward due to his vocal ability.
Adam, whose team adviser is John Legend, paired Gaby and Mark for a Battle in which they were asked to sing "Pillowtalk." Adam noted they had great chemistry onstage and delivered very dynamic vocal performances.
While Gaby's voice was strong and potent, Mark made people feel things when he sang. As a result, Adam advanced Mark to "The Knockout Round" and said he's looking forward to trying different things with the artist.