'The Voice' Season 14 Battles begin -- Two faceoffs stun the coaches and three artists get stolen!
By Elizabeth Kwiatkowski, 03/20/2018
The Voice's Battle Round commenced and featured nine artists surviving the cut during Monday night Season 14 broadcast on NBC.
The artists who advanced by winning their respective Battles were Sharane Calister, a 24-year-old from Des Moines, IA; Brynn Cartelli, a 14-year-old from Longmeadow, MA; Kyla Jade, a 33-year-old from Kansas who currently resides in Nashville, TN; Rayshun Lamarr, a 33-year-old from North Carolina who currently resides in Fort Washington, MD; Christiana Danielle, a 22-year-old from Fort Wayne, IN; and D.R. King, a 34-year-old from Ohio who currently resides in Harlem, NY.
In each Battle, a coach pairs two of his or her team members up at a time and chooses a song for them to sing in a duet. While the duo must blend their different sounds, the goal is to out-perform each other for only one spot on the team moving forward.
However, Adam, Alicia, Kelly, and Blake are each allowed two "Steals" during this round, which means he or she may select two losing artists from opposing coaches' Battles to join his or her own team for the upcoming "The Knockout Round" and potentially beyond.
The artists who lost their respective Battles but were stolen by other coaches in last night's episode were Jackie Foster, a 22-year-old from California who currently resides in Boston, MA; Dylan Hartigan, a 21-year-old from Wyckoff, NJ; and Tish Haynes Keys, a 38-year-old from St. Louis, MO.
For the Battles this season, Hailee Steinfeld is serving as Kelly's team adviser, Julia Michaels is working with Adam's team, Trace Adkins is helping out Blake's team, and Shawn Mendes is mentoring Alicia's team.
For "Team Alicia," Sharane had the first Battle against Jamai, a 28-year-old from Chester, PA.
The pair sang "Mercy" by Shawn Mendes, and Adam thought it was "a dead heat." Kelly acknowledged both performances were flawless and had "intensity and passion," adding that Jamai had cool runs but Sharane had this ache or longing in her voice that was captivating.
Alicia was "supremely proud" of both of her artists, saying Jamai's vocals were a "shocker" and he had "grown exponentially," but because Sharane had a "stellar performance," she was declared the winner.
For "Team Kelly," Brynn and Dylan faced off with a dark and edgy version of "...Ready For It" by Taylor Swift.
Alicia admitted the voice inside Brynn is "crazy" but Dylan had some "crazy swag." Dylan really went for it, but Adam insisted Brynn is a total star.
Although Dylan had an infectious energy about his performance, Kelly named Brynn the Battle's winner because her voice is really solid, she's an old soul, and she's also "emotional" and "on fire."
However, Blake decided to steal Dylan for his team because of his awesome stage presence. Blake mentioned the handsome guy also "catches your eye."
On behalf of Blake's team, Kyla sang "One Last Time" against JessLee, a 26-year-old from Stuart, FL.
Kelly noted Kyla sings "effortlessly" -- so much so, that she would never want to perform alongside her because she'd feel bad about herself. JessLee was called a "phenomenal singer," and she really attacked the song, but Kyla had the edge.
Blake therefore declared Kyla victorious, and the artist was told she needs to learn how to never "subdue her greatness."
"Team Adam" was up next. Tish and Rayshun performed "Sweet Thing," and although the coaches thought Adam was crazy for pairing them up, he said this moment of greatness never would have happened unless he matched them up.
Rayshun was complimented on his huge range and rising to the challenge of singing against Tish, but Tish reminded Kelly of Aretha Franklin and Chaka Khan.
Adam explained Tish had the advantage in this song because it was in her wheelhouse, but Rayshun really took an opportunity to show who he is. Adam loved them both equally and said it "would be a crime" to allow either of these artists to leave The Voice at this stage in the competition.
With that being said, Adam decided Rayshun had won the Battle because he's "special" and "magical," but then Kelly decided to steal Tish for her team. Kelly also wasn't okay with letting such incredible talent slip through the door.
For "Team Alicia," Christiana was paired with Shana Halligan, a 44-year-old from Los Angeles, CA, for a vocal rendition of "Use Somebody."
Christiana drew Adam in with her performance, but he noted Shana was a unique singer who had powerful moments. Adam said both artists had "kernels of greatness" throughout the song, and Blake also found them equal.
Blake told Alicia that Christiana was "endearing" but Shana "literally cast a spell on me." Alicia loved how the women deconstructed the song and almost made it unrecognizable, and then the coach named Christiana the winner because of the youthful way she interprets music.
And the last Battle of the night belonged to Kelly's artists D.R. King and Jackie, who were matched up and asked to sing "Sign of the Times" by Harry Styles.
Alicia called D.R. King "a stunner," saying he was in complete control, while Jackie had a warmth about her voice -- even when occupying a higher space.
Adam couldn't believe Kelly had paired these two together, but he couldn't keep his eyes off Jackie. Blake agreed with Adam that Jackie was the "discovery" that night. Jackie definitely rose to the occasion, and Kelly confessed she was "screwed."
However, Kelly seemed convinced another coach would steal her losing artist, so she decided to name D.R. King the winner.
And Kelly turned out to be right, as Alicia, Adam and Blake all wanted to steal Jackie. Adam suggested to the artist, "You could win this thing," before pointing out that this was a defining moment for her.
Adam added that he knows how to win The Voice and he believed he could do it with her. Adam also complimented the rock singer by saying, as far as he was concerned, she was alone in that Battle performance.
Blake then argued that he had won The Voice with Chloe Kohanski last season after she took a chance on working with him. But Jackie was sold on teaming up with Adam, and the coach was amazed by her "tone, accuracy, precision and emotion."