With only six more vocal battles to go, and coach Usher with the only steal left, the remaining contestants left their coaches with some of the toughest decisions seen in this stage of the competition.
Here’s how the final battles went down:
It Comes Down To A ’Matter Of Taste’
When Cary Laine and Sam Behymer hit the battle stage to represent Team Adam, it was clear to all the coaches that it was an equally matched duel. Behymer’s airy and quirky voice coupled with Laine’s country powerhouse vocals made for an interesting and resonating rendition of Ed Sheeran’s “Give Me Love.” Shelton commended the singers for “captur[ing] the mood” of the song, but found it hard to pick a winner, advising Levine that it was simply a “matter of taste.” In the end, Levine declared the “quiet thunder” Sam Behymer the winner.
’A Little Love Ditty’
Coach Shelton chose to put folk-pop singer Kaleigh Glanton against crooner Noah Lis for his last vocal battle. With Michael Buble’s “Everything,” Usher warned Lis of his tendency to be “too lounge,” but commended the singer on his great upper range. The young crooner may have been more in his comfort zone, but Glanton rose to the occasion, wowing her coach with vocal abilities Shelton insists simply cannot be taught. In the end, Kaleigh Glanton was chosen as the winner.
Be Bold, Be Brave
With only one steal slot left, Usher waited patiently for just the right artist to hit his button for. The final battle came from Team Shakira’s Emily B. and Cierra Mickens. Guest mentor Miranda Lambert urged both singers to leave their hearts on the stage, and with Sara Bareilles’ triumphant song “Brave” the two soulful singers did just that. Coach Shakira was torn between Mickens’ “deep and rounded voice” and Emily B.’s story of strength and survival, but in the end, she declared Emily B. the winner. As Mickens made her way off the stage, Usher hit his steal button, and nearly brought the singer to her knees. He told her that there was “beautiful talent” he sees in her that he wants “the world to be a part of.”
Now that the first round of battles is completed, “The Voice” will debut a new twist in the show: a second level of battle rounds with one final steal available. The best of the best will enter the battle stage one more time for a spot in the playoffs, but their opponents will be a surprise. The battle pairings will choose their own songs, and be mentored by possibly the biggest guest artist to hit the singing competition, Coldplay’s Chris Martin.
As the competition heads into the second round of battles next Monday (March 31), here’s how the teams look:
Dawn & Hawkes
Brittnee Camelle (steal)
Jake Barker (steal)
Patrick Thomson (steal)
Josh Murley (steal)
Ayesha “Music Box” Brooks (steal)
Cierra Mickens (steal)
Ryan Whyte Maloney
Biff Gore (steal)
Tess Boyer (steal)