‘The Voice’: Hannah Huston & Maya Smith Stage An Epic Battle With Sia’s “Elastic Heart”
Tuesday night’s Battle Round further narrowed down The Voice contestants, and members from teams Christina Aguilera, Pharrell Williams, Adam Levine and Blake Shelton fought to make it through to the Knockouts. With the help of mentors Patti LaBelle, Sean Combs, Tori Kelly and Gwen Stefani, the coaches focused on prepping their contestants for the ring…
…but really, they focused on the coach competition sideshow, which was all steals, steals and more steals. Christina and Blake got competitive over the same steals, and Blake continued to mock Adam’s unfortunate bleached hair with comparisons to such blondies as Miley Cyrus, Lance Bass and Guy Fieri. (Actually, he might have a point about that last one). Pharrell maintained his Switzerland status, and quietly put forward the best contestants of the evening.
In the midst of it all, a few contestants got sent home, but – thanks to the steal – many more made it to the Knockouts. Here’s who you can look forward to seeing next round:
Team Christina: Shalyah Fearing vs. Tamar Davis
In the first Battle of the night, Christina pits 15-year-old Shalyah Fearing against vet Tamar Davis, who has already sung with Beyoncé and Prince. No pressure, or anything, but the pair is assigned “Lady Marmalade,” a song recorded by both Christina and her advisor, Patti LaBelle. They both hit some incredibly strong notes and approach the song with endless attitude, but Tamar is more consistently on pitch.
“Shalyah, you are something else. And 15 years old?” Pharrell marvels. “That one note where you just went to like the alternate beautiful jazz run in there, that was amazing.”
“You had that sparkle in your eye that performed that probably pushed it over the top for me,” Adam tells Tamar.
“You guys have amazing talents, and I applaud you for that,” Christina tells her contestants.
Christina advances an emotional Tamar, and Pharrell comes in to steal an equally emotional Shalyah. “You did such an amazing job, and we all saw that,” he says. “You deserve to be on the show.”
Team Blake: Justin Whisnant vs. Mary Sarah
If song choice is any indication, Blake definitely wants classic country singer Mary Sarah to win the battle against country rocker Justin Whisnant. There is not a better choice for her voice than Loretta Lynn and Conway Twitty’s country duet “Louisiana Woman, Mississippi Man.” Both Mary and Justin stay on pitch and in the pocket during the song, although Mary Sarah’s vocal acrobatics get a little distracting.
“You were pretty accurate the whole way through,” Christina tells Justin. “Your high notes were really nice,” she tells Mary Sarah.
“I liked your showmanship and those high notes that you were hitting were definitely impressive,” Pharrell tells Mary Sarah.
“I’m really happy and proud of both of you guys,” says Blake. “Thank y’all as a country music junkie.”
Praising her stage presence and spunky presence, Blake advances Mary Sarah.
Team Pharrell: Jessica Crosbie vs. Nick Hagelin
“He’s won countless Grammys,” Pharrell gushes of his team’s mentor, Sean “Diddy” Combs, apparently classifying three as too high to count. Grammy math aside, Diddy gets into it with UK transplant Jessica Crosbie and soulful dad Nick Hagelin, helping them get their rhythm and stay in the pocket for their performance of MGMT’s “Electric Feel.”
Jessica is consistently solid, but doesn’t have any lights out moments. Nick stays in his falsetto for most of his solo moments, which – though impressively high – is also a touch shrill. The coaches just love a falsetto, though.
“You spent so much time in your falsetto,” Blake tells Nick. “Then you went into your full voice and it was so good.”
“I couldn’t get an exact feel for exactly what type of artist you wanted to be,” Christina tells Jessica.
“You guys definitely brought it,” says Pharrell, who tells Jessica, “I would have loved to hear one of those crazy high notes that you were hitting in the rehearsal.”
Pharrell picks Nick, but Adam comes in to steal Jessica. “I remember you so vividly from the blinds, so I just feel like I have a second chance with you,” he says.
Team Christina: Chelsea Gann vs. Kata Hay
Christina loves a good powerhouse-on-powerhouse battle, which is what she sets up between Chelsea Gann and Kata Hay. The pair sings Melissa Etheridge’s “I’m the Only One,” and though they both struggle with pitch issues during rehearsals, they show great improvement during the actual performance. Chelsea demonstrates a bit more control than Kata, who yells out big notes and kind of slurs her way through the beginning of the song.
“You have all this personality and you’re one of those people who refuses to be ignored,” Pharrell tells Kata.
“You’re a firecracker,” Adam says to Kata, before telling Chelsea, “To see you bring your claws out was pretty awesome.”
Coach Christina praises Chelsea, telling her, “All of your high notes and your range, you’re so powerful.” To Kata, she says, “You come out and you’re just wow! You can’t help but just feel things in the moment.”
After struggling a bit to make a decision, Christina picks Kata. It’s pretty surprising that Blake does not jump in to steal Chelsea, who is not only a powerhouse, but also an Oklahoma native. Perhaps a leopard really can change his spots.
Team Adam: Natalie Yacovazzi vs. Nate Butler
Returner Natalie Yacovazzi might have made it through the Blind Auditions, but she’s got some steep competition in the Battles against indie pop singer Nate Butler. The recent high school grad earned three chairs to Natalie’s one. Perhaps to even the playing field, Adam assigns them Tori Kelly’s “Hollow,” which is a better fit for Natalie’s pop diva aspirations. She’s much better than she was in her Blind Auditions with a slew of big notes, but it’s not quite enough to match Nate.
“Nate has on Natalie pitch-perfect voice,” says Blake, adding, “You sound a lot like Adam to me.”
“It’s neck and neck,” says Christina. “Natalie, you have a super powerful voice and a great range.”
Adam gives his team members really lukewarm praise, considering how enthusiastic he typically is about, well, everyone. “There were some pitch things, but Blake made a good point about that little cool break in your voice,” he tells Natalie. “Nate, I think you survived.”
Adam advances “survivor” Nate to the next round. Natalie did, however, make it one round further than last year, which means that at this rate, she’s looking like a real contender for The Voice Season 15.
Team Pharrell: Hannah Huston vs. Maya Smith
If Hannah Huston and Maya Smith area any indication, Pharrell uses the time that the other coaches spend hiding cell phones, coming up with hair insults and making sideshow performances actually prepping his team for glory. This pair of singers – who apparently became besties in the few days they’ve spent rooming together – give an absolutely electric performance of Sia’s “Elastic Heart.” Each one shows so much vocal control and seasoned stage presence that there is no way both of them don’t make it to the next round.
“Your presence is amazing, you have such confidence,” Adam tells Hannah. “You are right up there with her,” he tells Maya.
“You’re able to get in the zone and you’re so focused on what you’re doing,” Blake tells Hannah, adding. “Maya seems a little more free with it.”
“You guys did me totally proud,” says Pharrell, telling Hannah, “Your control is at another level.”
Pharrell picks Hannah, but Christina and Blake are quick to come in for the steal.
“She looks and sounds like a star standing there,” says Blake.
“This is the second time I pushed for her,” argues Christina. “I didn’t get you before. My heart is invested. I’ve been so into you since the Blinds.”
Maya doesn’t even wait for a deeper Blake appeal before picking Christina as her new coach.
It’s a little early to make solid predictions, but it’s looking like a Pharrell or Christina sort of year…until Blake starts courting the country vote during the live shows, that is. Can Adam or Blake steal themselves stronger teams when the Battles rage on next week?