“The Voice” Recap: The Battle Rounds Begin

Usher and Blake Shelton watch Michelle Raitzin and Holly Tucker perform Carrie Underwood’s “Blown Away” in the battle round.
photo by Adam Rose/NBC

No more spinning chairs: Let the battle rounds begin!

The intensity kicked up a notch as coaches Blake Shelton, Adam Levine, Shakira and Usher pitted team members against each other in what Blake deemed “the scariest part of the show.”

The first vocal match of the evening found Hillary Scott from Lady Antebellum helping Adam prepare powerhouse R&B vocalist Sasha Allen and Texas cutie Amber Carrington before they hit the stage with Pink’s “Try.”

Both ladies sang their hearts out, but in the end Adam went country (trying to show up Blake, are we?) and gave Shakira the chance to steal Sasha for her own team.

The “Hips Don’t Lie” stunner then faced her own tough choice, picking second-chance kid Garrett Gardner over soulful receptionist J’Sun after an electrifying rendition of The Heavy's “How You Like Me Now.”

Blake was up next, enlisting Sheryl Crow as a mentor to offer advice to four-chair-turner Holly Tucker and daughter-of-a-rocker Michelle Raitzin as they prepared to duet on the emotional “Blown Away” by Carrie Underwood. “It’s going to make for good music and a good performance,” Blake said of this pairing.

But being right isn’t always easy and when the women brought it with their fierce vocals, Blake was left with quite a choice to make. After being shot down by host Carson Daly on the possibility of keeping them both (nice try, Blake!), the veteran coach went with what comes naturally and chose country girl Holly.

Blake followed that up with his first steal, giving former Olympic hopeful Taylor Beckham a second chance after being let go by Usher, who preferred Texas hairdresser Jess Kelnver’s version of Amy Winehouse's “You Know I’m No Good."

For his final battle of the night, Blake put bar singer Christian Porter in the difficult position of having to face the energetic Swon Brothers.

While there was no denying that Christian stepped up to the challenge, Blake called it a draw and again went the country route by keeping the harmonizing siblings around. “I just have a bond with them, I’m not going to lie,” admitted Blake.

Closing out the show was Team Adam’s Judith Hill vs. Karina Iglesias in a showdown of the mega-singers, which received a standing O from all four coaches.

“Adam’s stupid putting you two together,” concluded Blake, adding that "battles shouldn’t sound this good.” Shakira agreed and was more than happy to swoop up Karina when Adam decided on Judith. 

So what did you think of the first battle rounds? Did Blake play his cards right?

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