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Ariana and Aguilera Power on THE VOICE Season 21 Final Battles Week 2 Recap

Pictured: (l-r) KCK3, Ryleigh Plank -- Photo by: Greg Gayne/NBC

It was the final week of “The Voice” season 21 Battles.  This season has more artists than recent past seasons with each Team having twelve artists instead of ten.  Though apparently NBC didn’t allow for more time dedicated to the time slot.  Thus, a few more battles were reduced to snippets instead of showing the full Battles.

New coach Ariana Grande still struggled with emotions in letting some of her artists go.  She said she was “emotionally distraught because I love my Team so much.”  Host Carson Daly asked Blake if he’s threatened by any of the coaches?  After a short pause and laughter, Blake answered, “no.”  Kelly said it’s her best Team overall this season.

Ariana channeled into her own power combined with past ‘Voice coach Christina Aguilera’s when giving one of her Battles the song “Come On Over Baby (All I Want is You)”.  Kelly also threw it back old school successfully when one of her Battles sang “It’s My Party.”

JOSHUA VACANTI vs. KEILAH GRACE (Team Legend / Camila Cabello)

Both singers have big voices.  Joshua sang “Into the Unknown.”  John Blocked Ariana from Joshua.  Keilah was a three-chair-turn.  She’s 15 years old, the same age Camila was when she started on “X Factor.”  Joshua said he was “totally shook” to have Camila as a mentor.  He’s aiming to be “super individual.”

John gave them the song “Good For You” by Olivia Rodrigo.  Joshua said he was excited about getting the song because it will showcase the rocker part of his voice.  John said it has the drama and theatrical vibe that he knows both Keilah and Joshua can do.  Camila noted Joshua’s theatrical bravado.  Camila loved the drama of it and the Freddie Mercury Queen vibes.  John advised that the lyrics become so a part of them that they’re able to free themselves from it and just perform.  Joshua said he couldn’t relate to the break-up song because he married his high school sweetheart.  Joshua said he wants to win the Battle for his wife and also for the people who doubted him and said he’s not mainstream enough.

John said the audience will be jolted by it.  It’s the most high energy song he’s coached.  John said the song is challenging and he’ll see who rises to the occasion.  It’s a matter of execution, he told them..   John predicted that “It’s going to knock the other coaches’ socks off.

Kelly told Keilah was in the rafters hitting those notes.  She said Joshua’s range was also incredible. “I did not expect for that to happen.” She said Joshua surprised her, and admitted that she did not turn for him  Blake reacted “What just happened on the stage?” and it happened so quickly that he has to watch on TV and put it in slow motion.  Blake said “Joshua, what the hell… that was crazy!”  Blake said from a performance standpoint, he’s never seen anything like that and he picked Joshua.  Ariana said between Keilah’s range, and control and her age and energy, she chose Keilah. “I’m obsessed,” she said.

John happily said they knocked it out of the park, and just as he predicted, they “blew Blake’s mind.”  He loved the “additional sauce” that Joshua put on those notes.   And Keilah did exactly what she was supposed to do at this moment.  she had that teenage angst.  He said they both made him proud.

BATTLE WINNER:  Joshua Vacanti.  “It means so much to be able to go to the Knockouts,” said Joshua.  John said Keilah is a really good singer.  But right now, Joshua has the ability to break through all the noise against all the other artists who are also good.

“The talent is unreal,” said Ariana, and she has only one Steal.  She said she’s going to use it wisely.  “I’m waiting for the right moment.”  Kelly also has her Steal left.  John said it’s one of their better season’s since he’s been on the show.

CARSON PETERS vs. CLINT (Team Blake / Dierks Bentley)

Pictured: (l-r) Carson Peters, Clint Sherman — Photo by: Greg Gayne/NBC

Carson and Clint were super excited to see Dierks Bentley as their Team advisor.  Clint said he wants to out-do himself every time he gets on stage.  Carson was a four-chair-turn.  Blake gave them the song “Don’t Let Our Love Start Slippin’ Away” by Vince Gill. Blake said the song “lands in the middle” of Carson and Cint.   “Clint’s voice really cuts through,” said Blake.  “Carson can be a big super-star,” stated Dierks and has a harder edge to it.  Whoever can put their stamp on this song. “Whichever one I believe the most. Who’s being authentic to themselves,” Blake said will be the winner.

Ariana said she loved the performance.  She said they both “sang that so well” and couldn’t believe Carson is 17-years-old . She went with Carson.  John said Clint’s tone sounded so rich and powerful  He went with Clint. Kelly called Carson a Country Patrick Swayze.  She said Clint “was the shocker” for her and chose Clint.

Blake said people normally don’t cover Vince Gill songs.  He’s the one to avoid.”  Blake said with Carson, it kind of brought out more of a Rock edge.  He said they stepped-up to the plate and “did it.”

BATTLE WINNER:  Carson Peters.  Blake said Carson had the edge  “He’s only 17 years old and as an artist, that’s exciting.  Blake said we have yet to hear him play the fiddle and is looking forward to that.

Kelly said for her Steal, she is looking for a voice with character and someone she connects with.


Kelly gave them “Sunny” song.  Kelly said they blend very well with that old-style vibe. BATTLE WINNER: Holly Forbes. Kelly said there was “something so magical about Holly’s tone.”  She wants to capitalize on how captivating Holly is as a vocalist.

Blake reacted to their Battle, – If enthusiasm is what it takes to win “The Voice,” no one is going to compete with Sasha.  Ariana said Jim and Sasha have a permanent residency in her heart.  BATTLE WINNER:  Jim & Sasha Allen.  Ariana said they are infectious and couldn’t take her eyes off of them onstage.


RAQUEL TRINIDAD vs. HAILEY MIA (Team Ariana / Kristin Chenoweth)

Raquel was in a bad car accident before her ‘Voice Blind Audition.  Ariana paired Raquel with Hailey.   Raquel said seeing Kristin Chenoweth she thought she was going to pass out.  They all did a group hug before rehearsal.  Ariana gave them the “Carwash” song.  Kristin said Raquel is reminiscent of a young Amy Winehouse.  She wished she could always have the confidence that Raquel has.  She was having fun and not getting in her head.  Ariana said Hailey’s voice is so spectacular.  Only thing is “she’s only using 60% of her voice.”

Raquel was super impressed by Hailey’s range and said “I don’t remember sounding like that at 13-years-old.   Hailey said the song is pushing her out of her comfort zone.   Ariana told Hailey to trust and lean into her gift.

John reacted “what a fun song selection” and they just “lit it up.”  John told Hailey he can’t believe she’s 13.  She sings with so much confidence and presence.  Raquel is colorful and puts on a show.  She has a level of “polish and professionalism.”  He went with Raquel.  Kelly said Raquel can sing any Pop song and make it cooler.  She told Hailey that she’s “really a gifted singer.”  Blake said with Hailey, there’s still some development.  With Raquel, “She’s ready right now.”  He added, “that’s exciting too.”

Ariana told Raquel that since the Blinds, Raquel has been one of her favorite performers.  She was “floored” by Hailey.  She pulled it off and wanted to challenge Hailey with the song.  That showed her that she’s there to stay.

BATTLE WINNER: Raquel Trinidad.   Ariana said she’s the right coach for her, and they have the same vibe.  “She is so talented,” said Ariana about Raquel.

STEAL:  Kelly stole Hailey!  Ariana was thrilled!  Kelly said she wasn’t planning on using her Steal.  But Hailey is gifted and “she’s very excited” to have Hailey on her Team . “She’s undeniably gifted,” said Kelly about Hailey.


GYMANI vs. AARON HINES (Team Kelly / Jason Aldean)

Jason Aldean said he moved to Nashville when he was 20, and had his first single at 27.  They’re both 4-chair-turns. Kelly thinks they will sound really good together.  Kelly gave them the “Working” song by Kahlid.  Gymani said when she got pregnant, her relationship was “toxic.”  She had to be a father too and would pick up any side singing gigs she could.   Jason said “Aaron is really impressive and has some cards up his sleeve he hasn’t shown.” Aaron said Gymani has pushed him as a singer and he has to definitely have his “A-Game.”

Bake told them “great job, both of you.” He told Aaron that he had the opportunity to take the easy way out, but didn’t.  He used his full voice “and you went there.  I respect you for that.”  And Gymani, she’s so good and unbelievable. He said even after everything Aaron did, he’d still go with Gymani.  Ariana said Aaron’s voice is so warm and Gymani makes it hard for anyone to sing with her.  “You complimented each other beautifully here.” She went with Gymani.  John said they are truly really excellent singers.  Gymani’s voice cuts through Aaron’s voice “is really, really good” and they are both fantastic singers.

Kelly said she had so much fun, and they both elevated each other.  Gymani has this amazing, powerful voice.  The level of artistry that Arraon brings is a beautiful gift.  She said she’d go to both of their concerts, and she doesn’t want to lose either one of them.

BATTLE WINNER: Gymani.  Kelly said there’s something extra special about Gymani’s tone and she’s excited to see what she does in the Knockouts.

SABRINA DIAZ vs. JACK ROGAN (Team John / Camila Cobello)

Pictured: (l-r) Jack Rogan, Sabrina Dias — Photo by: Greg Gayne/NBC

Sabrina sang in Portuguese for her Blind Audition which was a risk.  She said it was hard for her to come-out at 22.  John gave them “Cardigan” song by Taylor Swift which allowed them to be “great story-tellers.”  John said Jack’s voice is rich and smooth.  It connects him to the material.  Camila and John encouraged Jack to push himself and explore his falsetto.  Jack said he’d never had a vocal lesson and it was very eye-opening for him.

Camila said it’s a tricky song because it’s a story-teller / song-writer song.  “But if they can make this song their own more.  It can be really cool,” Camila said. John said both of them have the ability to deliver.  But when it comes to the Battle, he’s going to see who steps up to the plate.

Kelly loved their story-telling.  She told Jack that his voice is very beautiful, and “really, really well-done.”  She said Sabrina tells the whole story with every part of her being and compared her to Pink.  She chose Sabrina.  Blake said the tone and voice Jack has “is really special”  He gave it every single thing he has.  He told Sabrina that her voice is “explosive” and draws people in.  He chose Sabrina.  Ariana said she really enjoyed the journey of Jack’s tone.  Everyone falls in love with Sabrina.  Ariana didn’t make a choice.

John said Jack has almost never performed before “The Voice” and he delivered…so well done.”   John said he’s so intrigued by Sabrina’s voice and was thinking about Pink while watching her.  She’s very magnetic” he said.  They are both wonderful, said John.

BATTLE WINNER:  Sabrina.  John said she’s full of energy. He loves her voice and wants to see what she does next.  John said he loves the talent this season.  Really strong singers.


Team Legend Battle:

Ariana reacted, “I loved your approach and brought new life to it.”  She fell in love with the song again.  BATTLE WINNER:  Shadale. John said she has star power and gives him a little Beyonce vibes.


MANNY KEITH vs. WENDY MOTEN (Team Blake / Dierks Bentely)

Pictured: (l-r) Manny Keith, Wendy Moten — Photo by: Greg Gayne/NBC

Manny was shocked that he got paired with Wendy because she is a powerhouse and he was intimidated.  Manny said he’ll be honoring his mom in this Battle.  Dierks Bentley told Blake that he just sang with Wendy in Nashville a couple of weeks ago.  Dierks asked why she chose Blake and why not John?  John was Blocked.  Wendy said she sings and works in Nashville, “so it’s a perfect fit.”  She’s been on tour with Julio Iglesias,  Faith Hill, etc..

Blake gave them the song, “If I Ever Lose My Faith.”  Blake chose this song because vocally it will allow them to show-off their strengths.  He said Wendy’s been singing backup for years.  “So there’s no boundaries for her voice.”  Dierks said Manny does have his work cut out going against Wendy.  But, he is a great singer.  Manny said “feeling the weight of this moment got to me.”  Dierks told Manny to use the nervous energy to his benefit.

Wendy’s challenge is being the person in front of everyone and not in the background.  Dierks said Wendy has a lot of power in her voice.  But, Manny makes you believe he lived every moment of the song.

Kelly reacted that Wendy “wore a cape.  She showed up!”  Ariana said Manny has a unique bravado and it’s “probably the hardest thing in the world to sing with Wendy.” She has goosebumps everywhere…leaving her body in her reaction to Wendy.  She gave the Battle to Wendy.  John joked that Bake is styling his Team’s wardrobe “very well.”  They look like stars up there.  He gave the minor note that they gave different interpretations physically.  It didn’t feel like they were performing together, he observed.  Kelly loved Manny’s bravado.   But, Wendy was the best thing she’s heard “ever!”  Kelly said if Wendy doesn’t make the finale, there’s something wrong in the world.

Blake joked that Wendy could not sing before the show and look what she’s done with only two rehearsals.  The audience chanted  “Blake, Blake!”  Blake said Manny stood toe-to-toe against Wendy.  He figured out how to get through it and get better.  Blake agreed with everyone else in that he doesn’t know why Wendy chose him.   But, thanked God for shining down upon him.

BATTLE WINNER:  Wendy Moten.   Wendy stated that today, “they’ve given me props that I still have it.”  Manny told the coaches that he lost his mom a year ago and did this for her.

STEAL:  Ariana Stole Manny.  She said she can’t wait to see what Manny does in the Knockouts and thinks he can shine in his own right.

Pictured: (l-r) Manny Keith, Carson Daly — Photo by: Greg Gayne/NBC



RYLEIGH PLANK vs. KCK3 (Team Ariana / Kristin Chenoweth)

Pictured: (l-r) KCK3, Ryleigh Plank — Photo by: Greg Gayne/NBC

Ariana gave them “Come On Over Baby” by Christina Aguilera.  Ryleigh said she’s struggled with her mental health.  But, her mom is her rock and helps her get through it.  Her mom is also a musician, a flutist.  KCK3 was Ariana’s last artist she added to her Team.  Ariana chose the song because she wanted to give them something with energy.  Chelsea from KCK3 had already sung the song in show choir.  Ariana said the song is perfect for their voices.  Kristin said Ryleigh has “the whole package.  Plus, she’s unique.”  Ariana advised KCK3 not to sound like they’re in the background, and “don’t give us less.  Give us more.”

Ariana told Ryleigh that she has to learn that she doesn’t always have to be at a 10 and she’s not auditioning anymore.  When Ariana advised one of them to step back and the other one to come forward, Kristin said it was “genius” and thinks Team Ariana is a  real threat.

John said it’s so fun seeing a family sing together.  Kelly saw the song selection and thought “she thinks a lot of y’all.  They all have different textures.  She was shocked by how powerful and confident Ryleigh is.  “Literally, you are a light on that stage.”  Blake said Ryleigh attacked the song and “owns the moment.”  Ariana said everyone was able to shine and KCK3 owned it and came out of their shells.  She said Ryleigh’s performance was perfect.

BATTLE WINNER:  Ryleigh Plank. Ariana said Ryleigh is an angel and “a vocal Goddess.”  Ariana also said she’s so proud of KCK3.


Kelly gave them “It’s My Party” song by Lesley Gore.  Kelly suggested they do the song as soulful Pop with a Lana Del Rey spin on it.  Parker recently lost her mom, and thought the song was very appropriate.  Kelly reacted to Parker’s rehearsal that she was “floored.”   Jason Aldean loved that the song wasn’t current. so it’s not been heard a ton.  Jason said about the Cunningham sisters that anytime you see someone that young, that good, it gets your attention.  Jason suggested that they stay on pitch together.

Blake called it “tricky” and how do you not fall in love with these two (Cunningham Sisters).  Blake advised Parker to “quit” because she had to go up against the sisters.  Ariana leaned towards the Cunningham Sisters.  John said there’s something so dynamic about the Cunningham Sisters but thought Parker gave the best vocal performance.  Kelly said they did a beautiful job and they found the right notes to land on and “nailed it.”

Pictured: The Cunningham Sisters — Photo by: Greg Gayne/NBC

BATTLE WINNER: The Cunningham Sisters.  Kelly said to have that kind of confidence and precision at such a young age.  She said they feed off of challenges.

BERRITT HAYNES vs. KAITLYN VELEZ (Team Blake / Dierks Bentley)
Kelly was captivated by Berritt.  Blake said Berritt stepped-up to the plate.Battle Winner:  Beritt Haynes

JONATHAN MOUTAN vs PARIS WINNINGHAM (Team Legend / Camila Cabello)

The guys were super excited to meet Camila Cabello who’s their Battle advisor.  Jonathan was the first person on Team Legend.  He told Jonathan that he heard Luther Vandross in his voice.  Paris sang “Superstition” in his blind audition.  He said this is the beginning of his life.   John gave them “Then and Now” by Luther Vandross.  John revealed that he used to sing the song at weddings.  Camila observed that Jonathan has a belty voice that’s really, really strong.  John told Paris that he can hear a little Aaron Neville and he’s a story teller.

Jonathan said he’s interpreting the song as being in love with his life since surviving stage 4 cancer.  He’s sung behind Chaka Khan, Faith Evans, and more.  John said it’s important that they embrace the emotion and make the audience feel it.  He predicted that they would both go to the next round.   Basically predicting that another coach would Steal one of them.

Kelly called them “so evenly matched”  Paris has a texture that’s super captivating, said Kelly.  Blake said it sounded like a record, incredible.  He said he doesn’t know who he would choose.  Ariana said they are both world class singers.  When they were singing at the same time their bravados were circling at the same speed.   John said there’s no right answer about who was better.  Paris’ voice has more texture and more richness.  “You both are as great as you need to be to keep going,” said John.

BATTLE WINNER:  Paris Winningham. John said there’s something about his energy that’s infectious.

STEAL: Blake Shelton Stole Jonathan!  Blake said he was going to use his Steal on either one of those guys and Jonathan is a great addition to Team Blake.  John said he’s rooting for Jonathan no matter what.





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