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Emotions Run High on THE VOICE Season 21 Battles Week 1 Recap

Pictured: (l-r) Ariana Grande, Blake Shelton -- Photo by: Michael Becker/NBC

“The Voice” season 21 coaches went into Battles (like past recent seasons) equipped with one Save each.  In the first week of Battles, viewers saw two coaches use their only Saves.  New coach Ariana Grande struggled with emotions during her first Battle and couldn’t NOT cry while trying to chose a winner.

She ended-up using her Save right away during this Battle!  More seasoned coaches – Kelly Clarkson, John Legend, and Blake Shelton held out longer.  John used his Save on the last Battle of Tuesday night’s episode.  Blake also used his Save on one of his Country artists, also in Tuesday’s episode.   More Battles will continue in next week’s episodes.

Team Ariana was up first.  When talking about her Team’s Advisor, Kristin Chenoweth, Ariana said “who better than to bring with me in this space than the person that I learned from.”

BELLA DENAPOLI vs. KATIE RAE (Team Ariana / Kristin Chenoweth)

Ariana met Kristin backstage at “Wicked” when she was ten years old.  Ariana paired Katie Rae and Bella DeNapoli.   Ariana gave them “No More Tears (Enough is Enough)” to sing by Barbara Striestand and Donna Summer.  The women were star-struck when they saw Kristin.  Ariana called them “vocal divas” and she’s obsessed with them both.  Kristin said both singers “owned who they are” when watching them in rehearsal.  Kristin was crying because she said Bella and Katie filled the shoes of the original artists of the song.

Ariana was crying after the Battle.  John reacted, “wow, Katie Rae, your tone is soo GOOD.” He loved the rawness in her voice.  John said Ariana is a new coach and “this is the hardest part we do.”  He sided with Katie Rae.  Kelly loved the piercing and “pure notes” from Bella.  She said there was something captivating with Katie’s low tones.  Blake said when “Katie came in she had such an edgy voice.”  He leaned towards Bella.  Ariana was still crying and said “there was nothing to fix ever” and “there’s nothing you both can’t sing.”  Ariana said this song was a song her and her mom would sing in the car all the time.


SAVE: Ariana used her Save on Bella.  Ariana said she is a stunning vocalist and “a bright light.”  Ariana called Bella her “Italian sister.”

Camila Cabello who came from another reality competition show, “The X Factor” is Team Legend’s advisor.

SAMUEL HARNESS vs. KJ JENNINGS (Team Legend / Camila Cabello)

John gave them Camila’s song that she wrote with her boyfriend Shawn Menedes.  She said Shawn could never remember the words to a certain part of the song.  “I Know What You Did Last Summer” was one of the first songs that Camila came out with as a solo artist.  Samuel turned into a full-time musician after learning the guitar and piano growing-up.   During their rehearsal, John told Samuel he was ahead of the beat.  John said for Pop music, they have to “attack that rhythm in the right way.”  AJ said she is used to singing Jazz and Soul.  She said getting the song “I Know What You DId Last Summer” is “refreshing” because it’s challenging to her.  Camila advised Samuel to play off of KJ more.  Samuel also got a note to be more in the spotlight.

Kelly said Samuel has an edge to him and KJ is pure.  Blake said KJ was “rangey”  But Samuel has a smokey sound and went with Samuel.  Ariana told Samuel that she loves his tone and voice.  She added that KJ’s runs “were so precise.”  Ariana went with KJ.  John said this song was written by Camila and Shawn before they started dating and the chemistry between Samuel and KJ was strong.  He said KJ has a lot of enthusiasm, it’s magnetic.  Samuel sings with connection and passion.  “Both of you nailed it,” he told them.

BATTLE WINNER:  Samuel Harness.  John said he picked Samuel because his voice has more character, and uniqueness.


Kelly Clarkson had Country artist Jason Aldean as her Team’s advisor.  Jason Aldean said the biggest duet he did was with Kelly and it introduced him to a new audience. They were nominated for a Grammy for the song.  Kelly paired “A Girl Named Tom” with Kinsey Rose.  Kelly Blocked Blake against Kinsey during the Blinds.


A GIRL NAMED TOM vs KINSEY ROSE (Team Kelly / Jason Aldean)

Pictured: (l-r) Girl Named Tom, Kinsey Rose — Photo by: Greg Gayne/NBC

Kinsey said Country is primarily what she sings.  They sang “Seven Bridges Road” by the Eagles.  A Girl Named Tom has been a band for two years.  Jason said there’s a fine line to them being a “jumbled mess.”  The trio said they make posts about their musical arrangements and go for one hour.  They said sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn’t.

Blake reacted that they need to be singing together all the time.  He told Kinsey that she has so much character in her voice and she looks like Hank Williams Sr.  He said “A Girl Named Tom” is really powerful.” He didn’t pick anyone.  Ariana called it “great..so brilliant” and they sound like a group but also great individually.  She leaned toward “A Girl Named Tom.”  John said this is an experience that people pay a lot of money for.  He said Kinsey’s voice is so crisp.   Kelly called Kinsey the kind of Country music singer that she LOVES.  Before she chose, John said “there’s going to be a lot of Stealing.”

BATTLE WINNER: “A Girl Named Tom.”  Kelly said “that family harmony is so incredible and so tight…there’s something special about it.”

SAVE: Kelly pushed her Save for Kinsey.

STEAL:  John, Blake, Ariana.

John said “I just wanted to honor how amazing you are to me.”  He told her he can be a good coach for her and she deserves to be on “The Voice.”  Blake asked Kinsey if she had ever made a horrible mistake,  a car accident?  “This is your chance to escape something tragic.”  Kelly said “I did not choose.  I know I had to technically.  I was really nervous,  I just picked one.”  Ariana chimed-in, then pushed her Steal button as well!

Carson was stumped. “I’ve never seen this on ‘The Voice’.”

COACH:  Kelly Clarkson.  Kinsey said “Kelly Saved me twice!”  Blake said it was the first time in ‘Voice history that they had four buttons in the second round.


JOY REUNION vs. PEEDY CHAVIS (Team Blake / Dierks Bentley)

Blake Shelton brought in Dierks Bentley to advise his Team.  Blake put “The Joy Reunion” vs. Peedy Chavis.  Blake gave them the song, “Joy to the World” by Three Dog Night.  Peedy said he’s known that song for a long time and said it was up his alley.  His mom did the whole Nashville scene.  “Country was always a part of my childhood.”  Blake loves ‘Joy Reunion’s passion.  They have folk sound in there.  Dierks called Peedy “so unique.”  Blake said whoever is the one that you can’t take your eyes off of will be the winner of the Battle.

Ariana said what an infectious performance.  She said with Peedy in this Battle round, she could hear more of him.  “That was really cool. I loved it!”  John said “every note rang true in the room. It was really fun.”  Kelly said “Peedy, I don’t know what to say.  That level of confidence is really cool.”  Blake said Joy Reunion is pitch perfect with their harmonies together.  With Peddy, Blake said “what that hell?  That’s just a gift.”

BATTLE WINNER:  Peedy Chavis.  Blake said it was a great Battle.  “I love the Joy Reunion, but Peedy is special.”  Joy Reunion said they view Peedy as a son and they are kind of proud of him.

John said he’s looking at Team Kelly (who has the most four-chair-turns) for a Steal.

DAVID VOGEL vs. CHAVON ROGERS  (Team Ariana / Kristin Chenoweth)

Ariana wanted to find a Rock song that was a Pop smash.   David said coming into this whole thing, “I wanted to be on Ari’s Team.”  She chose “Sugar You’re Goin’ Down,” for their Battle song.  Chavon said it’s a departure from what he normally sings.   Ariana said he has the right energy for a song like this.  Ariana told them that it didn’t feel like they were competing against each other.  Kristin advised Chavon to focus on the pronunciation.  David said Ariana gave them some really good advice.

John said his concern with Chavon was pronunciation, and with David, it was clear and he could hear him on the radio.  He chose David. Kelly said David does have a lot of clarity.  She said Chavon has more of a low end and their voices melt well together.  Blake said David has the cooler hair.  He said it was like watching a band.  He voted for his Oklahoma guy, Chavon.  Ariana reacted, “this is so unimaginably hard for me.”  She told them that she cares for them both and they are talented.  She loves Chavon’s tone and David’s tone as well.  “It belongs on Pop radio.”   She said she’ll be fans of them both and will stock their shows.

Pictured: David Vogel — Photo by: Greg Gayne/NBC

BATTLE WINNER:  David Vogel.   Ariana said in this context, “David was more present.  He cut through slightly more.”  Somehow, Chavon missed the hug that Ariana was offereing him upon his exit from the show!  Kelly saw and felt bad.  So, she hugged Ariana.  The coaches were sure that Chavon just didn’t see Ariana.  Bake said to his credit, she is really small!

JERSHIKA MAPLE vs. JEREMY ROSADO (Team Kelly / Jason Aldean)

Pictured: (l-r) Jeremy Rosado, Jershika Maple — Photo by: Greg Gayne/NBC

Jason Aldean said he’s been playing in bars in Georgia since age 14.  Jershika knew who Jason Aldean was and lost her mind!  Kelly loved the idea of them singing the “Hold On” song.  Kelly said she loved Justin Bieber’s music and thought it would be cool to hear two power-houses sing the song.  Kelly said Jershika could be on Broadway and compared her to Beyonce.  Jason told Jeremy that his falsetto is going to be his thing.  Kelly and Jason advised them to start off less big.  Jeremy said like the song, he loves the idea of showing-up for someone.  “It’s like my life motto.”  Kelly noted that they need to learn how to use dynamics like an artist would.  “It’s a vocal competition.  Let’s show up.”  Jershika said she’s never experienced anything like this in life before.  Jason said Kelly’s going to have a tough time this season.

Blake said he doesn’t know that they’ve had Battles this good before  He was concerned about Jeremy, because it was Jershika he was Battling.   Jeremy replied that he was too.  But, Jeremy stepped-up and Blake went with Jeremy.  Ariana loved Jeremy, and Jershika, she was dying.  She said they’re both “so good.”  Ariana picked Jershika.  John said he most felt the heart coming from both of them.  Jeremy has a ridiculous range and called him a gifted singer.  Jershika had runs that were so tight and is “a damn good singer.”  He also sided with Jershika.  Kelly said there’s two amazing power-house singers she has to choose from.  They have the best hearts, so sweet and stellar humans as well, stated Kelly.

BATTLE WINNER: Jeremy Rosado.  Jeremy was shocked!  Kelly said Jeremy’s vocals are so rare and honest.

STEAL:  John, Ariana

John said he meant every word of how good she is “the way you own the stage. You lit it up.”  Ariana said “I know how much work it takes to make all those runs happen flawlessly.”

COACH: To Be Continued…

Pictured: (l-r) Ariana Grande, Blake Shelton — Photo by: Michael Becker/NBC


Jershika picked John Legend.  He said her voice is “so powerful.”

Ariana still had her Steal left.


LANA SCOTT vs. HAILEY GREEN (Team Blake / Dierks Bentley)

Pictured: (l-r) Hailey Green, Lana Scott — Photo by: Greg Gayne/NBC

Lana told Bentley that she sang “Drunk on a Plane” on her cruise ship job.  But, changed the lyric to ‘Ship.’  Blake gave them the song “Girl” by Maran Morris.  Hailey said the song is about “uplifting each other.”  Hailey plays with boys on a football team.  Blake said he loves the “wildness” in Hailey’s voice.

John said Hailey’s power and tone, “grabs you.’ Thees’ settlety to Lana, and told bBlake “you can’t go wrong either way.””  Kelly said with Hailey, she was like a cheetah.  “But, if you pick Lana, she is a badass” and not everyone is a stylist like Lana.  Ariana said Hailey is “color, raw and Rock-n-Roll” and told Blake “it’s not an easy thing” he’s dealing with.  Blake said Hailey sings like that because she plays football with guys, and that was Hailey “dialed back.’  He said their duet was two points of view – Country from Lana.

BATTLE WINNER:  Hailey Green.  Blake said what intrigues him about Hailey is that she’s so young and has all the elements.

SAVE:  Blake pressed his Save button for Lana Scott!! Blake said the only decision he had to make was who could handle the “30 second heartbreak better.”  He said Lana wants this so bad and she’s going to deliver week after week.

Pictured: (l-r) Libianca, Tommy Edwards — Photo by: Greg Gayne/NBC


LIBIANCA vs. TOMMY EDWARDS (Team Blake / Dierks Bentley)

They sang “Save Your Tears” Battle Winner: Libianca 


XAVIER CORNELL vs. CAROLINA ALONSO (Team Kelly / Kristin Chenoweth)

They sang a song in Spanish.  Battle Winner: Xavier Cornell
Kelly said he has a voice that you can throw anything at.  She said he’s going to surprise people this season.

KATHERINE ANN MOHLER vs. VAUGHN MUGOL (Team Ariana / Kristin Chenoweth)

Ariana chose the song “Dilemma” by Nelly, featuring Kelly Rowland.  Advisor Kristin Chenoweth’s reaction when she heard that song was, “no, not to do it.”  But, “what ‘The Voice’ does is to ask the artists to rise to the occasion,” said Chenoweth.  Ariana had to coach them during rehearsals to not be so polite to each other and look at each other during their passes.

John reacted that he loves Nelly and loves Kelly.  But, he didn’t expect to see them in this setting.  It was nice for the coah to take them out of their comfort zones.  He thought Katherine stood out.  Kelly said Katherine’s voice “cuts through.”  She said Vaughn chose to showcase himself in the high notes and he stood out to her.  Blake said he had never heard that song.  The other coaches were shocked.  Blake said he thought that Katherine “gave it that extra little bit.”  Ariana said Katherine is so precise and perfect and she “surprised the hell out of her tonight.”

BATTLE WINNER: Katherine Ann Mohler.   Ariana said Katherine is such an incredible student for music.  “This was such a far step out of her comfort zone, that she had to go with her.

BRITTANYBREE vs. SAMARA BROWN (Team Legend / Camila Cabello)

John gave Brittany and Samara “Something They Can Feel” song.  The song was sung by Aretha Franklin, and En Vogue.  Brittany said it was big shoes to fill.  Brittany was a four-chair-turn.  John advised Samara to give herself to the song while adding familiarity.  Samara remembered her sister being on “The Voice.”  Camila said Brittany’s voice made her feel something that she hasn’t felt in a long time.  “These two singing this song might be the best of the night.”  John told them if they have a plan while really Battling, it will be the Battle of the night.  John said he wants to see which one of them will do the song justice.

Blake and John had their Steals left before this Battle.  Kelly reacted “your voices are insane.” She loved every minute Brittany had her mouth open.  Kelly said what she cares about is that one of them will be available to Steal.  Blake said they both owned the moment and the stage.  Ariana said they are both spectacular.  Their tones are so different and they compliment each other.  John said he told them to be their best so one of the coaches can try to Steal them.  He complimented Samara for listening to his advice.  He said Brittany delivers with passion, personality, and charisma.   She did exactly what he asked her to do.

BATTLE WINNER:  BrittanyBree.  John said he could have gone either way.  He didn’t want to let either one go.

STEAL : Kelly, Blake, Ariana

SAVE – John pushed to Save Samara.  Though, the coaches said he hesitated.

Ariana told everyone that backstage, she said if she was going to use her Steal it would be on Samara.  Kelly said  Samara would look so cute in her turquoise jacket.  John pushed his Save. He said he should have never put those two together.  They are two of the best talents in the competition.

COACH: John Legend.  John said Samara flawlessly performed and had to use his only Save.



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