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Like the Grammys on The VOICE Season 17 Battles Week 2 Recap

The coaches arrived for “The Voice” Monday Battles week 2 of season 17.  They continued to round-out their Teams to get the best of the best, while still competing against each other. Giving them a leg up, not only are they able to Steal during the Battles, for the first time, Saves are also available to them during this round. “I want people that are special and have a special voice that make you feel something,” stated coach John Legend. His Team had the first Battle of the night.  

JARED HERZOG vs. WILL BREMAN (Team Legend / Usher)

They both have a soulful Pop style.  John said he paired the two because “Jared has a high tenor.”  Will’s voice is soulful and sounds good on those lower notes.”  He gave them “Treat You Better” by Shawn Mendes because it’s right in their vocal pocket.  Usher noted that Jared can captivate a younger audience and Will is like Dave Matthews.  Will said Jared is intimidating because stylistically he sounds more like Shawn Mendes than he does.   Jared called being taught by John Legend and Usher “a master class in how you can translate feeling.”

 Pictured(l-r): Will Breman, Jared Herzog– (Photo by: Justin Lubin/NBC

After their Battle, Gwen called it awesome and couldn’t keep her eyes off Will and told Jared his opening verse was “beautiful”.  But, Will has a “crazy energy” and so “bold…different and unique.”  She was very impressed by Will.  Kelly told Jared he has an amazing range, and not the volume that Will has.  Blake said when Jared started the song, he had to lean-in because it was breathy. He said the problem was Will, he saw him do a karate move and delivered “an incredible performance.” Coach John said they both stepped-up and faced whatever challenges they had.  He said his own preference, and vocal-ability  and star power.  That was Will.  John stated that if Jared wasn’t up against Will, he would have done just fine.


MARINA CHELLO vs RICKY DURAN (Team Blake / Darius Rucker)

Ricky was blown away when he met Darius Rucker because he said he’s been a big influence for him.  Marina is from Pakistan and couldn’t speak English when she arrived to the United States.  She credits listening to Mariah Carey with her learning English.  Ricky has been a full-time musician in Austin, Texas for eight years.  He lost both parents, who he thinks were with him during his Blind Audition.  Ricky also got four-chair-turns.  Blake called it one of his vocal better pairings.  He gave them the song “Valerie” Because it leaves them room to add their own tempos.  Darius said Marina has the type of voice that can sing anything.   Blake likes the “gravel” in Ricky’s voice, and Marina “has such a grip that can go toe-to-toe with anyone in the competition.”

John said “so good” and “fantastic.”  Marina looked confident and Ricky sounds like a star.  He said there’s something about Ricky’s voice that’s “extra magical.”  Gwen said Marina’s voice kept getting better and better. But Ricky has this star quality and also chose Ricky.  Kelly said “Ricky is amazing.”  She said his voice is like “yes I want to win,” and they’re both captivating.  Coach Blake said they did everything that a coach asked them to do and did 150%.   He said Marina kept building on her performance to come back at Ricky and showcase her voice. 

Blake said he’s picking the Battle just based off this song.  The winner was Ricky. Blake said Ricky is a star and going to be a threat to everyone in the competition.  Blake used his only Save on Marina. Then Kelly pushed her Steal button.


STEAL – Kelly pushed to Steal Marina.  But, Blake pushed his SAVE by Blake who begged Marina to stay on Team Blake.  Kelly told her that they have a similar vibe and there’s something special about her which is also why she turned for her in the Blinds.  Marina said she’s sticking to her guns and coming home to TEAM BLAKE.  Blake said “I can promise you that Marina is going to shock people moving forward.” 

JAKE HOOT vs. STEVE KNILL (Team Kelly / Normani)

Jake is Country and Steve is a very gifted singer who can sing anything said Kelly.  Jake, who works in radio, was star-struck by Normani.  Kelly paired the two because Steve has this vocal tone, and Jake is a piercing sound like Ronnie Dunn.  She gave them “Always on My Mind” by Willie Nelson which she called a good “classic” song.   Steve said in San Francisco he was recording music.  He performed Kelly’s rendition of a song for his Blind Audition.  Kelly advised them to do something different in the song that people wont expect.  She said Steve has a raspy, smoky tone that stands out.  Jake said being a Country singer, he’s performed the song many times, but still has his work cut-out for him going against Steve.

Blake reacted to the Battle with Jake has the perfect amount of nasal to be the perfect Country singer and told him “you got a lot of Willie in there.”  He called Steve’s head voice beautiful.  But, chose Jake.  John said Jake sang like he owned the song.  Steve can do interesting things with his voice, but was more impressed by Jake.  Gwen said they both blew her away.  When Jake came-in, his voice is so strong, it resonates.   Coach Kelly said she grew-up hearing this song every morning and they both executed the song perfectly. Kelly said her choice would come down to who is going to round-out her Team.  She chose Jake as the winner.

BATTLE WINNER- JAKE HOOT.  Kelly said she felt that there were certain times that were undeniable with Jake and she’s a sucker for old-time Country which is what Jake is.

(l-r) Brennan Lassiter, Carson Daly, Gracee Shriver — Photo by: Justin Lubin/NBC

MORE BATTLES – TEAM KELLY. Brennan vs Gracee. Kelly chose Gracee as the winner.  Damali vs. Brooke.  Kelly chose Damali as the winner.


Pictured: (l-r) Royce Lovett, Kiara Brown — Photo by: Justin Lubin/NBC

At age 30, Royce balances touring, work and being a father and husband.  Royce said he two ideal artists he idolizes are both Gwen and who mix genres.  He said when artists like them  blend genres, he believes that shapes culture.  Gwen paired the two because Royce has intimate tones in his voice as well as Kiara.  So, she could picture the two of them together.  Gwen said the contrast in their voices works so well.  “It’s a weird contrast. At the same time a Battle.” Kiara said she’s been gigging at different venues in Las Vegas.  Will said Kiara’s politeness is holding her performance back.  “Make this your home” Will told Kiara.  He said Royce’s tone is fantastic.  The song called for them to go back to this intimate place.  Royce said Gwen helps him to grow his confidence.  Gwen advised Kiara to show more sides to her voice.   Kiara said she’s going to show that she’s just as capable as Royce.

Gwen reacted to their rehearsal that it’s so beautiful to watch someone grow like Kiara did at the rehearsal who became fire.  She advised Royce to step it up and just be himself and unapologetic.  

Kelly called it one of the most fun performances.  She told Kiara she regrets not turning for her in the Blinds, and chose her as the winner.  Blake said him and Gwen have that playlist, but wants their version.  He hit his button for both of them in the Blinds and they made a “terrible mistake.”  He said Kiara had the higher mountain to climb.  He went with Royce because he hit the groove. John said Kiara surprised them and it was exciting to see “how much she has in there.”  Gwen said if Kiara can unleash that much, then there’s more to come.  Gwen told Royce that he has the energy that he needed and her decision will be “painful.”  Gwen chose  Royce.  

BATTLE WINNER – ROYCE.  Gwen said his voice has so much character, personality and dynamic,  She called him really talented with stage presence. “He’s the full package.’ 

STEAL- Kelly pushed to Steal Kiara.  She told Kiara that she tricked them in the Blinds.  Her range is incredible and didn’t show that in the Blinds.  Kelly said hearing about her character makes her think that Kiara belongs there.

SAVE – Gwen pushed to use her only Save on Kiara.  She told Kiara she wants to work with her more.  Kiara said Gwen opened-up this other part that she didn’t even know existed.  She went with TEAM KELLY so Gwen can use “that other Save.”

MATTHEW McQUEEN vs JOANA  MARTINEZ (Team Blake / Darius Rucker)

Matthew was in awe when he saw adviser Darius Rucker.  He said his mom and sister had a dream that they saw him on stage with Blake Shelton.  He performed in Austin.   Matthew said being on “The Voice” allows him to live out his dream. 

Blake gave them the song “High Hopes” by Panic at the Disco. A song that pushes them both and gives them a chance to entertain on the stage, said Blake.  During their rehearsal, Blake noted that Joana sounded like she was running out of air.  Darius said Joan is a 15-year-old that sounds like a 30-year-old which is rare.  Darius told Matthew he has a tone and raspiness that’s “sexy as hell”  Joana has great confidence which Matthew needs more of and Matthew has diction that Joana needs.  Matthew said he was afraid of being beaten by a 15-year-old.  

Pictured: (l-r) Joana Martinez, Matthew McQueen — Photo by: Justin Lubin/NBC

After their Battle, John said he loved their energy, chemistry and loved the edge in Matthew. John added that Joana has a lot more poise than a 15-year-old should have and her range was exciting.  He picked Joana “just based on this moment.”  Gwen said Matthew did a great job and a few moments “were shockingly good.”  She also said all the moves that they did on stage, the choreography, “that’s a lot to take on.”  But Matthew is “super interesting as an artist ” and would love to see what more he can do. Kelly couldn’t take her eyes off Matthew.  He was “commanding.”   Kelly criticized the song choice. Blake said it happens to be his favorite “Panic at the Disco” song.  Coach Blake said this is the hardest song to sing.  He said Matthew was captivating and the way he walks in on a vocal is impressive.  Everything about Joana is impressive.  He said they were both great.   He chose Joana as the Battle winner.

BATTLE WINNER – JOANA MARTINEZ.  Blake said Joana’s voice is still developing.  She has an incredible range and a unique tone.  


James Violet is from Utah and returned home after trying to make it as a singer-songwriter in Los Angeles after one year.  He said he wants Gwen to help him with his stage presence.  Kyndal had a three-chair-turn in her Blind Audition.  She suffers from anxiety and depression because her parents went through a divorce.  She hopes Gwen can help her with confidence.   Gwen chose the song “I Could Use a Love Song” because it’s a “great emotional song.  A song that a signer-songwriter would sing.  She said they are both singer/song-writers.

Will told them every moment they should treat it like the Grammys after he noticed they hadn’t learned the lyrics after having it for two days.  He said they sing better than artists that have careers.  He said Bob Dylan is Bob Dylan not because he hit every note, “he hit every emotion.”  Will said Kyndal’s voice is complete. “That’s my type of voice.”  James soars on the highs and can sing in a female register. He told Kyndal not to hold-back in her runs.   He advised her “don’t be too shy to flex…and own it.”   

After their Battle performance, Kelly said their voices sound beautiful together .  Kyndal is pure and James is like a dark fallen angel, stated Kelly.  She added that James’ voice has texture where everything is believable and Kyndal doesn’t sound like anyone.  Blake said James probably had a harder time learning how this song is going to work for him.  James agreed.  He said that song fit with Kyndal’s bravado.  He went with Kyndal.  John said it felt like James is still finding his spot.  But Kyndal owned her spot.   Coach Gwen said Kyndal has the sort of voice that’s so unique and didn’t realize how unique James’ voice is until they got in the rehearsal room together.  She said he’s 20, he hasn’t even drank yet.  She was “super-torn” and chose Kyndal as the winner.

Pictured: (l-r) James Violet, Carson Daly, Kyndal Inskeep — Photo by: Justin Lubin/NBC

BATTLE WINNER – KYNDAL.  Gwen stated that Kyndal has so much character in her voice and that’s something you can’t really teach anybody.

SAVE – Gwen pressed her button to Save James.

STEAL – John wanted to Steal James. He said they’d pick the best songs to make the most of his talent.  Gwen said she’s so proud of James and wants to “keep this relationship going.”  John said he only has one Steal, and reminded James that Gwen was ready to “toss” him to the ground.

TO BE CONTINUED on Tuesday’s show.

Washed Away on THE VOICE 17, Battles Week 2, Tuesday Night

The coaches put more of their artists into Battle for the second night of week two, joined by their advisers.  Team Legend had Usher; Gwen Stefani was joined by; Team Blake brought Darius Rucker; and Team Kelly had help from Normani.   Gwen said the “craziest twists” and turns happened but they all happened for a reason.

ZACH BRIDGES vs. CORY JACKSON (Team Blake / Darius Rucker)

Blake gave them Toby Keith song “Should’ve Been a Cowboy.”  He compared Zach’s voice to George Strait.  Blake performed the song with Toby last year and was surprised how “rangy” the song gets. Blake advised Zach to be confident about it and hit the notes.  To determine the Battle winner Blake stated he wanted to know which one of the two will make him believe that they wish they were a cowboy.  He said the one who’s passionate about it.

After their Battle,  Kelly said it was amazing, and Blake’s “screwed.” John said Cory’s voice is great on the top notes and Zach’s tone has “heart to it.”   Gwen said Cory has better stage presence and gave her vote to him.  Kelly said “no man was better than the other.”  They have good tones that blend so well, stated Kelly. Blake said “as always, Kelly contributed absolutely nothing.”  He told Zach has a big baritone oi e and Cory has great pith and better showman.  He chose Zach.

Pictured: (l-r) Cory Jackson, Zach Bridges — Photo by: Justin Lubin/NBC

BATTLE WINNER -ZACH.  Blake said Zach has that deeper voice that they don’t hear on The Voice  and it’s an opportunity to try something that hasn’t been done on the show yet.

MARYBETH BYRD vs.  DANE & STEPHANIE (Team Legend / Usher)

John said he’s never had a duo nor a Country artist before. John told Usher he wants him to help his artists to grow.Thanks to Kelly who Blocked Blake during Marybeth’s Blind Audition, he got her.  Marybeth works at her Dad’s barbecue.  Marybeth said to go up against a duo is a challenge, and they’re twins, so they’re in sync.   Usher called Dane out for “holding back” on hitting his notes.  Dane’s voice is changing and he was self-conscious about it cracking along with being affected by hormone therapy to become a boy.  John advised them to feel that emotional core of the song.  Marybeth’s cousin committed suicide.  Before that, he wanted her to try-out for “The Voice.  So, she’s dedicating this Battle to him.  Usher said Marybeth could be the next Kelly Clarkson, and Dane and Stephanie have a signature sound.

Pictured: (l-r) Dane & Stephanie, Marybeth Byrd — Photo by: Justin Lubin/NBC

After their Battle performance, Gwen stated it was so god and called Stephanie and Dane “magical together.”  But Marybeth’s style is the kind of record she wants to listen to.  Kelly said all three of them are magical.  She said Dane is out there on an island by himself and it’s just beautiful.  Blake reacted that Marybeth’s performance was really well executed.  Blake said if John had of told him based on their Blinds that this was the performance they were to hear, he’d say ‘no way.’  Then, Blake bet that Marybeth will be in the Finale.  He said she has everything it takes to win the show.Coach John said very few artists get standing ovations from all the coaches.  Marybeth is amazing to hear at 18-years-old, someone with that range and control.  He chose Marybeth Byrd as the winner.

BATTLE WINNER – MARYBETH.  John said she’s undeniable she has control and versatility.  “I think she can go very far.”  Kelly said she would have stolen Stephanie and Dane if she had a Steal.


Jesse grew-up in a series of group homes and until recently was homeless.  Jesse and Rose were both overwhelmed to see with Gwen.  Gwen gave them “I Can’t Feel My Face” by the Weeknd.   Gwen said she chose this song because she wanted to give them a song more

contemporary.  She said she had no idea that they’d be that dynamic. asked Rose if they can be friends after this because he needs that personality in his life.  Will advised Jessie to have that “same naturalness” behind the mic like Rose.  After Rose talked about her insecurities, Will gave Rose some perspective when he told her someone is looking at her, at her power and thinking they need that.  Gwen said if Rose can keep her insecurities in-check, she can be a super-star.    Will said for this Battle, Jessie needs to leave a stain on the stage, and Rose is so dynamic, she could wash him away.

Pictured: (l-r) Jessie Lawrence, Rose Short — Photo by: Justin Lubin/NBC

After their flawless Battle performance the crowd couldn’t stop screaming and cheering.  Kelly said it was so different fro how the Weeknd does it.  “That was so beautiful.”  Blake said this may come as a shock, but Gwen spends a lot of time with me outside the show.  He said she talks a lot about them to him. He said Jessie has a “cool style.”  He said Rose hit that big note on the chorus where she started down there and brought it up her. So smart musically.  John told Jessie that he has so much fire in his voice.  He called Rose a “super-star soprano singer” that has great story-telling ability.  He leaned “so slightly” towards Rose. 

Coach Gwen said she knew they were magical but didn’t know they’d fire up the room.  She said Rose is magical.  And heard something great and cool in Jessie’s voice.  Gwen said it’s cool for everyone to recognize that in him. Gwen called it a “heart-wrenching” decision that she had to make.  “I love you guys so much” she said before picking Rose as the Battle winner.


She said Rose is undeniable and has a “very magnetic personality” which is important as a performer and a singer.

SAVE – Gwen hit her Save button for Jessie, and Blake wanted to Steal him. Gwen said he deserves to be there and he worked really hard.  

STEAL – Blake said he wants to show how much respect he has for him and how much he needs to be on the show.

COACH – Jessie chose to stay on TEAM GWEN.

NEXT WEEK: “A mega star” joins the show.  It’s Taylor Swift!  The final Battles end, and the start of the Knockouts start next week beginning on Monday night , “The Voice” on NBC.



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