The Voice recap: Jason Aldean, Camila Cabello, and more stars arrive for the Battle Rounds

·9 min read

The Battles have begun and now is a chance for the coaches to see who on their team can consistently deliver good vocals. The pressure's on for both the coaches to make wise decisions and the artists to show that they're more than one good performance. To assist on both ends of this, the new crop of Team Advisors has arrived! Joining Team Ariana is one of Ariana Grande's friends and mentors, Kristin Chenoweth. Apparently, they first met when Ariana was just 10 years old and was backstage at Wicked where she sang for Kristin. Team Kelly is joined by one of Kelly's duet partners, country singer Jason Aldean. John Legend has recruited Camila Cabello, a singing competition vet herself, to Team Legend. Blake Shelton has invited his pal Dierks Bentley to help him out as Team Blake takes shape. It should be fun — let's Battle.

Team Ariana: Katie Rae vs. Bella DeNapoli
"No More Tears (Enough Is Enough)" by Barbra Streisand and Donna Summer

It's hilarious that for the first Battle, Team Ariana's Katie Rae and Bella DeNapoli sing "No More Tears," and yet no one on this team can stop crying. Definitely not the Team Advisor, who, during rehearsals, has to turn around in her seat because she can't look at these two powerhouse vocalists without tearing up. And DEFINITELY not Ariana, who, after the performance, can barely get a full sentence out without breaking because she's so torn up about choosing between these two. "I literally talked to my therapist about this," she says. Although both Katie and Bella have power, they have two very distinct voices. Bella is pure and crystal clear, while Katie has a cool rasp and an edge to her vocals. Kelly loves Bella's super high range but can't deny there's something really alluring about Katie's "sultry lower end." Most of the coaches say they'd take Katie Rae for that reason, but really, Ariana can't go wrong here.

Winner: Katie Rae!

Steals/Saves: Of course, Ariana saves Bella DeNapoli, her Italian sister! She also stands up to make sure none of the other coaches use a steal — she's not messing around; Bella is Team Ariana forever.

Team Legend: KJ Jennings vs. Samuel Harness
"I Know What You Did Last Summer" by Camila Cabello and Shawn Mendes

Neither KJ Jennings nor Samuel Harness is a straight pop singer, but oh buddy, do they both sound great on this song. Even with the added pressure of performing Team Legend's advisor Camila Cabello's own song in front of her, they get it done right. In rehearsals, both Camila and John want KJ to work on hitting the staccato moments throughout — KJ is more of a jazz-based singer, so she's used to drawing out notes rather than hitting the rhythm so aggressively. They also think Samuel needs to up his performance factor and come out of his shell a bit; this is a competition after all, and he needs to remind everyone what he can do vocally. Samuel is a big surprise. His rasp sounds great on this song, and he sings with so much emotion. It doesn't hurt that the two of them have great chemistry. John praises Samuel for taking those notes from rehearsal — he very clearly "asserted" himself, and John could see how "emotionally invested" he was. Although KJ is nothing to sniff at, all the coaches agree that Samuel's voice "has a little more character" and stands out from the pack.

Winner: Samuel Harness!

Steals/Saves: n/a

Team Kelly: Girl Named Tom vs. Kinsey Rose
"Seven Bridges Road" by the Eagles

Kinsey Rose is super country, and sibling trio Girl Named Tom consider themselves "acoustic pop" and like performing James Taylor-type music, so Coach Kelly selects a song she thinks meets in the middle. In rehearsals with Team Advisor and Kelly's friend Jason Aldean, the two acts work together to find a bluegrassy arrangement that highlights all of them. The harmonies on this, yes within the trio but also for all four of them, are so good. So tight! Jason is floored by the sibling harmonies, of course, but both he and Kelly compare Kinsey to Alison Krauss and Lee Ann Womack, which isn't too shabby. It's a compelling performance. Blake thinks the four of them "need to be singing together all the time," and John, although he feels closer musically to Girl Named Tom, calls the whole thing "inspiring and beautiful." Coach Kelly is having a tough time here because it's hard to say no to Girl Named Tom, arguably the best group we have this season, but Kinsey Rose has the type of country voice that Kelly is drawn to. Plus, she knows she might have to fight for whomever she doesn't pick because other coaches are ready to steal.

Winner: Girl Named Tom!

Steals/Saves: In a Voice first, Kelly pushes her button to save Kinsey Rose, but all three of the other coaches — Ariana waits until the very end and can't help but get in on the fight — attempt to steal Kinsey. "Now this is good television," says John Legend. Blake compares Kinsey being able to leave Team Kelly to "narrowly escaping a terrible car accident," which Ariana calls out as being a bit much, and John tells her that he just wanted to "honor how amazing" she was in this Battle. "You deserve to be here," he tells her. But in the end, Kinsey Rose wants to see it through with her original coach, who keeps on saving her and decides to stay on Team Kelly.

Team Blake: The Joy Reunion vs. Peedy Chavis
"Joy to the World" by Three Dog Night

It's tough to be a solo artist and get paired up with a group, especially for a vocalist like Peedy Chavis, our Elvis guy, who has such a specific lane. In rehearsals with Dierks Bentley, both Dierks and Blake are impressed with the Joy Reunions seamless blend. They're pros. Peedy stands out because he's so different, but Blake also loves that while the 19-year-old sometimes mimics his idol, he very much has his own sound. His only note is to remember that a big part of what got Blake so excited in the Blinds was Peedy's confidence on stage. He certainly finds that again when the musicians take to the Battle stage. He sounds great, he looks great (those slick bell-bottoms!), and his presence steals the show. The coaches agree that the entire performance was "infectious" and "joyous," but there is just something about how Peedy held his own up there that sets him apart.

Winner: Peedy Chavis!

Steals/Saves: n/a

Team Ariana: Chavon Rodgers vs. David Vogel
"Sugar, We're Goin Down" by Fall Out Boy

Okay, Ariana and her pal Kristin Chenoweth are such a fun duo. I so badly want to hear more of Ariana's impression of Kristin singing Fall Out Boy. Instead, we just get this Battle. It's fine! David Vogel is a clear standout from the beginning, though. This song suits not just his vibe — the hair, people! — but his vocals as well. He can really rock out. Ariana loves Chavon's vibrato and thinks "he brings a softness" to the song that makes it his own, but David has a lot of charisma on stage. The second half of this duet is really strong — those high notes! — and Kelly Clarkson calls it "one of [her] favorite Battles," period. Ariana is torn again (there are more tears, yes) because while she loves the "low end" of Chavon's voice, David's "tone belongs on pop radio today." Either way, they can both except Ari to be stalking them and their careers for years, so that's nice. Maybe when she goes to see Chavon in concert, they can talk about how awkward it was that Ariana got up to give him a hug as he walked off, and he completely missed it.

Winner: David Vogel!

Steals/Saves: n/a

Team Kelly: Jershika Maple vs. Jeremy Rosado
"Hold On" by Justin Bieber

Kelly is setting up a big powerhouse vocalist-off, and it does not disappoint. In rehearsals, both Jershika and Jeremy blow the roof off the place, and while Kelly and Jason are insanely impressed, they think it best to add a little build-up to the big chorus. "Save the big punch," Jason Aldean advises. Kelly wants a little more "sweetness" at the top to give the song a place to go. These notes change the whole dynamic of the song, and it's a journey. Jershika has some intricate, tight runs, and Jeremy is just so smooth. He's so easy to listen to. Blake was initially worried about Jeremy up against Jershika, but thought he really "stepped up to the plate." Ariana says that Jershika's vocal left her "a pile of flesh and bones and organs," it was that good. John was so moved by the fact that he could feel "the heart coming from both of [them]." This is a tough decision. Kelly thought they both "elevated each other" and also calls them both "stellar humans," but she finds Jeremy's voice "so powerful and soulful and honest," and she's really excited by him.

Winner: Jeremy Rosado!

Steals/Saves: Both John Legend and Ariana Grande want Jershika on their teams. John loves her energy and says the stage "lit up" with her on it. Ariana is impressed by Jershika's flawless runs. In the end, Jershika chooses… well, we have to wait until tomorrow night to find out. Maybe Ariana's right with the whole "this show is the most painful thing I've ever been a part of" thinking.

TEAM STANDINGS

TEAM KELLY: Girl Named Tom, Kinsey Rose (save), Jeremy Rosado

Still to Battle: Carolina Alonso, Gymani, Holly Forbes, The Cunningham Sisters, Jershika Maple, Xavier Cornell, Wyatt Michael, Aaron Hines, Parker McKay

TEAM LEGEND: Samuel Harness

Still to Battle: Jonathan Mouton, Jack Rogan, Joshua Vacanti, Paris Winningham, Keilah Grace, Samara Brown, Janora Brown, Sabrina Dias, Brittany Bree, Shadale

TEAM ARIANA: Katie Rae, Bella DeNapoli (save), David Vogel

Still to Battle: Katherine Ann Mohler, Vaughn Mugol, Jim and Sasha Allen, Raquel Trinidad, Hailey Mia, Ryleigh Plank, Sophia Bromberg, KCK3

TEAM BLAKE: Peedy Chavis

Still to Battle: Wendy Moten, Lana Scott, Hailey Green, Carson Peters, Kaitlyn Velez, Berritt Haynes, Clint Sherman, Manny Keith, LiBianca, Tommy Edwards

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