'The Voice' Recap: 3 Steals Are Used as the Battle Rounds Kick Off
'The Voice' Recap: 3 Steals Are Used as the Battle Rounds Kick Off
Esther Gim
Esther Gim
Contributing Writer, BuddyTV

Are you ready to battle? Is Carson Daly ready to yell into his microphone? It's the first night of the battle rounds! The coaches have enlisted Ryan Tedder (Team Adam), Miguel (Team Cee Lo), Ed Sheeran (Team Christina) and Cher (Team Blake) to mentor their singers.

The coaches will pick two singers on their team to perform the same song together and declare a winner. The steal comes into play again this season, and each coach has just two so they should pick wisely.

Team Adam: Grey vs. Nic Hawk ("Domino" by Jessie J)

They couldn't be more opposite, but they're both eclectic and diverse and so is the artist. Grey believes she has the upper hand because she's totally familiar with the tune from her wedding band days. They have a different sound, but both have power, which should make for a good battle.

It shouldn't be surprising that Grey has the advantage because it's a female song. I have to commend Nic as he really tries to keep up with her through his energy -- can he ever stand still? -- but vocally, it doesn't feel natural compared to her.

Blake talks about the value of someone like Nic for the show, while Christina says she picks Grey for her consistency. Adam cites her vocal advantage, and Grey is the winner!

Blake steals Nic Hawk! Wow, first battle and the steal is already used. Blake did push his button for Nic in the blind auditions. He cites Nic's charisma and calls the two of them the odd couple.

Team Christina: Amber Nicole vs. Timyra-Joi ("Listen" by Beyonce)

It really sucks when they barely show one singer during the blind auditions (Amber Nicole), while the competitor gets a ton of screen time. They're both young and both R&B, so one of them has to go. Christina wants them to dig deep. while Ed doesn't know what to say/do.

Timyra-Joi channels her inner diva pretty much right away -- man, she is angry -- while it takes Amber Nicole more than halfway through the song to get on Timyra-Joi's level. Strictly regarding tone, Amber Nicole is more mature, but emotionally, Timyra-Joi really nails it.

Amber Nicole is the winner! Wow, I thought I was reading between the lines because we didn't get to see her story. Christina cites Amber Nicole's development and maturity in choosing her. 

Team Blake: Justin Chain vs. Shelbie Z ("Don't You Wanna Stay" by Jason Aldean and Kelly Clarkson)

Blake says he never thought in a million years Cher would agree to be a mentor -- neither did I. He gives them a ballad to show a different side of them. Don't know how Justin will keep up with Shelbie, though. What?! Cher starts off their mentoring session with black hair and now during their final rehearsals she looks like the Wendy's girl. They have a lot of work to do because of their pitch issues in their harmonies.

He seems a little unemotional like he's just going through the motions. She sounds lovely, but I don't really think either of them dug deep, though.

Cee Lo says the song allowed Shelbie Z to show off more, but she was sharp. It doesn't matter to Blake, he attributes it to their lightning chemistry (eye roll), and Shelbie Z is the winner!

Team Cee Lo: Anthony Paul vs. Caroline Pennell ("As Long As You Love Me" by Justin Bieber)

This song might be amazing for Caroline because of the pure quality that she has, while Anthony is struggling to make it more simple rather than do his runs all over. It's a great song choice -- it's going to be leaps and bounds better than the original.

I thought Caroline would be more limited in her range against Anthony, but she's proving me wrong. You can tell he's a performer while she needs to show more vulnerability. I don't think either can actually win the show, but Caroline has the edge because she sounds different.

Christina commends Anthony for being able to know when to draw in and pull back and calls it the best battle of the day -- but won't pick a winner. Cee Lo says Caroline's voice allows him to dream with his eyes open (where does he come up with these lines?!), and Caroline is the winner!

Christina steals Anthony Paul! And right at the last second, too. Well, that's puzzling, other than wanting a male R&B singer. She says he has such vocal control and believes he can win. Ooookay. Maybe I'm not giving him enough credit because it was a bit of a softer song.

Team Adam: Donna Allen vs. Tessanne Chin ("Next to Me" by Emeli Sande)

This is a pairing of two powerhouse vocals. Adam wants Donna to have some of Tessanne's smoothness, while he wants Tessanne to have some of Donna's soul. Donna is really bugging me during rehearsals because she's screeching and belting and not at all pleasant to my ears. This choice of song is interesting because Sasha Allen sang this last season -- she was originally on Adam's team, but he paired her with another power singer and was thus stolen.

They sound awesome together, both they seem like they're trying to outdo the other and it just feels like they're over singing it. It's pretty even until Donna does her growl/screech/not pleasant rasp, and I have to give it to Tessanne. 

Blake calls the performance epic but goes with Donna. The other two, however, pick Tessanne. After Adam says either of them could win the show, Tessanne is the winner

Team Christina: Briana Cuoco vs. Jacquie Lee ("House of the Rising Sun" by The Animals)

Christina chose this song because both the singers have rock influences, and she didn't want to give them something where they'd be safe.

This song is an odd choice for both of them, but the Selena Gomez lookalike has way more impressive moments than Briana, who kinda looks like she rolled out of bed and put on makeup before this performance. 

Cee Lo says he goes with Jacquie for clarity and consistency, while Adam doesn't know. Adam says Briana captured the song. Jacquie is the winner!

Cee Lo and Blake steal Briana Cuoco! Wow, they wasted no time. Didn't Cee Lo just go with Jacquie?

Briana picks Blake! Blake says he had his eye on her and calls her a dark horse candidate. 

That's the end of the first night of the battle rounds, and Blake has already used both of his steals. I mean, act like you won the past three seasons! 

The Voice Battle Rounds continue Tuesday night at 9pm on NBC.

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(Image courtesy of NBC)

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