The Voice Recap: Battle Round Eliminations Get More and More Difficult

This can't be easy for anyone involved.

Written by Tammy Ragusa
The Voice Recap: Battle Round Eliminations Get More and More Difficult
THE VOICE -- Battle Rounds -- Pictured: (l-r) Andrew Sevener, Hannah Kay -- (Photo by: Tyler Golden/NBC)

It’s hard to say what is the most difficult night of NBC’s The Voice, but with coaches Kelly Clarkson, John Legend, Adam Levine, and Blake Shelton having to essentially cut their teams in half during the Battle Rounds, we have to assume, that this is near the top of the “Hard Nights” list. And with so many contestants still in the competition, it takes four nights to get all of the competitors in.

Knowing there was still one more night didn’t make the third evening of battles any easier. No time was wasted diving in either.

With their two distinctly different vocal styles, Lisa Ramey and Betsy Ade from Team John were the first to hit the rehearsal room with their song selection, Brandi Carlile’s “The Joke.” More than anything, mentor Khalid encouraged the women to really dig in emotionally. They obviously listened because their performance could be likened to a religious experience.

And the coaches were split. “I was so into the both of you. To even conceive of making this decision is that much harder because you’re just completely different,” Adam said. Blake added, “That moment couldn’t have been more magical.”

“I came into today worried about this decision because I know both of you deserve to be on the show,” John said before making the difficult decision of picking Lisa.

As often happens when the talent is that immense, though, before Betsy could say goodbye to John, Kelly hit her “steal” button and added the petite talent to her team.

Adam had the next performance slot and he paired up Mari and Anthony Ortiz for “I Like Me Better” by Lauv. Mentor Charlie Puth talked to Anthony about tackling his nerves, while Adam encouraged Mari to come in with a solid plan for their vocals.

While Blake was split between the singers, both Kelly and John were leaning towards Mari.

“The chemistry, the energy that we talked about was there. That good feeling was there, which, to me, is the most important thing,” Adam said. However, he also noticed that Anthony’s nerves may have affected his performance. After telling the singers how proud he was of them, Adam chose Mari to continue on.

Country music was well-represented during the third night of battles and Team Blake went first. Hannah Kay and Andrew Sevener, both Texans and traditional country singers, faced off with Dan + Shay’s “Tequila” and Blake said he chose it because it was out of their wheelhouse and “it forces people to step up to the plate or not.”

Kelly commended her fellow coach for giving the singers that challenge. “That’s a really good point though because you’re going to get thrown stuff that you’re like, ‘this isn’t my pocket.’ You want to be able to be pliable and flexible.”

Facing an obvious difficult decision, Blake ultimately chose Andrew.

Team Kelly had the next country face-off with Abby Kasch and Jackson Marlow. Interestingly, Kelly chose to have them each perform individually after learning that Jackson wasn’t comfortable singing harmony. Mentor Kelsea Ballerini confessed to the pair, “I suck at harmony.” However, by the time the pair hit the stage for the competition, they had worked up a warm, rich harmony part.

“I knew this was going to be a hard one for me,” Kelly said after choosing Abby to continue on.

The ball was back in John’s court with team members Jacob Maxwell and Talon Cardon taking on The Police classic “Every Little Thing She Does Is Magic.” As the young men practiced they discovered multiple connections including both of them working in restaurants and both of their fathers being police officers. The real advice from Khalid was for both of the singers to get comfortable with the song and have fun.

It might have been the most fun performance of the night and when the coaches were in the hot seat, they all leaned towards Jacob. That certainly took the heat off of John, if he was feeling any, so he took his fellow panelist’s advice and picked Jacob.

Kelly had her second at-bat and paired up David Owens and Rebecca Howell to go toe-to-toe in the competition. Challenged with the Righteous Brothers smash, “Unchained Melody,” the two contestants came into rehearsal fully prepared and sounding amazing. Mentor Kelsea and Kelly offered them each a couple of points to finesse, but Kelly also said the only thing they needed to focus on at that point was confidence.

“What a beautiful pairing,” John exclaimed following the performance, unable to choose between the two. Adam, however, cost Rebecca to continue in the competition. Blake disagreed with Adam and picked David.

“This is super difficult,” Kelly said. “That’s what this is. Yay.” After laboring over her choice, she finally picked Rebecca.

As heartbroken as Kelly was over David, there was a spot for him on The Comeback Stage.

Adam was back with the final performance of the night and he selected Kalvin Jarvis and Jimmy Mowery to compete. Singing Usher’s “U Got It Bad,” Adam cautioned Kalvin of over-singing the song and mentor Charlie Puth reinforced that, but also challenged the duo to loosen up and try to put some twists on the familiar tune. “I don’t want y’all to get in your head,” Adam told them.

If either of them was in their heads, they covered it well and the coaches were on their feet showing their support. Heartbroken, Adam dragged out making his decision until he finally went with Kalvin.

But, oh that sneaky John. He had turned for Jimmy in the blinds and he wasn’t ready for him to go, so he used his steal to keep him in the competition.

We have one more night of Battle Rounds on April 9 before things start getting down and dirty with the final team configurations. Tune in!