It’s not easy being the new coach on The Voice (Mondays at 8 p.m. ET/MT on CTV TWO). Just ask John Legend. The EGOT winner joined veterans Kelly Clarkson, Adam Levine and Blake Shelton on Season 16 of The Voice and has already committed a cardinal singing competition sin – he paired two four-chair turn artists against one another in the Battle Rounds. Sure, it made for one of three must-see performances of the night, but it was still a rookie mistake.
MUST SEE FEEL GOOD PERFORMANCE
The first battle pairing of the season went to Team Legend, with John pairing four-chair turn artists Shawn Sounds and Matthew Johnson. Is John actively trying to get rid of his best singers or is he still stuck on keeping the competition as fair as possible? We’re not here to make friends. We’re here to win giant trophies and get covered in confetti on national television.
There were only seven four-chair turns this season and Matthew and Shawn were two of them. John got the memo on fighting for artists during the Blinds but missed the addendum that says you should also try to hang on to the best singers. Maybe it wasn’t the most strategic move for Team Legend, but we like to think John did it on purpose knowing that whoever he didn’t pick would quickly be stolen. He was right. The men went note for note, joy for joy, move for move, and Matthew was fought over by Kelly and Adam, eventually landing on Team Kelly.
Kelly is going to win this season. There. We said it.
MUST SEE MOST IMPROVED PERFORMANCE
Another artist who received a four-chair turn this season was Maelyn Jarmon. The professional singer was a standout during the Blinds thanks to her stunning rendition of “Fields of Gold” and impressed us even more on Monday night with her interpretation of Adele’s “When We Were Young.” That song. UGH. So. Pretty.
But Maelyn being able to sing the pants off an Adele song wasn’t that surprising. What was surprising was how incredible her Battle Round partner Savannah Brister sounded as well. Savannah had a great Blind Audition and was quickly snatched up by John. But we can’t believe how much growth she’s shown between the Blind Auditions and the Battle Round. Unfortunately, Savannah didn’t get stolen up by another Coach, which may have been a big mistake. At least if you’re going to get knocked out, get knocked out by someone who could quite possibly win this season, right? Maelyn could win.
MUST SEE RIP YOUR HEART OUT PERFORMANCE
If you read this headline as ‘Must See R.I.P. Your Heart Out Performance,’ that would still be correct, because HOLY HECK. We’ve been eagerly anticipating the second performance from Jej Vinson, another four-chair turn, and his pairing with Beth Griffith-Manley resulted in what may be the best harmonizing we’ve ever heard on The Voice. And on a night that featured The Bundys sounding like this, which was spectacularly beautiful.
Jej and Beth performed the heartbreak track “Jealous” as two people who have been the-hell-through-IT, capital I, capital T, italicized, and managed to make it out the other side by turning their pain into pure vocal gold. We’ve already listened to the duet three times. We love seeing when musicians who are grinding it out in clubs and bars get to move on to the next stage, so a big ol’ ‘whoop’ escaped from our not golden vocals when John stole Beth.
But we’re going all the way to the finals with Jej.
NIGHT ONE OF THE BATTLE ROUNDS
Gyth Rigdon (Winner) vs. Rod Stokes (Stolen by Team Adam)
The Bundys (Winner) vs. Mikaela Astel
Jej Vinson (Winner) vs. Beth Griffith-Manley (Stolen by Team Legend)
Shawn Sounds (Winner) vs. Matthew Johnson (Stolen by Team Kelly)
Maelyn Jarmon (Winner) vs. Savannah Brister
Domenic Haynes (Winner) vs. Trey Rose
Watch The Voice Mondays at 8 p.m. ET/MT on CTV TWO. Catch up with new episodes online the day after broadcast.