On Monday night’s episode of The Voice (Mondays and Tuesdays at 8 p.m. ET on CTV) it was night one of the battle rounds, which means it’s that special time of the season when we wonder why the heck the coaches would pit their best singers against one another. After spending weeks and weeks of the blind auditions begging people to be on their team, the coaches are now going to dismiss some of their best singers by pitting them against their other best singers. On the flip side, it would be uncomfortable to pair the weakest singer with the strongest, which would then cause many contestants to view the competition as unfair. It should really be a random draw.
Even though some of the battles seemed to have slam dunk winners, coaches Kelly Clarkson, Alicia Keys, Blake Shelton and Adam Levine still surprised us with their choices and in some cases, with their steals. We mean you, Blake. What are you doing?
Let’s take a look at what went down on night one of the battle round.
SHAWN MENDES FOR PRESIDENT (PRIME MINISTER)
The battle rounds mean that each coach gets to bring in a celebrity to help their team put together the best performance possible. In the case of Alicia Keys, girlfriend just won this round simply by pairing herself with Shawn Mendes. Canadian-love aside, we did our best to take an unbiased look at the 19-year-old pop star and came to the same conclusion – he’s the best. We should have been focused on the singers, especially with Jamai and Sharane Calister’s beautiful rendition of “Mercy,” but Mendes and his supportive, constructive, and honestly just really smart critiques blew us away. If his career wasn’t exploding (in a good way) every five minutes, we would say he should be a coach next year. But Shawny ain’t got time for that.
THOSE ARRANGEMENTS THO
Song choice can be make or break any round and some coaches have already established themselves as weak song pickers. We mean Adam. He’s not great at picking songs. Do better, Adam. On the flip side, Alicia Keys and her decision to pair Christiana Danielle and Shana Halligan together and have them sing a stunning and stripped-down version of Kings of Leon’s “Use Somebody” is another reason she could very well win this season. We were huge fans of Christiana from her first note of “Hotline Bling” and while she seemed like the clear winner from the beginning, we were still impressed by Shana’s range. She didn’t show that in her audition, but Ms. Keys knows how to bring the magic out of singers. Plus, Shawn continued to be dreamy and give great advice. Okay, maybe we are biased.
WHAT SHOW IS BLAKE WATCHING
From Shawn Mendes giving a TED Talk on how to be a musician we went all the way over to team Blake. Shelton’s advisor Trace Adkins needed subtitles (literally) because he mumbled so much. Full disclosure, I had no idea what Trace Adkins looked like, and judging by the reaction of Blake’s singers JessLee and Kyle Jade, neither did they. The country superstar spent his time getting digs in at Blake and falling asleep instead of helping to coach. So yeah, can we get Rascall Flats back again?
WHAT SHOW IS BLAKE WATCHING PART 2
Each coach gets two steals in the battle rounds and these are reserved for only the most deserving singers. Or if you’re Blake Shelton, you use a steal for boy bander Dylan Hartigan. No shade, but someone forgot to tell Blake and Dylan that this isn’t The X Factor. There aren’t four other dudes who are going to form a band with Dylan and help even out all the areas he struggles with as a singer. The cringe-inducing dance theatrics during “Ready For It…” were accompanied by the even more cringe-inducing practice of holding his mic at the 45-degree angle that was mandatory for boy bands in the late 1990s. Did he really deserve a steal? Maybe Blake should stick to country.
WHAT IS ADAM DOING
Being a coach on The Voice means helping your singers become the best artists they can be. Usually, that means showing up to things, like rehearsal. That’s why we were shocked when Adam decided to ‘crash’ the rehearsal of Rayshun LaMarr and Tish Haynes Keys, since he usually skips rehearsal. WHAT. Dude. WHAT. Kelly and her hoodie and Alicia and her wide legged pants were there for every moment of rehearsal to help their team, but Adam is too busy, what, making bad hair choices? Something to note for anyone auditioning for The Voice in the future. Get you a coach that shows up, y’all.
TEAM KELLY CLARKSON (1 steal remaining)
“Ready For It…” Brynn Cartelli (Winner) vs. Dylan Hartigan (Stolen by Team Blake)
“Sign of the Times” D.R. King (Winner) vs. Jackie Foster (Stolen by Team Adam)
TEAM BLAKE SHELTON (1 steal remaining)
“One Last Time” Kyla Jade (Winner) vs. JessLee
TEAM ALICIA KEYS (2 steals remaining)
“Mercy” Sharane Callister (Winner) vs. Jamai
“Use Somebody” Christiana Danielle (Winner) vs. Shana Halligan
TEAM ADAM LEVINE (1 steal remaining)
“Sweet Thing” Rayshun Lamarr (Winner) vs. Tish Haynes Keys (Stolen by Kelly)