‘The Voice': Team Blake Scores Two Rockin’ Voices in Battle Rounds
It's time for the Battle Rounds on this season of The Voice, when on Monday (Mar. 23), returning coaches Blake Shelton, Kelly Clarkson and John Legend; plus new coach Nick Jonas (who replaced last season's Gwen Stefani), pitted their team members against each other in cut-throat duets to see who would make the cut to the final rounds.
As always, this segment of the show features help from celebrity mentors, with Shelton choosing Bebe Rexha (who famously has her country creds dueting with Florida Georgia Line), Clarkson earmarking pop star Dua Lipa, Legend enlisting Ella Mai, and Jonas keeping things simple with his own brothers Joe and Kevin.
Things got off to a rockin' start with a Team Blake battle. Shelton has recruited an unprecedented amount of classic rock-leaning singers to his team this season, and this night he decided to put together 22-year-old Joei Fulco (who auditioned with a seasoned-sounding '70s Cher hit) and 50-year-old Todd Michael Hall (who figuratively broke glass with a crazy high-ranged Foreigner favorite, and made Shelton admit he kind of wished he'd gone the hair-band route instead of country).
Some might find this pairing intimidating, but Rexha, as mentor, rose happily to the occasion. "You guys are, like, classic rock. And people are starving for that. I think classic rock's coming back. We had our hip-hop moment, but I feel like actual rock is coming back for sure," noted Rexha, adding, "It's bleeding into hip-hop."
"So, apparently, I stuck around long enough," deadpanned Hall. In all seriousness, he noted: "To be 50 and to be here is kind of overwhelming. I grew up in the '80s, and that's when hard rock was really in the limelight. I played in a band called Harlet. It was just loud, and it was heavy metal...for my blind audition, I ended up picking a song I've been singing 38 years."
Fulco made sure to note that she was always gunning for Team Blake from the beginning. "My heart is really in country rock," she explained. "I grew up in a family band. I played three to five nights a week, four hours straight. I've been doing this my whole life. It's the only job I've ever had."
Shelton had the two test their vocals against each other on "The Best," a song best known for its delivery by two husky-voiced women, Bonnie Tyler and Tina Turner. When finished, all the judges were agog at the vocal gymnastics, but Shelton decided to pick Fulco. "I ended up choosing her because she's just got so much talent and she has a certain charisma about her," he said.
Not so fast, though. Each coach has a save, which resulted in both Clarkson and Shelton hitting their buttons to rescue Hall. Shelton hit first, regaining Hall back on his team, much to Clarkson's indignation. "I was always gonna do it. I was being dramatic," Clarkson whined, when Legend informed her she was a little too late to the punch.
As for Shelton, he couldn't have been happier. "I am proud to use my save on him. I actually think that Todd can thrive in this four-way knockout. Nobody in this show can match his range," he asserted.
We'll be following along each week to see how things progress on the show, so be sure to check to see how all your favorites fare as the Battle Rounds continue.
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