After a first night that involved big performances and multiple steals, how much more intense can the second round of battles get? We're about to find out. Here is what you need to know about the second night of Round 2.
Personality will only carry you so far.
Biff Gore has been one of the most entertaining artists since he turned four chairs in his blind audition by singing Sam Cooke's "A Change Is Gonna Come." After he lost his first battle to T.J. Wilkins, Blake stole him in part because Biff is a born entertainer and Blake wanted to work with him. For this round, he is matched up against Sisaundra Lewis to sing "It's a Man's Man's Man's World" from the Godfather of Soul himself, James Brown. The two singers are so good at their first run-through that Blake and advisor Chris Martin of Coldplay don't really have any notes. "Can you do it again just for fun?" Chris asks. Biff's only concern is that, as good as he is, he has an urge in rehearsals to really scream to keep up with Sisaundra. Blake counsels him to trust his instincts and know when to push it and when to not.
The two artists take the stage and blast through the song, giving Usher goose bumps and earning a standing ovation from all the coaches. It's a tough call for Blake, who knew going in that it was neck-and-neck between them. But despite Biff's entertainment value, Blake finds Sisaundra's voice alone just as entertaining, and he picks her, sending Biff home to his wife and six kids.
In another battle of contrasting personalities, Shakira matches up lounge singer Ddendyl with teenager Deja Hall. Ddendyl is the bubbly type who nearly overflows with personality, so cute you want to put her in your pocket and take her home with you. Deja is more intense and reserved, and being so young, she doesn't have the well of life experience to draw on in order to put more emotion into her singing. The two choose the song "Say Something" by A Great Big World and Christina Aguilera, which the band debuted with a performance on Season 5 of The Voice.
During rehearsals, Shakira convinces both Ddendyl and Deja to use mic stands, which will force both to stand still and really focus on their singing. It leads to a very dramatic performance, with both young women fighting to convey the emotion of the song to the audience. It's a hard-fought battle, one that leaves the coaches split. In the end, Shakira feels that Deja has made more progress and has more potential, and proclaims her the winner of the battle. Deja nearly breaks down crying backstage, and Ddendyl barely avoids bursting into tears before she gets off the stage. It's as if the emotions of the song left some residual traces in the singers. Perhaps they can pour that into future performances.
Another tough choice for Shakira that we see in a short clip: picking between country singer Kristen Merlin and soul singer Emily B. after their performance of Dixie Chicks' "I Can Love You Better." She chooses Kristen as the winner, sending Emily home. Which means after three performances, there are still two more steals lurking out there.
Being a good student will impress the coaches.
Morgan Wallen is a landscaper who has never had a vocal lesson and has very little performing experience. He's matched up against Stevie Jo, the former metal band singer who has moved onto singing R&B and pop and has a great deal of confidence after winning a tough battle in the first round. The two singers have become good friends, so this is going to be tough for them.
The guys pick One Direction's "Story of My Life" to perform. Stevie might be a little overconfident, but Usher is concerned about Morgan's nerves, an ongoing problem that can throw him off his game, ruining his great tone by causing him to sing poorly.
The guys take the stage and impress the coaches with their performance. "That was a song originally song by boys, sung by a couple of men up there," Adam says. Usher is surprised that Morgan even has a falsetto that he hasn't shown before, though not as surprised as Morgan is. Although Morgan has great potential, Usher wants to work with the singer who is more developed already, so he names Stevie the winner of the battle. As Morgan leaves the stage, Adam calls him over and gives him a fist bump. The moment their fists touch, the coach hits his steal button, making Morgan a member of Team Adam.
Backstage, Stevie's mom, who can barely contain her excitement every time her son sings, is even more thrilled to finally get to meet Usher. "He hugged me, he kissed me on the check... wow!" she says. "Oh, and I'm so proud of you," she tells her son almost as an afterthought. Thanks, Mom.
There are still quite a few battles left, but only Blake has a steal, so the stakes will be high when the remaining artists take the stage next week. Plus, what headgear will Usher break out this time? All these questions will be answered when Round 2 of the battles continues on Monday.
Once again, the artists are paired in elimination duets, with the winner moving to the play-offs.