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Lennon Vanderdoes and Tanner Massey’s "Mind-Blowing" Battle Sparks a Double Steal
The Voice proves that even when you lose the battle, you can win the competition.
It's officially Battle Time on Season 24 of The Voice, and that means the Coaches have to start making hard choices in sorting out their teams. Of course, if you're in the right position, it also means other Coaches have the opportunity to Steal a preferred vocalist, and that's exactly what happened with a blockbuster Team Niall Battle this week.
As the Battles kicked off, Coach Niall Horan decided to pair Lennon Vanderdoes and Tanner Massey, two vocalists with notes of Niall's own singing style in their arsenals. To best judge the face-off, Horan picked a classic ballad from one of the greatest American singer-songwriters ever: "She's Always a Woman" by Billy Joel.
"I paired Tanner and Lennon together because I felt like they were just two very sweet, folky, singer-songwriter male voices, and Billy Joel's 'She's Always a Woman' is the perfect example of that," Horan explained.
In rehearsals, as he guided both singers through the song, Horan went on to stress the importance of storytelling in Joel's songwriting, and how that should be reflected in the way each of them interprets the lyrics.
"I personally think that Lennon and Tanner's Battle really comes down to who can tell the story," he said. "Whoever can really put that emotion down the lens to the people of America, and to us here in the Chairs, I think is going to win this battle."
Watch Tanner Massey and Lennon Vanderdoes perform "She's Always a Woman" on The Voice Season 24 Battles
Then it was time for the battle to begin. Both singers gave it their all, as Vanderdoes hit all the expected high notes and Massey poured on the vocal flourishes and trills at the end of his lines. By the time it was over, all four judges were thoroughly impressed by both vocalists, with Coaches Gwen Stefani and John Legend both picking Massey as the singer with the slight edge.
"Both of you are mind-blowing in your own way," Stefani said. "Lennon, we are all fascinated by you because you're so original, your tone is just so unique, but when Tanner started I was like, 'Wait a minute, I am dead in love with you, you are so magical.'"
Legend added, "I think I would lean just ever so slightly toward Tanner."
For Horan, the decision was tough, so tough that he even said he regretted pairing the two singers together for an early Season 24 Battle. In the end, Horan's "gut" told him to go with Vanderdoes, who emerged victorious and on a mission to make his Coach proud.
"It's up to me now to dive deep and give it my all to prove Niall made the right decision," he said.
With the Battle over, it was host Carson Daly's turn to take the microphone and let the Coaches know that they could use one of their Steals to claim Massey. He'd barely gotten the words out when Legend hit his button, followed very closely by Stefani.
"I just really believe that Tanner just has a magical voice," Legend said. "I love the way you carried yourself onstage, and I think America's gonna love you."
Stefani added, "You have something in you that you're showing us that we want more of."
With the option to keep going in the competition with either of two Coaches, Massey chose Stefani, giving Team Gwen another great vocalist heading into later battles.