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How “Underdog” Zoe Levert Won Her 3-on-1 Battle Against OK3: “You Blew Me Away”

What happens when a solo singer battles a whole group? Not what you might expect.

By Matthew Jackson

Battles on The Voice allow Coaches to create some very interesting matchups, pairing singers with different styles, different backgrounds, and different approaches to music to create something new. It's fun to see which matchups the Coaches pick, and it was especially interesting to consider what Coach John Legend might do with his first vocal trio, OK3.

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Watch The Voice Mondays and Tuesdays at 8/7c on NBC and next day on Peacock. 

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Made up of three best friends from Oklahoma, OK3 came into The Voice with a knockout, Four-Chair Turn performance in the Blind Auditions, setting them up for success as a group with built-in harmonies. Unfortunately for everyone else, that meant any singer who faced them in any subsequent round would end up with a three-on-one competition, and to face that challenge in the Battles, Legend chose Zoe Levert. While OK3 got Four Chairs in their Blind, Levert got just one, with Legend turning for her in the final moments of her Audition. That set up her up as an underdog in more ways than one but gave her a tremendous opportunity to prove herself.

Watch Zoe Levert and OK3 Perform "The Bones" by Maren Morris on The Voice Season 25

OK3 and Zoe Levert appear in Season 25 Episode 7 of The Voice

In an effort to blend OK3's more pop-driven vocals with Levert's country style, Legend chose "The Bones" by Maren Morris as their Battle song, and acknowledged right away that he was setting up something of a mismatch. 

"Zoe, it's always going to be a challenge when you're going up against three people, but it's working really well for you, it's like right in your vocal pocket in a good way," Legend said during rehearsals, and added that it was "inherently a bit unfair" for Levert. 

But when the four singers finally took the Battles stage, it was clear early on that Levert was more than up for the challenge, showcasing her vocal range and harmonizing ability while taking plenty of spotlight moments. By the end, it was clear that she'd done something worthy of standout praise.

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"I gotta say, Zoe, you kind of blew me away today," Reba McEntire said.

Chance the Rapper added, "Zoe, you really surprised me. You're like a pop star. It was very close, but if I had to choose, I would honestly go with Zoe."

Even as Dan + Shay leaned toward OK3 in their assessment of the Battle, Coach Shay Mooney couldn't help but highlight Levert's ability.

"You really stepped up," he said. "This is not an easy task. It's basically three on one. I thought it was a phenomenal job. You have such potential."

Then it was time for Legend to offer his assessment where, once again, he highlighted Levert's abilities in the Battle. 

"You all really sounded like you bonded together, and your interaction with each other felt really natural, and that's a testament to you really, Zoe, because you just met them," Legend said. "It's really about you maximizing the best version of yourself, and saying 'I'm just going to go out there and be excellent at being me,' and I thought you really did that."

By the end, the winner was clear: Levert took the Battle victory, taking her from a one-chair turn Blind Audition to a contender in the Knockouts. 

"I think Zoe was the underdog," Legend said. "She was going against a trio, but Zoe came out and just sounded like she was the lead singer. She won it on the stage where you're supposed to win it."

How far will Zoe Levert go? Find out on The Voice, Mondays and Tuesdays on NBC, and streaming next day on Peacock.