Night two of the Battle Round delivered more stellar performances for season 12 of NBC’s The Voice. Coaches Gwen Stefani, Adam Levine, Alicia Keys and Blake Shelton worked alongside celebrity mentors Celine Dion, John Legend, DJ Khaled and Luke Bryan to take the artists to the next level.
First up, Stefani put the pressure on her team members Johnny Gates and Sammie Zonana by asking them to sing Celine Dion’s cover of “I Drove All Night,” which they had to work on in front of Dion herself. Gates and Zonana both have strong artistry, so they worked on the arrangement. “It’s so original,” Dion said, very impressed with what they did with the song. “It feels like you’re in a band together,” Stefani added. Right out the gate, Gates and Zonana worked together exceptionally.
Their final performance really sounded like the indie radio hit Stefani was going for with them. Gates and Zonana were connected, and both delivered on the vocal and emotional fronts. It was an excellent start to the evening that left Stefani with a tough decision to make. Shelton described the performance as “loose” and “edgy.” “I love your individuality,” Keys said of both artists. The other coaches all said they would choose Gates, but Zonana undoubtedly delivered, too. Stefani did go with Gates, and Zonana unfortunately went home. So even though the episode began with a strong performance, it also started with a devastating cut.
Team Alicia was up next, with Chris Blue and RJ Collins facing off. Keys wanted to give them something that combined the classic and current styles of each artist, so she had them sing “Adorn” by Miguel. Keys cautioned them against taking too many liberties with the melody. She worked with them on getting the runs right and blending their voices.
Blue and Collins were dynamic in their final performance, building momentum and delivering complex vocals to the song. Both showcased huge range and seemed to bring the same strengths to the table. Neither really stood out. Rather, it felt like a real duet, the two men working together to craft an entertaining performance. Shelton praised Collins’ stage presence, but quickly added that he thinks we’ll be seeing Blue in the finale. Keys was impressed with the emotion Collins brought to the performance, but Blue was the magical artist who she found after holding out for so long at the end of the Blind Auditions. After all that, it would suck to see him go in the next round. Sure enough, Keys kept Blue and sent Collins home.
In Battles that did not air, Levine picked Josh West over Nala Price. Aaliyah Rose beat out Savannah Leighton on Team Gwen. Shelton chose Andrea Thomas over Micah Tryba.
In the last full Battle of the night, Aliyah Moulden and Dawson Coyle from Team Blake went head-to-head with Katrina & the Waves‘ “Walking on Sunshine.” Despite Moulden’s young age, she put a lot of power behind her voice in the rehearsal. Shelton told her to watch her pitch on the verses, and Coyle had an issue with going a little flat, too. It wasn’t the most exciting song choice, but the two seemed to be having fun with it, and by the second rehearsal, they were connecting with each other a little better. Bryan helped them with their stage presence.
It was a fun end to the night, but it was far from the best Battle of the evening. Moulden shows a whole lot of potential, but it seems like she’d be better suited to work with a different coach. Shelton just didn’t really give her the right song here. It was a bit better suited for Coyle. Levine said he wanted to hear more from Coyle. Stefani said she would keep Moulden. In fact, Moulden would probably be a great fit on Team Gwen. “You both brought a youthfulness and fun,” Shelton said. He picked Moulden as the winner, keeping the young artist around for a little longer. Keys surprised with a last-minute steal, keeping Coyle around, too.
The Battles continue next week on NBC. What did you think of Tuesday night’s performances?
This article originally appeared in THR.com.