"The Voice" entered the next phase of the competition Monday night with "The Battles: Round Two."
Like the previous round, two teammates at a time performed a duet, with their spot on the show at stake. However, each artist was not informed of his or her opponent until it was time to rehearse.
For each battle, the two teammates chose a song from a list of three tunes provided to them. They then practiced with the help of their coach as well as guest adviser Chris Martin of Coldplay. In case you're wondering, he taped his appearances before it was announced that he's separated from wife Gwyneth Paltrow.
Adam Levine, Blake Shelton, Shakira and Usher each have one steal to use in this round -- one fewer than the previous round.
Here's a rundown of the two-hour episode:
Team Blake's Audra McLaughlin and Megan Rüger opened the round by selecting Miley Cyrus' "The Climb." Usher, wearing a Daniel Boone-type hat, thought Audra won the battle. Shakira said she connected with Audra more. Blake marveled at the way Audra navigated through her vocals, while also noting that he can relate more to Megan because of her straightforward singing. Audra was named the winner, and Megan went home.
T.J. Wilkins and Cierra Mickens went to battle for the right to remain on Usher's team. They settled on "Get Here," by Oleta Adams. Shakira was proud of Cierra, who was stolen from her by Usher last week. Usher complimented T.J. for handling a song that's typically performed by a female, and picked him. It was the end of the road for Cierra.
Tess Boyer and Jake Worthington were paired up by Blake. They collaborated on "Have a Little Faith in Me," by John Hiatt. Shakira called Tess a "revelation," stating that Tess blew her away with her powerful yet sweet voice. Blake said it appeared Jake believed in what he was singing, while Tess was also impressive. He described the battle as a "tie-like situation," but he went with Jake because he knows him better than Tess, who he stole from Usher the previous round. The other three coaches attempted to steal Tess; she joined Team Shakira, to the chagrin of Usher, who was hoping for a reunion.
The first two Team Adam contestants to battle in the round were Christina Grimmie and Sam Behymer. Adam thought their song choice, "Counting Stars" by OneRepublic, was odd since that band is led by a male singer, Ryan Tedder, but he applauded their ambition. It seemed Blake, Usher and Shakira gave a small edge to Sam. Adam said there was no right decision. He went with his gut and picked Christina. He later explained to the cameras that Christina was more "ready" for the big stage. Somewhat surprisingly, Sam was not stolen.
Team Shakira's Josh Murley and Patrick Thomson -- two artists stolen from Adam -- faced off against one another on the Bryan Adams' tune "Run to You." Adam said Josh showed off a range that the show hadn't seen from him before. Adam said that Patrick was a little shaky, but Blake preferred Patrick to Josh. Shakira said they both delivered a "rock star moment." Shakira chose Patrick because she felt she could coach him better. Josh was dismissed.
The final battle of the night featured Josh Kaufman and Delvin Choice of Team Adam singing the Stevie Wonder classic "Signed, Sealed, Delivered I'm Yours." Usher called it the top vocal performance in the round so far. Shakira said Delvin surprised everyone with his strong showing. Adam said both artists made his decision very difficult for him. He agonized a bit before going with Delvin, who he said has more power than any other artist in the competition. Usher immediately stole Josh.
"The Battles: Round Two" continues Tuesday night at 8 p.m. Eastern time on NBC.