Following weeks of blind auditions, The Voice launched its battle rounds on Monday night. Each battle saw two teammates performing a duet assigned by their coach, with only one advancing in the competition. However, each coach has two "steals" they can use to save a contestant.
During rehearsals, the artists received help from guest advisers. "Wake Me Up" singer Aloe Blacc was a tutor for Adam Levine's team; The Band Perry assisted Blake Shelton's protégés; Blake's wife, Miranda Lambert, worked with Shakira's crew; and R&B diva Jill Scott advised Usher's team.
Here's what happened on Monday night's two-hour episode:
The first battle featured two artists from Team Usher, Biff Gore and T.J. Wilkins. They sang The Temptations classic "Ain't Too Proud To Beg." Adam and Blake both noticed how much Biff and T.J. enjoyed themselves on stage. Usher said it was a difficult decision to make because both artists were technically sound. He declared T.J. to be the winner. Biff was subsequently saved by Blake.
Next up were two 17-year-olds from Team Blake: Jake Worthington and Lexi Luca, who were instructed to perform "It Goes Like This," by country musician Thomas Rhett. Usher said he could tell that Lexi was nervous, adding that Jake showed more confidence. Blake pointed out the tears in Lexi's eyes, and noted that Jake fumbled the lyrics a couple of times. Blake went with his gut and picked Jake. Lexi was eliminated.
Team Shakira's Dani Moz and DeShawn Washington were pit against one another. They were given "My Kind of Love," by Emeli Sandé. Shakira admitted after the performance that she regretted pairing Dani and DeShawn. Dani was named the winner. DeShawn is gone from the show.
Kat Perkins and Patrick Thompson battled for the right to remain on Adam's team. They joined forces on the Kenny Loggins/ Stevie Nicks duet "Whenever I Call You 'Friend.'" Blake felt Kat hit the notes more easily. Adam sided with Kat, too, saying she has a presence about her. Just as Patrick was ready to walk off the stage, Shakira swooped in and stole him.
Blake paired two powerful singers: Paula DeAnda, who once toured with Rihanna, and Sisaundra Lewis, a former vocal director for Celine Dion. They took on Lady Gaga's ARTPOP single "Do What U Want." Usher said both women pushed each other vocally, though he detected some pitch issues by Paula toward the end. Blake said he was proud of both of them. Sisaundra is moving on in the competition. Paula was sent home.
Team Usher's Jake Barker and Stevie Jo entered the spotlight for the final battle of the night. They traded lyrics on Steve Winwood's "Higher Love." Adam assured them that whoever loses the battle would be saved by him afterward. Usher said it was a very hard decision for him, but he selected Stevie Jo. Adam, Shakira and Blake all made a bid to save Jake. Jake chose Adam.
The battle rounds continue Tuesday night on NBC at 8 p.m. Eastern time.