The Voice 17 Recap: Blind Auditions End, Battles Begin Live Blog

The Voice 17  Battles

The Voice season 17 Blind Auditions end tonight, with coaches Blake Shelton, Kelly Clarkson, John Legend and Gwen Stefani filling up their teams. Later in the episode, the Battle Rounds BEGIN, featuring special celebrity mentors who will help the coaches to prepare their artists for a competitive duet.

Destiny Rayne Battles Katie Kadan, performing "Tiny Dancer" during The Voice The Battles

Destiny Rayne vs Katie Kadan – Team Legend – Tiny Dancer by Elton John – Welp. Teasers have already spoiled a steal, so… Katie admits  a crush on Usher as a teen. “I came to coach winners but I’m happy I’m working with legends,” Usher quips. Blake blocked Kelly during Katie’s blind. Destiny works two jobs in Nashville is newly engaged. John is surprised by her ability to belt. Usher is also impressed by her ability to go there.

But Katie has a huge voice, he acknowledges. This is kind of a weird song choice for both. Probably why both struggle a little in rehearsal. Usher is expecting a moment. During the stage rehearsal, John is pumping his fist. This is another odd match up. Destiny sings pop, while Katie belts blues. Both are doing their best to come together there. But. Nope. Katie’s voice is too bellowy for my taste. Destiny reaches for notes that are just a bit beyond her. Both will probably do better with songs that suit them. Gwen felt Destiny held her own against the big voiced Katie. Kelly felt both singers made room for each other. Blake also compliments Destiny for rising to the occasion. John Picks KatieBlake steals Destiny. At the last minute, so of course, right on cue and most annoyingly, Gwen Steals Destiny too. “This is going to be so fun!” says Kelly. No. No it’s not. Blah blah blah blah blah blah, Destiny Picks Gwen. Hm. I would have gone with Blake. His track record is so much better. 

Melinda Rodriguez v Shane Q – Team Kelly – Too Good at Goodbyes by Sam Smith –  Kelly says that she’s never “done something like this” with another singing show alum. Erm. She was Jennifer Hudson’s mentor the season before she came a coach? Hm. Normani, Kelly’s mentor, was a teen when she competed on X Factor USA as a member of Simon Cowell’s manufactured girl group, Fifth Harmony. They went on to great success. She says the experience prepared her for the “real world.” Both singers have big ranges, so she picked a big song. Normani worked with Sam Smith! Shane works with disabled people by day, and hits the clubs at night. He was a four chair turn. Melinda is a jazz singer, finishishing her masters degree. Her brother is waiting for a heart transplant. She sang an Eva Cassidy inspired version of “What a Wonderful World.” Kelly feels Melinda has to get out of her head. Normani mentions they have to be in the same pocket. They work with Shane on his breath control–Normani suggests he use falsetto. We see the pair at stage rehearsal. Kelly is so impressed, she’s crying.  They are both good! So it’s good one of them gets stolen, telegraphed before the break! Shane’s voice is strong and rangy. Melinda’s voice is jazzy and soulful. She has more finesse. I prefer her. Shane lays it on a little TOO thick at times. He could learn a thing or two about control from Melinda. Blake says Shane has a great “scream.” Hm. That’s one way to put it. He’d pick Shane. John loves them both. But he’d also pick Shane. I DISAGREE. Gwen liked Melinda’s confidence, she calls Shane a phenomenon. Kelly Picks Shane but Saves Melinda. John Steals Melinda. John says Melinda has the “opportunity to upgrade.” But he would have picked Shane too, so… I’d stay with Kelly! John mentions he arranged music in college. Kelly says while he was in college, she was winning a singing show. Har. Melinda Stays with Kelly. 

Josie Jones vs Kat Hammock – Team Blake – Take Me Home Country Roads by John Denver – This is Darius’ first singing show appearance ever! He’s watched the show for years. Blake pitted two old school teens together. Blake Shelton mentions losing a Grammy to “Wagon Wheel.” Josie lives on a farms and loves singers like Dolly and Tammy. Kat loves Billy Joel and…Bread. BREAD? She plays piano, covering Billy Joel for her Blind Audition. FUN FACT. Bill Danoff father of The Voice alum Owen Danoff co-wrote this song. Blake wants Kat to project more. Darius agrees. He reminds her that she needs to sing like it’s Madison Square Garden. Both need to loosen up on the chorus–including their body language. Josie and Kat are both putting their own twist on the song. Kat seems a little out of her element, though. Her voice is feathery soft, while Josie’s twang dominates. John calls it “sweet.” He finds Kat’s voice more intriguing, but Josie gave the better performance. Gwen thinks Kat would make a great record. She’d pick her. Kelly loved Josie’s controlled high harmony. She calls Kat’s voice “Angelic. Blake Picks Kat. I’m a little surprised!  He appreciates her unique voice. He claims she has a shot to win. Hmmm. Josie Jones is eliminated. 

Khalea Lynee vs Zoe Upkins – Team Legend – The Boy is Mine – Brandy and Monica – His mentor Usher, is pretty happy to be back on The Voice. He coached a couple of seasons. He WON the show season 6 with Josh Kaufman. Khalea was a four chair turn. An Anita Baker inspired singer and single mom. Zoe joined Team Legend earlier in the episode. John sang to them both! There’s a big age difference 36 vs 16. John wants Khalea to “loosen the pocket.” He wants MORE from Zoe. He demonstrates. Usher assures Zoe she has a licence to let go. He suggests to both to treat the duet as a conversation. Usher and John sing together and it’s pretty cool. Usher said there is something to be said for being 36. And he’s got a point. Khalea brings a lifetime of singing to her performance. Zoe is good, but still has more to learn. Gwen is impressed by Zoe mature stage presence. Gwen gives it to her. Kelly loves both singers. Kelly promises to steal! Blake appreciates, maturily, experience and confidence. He picks Khalea. John Picks Khalea. He considers her the most versatile. John Saves Zoe Kelly and Gwen Steal.  John says he messed up pairing them up. “Please do not leave me!” Kelly loves her “little swag” and reminds her that she’s won the show with young girls. Gwen says, “You don’t want a coach that messed up!” Zoe Stays with John

Caroline Reilly – 16 – Cummin* Ga – Somebody to Love by Jefferson Airplane – While Caroline is singing there ‘s a big discussion about whether she’s young or not. It’s one of those deals where viewers don’t see her either. Gwen is looking for a “little girl.” Blake and Kelly convince her she’s young. When Gwen hits her button, it appears that Caroline is pretty young. Her voice isn’t special, though. But it seems all Gwen cares about at this point, is finding a youngin.  As it turns out, Caroline loves the classic and contemporary rockers. Gwen is probably a good pick for her. Gwen Fills Her Team.

Ty Mauro – 26 – Los Angeles CA – Let’s Stay Together by Al Green – Ty is an EMT in LA by day. He likes not being stuck at a desk. But what he really wants is music! His entire family is musical. He played in a high school band.  He considers The Voice his last shot. Hm. I smell a no chair turn. His voice is very odd. And Gwen is looking for a “little girl.” Yep. No Turns. Gwen says he looks nothing like his voice. Nobody is saying “my team is filled up.” I bet he didn’t perform close to the end. The consensus from the panel: Interesting voice, but some pitchy things. 

Gracee Shriver – 16 – Owasso OK – Rainbow by Kacee Musgraves – She’s a senior in high school and has been playing tennis since 3rd grade. She’s a high achiever. No parties for her. Her real love is music. Her tone is nice, but her country twang doesn’t feel natural. With Blake out of the way, Kelly and Gwen feel FREEE to turn for a country singer. Aw. She breaks down in tears at the end. “I’m from Oklahoma too!” says Gwen. Hm. Oklahoma adjacent. She loves Kelsea Ballerini. She saw her on Kelly’s tour. Gwen pulls the “you get two for the price of one” card. Blake pimps Gwen. “I’m not dating Blake, but my husband manages him,” says Kelly. Great comeback! Gracee Picks Kelly. Smart choice!

Matthew McQueen – 21 – Georgetown TX – Someone You Loved by Louis Capaldi – For the longest time, he thought he was related to the actor Steve McQueen the actor. But an Ancestry search taught him otherwise. His day job is selling silver and gold to investors. Like, big bricks of actual gold. Weird!  His mother says, “the older women go crazy!” Matthew is a pretty boy, with a pretty tone, I’ll give him that. Kelly hits her button, and Blake follows. Welp. A family member dreamed Matthew was on The Voice and Blake turned. Prophetic! John compares him to Christian Bale and Tom Cruise. But they aren’t singers! He does go on to compare him to Shawn Mendes. Kelly turned because of his rasp. She calls it “sexy.” Blake jokes that he wasn’t waiting for anybody but him. It’s so funny that Kelly thinks his family’s excitement was directed at her. Matthew Picks Blake. Because DREAM.

Zoe Upkins – 16 – Nashville TN – Angel of Mine by Monica – Her godmother Sarah Gaines was a Christian artist. She encouraged Zoe to pursue music. But sadly, she recently passed from cancer. Right before she died, she learned Zoe would be auditioning for The Voice and her face lit up. Kelly, John and Blake turn pretty fast. Zoe has a nice, deep tone. She’s not overdoing the runs, which is good. Her phrasing is pretty mature for a 16 year old. Gwen wanted a “young little princess girl” and is disappointed she didn’t hit that button (Ugh, I find her princess bit condescending.) Kelly says the same thing, only better. She likes working with young female singers, and has won with two! Blake touts his veteran status. But then John serenades her with a Monica song, personalizing the lyrics. “It was nice to meet you Zoe!” says Kelly, resigned to the inevitable. And of course Zoe Picks John.  Team Legend is complete!

Team Legend

Khalea Lynee vs Zoe Upkins
Matt New vs Max Boyle
Destiny Rayne vs Katie Kadan

Team Gwen 

Myracle Holloway vs Elise Azkoul

Team Blake

Cali Wilson vs Elliemae
Josie Jones vs Kat Hammock

Team Kelly

Melinda Rodriguez v Shane Q
Alex Guthrie vs Injoy Fountain


Team Legend

Dane & Stephanie – Blind Audition 
Destiny Rayne – Blind Audition 
Jared Herzog – Blind Audition 
Katie Kadan – Blind Audition 
Khalea Lynee – Blind Audition 
Marybeth Byrd – Blind Audition 
Matt New – Blind Audition 
Max Boyle – Blind Audition
Mendeleyev – Blind Audition 
Preston C. Howell – Blind Audition
Will Breman – Blind Audition 
Zoe Upkins (Watch her Blind Audition Preview)

Team Gwen 

Brennen Henson – Blind Audition 
Calvin Lockett – Blind Audition 
Elise Azkoul – Blind Audition 
Jake HaldenVang – Blind Audition 
James Violet – Blind Audition 
Jessie Lawrence – Blind Audition 
Kiara Brown – Blind Audition 
Kyndal Inskeep – Blind Audition 
Myracle Holloway – Blind Audition 
Rose Short – Blind Audition 
Royce Lovett – Blind Audition 

Team Blake

Cali Wilson – Blind Audition 
Cory Jackson – Blind Audition 
Elliemae – Blind Audition 
Joana Martinez – Blind Audition 
Jordan Chase – Blind Audition 
Josie Jones – Blind Audition 
Kat Hammock – Blind Audition 
Marina Chello – Blind Audition 
Ricky Brady – Blind Audition 
Ricky Duran – Blind Audition 
Zach Bridges – Blind Audition 

Team Kelly

Alex Guthrie – Blind Audition 
Brennan Lassiter – Blind Audition 
Brooke Stephenson – Blind Audition 
Damali – Blind Audition 
Hello Sunday – Blind Audition 
Injoy Fountain – Blind Audition 
Jake Hoot – Blind Audition 
Lauren Hall – Blind Audition 
Melinda Rodriguez – Blind Audition 
Shane Q – Blind Audition 
Steve Knill – Blind Audition 

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