Aaron Gibson, Sa’Rayah Rule The Voice Battle Rounds, Night 3

Half the battle is getting past The Voice Battle Rounds, and while some singers can kick back and know that their ticket has already been punched to the Knockout Rounds, there’s still a good portion of vocalists yet to go head-to-head. So let’s get into Night 3 of The Voice Battle Rounds, where Teams Blake and Miley get a little more attention, while Teams Adam and Alicia only have one [fully televised] battle to worry about. Let’s dig into Night 3 of the Battles:

Team Adam

The night begins with Adam Levine and Sammy Hagar jamming a bit before welcoming Johnny Rez and Nolan Neal to the rehearsal space. Adam gives his two “rockers” Peter Gabriel’s “Sledgehammer” for the Battle Rounds performance. Sammy suggests they have fun with the song a little more, and that they need to know the lyrics really well in order to feel more comfortable. Adam tells them to stop singing and start professing the song. During the performance, both deliver the song well, but Nolan’s voice seems more in tune with the original and he seems to have better command as a performer as well. Blake felt it was evenly matched, but leans toward Johnny. Alicia praises both but picks Nolan. Miley says she’s a huge fan of Nolan, but agrees she might pick Johnny. Adam says he feels most connected to Nolan and has the most to offer him and chooses Nolan to advance.

Team Miley

Miley pairs up indie-pop singers Karlee Metzger and Darby Walker and gives them a song fitting of their voices — Melanie’s “Brand New Key.” Karlee admits to not knowing the song beforehand, while Darby just rolls right into the track. Joan Jett suggests that they also explore the lower notes of the song a bit more to make it stand out a bit more. Joan tells Darby to breathe, and Miley has Karlee loosen up a bit. In the battle, Karlee’s tone is a perfect fit, while Darby also nails the song and brings a little more stage presence to the song as well. Adam calls the song “the Miley-est thing ever.” Adam felt Karlee was more vocally grounded. Blake says Darby’s an entertainer, but he felt Karlee had the edge vocally. Alicia was impressed with both. Miley says Karlee completely transformed, and Darby had the full package. She ends up picking Darby, but Blake swoops in to use his first steal on Karlee.

The night’s final battle has Team Miley pitting two of her strongest competitors in raspy voiced Aaron Gibson and powerhouse Sa’Rayah. She gives them Beth Hart’s “I’ll Take Care of You,” something that will bring out the emotion in both of their voices. Joan tells Aaron to let the conviction of the words flow through him and she suggests that Sa’Rayah finds the space where it feels genuine rather than showing off how much range she can pull off. ┬áSimply put, the performance between the two of them is unreal. Their voices work together beautifully with soul just oozing out of them and the stage presence is there for both artists. Adam asks where Aaron came from, while Sa’Rayah can fit anywhere. Blake says Sa’Rayah was born to sing that song and he loves Aaron’s voice. Alicia says she’s proud that both are singing as they are. Miley says this is the hardest decision of all her battles. She says she feels that the person she can best coach moving forward is Aaron. But Sa’Rayah wowed everyone, and both Blake and Alicia try to steal. After solid pitches from both, she chooses Alicia.

Team Blake

In his first pairing of the evening, Blake pits veteran signer/songwriter Blaine Long with former baseball player turned rocker Josh Gallagher and gives them Ronnie Milsap’s “Stranger in My House.” Josh’s country vocals come through strong in rehearsals while Blaine is just getting used to the track during the initial meeting. Bette Midler and Blake suggest that Josh invest in the song a bit more, while Blaine just needs to learn the track and have more confidence. During the final rehearsals, Bette scolds Blaine for his baggy wardrobe, making for one of the funnier moments of the night. Both Blake and Bette commend Blaine for the power in his voice, but Bette reveals that he needs to work more on pulling the audience in. Bette tells Josh that he needs to watch the direction he’s singing, involving Blaine in the performance and singing more to him at times. The power and soul of Blaine’s voice cuts through from the very start of the performance. But Josh also is strong vocally and has a few moments of stage presence, even while playing guitar, that stood out. Alicia loves Blaine’s voice, and she compliments Josh’s showmanship. Miley feels it was a tie. Adam feels it was pretty close, but felt there was maybe more to be discovered with Josh. Blake says it’s a tough one, but he thinks based on what he saw in the performance, Josh is the winner.

Blake’s second pairing of the night has pop rocker Christian Fermin squaring off against the soulful Gabe Broussard. Blake gives them Hoobastank’s rock ballad “The Reason.” Blake says Christian will need to find a way to sell the song as Gabe’s struggle will show that he’s putting it all into the song. Bette tells both singers to lose the lyric sheets and make that connection with the audience. Both singers come off a bit nervous during their performance. Alicia says there’s some individuality to Christian’s voice and and richness to Gabe and that she would choose Gabe. Miley loves the maturity of Gabe’s voice, while Christian can perhaps do more tricks vocally. Adam says he was really interested in Christian’s big notes. Blake says it feels real and personal when Gabe performs, while Christian hits the notes and can maneuver once he’s there. He eventually chooses Gabe.

Team Alicia

For Team Alicia’s lone pairing of the night, it’s Josh Halverson vs. Kylie Rothfield and the rehearsals lead to a “small world” experience as advisor Charlie Puth attended the Berklee School of Music at the same time as Kylie. Given that each are musicians on top of being singers and have different styles, Alicia gives them The Animals’ “House of the Rising Sun,” a song that will allow each to put their own stamp on it. Alicia and Charlie offer little tweaks to the arrangement, and during the final rehearsals, the energy is unreal. The unique tone of Josh’s voice shines through, while Kylie was steadily great throughout, building in intensity to some big moments. Miley leans toward Josh, Adam gives his nod to Kylie and Blake loves the shred in Kylie’s voice. Alicia says she’s taken by Josh’s voice, but Kylie really stepped it up as well. In the end, she picks Kylie, but the performance is so good that Josh gets stolen by Miley and she couldn’t believe he was available.

It should also be noted that three other artists advanced, but were relegated to the Montage segment. Team Blake’s Dana Harper advanced over Tarra Layne on “Alive.” Team Alicia’s Belle Jewel has twice been relegated to the montage, but will enter the Knockout Round after besting Halle Tomlinson. And Team Adam’s Simone Gundy emerged over JSOUL on “You’re All I Need to Get By.” See those performances in the montage below:

So where does that leave us after Night 3 of the Battle Rounds? See our rankings below:

9. Gabe Broussard (Team Blake)
8. Nolan Neal (Team Adam)
7. Josh Gallager (Team Blake)
6. Karlee Metzger (Team Blake)
5. Josh Halverson (Team Miley)
4. Kylie Rothfield (Team Alicia)
3. Darby Walker (Team Miley)
2. Sa’Rayah (Team Alicia)
1. Aaron Gibson (Team Miley)

As we head into the final night of the Battle Rounds, Blake has the lone “steal” left. Who will he use it on? Find out when The Voice airs on NBC at 8PM ET / PT Tuesday night.

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