The Voice Recap: Who's in the Top 16?
The performers will vie for the public's votes beginning next week
In a night focused on perfection versus passion – to the point of a surprise kiss at the end! – The Voice wrapped up its battle rounds Tuesday with four singers left on each celebrity coach’s team.
Adam Levine’s final pair, Jeff Jenkins and Casey Desmond, kicked things off with “Don’t Let the Sun Go Down On Me.” Levine, Desmond’s sole champion during the blind auditions, told his fellow coaches, “I thought you were all nuts,” but in the end chose Jenkins, the overwhelming favorite.
Jenkins joins Casey Weston, Javier Colon and Devon Barley on Levine’s team.
Blake Shelton selected 16-year-old Xenia to sing “I’ll Stand By You” with 18-year-old Sara Oromchi, which Oromchi called “the battle of the shy girls.” Levine complained that the song wasn’t right for either’s voice, but Shelton said “the music industry is tough” and that singers “have to make things happen.”
Shelton ultimately picked Xenia to join Patrick Thomas, Jared Blake and Dia Frampton to round out his squad.
In Christina Aguilera‘s round, she told college student Lily Elise and backup singer Cherie Oakley, “I’m not looking for perfection in this battle; I am looking for passion and emotion.”
Following the pair’s performance of “Since U Been Gone,” Shelton’s consultant Reba McEntire surprised the audience by revealing that Oakley had written one of her hits, but this was the first time the two had met. The connection didn’t help Oakley, though, and Aguilera selected Elise to join her other ladies: Frenchie Davis, Beverly McClellan, and Raquel Castro.
Finally, Cee Lo Green paired tattooed pop singer Emily Valentine and country crooner Curtis Grimes to sing “Need You Now,” and Valentine revealed she had a crush on Grimes.
“I gave up baseball for a girl but I’m not going to lose this time,” Grimes quipped of his focus – then he planted a long kiss on Valentine at the end of their number. Joked host Carson Daly: “One of you is going home. Not alone, I guess!”
“Cee Lo probably told you he wanted you to ‘duet,’ not do it,” joked Shelton. “Thank you very much! I’ll be here all season.”
In the end, Green decided to add Grimes to his team with Vikki Martinez, Nakia, and the sister group Tori and Taylor Thompson.
With the battle rounds finished, live shows will begin on NBC, and the public can vote starting Tuesday at 9 p.m. ET.