The Voice Battles: Ariana's 'Dilemma' After Choosing Unexpected Nelly and Kelly Rowland Classic

In the night’s best Battle, a Team Legend power duo put their own stamp on an Aretha Franklin anthem that En Vogue breathed new life into once — this one had the Coaches on their feet and screaming.

It’s been said that these may be the best Battles in the history of “The Voice” and after two nights of them, we’re starting to think they just might be — and we’re barely halfway through.

When we saw two women strut onto that stage and take on Aretha Franklin’s “Something He Can Feel” like it had been written for them, our jaws hit the floor. They went where the Queen of Soul had gone and where En Vogue had gone and they still made their take sound innovative.

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A fresh arrangement and killer vocals left the Coaches breathless and on their feet, and we were feeling the impact of it as well. Sometimes a moment just happens and you have to stop and remind yourself to breathe. This was one of those moments.

So, either these are the best Battles we’ve ever seen overall, or producers are really front-loading this round and we’ve got some turds coming our way. There were definitely Steal and Save attempts flying tonight, so the Coaches were feeling that quality, too!

Before we can get to the second night of these Battles, though, we need to finish our business from Night 1. In particular, Team Kelly’s Jeremy Rosada had just won his Battle against Jershika Maple, but she was quickly snatched up via Steal by both John and Ariana — so who did she choose? As a reminder, here’s what went down Monday night, now with her final decision:

Jeremy Rosada vs. Jershika Maple

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(Team Kelly – “Hold On,” Justin Bieber) All of the notes from rehearsal were spot-on, and it culminated in an incredible piece that showcased both artists beautifully. Interestingly, Jeremy has this incredible upper register that takes your breath away — including his soaring falsetto — while it’s Jershika’s lower timbre that leaves you breathless. Both bring so much passion to their performances, it’s really hard to differentiate one as obviously stronger. Those harmonies were on point, too. Just because it is so compelling in an unexpected way, we’d probably give yet another slightest of edges to Jershika — with the demand that Jeremy stay in the competition, as well.

Result: Jeremy Wins (Ariana, John Steal) [Team Legend]

Fair warning, since I’m safe at home, I’m probably going to be a little harsher than my colleagues Kelly Clarkson, John Legend, Ariana Grande and Blake Shelton. And just for fun, I’m going to rank the overall performances from worst to first so we can see how my favorites do as the season progresses.

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Carolina Alonso vs. Xavier Cornell

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(Team Kelly – “telepatía,” Kali Uchis) Another Battle we only got a few moments of, but we heard some shakiness in Xavier’s falsetto during parts of this, while Carolina has this ethereal quality to her voice that just soared effortlessly above his and demanded to be heard. For that, we’d give her the edge.

Result: Xavier Wins

Libianca vs. Tommy Edwards

[[see Carolina Alonso vs. Xavier Cornell above for video]]

(Team Blake – “Save Your Tears (Remix),” The Weeknd & Ariana Grande) We only got a few seconds of this Battle, but from what we heard, while Tommy has a sweet and airy quality to his voice, Libianca brings so much more depth and texture to the quality of her singing, she’s definitely the more compelling artist.

Result: Libianca Wins

Katherine Ann Mohler vs. Vaughn Mugol

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(Team Ariana – “Dilemma,” Nelly & Kelly Rowland) Ariana has really impressed with how she’s been approaching this round, and this song choice alone may be the boldest choice we’ve seen yet this season. Vaughn had to showcase as a vocalist and Katherine had to find ways to not get repetitive in a chorus. Both were great challenges for these artists to show who they are. They were both very strong on this one, but we were feeling more from Vaughn throughout. Then, when they hit a chorus and he sang the harmony part behind her melody, that was everything. His texture is so rich and varied, and we felt he handled that rapid delivery of the verses a little stronger.

Result:  Katherine Ann Wins

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Hailey Green vs Lana Scott

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(Team Blake – “GIRL,” Maren Morris) two completely different artists came together in a very special way. Lana was country all the way, with a beautifully crisp country tone in her voice. She was so in her pocket here, this could have been her own song. It’s such an authentically country song, we’re ready to hear her sing every song on country radio right now. But then, Hailey comes in in a lower register with a bit of a rock edge to her voice, and it’s just as compelling. On a country track, it actually brought out a different vibe to it, as well, leaving us a little more intrigued by her interpretation. The problem — and it’s been happening throughout these Battles — is that they’re both so fabulous, how do you choose? Blake probably feels more at home with Lana, but as incredible as she is, Hailey is more interesting to us.

Result: Hailey Wins (Blake Saves Lana)

BrittanyBree vs. Samara Brown

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(Team Legend – “Something He Can Feel,” Aretha Franklin) Aretha made it a classic, En Vogue put a modern stamp on it and these two just poured stank all over both versions. They rearranged the verses almost to the point of being unrecognizable, but in ways that were compelling and definitely showcased their artistry and the power of their voices. Then, they came together beautifully in the chorus to really ride it home. Samara has such a pure, clean voice that just sails to places that excite you, while BrittanyBree seems to be digging into the dirt with the surprising grit and soul she pulls out. They’re different, but in the same lane and equally incredible. We’ve gone back and forth on this one, easily one of the best Battles of this season, but because of that little bit of grit that excites us, we’d give it to BrittanyBree

Result: BrittanyBree Wins (Ariana, Kelly Steal; John Saves Samara) [Team Legend]

“The Voice” continues Mondays and Tuesdays at 8 p.m. ET on NBC.

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