The twenty-first season of the Emmy-winning musical competition, The Voice, is in full swing. Monday night (October 11), the first Battle Rounds—live performances between two members of one coach’s team—commenced.
Videos by American Songwriter
The Voice‘s newest judge and international pop sensation, Ariana Grande, judged her first Battle Round between her two mentees, Bella DeNapoli and Katie Rae. The two sang their own impassioned rendition of “No More Tears (Enough Is Enough)” by Barbra Streisand and Donna Summer. Grande has a particular fondness for the 1979 song (watch Grande and Streisand duet the song here) and a similar admiration for these two members of Team Ariana.
“I don’t wanna get too emotional, but I adore you both so much,” Grande told DeNapoli and Rae after their performance. “You’re both so consistently phenomenal.”
Grande was moved to tears during her first Battle Round and had a difficult time choosing which of the two to pick for the upcoming showdowns between teams. John Legend, another coach on the show, gave his opinion of the round in saying, “I loved the build. You both started off in this mellower space, and then just… powerhouse.”
Coach Kelly Clarkson commented, “That was so rad. I love the drama of the beginning,” and noted that Rae exuded a “heavy warmth” while DeNapoli possessed “piercing, pure” notes.
The coaches’ final two cents included Clarkson and Legend favored Rae to progress to the Knockout rounds while longstanding Voice coach, Blake Shelton, chose DeNapoli. In the end, Grande emotionally decided to tap Rae to represent Team Ariana. But, Grande was also able to save DeNapoli, and the aspiring pop star will continue alongside Rae.
This Battle Round was an emotionally packed performance from start to finish, and you can watch all of it below.
Photo by Greg Gayne/NBC