The Voice finally began the competition portion of the show with the first episode of Battle Rounds, with Shakira stealing Patrick Thomson and Adam Levine stealing Jake Barker.

Coaches Usher and Blake Shelton both had two battles on Monday night, meaning they let go of two of their artists, and Adam and Shakira only let go of one each.

First up in Team Usher were Biff Gore and TJ Wilkins. The R&B singers battled with The Temptations’ classic “Ain’t Too Proud To Beg,” and Usher instructs them to try to sing their hearts out to beg for Shakira’s attention. Both men went into the ring with their A game, dancing and delivering well-rounded entertainment. In the end, Usher decided to keep TJ on his team, leaving Biff free to steal or free to go home. Lucky for him, Blake pushed his button, using his first steal of the season and collecting Biff onto his team.

Blake, now up an artist, was forced to eliminate one of his own in the next battle that pit Jake Worthington against Lexi Luca, both 17-year-old country singers. Both young singers were nervous performing Thomas Rhett’s “It Goes Like This,” making for a less than stellar duet. Usher and Adam threw their weight behind Jake, and Blake agreed, choosing Jake as his winner.

Shakira was next in the hot seat. She paired Dani Moz with Deshawn Wahsington, singing “My Kind of Love” by Emeli Sande. After the battle, Shakira openly admitted she was wrong to pit those two artists against each other. Dani and Deshawn have completely opposing styles and the mismatched pairing made it a tough choice for Shakira. In the end, she declared Dani the winner, and Deshawn was sent home.

Team Adam’s Kat Perkins and Patrick Thomson battled it out on the Voice stage with the Kenny Loggins and Stevie Nicks duet “Whenever I Call You Friend.” The battle was almost too good, and while Kat received a majority of the judges’ praises, there was plenty of compliments aimed at Patrick. Adam went with his gut and picked Kat as the winner. Patrick didn’t have too much time to wallow in his loss, however, because Shakira pushed her button and used her steal to keep Patrick in her competition.

Back to Team Blake, Paula Deanda and Sisaundra Lewis performed “Do What U Want” by Lady Gaga. Paula put up a good fight, but Sisaundra owned the stage, letting out pitch perfect belts and gaining love from all four judges. Needless to say, Blake declared Sisaundra the winner.

The first episode of battle rounds ended with Jake Barker and Stevie Jo from Team Usher. Jake and Stevie both shine in their performance of “Higher Love” by Steve Winwood, and the well-matched battle makes Usher’s decision extremely difficult. Adam very loudly assures the contestants not to fear elimination because he will steal whichever artist Usher doesn’t choose. When Usher makes his decision and keeps Stevie Jo, Adam presses his steal button for Jake, as do Shakira and Blake. Jake gets to choose his coach all over again, and decides to join Team Adam.

The Voice battle rounds continue Tuesday at 8 p.m. on NBC.

Olivia Truffaut-Wong

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