We were reintroduced to four of them Monday night when the battle round began.
Not surprisingly, all four — Chris Weaver, Brooke Simpson, Moriah Formica and Keisha Renee — advanced to the knockout round.
But the big news of the night was the fact that the coaches used three of their eight steals. Jennifer Hudson swooped in to save Noah Mac just as he was about to walk off The Voice stage. Whitney Fenimore was stolen by Miley Cyrus and Kathrina Feigh by Blake Shelton in slightly less dramatic fashion.
Here’s a recap of the evening, which also marked the debut of Joe Jonas, Kelly Rowland, Rascal Flatts and Billy Ray Cyrus as mentors.
BEST OF THE NIGHT
Team Adam Levine
Pairing: Adam Pearce vs. Whitney Fenimore
Song: “Stop Draggin’ My Heart Around” by Stevie Nicks and Tom Petty
Background: Adam, who failed to make the show in Season 12, turned two chairs with “Hot Blooded” by Foreigner. Whitney also turned two chairs, with “Hold On We’re Going Home” by Drake
Outcome: Adam declared Adam the winner; Blake Shelton and Miley Cyrus both tried to steal Whitney, who went with Miley.
My take: Great song choice — filmed before Tom Petty’s passing — and well suited to both singers. The coaches typically say the performances were close. This one really was. Thrilled to see Whitney stolen. Both, by the way, have already released original music.
WHAT THE HECK WAS BLAKE THINKING?
Team Blake Shelton
Pairing: Keisha Renee vs. Noah Mac
Song: “I’m So Lonesome I Could Cry” by Hank Williams
Background: Keisha enticed all the coaches to turn with her cover of “I Can’t Stop Loving You” by Ray Charles. Noah turned two with “Way Down We Go” by Kaleo
Outcome: Keisha was declared the winner; Blake thinks she can go all the way. Jennifer Hudson stole Noah, who just might catch fire during the competition.
My take: So Blake matches his best singer against one of the best young alternative-pop artists who show has seen in a while? Why? As he noted, artistically, they couldn’t be more different. And then he gives Noah that song. Noah might be better off on Team Jennifer.
THE COACH GOT IT WRONG
Team Jennifer Hudson
Pairing: Lucas Holliday vs. Meagan McNeal
Song: My Prerogative by Bobby Brown
Background: Lucas, the singing clerk from the Dollar Store, turned one chair with “Women’s Work” by Kate Bush. Meagan got Jennifer to turn for a cover of “Can’t Feel My Face” by the Weeknd
Outcome: Jennifer opted to advance Lucas; Meagan was eliminated.
My take: You don’t get more spot on that Meagan was vocally. I found Lucas just a little too over-the-top. But I understand his appeal. Of the two, he’s the more unique artist, especially in Season 13.
THE COACH GOT IT RIGHT
Team Miley Cyrus
Pairing: Brooke Simpson vs. Sophia Bollman
Song: You’re a Big Girl Now by Bob Dylan
Background: Brooke scored a four-chair turn with “Stone Cold” by Demi Lovato. Sophia turned two chairs with her cover of “Invincible” by Kelly Clarkson
Outcome: Miley declared Brooke the winner; Sophia was eliminated.
My take: I’d echo what Adam said. Both are vocally impressive. With her edge in experience, Brooke is simply a little more refined at this point. Oh, and I hated this song choice. It’s not the type of crowd-pleaser likely to result in a steal for the losing artist.
Team Miley Cyrus
Pairing: Moriah Formica vs. Shilo Gold
Song: American Woman, by Lenny Kravitz
Background: Moriah turned all four chairs with “Crazy On You” by Heart; Shilo turned two with “Stay with Me Baby” by Lorraine Ellison.
Outcome: The young rocker Moriah advanced; Shilo was eliminated.
My take: A female rocker has never won The Voice (though Juliet Simms should have in Season 2). Moriah has a chance of becoming the first. This song was in her wheelhouse, not Shilo’s. But please check out Shilo’s original music.
A SURPRISE STEAL?
Team Jennifer Hudson
Pairing: Chris Weaver vs. Kathrina Feigh
Song: Dangerous Woman by Ariana Grande
Background: Chris turned all four chairs in the blinds with “Try a Little Tenderness.” Kathrina turned two with “Big White Room” by Jessie J.
Outcome: Chris was declared the winner. Kathrina was saved from eliminated by Blake Shelton.
My take: A worship leader by day and drag queen by night, Chris is one of the show’s more unique talents, blessed with that deep rich voice of his. Blake’s steal surprised me a bit. Yeah, I know he turned for Kathrina in the blinds. But there are also lots of Team Miley artists likely to be up for grabs that would seem better suited for Team Blake.