'The Voice': Team Usher's Bria Kelly & Tess Boyer Battle It Out, & Blake Shelton Puts His Steal To Good Use

The Voice coaches went HAM with the steals Monday night, but it was as good a time as any. Why? Because it was the second to last night of Battle Rounds. Gotta use those steals before we move on to the next round, doye. Usher stole Music Box from Team Shakira, and Shakira snagged Josh Murley from Adam Levine's team. Did Blake Shelton get in on the stealin' fun? He sure did, but not until the very end of the ep. But his patience paid off, because he acquired quite the Team Usher competitor.

Usher assigned Bria Kelly and Tess Boyer “Piece of My Heart,” which uh... can I be real? This choice seemed a little unfair. Okay, we didn’t see Tess’s Blind Audition, so I didn't know what she was capable of before the Battle. BUT if I took anything away from young rocker Bria’s Blind Audition, it’s that that girl was born to sing Janis Joplin. Yowza.

During the coaching session, advisor Jill Scott called Bria "a rocket," but worried Tess’s “cheerleader facade” would get in the way of her performance. Wait, what? Oh, right. Tess was an NFL cheerleader. I follow now. Both Usher and Jill asked Bria and Tess to do whatever it is they have to do to get in the headspace necessary to sell the song. Usher told Bria to watch her pitch, and advised Tess to "get lost in it." Interestingly enough, that's what I always mumble after I pour myself a bowl of cereal. "Forget that there's a world beyond this bowl of Fruity Cheerios, Kristie," I say. "Get lost in it." And I do just that.

Before Bria went onstage, she remarked that she's been working at this for a long time, which, OMG. Remember how she's only 18? But has the voice and the demeanor of a seasoned veteran? Putting all of us to shame. Ugh. When I grow up, I want to be Bria.

How'd Tess and Bria do? Oh, they absolutely KILLED it. Both of 'em. Bria's raspy powerhouse voice fit the song like a glove, and Tess's beautiful and smooth tone brought something different to the track. Here it is:

Who do I think deserved to win? That Battle was served to Bria on a gosh darn silver platter (and she didn't let us down), but Tess was really fantastic, too. Both of 'em were pretty perfect. Different, but delightful. DON'T MAKE ME DECIDE. Shak and I agreed that the Battle was evenly matched. I always pat myself on the back whenever I agree with Shak on anything.

Blake's vote? Tess. Her performance had "finesse" and "dimension." Adam's vote? He said Team Usher was intimidating because of Bria, so we can assume that if it was his team, he'd pick Bria. Tough choice, Ursh. Tough choice.

So who did Usher choose? Bria. He said she "ultimately connected to the song more than Tess," which, I mean, duh. Bria's voice sounded right wailing a Joplin classic. Silver platter, remember? Not saying she didn't deserve it. Bria earned that win. She's so dang great. Amped to see (and hear) what she does this season.

I was obsessed with steal-less Adam and Shak shooting laser vibes with their eyes at Blake until he hit his button. He didn't ignore the laser vibes. He didn't disappoint his fellow coaches. He didn't disappoint me. He hit his button. Atta boy, Blake! A teary-eyed Tess moseyed on over to Team Blake. YEAAAH! What a lovely way to end the ep.


Image: Tyler Golden/NBC