‘The Voice’: Blake Shelton Uses Sole Playoff Pass After Battle Round [Watch]
Two steals and three Playoff Passes were up for grabs going into Tuesday's (March 28) night's 1-hour episode of Season 23’s The Voice. But contestants had to give it their all to be a potential recipient of either of them.
The esteemed Playoff Pass, a game-changing feature that was added this season, allows handpicked individuals to advance to the Live Playoffs portion of the televised singing competition without having to participate in the grueling Knockout Rounds.
Blake Shelton, Kelly Clarkson and Naill Horan have not yet used their Playoff Passes up to this point, which means they had an opportunity to save an artist from their team, who would otherwise be going home, during the latest battle rounds.
After pairing together singer-songwriters Kylee Dayne, 20, and Mary Kate Connor, 18, Shelton decided to offer up his sole Playoff Pass to the latter after declaring Dayne the winner of the battle.
Onstage, the hopefuls performed a mesmerizing and gentle take on “Anti-Hero” from Taylor Swift’s 2022 Midnights studio album. Connor’s angelic soprano vocals matched with Dayne’s alto tone, and provided a memorable harmonic blend for listeners and a clear distinction between both singers, which made Shelton’s decision incredibly tough.
“I’ve been dreading this, you guys, and it makes it extra tough because I can see how close you guys have grown together. I’m just proud and excited to have a pairing like you on my last season from, you know, somebody who has done what you’re hoping to do. You’re gonna do this, both of you. You’re so good at it….You’re both vocally capable of all kinds of things. It makes your strengths in that singer-songwriter arena like nobody else. What happened here today was you both gave 150% of what you do. My heart is cracking literally right now. I did not want to go out doing something like this. But the winner of this battle is Kylee.”
In a twist, however, Shelton interrupted Carson Daly after the longtime host mentioned Connor was available to steal.
“Can I just say something first?” Shelton asked. “This is horrifying, and in this business, Mary Kate, there’s going to be a no every day until there is, finally, a yes that comes along. But on the show, we have a thing called a Playoff Pass. I have that right here on my button.”
Shelton then slammed on his red button, advancing Connor to the Live Playoffs, which resulted in epic cheers from the studio audience as a ton of gold and silver streamers falling from the ceiling.
While none of the other coaches had the chance to use their Steal or Playoff Pass during the battle round, they did offer their comments to Connor and Dayne.
“That was honestly one of my favorite ones I’ve seen,” Horan raved of the performance. “It’s not easy to come out and sing a current song. People have been listening to Taylor’s version since it came out. You’ve made it completely your own.”
“It seems like you all grew up together or something because you are so in sync. The harmonies mashed so well,” Chance the Rapper added. “You all should record a cover or something. It was so good.”
Clarkson added, “Kylee, your voice has, like, this thing that singers get jealous of. No matter what you sing, it’s always going to sound special. Like you just have that kind of style about you. Mary Kate, I mean, you have this passion that is really breathtakingly beautiful. It was so evenly matched, guys.”
The Voice airs Monday and Tuesday nights on NBC.