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'The Voice' recap: The battles end with a steal

'The Voice' recap: The battles end with a steal
Emily Ann Roberts and Morgan Frazier meet with Blake Shelton and Brad Paisley to prepare for their battle on "The Voice." The loser of the battle turned out to be their coach, Shelton, who had to let one go. (Trae Patton / NBC)

"The Voice" battles wrapped up on Tuesday, with a handful of singers advancing and others going home. We also got to enjoy one satisfying final steal (Pharrell Williams was the only coach still in possession of one) — and Blake Shelton's latest batch of cracks about Adam Levine's bald look.

"I'll do my best to help my buddy Adam out before his audition for the Blue Man Group," Shelton quipped at one point.

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"What do you got, Mr. Clean?" he said at another. "Let's hear it."

Oh, that Blake. Such a pistol. But by the end, Levine got to watch his old buddy squirm — and he seemed to enjoy it immensely.

Here's how the final night of Season 9 battles played out:

Amanda Ayala vs. Shelby Brown (Team Adam): Levine paired these two talented 17-year-olds — Ayala, a rock singer from Mahopac, N.Y., who turned three chairs during blind auditions, against Brown a country-singing small-town girl from Elberta, Ala., who turned four -- on, appropriately enough, Stevie Nicks' "Edge of Seventeen." Ayala's challenge was to rival Brown's vocal power; Brown's was to acquire Ayala's level of confidence. It was a pretty evenly matched battle, overall. Shelton said it probably just came down to taste. Brown had not only hit some remarkable notes, but also shown her coach the assurance he was hoping to see and so she collected the win. Williams declined to save Ayala.

Amy Vachal vs. Jubal & Amanda (Team Pharrell): The coaches all shamelessly worship Vachal — a 26-year-old singer and songwriter living in Brooklyn, N.Y. — as some kind of shimmering, delicate-voiced goddess. (Gwen Stefani compared her to Pocahontas this time around) Three out of four of them had turned for her during her blind audition, and it wasn't four only because Levine's team was already full, which he deeply lamented. Jubal & Amanda, meanwhile, are the dueting lovebirds who got engaged (somewhat awkwardly) on "The Voice" stage during blind auditions. It's hard to imagine an odder battle pairing, but it's also difficult to imagine anyone finding a place onstage with the mutually smitten Jubal & Amanda. Anyhow, the contestants all managed to get through their three-way version of the Bee Gees' "To Love Somebody." Shelton said that, though the duo had been good, he just couldn't see how Williams could justify moving ahead without Vachal. Apparently Williams couldn't either. He proclaimed Vachal the battle's winner.

Then, after a quick battle montage in which Williams advanced Darius Scott over Daria Jazmin, Shelton picked Nadjah Nicole over Cole Criske, and Stefani selected Summer Schappell and sent home Hanna Ashbrook, it was on to the final battle of the season.

Emily Ann Roberts vs. Morgan Frazier (Team Blake): That Williams would use his steal on one of the singers was a foregone conclusion. The question was which of these pretty, young, blond, talented Tennessee country singers, each of whom had turned two chairs during the blinds, Shelton would make available after teaming them up on Patty Loveless' "I'm That Kind of Girl." "Blake has to choose between someone who's 22 years old and ready for a career," guest mentor Brad Paisley noted, referring to Frazier, "and someone who's 16 that if he doesn't choose her, he will regret it someday," meaning Roberts. None of the other coaches would help Shelton decide. And although he compared Frazier's voice to Carrie Underwood's, Shelton said he went with the singer he thought his coaching could help the most: Roberts. Williams, excited to work with a country singer, immediately moved in for the steal. "Maybe you can drop her again …" Shelton later mused to Williams, who didn't seem in any hurry to do so.

Next week it's on to the Knockouts, where all the singers will be guest-mentored by Rihanna (a knockout herself, of course). That ought to be fun.

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