NBC’s singing reality competition show The Voice aired the final episode of the Battle round of the competition on April 12, 2021, leaving coaches Blake Shelton, Nick Jonas, John Legend and Kelly Clarkson’s stand-in coach Kelsea Ballerini to make tough decisions about who will move forward in the competition.
The battle between Team Legend’s two teenage powerhouse vocalists, Carolina Rial and Rio Doyle, was close, and it ended with tears when Legend was forced to make a tough decision about who was moving forward to the Knockout round.
The two singers teamed up for a performance of Gotye’s “Somebody That I Used to Know.”
Shelton Criticized the Vocalists & Suggested Legend Choose Carolina Rial
The singers delivered on their performance, and the coaches were impressed. Ballerini told the two women that they were “incredible,” specifically pointing out their stage presence and how they were able to move around without losing their breath. She suggested that Legend should choose to go with Rial because she has more experience on stage.
“There’s a thing that, you both did it, where you affect your voice with these vowel sounds,” Shelton told the performers. “Sometimes when I hear people sing like that, it’s all I can hear. And, Rio, I think that you’re an incredible vocalist. Like, oh my God. But because of that vowel thing that you’re doing, I almost can’t understand the lyrics at times.”
He added that he thought Rial did it less during her singing, which let him actually hear the song and lyrics. He encouraged Legend to go with Rial.
Jonas Was ‘Blown Away’ by the Performance
Shelton may have criticized the vocalists, but Nick Jonas shared that he was actually really impressed with both of the singers.
“Rio, I’m blown away by the power in your voice,” Jonas shared. “It’s really impressive. And Carolina, you have this almost Christina Aguilera vibe to your voice that is so refreshing. Strictly because it is a voice that I feel like is just gonna keep getting better and better, I think Rio would be my pick. But, Carolina, you’re exceptional.”
John Legend shared that he thought it might be hard for the other coaches and viewers to realize how young the two singers are, and he shared his appreciation for their confidence and the way they composed themselves during the whole process so far.
Ultimately, Legend chose to move forward with Rio Doyle, and Carolina Rial was saved by her coach, meaning that she will be moving forward to the four-way knockout round of the competition.
Rio Doyle Was Brought to Tears After Being Chosen to Move Forward
Doyle didn’t take Legend’s decision lightly. After she walked off the stage, she cried and told the cameras how much the choice meant to her.
“I don’t even know what to say,” she shared. “I just love that John sees me and my voice, and I really appreciate that, and I’m just so happy to keep going.”
Doyle also wrote about the performance on Instagram, saying that it was one of the “most memorable moments” of her life so far.
“I can’t express the amount of gratitude I’m feeling right now,” she wrote. “Thank you all for the continuous amount of love and support.”
She went on to thank Rial for her friendship and shared that she had originally been intimidated by her voice.
“I’m so proud of the hard work that you put into our performance and how far we’ve come since our first rehearsal,” she wrote. “This wasn’t a battle. This was a performance that we got to share TOGETHER.”
The Voice airs on Mondays at 8 p.m. Eastern and Pacific on NBC.