The Voice Blake Shelton

Spoiler alert for The Voice: Battle Rounds, Night 2.

On the second night of Battle Rounds on The Voice, Blake Shelton took off the kid gloves during his team’s first battle, showing tough love to Emma Caroline after her battle with Cam Anthony. But the cowboy handled the situation beautifully, giving his team member a wakeup call and, hopefully, a confidence boost after what he said was a “frustrating” performance.

Emma Caroline and Cam Anthony took the stage to sing “10,000 Hours” by Dan + Shay and Justin Bieber after getting mentorship from Dan + Shay themselves. It wasn’t an easy song for either artist, but Emma Caroline’s nerves were obvious, and John Legend, Nick Jonas and Kelsea Ballerinisitting in for Kelly Clarkson through the Battle Rounds — all pointed that out after the song, trying to boost her confidence by telling her to own the moment. But Blake Shelton’s disappointment really showed. Take a look at the performance and the coaches’ feedback. Do you see what Blake Shelton saw?

Blake Shelton’s frustration showed through in a way that’s rarely seen on The Voice these days. Back in the earlier seasons, Christina Aguilera, Adam Levine and the rest often brought hard truths to the contestants after a performance. Shelton’s comments to Emma Caroline had a bit of that early-season bite that has evolved out of the show over 20 seasons and with different coaches sitting the chairs.

It only appeared that you were having as much fun as we were listening to you in the moments where you weren’t singing. It’s frustrating to know that you’re that great of a singer, and I don’t know that you believe that you’re that great of a singer, because of your body language.

After Blake Shelton announced Cam Anthony as the (pretty obvious) winner of the Battle, he proved what’s great about The Voice, using his only Save to keep Emma Caroline on Team Blake and give her another chance in the Four-Way Knockout. Check out that heart-stopping moment for Emma Caroline below, as Shelton softens his approach a little more.

Hopefully that’s the wakeup call Emma Caroline needed. The coaches showing how much they care for the artists is such a huge part of The Voice, and sometimes they have to resort to different methods to get through to the contestants. It’s sweet to see the coaches want it so bad for these artists. Mentoring them and reassuring them that they have incredible talent will only take them so far, though, before the artists have to believe in themselves.

The Voice will wrap up its Battle Rounds next Monday, with still some Steals and Saves to be used. Tune in at 8 p.m. ET Monday on NBC to see what the teams will look like going into the Knockouts and how far those Four-Chair Turns will go in the competition. In the meantime, check out all the celebrities who have had family members compete on The Voice.

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