The Voice Blake Shelton

Spoilers below for Night 3 of Battle Rounds on Season 20 of The Voice.

The Battle Round for The Voice Season 20 has come to an end, as Night 3 completed the downsizing of each celebrity-led team from ten artists to seven. The talent was immense, and the decisions are always tough on the coaches, who get to know the artists and then have to make brutal choices that affect these singers’ careers. The elimination of Savanna Chestnut from Blake Shelton’s team, though, made me wonder if she drew a bad hand when she was chosen to go head-to-head with fellow Team Blake member Pete Mroz.

None was more surprised than Blake Shelton to see Pete Mroz’s face when he turned his chair in Blind Auditions for Mroz’s performance of “Can’t Find My Way Home.” It turned out that the two country singers actually used to play together in Nashville. It had been 40 years since they’d seen each other, and Mroz chose to join Team Blake for his friend’s mentorship on the show.

But now we’re in that middle part of the competition, after the even playing field of the Blind Auditions but before America starts voting, where the coaches are 100% in charge of how their teams are shaped. So it feels a little skeezy that Savanna Chestnut’s fate on The Voice was contingent on a head-to-head Battle against Blake Shelton’s buddy, with the veteran coach being the lone decision maker. Their Battle song, “Have a Little Faith in Me,” suited both singers, and Pete Mroz brought the ease of a seasoned musician to the stage. Chestnut seemed slightly less comfortable, but showed great range and potential. Check out the performance below to see for yourself.

Who do you think deserved to win the Battle? Blake Shelton and the other coaches were a little harder on Savanna Chestnut than Pete Mroz, with John Legend saying there was a sense of urgency lacking from her performance, and Shelton suggesting she was still in her head a little instead of letting her audience in. It’s probably a case of Chestnut simply not being the best singer on the stage that day. But the opportunity for a conflict of interest on Team Blake was exposed.

This simply wasn’t a problem until this latest episode, since during the Blind Auditions, Blake didn’t know the person he was turning for was someone he knew. Hell, he didn’t even recognize Pete Mroz when he saw him. And it was Pete’s decision on which coach to choose, and joining Team Blake made sense on every front.

As a long-timer in the business Pete Mroz admitted it’s hard at this point to take in others’ opinions on how he performs. Having those suggestions come from a friend is a benefit, even if it is a privilege no other artist has access to. Blake’s success in the country music business made that choice a no-brainer for Mroz. And to Mroz’s credit, he seemed to have nothing but respect for his Battle partner Savanna Chestnut, tweeting his praise during the show.

Thank you all ... super fun singing with Savanna Chestnut ... I love her voice and she is an amazing human!!

It still feels like Savanna Chestnut was put in kind of a crappy position. And now, what will happen in the Knockout Round? Somebody else on Team Blake will be pitted against Pete Mroz. Is Blake Shelton capable of choosing another artist over someone he’s known for decades? We won’t have to wait long to find out, as the Knockouts premiere next Monday at 8 p.m. ET on NBC with arguably the most unique Mega Mentor that The Voice has seen yet — Snoop Dogg. In the meantime, take a look at our TV premiere schedule to see what else is coming up.

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