The Voice returned on Tuesday night (Oct. 18) with a handful of all-new battle round performances that had viewers watching from the edge of their seats.
During the latest edition of the popular reality TV competition series, Team Blake’s Benny Weag, 29, and Brayden Lape, 15, were challenged with competing on a cover of Parker McCollum’s “Pretty Heart.” The song appears on McCollum’s 2020 major label debut album, Gold Chain Cowboy, and it scored him his first No. 1 hit.
During rehearsals, Lape and Weag received separate compliments from Jimmie Allen, who was on hand to provide feedback to competitors as a trusted Team Blake adviser.
“What I like about Benny’s voice is his vocals cut through. You can hear every word and syllable. That’s a rarity,” Allen said. “And, Brayden gave me a country John Mayer vibe. It’s not too powerful, but I noticed when he felt comfortable with what he was singing, it sounded really good.”
Blake Shelton, who was the only coach to turn around for both singers during the Blind Auditions, noted in rehearsals that he paired Lape and Weag together because “I just wanted to see which one of these two could stand out as the better male vocalist.”
Initially, both hopefuls practiced their duel while jamming out on their respective guitars. But after Allen asked them if they were playing their instruments to add to their performance, they decided to abandon their guitars and lean into the microphones to showcase their stage presence.
In front of the coaches, Lape and Weag took turns projecting their vocals on the tune while showcasing raw emotion. Even though Weag, who has years on Lape as an experienced singer, connected to the song lyrics — having recently gone through a divorce — it was the 6’4” Lape who ultimately reigned victorious after the battle.
“That was so awesome. Amazing job. Brayden, I can’t believe you’re 15. That’s the same age I was when I was on a singing competition show,” Camila Cabello shared. “I think you have a beautiful tone. I love the crack that you have in your voice. It is very pop-record friendly. And Benny, when you came in with your voice, I was like, ‘Oh my gosh! Why did I not turn around for you?’ You’re a great singer. But, for me the winner of this battle was Brayden.”
“Benny, you came out with so much energy, punching the air like you were ready to go. Your singing was incredible. I just think stage presence-wise it felt almost too much. Maybe just focus more on the lyrics and feel the song through your body,” Gwen Stefani advised. “Brayden, you have a beautiful voice. I can’t wait to see what happens in the next few years. There’s so much growing to do.”
“Benny, I love the tone in your voice. It sounds confident and assured,” John Legend added before echoing Stefani’s sentiments. “I think sometimes you push a little too much, which can take away from the beauty of your voice, which is great. Then, Brayden. I feel like you have a bit more to develop as a vocalist, but your tone is so interesting and cool.”
Shelton, who had to choose to keep only one singer for his team, selected Lape as the winner of the battle, adding, “I like the tone in your voice and the youth and some of the inexperience. There’s something about that that’s endearing.”
Fans can keep up with The Voice every Monday and Tuesday night on NBC.