socially distanced Battle Rounds continued Tuesday night and saved the best for last with a battle that received a standing ovation and a whole lot of praise on social media.
Legend had given 35-year-old opera singer John Holiday and 21-year-old Julia Cooper the most difficult and technically complex song ever performed on The Voice – Stevie Wonder’s “Summer Soft.”
“When a song is this complex, you start with, ‘Can I learn it and just execute it technically?’ … These two artists, with their level of musicianship and artistry, they can handle it,” asserted Legend. He acknowledged that both daunted contestants were probably thinking to themselves, “Why did John pick this?” — and his guest adviser, alternative R&B star Miguel, said, “I’m sure the first time you heard it, you were like, ‘Yo, what is going on?’” But, like, Legend, Miguel was “blown away” by what he heard during rehearsals, telling them, “Anyone who knows anything about music is going to be impressed. … Just that you’re able to handle the song speaks volumes.”
Holiday and Cooper more than handled it. In fact, viewers took to Twitter blown away by the performance. One viewer tweeted: “This version of Stevie Wonder’s “Summer Soft” needs to be recorded and made available to the public. Please.” Meanwhile, the coaches each had praise of their own.
“Lordy, lordy, lordy!” gasped Legend. “That was so entertaining and so weird — in the best way ever! You two have such interesting voices!” raved Gwen Stefani. But while both voices were indeed interesting, it was obvious that Holiday’s had truly captured all of the coaches’ imaginations. “I don’t even understand how you’re real,” Gwen told him. “The vocal range, I don’t even know who to compare it to,” marveled Kelly. “You’re a force on this show. You have a gift,” added Blake Shelton.
In the end, Legend chose Holiday as the winner, but he wasn’t ready to let Cooper go just yet, so he used his one and only steal to keep her on Team Legend.