The Voice: John Holiday and Julia Cooper deliver one of best battles in nine-year history of show


John Holiday and Julia Cooper treated viewers of The Voice on Tuesday to one of the best battles in the nine-year history of the NBC singing competition show.

They were paired against each other by their coach John Legend, 41, who chose two of his artists with ‘high levels of musicianship’ to tackle the complicated chord changes of Stevie Wonder’s 1976 classic Summer Soft.

Holiday, 35, from Rosenberg, Texas, and Julia, 21, from Poland, Ohio, first blew away Legend’s advisor Miguel, 35, when he listened to their delicate harmonies.

Memorable battle: John Holiday helped deliver one of the most memorable battle round performances Tuesday in the nine-year history of The Voice

Memorable battle: John Holiday helped deliver one of the most memorable battle round performances Tuesday in the nine-year history of The Voice

‘Anyone that knows anything about music is gonna be super-impressed,’ the hitmaker said. ‘Just the fact that you’re able to handle this song speaks volumes.’

John agreed, reminding them, ‘You never have to hold back on what makes you special.’

‘That was dope Dad vibe,’ Miguel teased.

‘I’m giving these speeches to four-year-olds right now,’ John admitted, referring to his daughter Luna, four, and son Miles, two.

Battle partner: Julia Cooper from Poland, Ohio, battled it out to stay on John Legend's team

Battle partner: Julia Cooper from Poland, Ohio, battled it out to stay on John Legend’s team

Blown away: Holiday and Julia first blew away Legend's advisor Miguel, 35, when he listened to their delicate harmonies

Blown away: Holiday and Julia first blew away Legend’s advisor Miguel, 35, when he listened to their delicate harmonies

The coach: John Legend pitted them against each other because of their 'high levels of musicianship'

The coach: John Legend pitted them against each other because of their ‘high levels of musicianship’

On battle night, his singers’ incredible performance proved their talents equally matched, as they unveiled arresting melodic turns that made the coaches laugh in disbelief.

They earned a standing ovation from the coaches, and the viewers streaming into the show screamed and applauded the duo’s mastery of the song.

‘Wow, John!’ Gwen Stefani, 51, marveled. ‘That was amazing! That was so entertaining and so weird in the best way ever. Both of you guys have such unusual voices.’

Classic song: They battled it out to  Stevie Wonder's 1976 classic Summer Soft

Classic song: They battled it out to  Stevie Wonder’s 1976 classic Summer Soft

‘Julia, you have such cool, swaggy vibe up there and so much soul in you that you wouldn’t expect… it was really engaging to watch you,’ Gwen went on.

She then turned to Holiday, acknowledging that his high pitch went into new places.

‘I have no words for you,’ she said. ‘I don’t even understand how you’re real.’

High praise: 'Wow, John!' Gwen Stefani, 51, marveled. 'That was amazing! That was so entertaining and so weird in the best way ever. Both of you guys have such unusual voices'

High praise: ‘Wow, John!’ Gwen Stefani, 51, marveled. ‘That was amazing! That was so entertaining and so weird in the best way ever. Both of you guys have such unusual voices’

Blake Shelton, 44, told Holiday he had ‘a gift’ and admitted that he was jealous of it.

John praised Julia’s artistic flair and inherent coolness, and called Holiday ‘otherworldly,’ noting that everyone was struggling to find someone to compare him to, but there was no one.

‘The world needed to hear your voice, and we’re so lucky that you came here and we could give you this opportunity to be heard and be seen,’ the coach said, choosing to save John.

The winner: 'The world needed to hear your voice, and we're so lucky that you came here and we could give you this opportunity to be heard and be seen,' the coach said, choosing to save John

The winner: ‘The world needed to hear your voice, and we’re so lucky that you came here and we could give you this opportunity to be heard and be seen,’ the coach said, choosing to save John

Second later, he saved Julia, too, saying, ‘Obviously John is such a unique talent, but you showed us so much with your soul, your voice, your musicality. I’d love to have you go into the four-way knockout and see if America will send you to the next round.’ 

For her team’s battle, Kelly Clarkson, 38, paired up two of her most soulful singers: four-chair turn Desz, 30, from Houston, and Joseph Soul, 34, from Hana, Hawaii.

During practice, their cover of Harold Melvin & The Blue Notes’ If You Don’t Know Me By Now was so strong, Kelly crumpled up her rehearsal notes and threw them away.

Saved singer: Second later, Legend saved Julia, too, saying, 'Obviously John is such a unique talent, but you showed us so much with your soul, your voice, your musicality. I'd love to have you go into the four-way knockout and see if America will send you to the next round'

Saved singer: Second later, Legend saved Julia, too, saying, ‘Obviously John is such a unique talent, but you showed us so much with your soul, your voice, your musicality. I’d love to have you go into the four-way knockout and see if America will send you to the next round’

‘If they don’t know us by now…’ Joseph said, as Desz finished, ‘They gonna learn today!’

At battle round, their performance soared, with Desz shining in the high moments and Joseph in the low, making Kelly regret pairing them together.

‘Desz, it’s hard not to keep watching you,’ she conceded, choosing her. ‘You’re like a warrior vocalist.’

Soulful singer: For her team's battle, Kelly Clarkson, 38, paired up two of her most soulful singers: four-chair turn Desz, 30, from Houston, and Joseph Soul, 34, from Hana, Hawaii with Desz winning

Soulful singer: For her team’s battle, Kelly Clarkson, 38, paired up two of her most soulful singers: four-chair turn Desz, 30, from Houston, and Joseph Soul, 34, from Hana, Hawaii with Desz winning

Gwen then stole Joseph, making Kelly tell her fellow coach, ‘I love you!’

In a previous battle, Kelly paired Tanner Gomes, 28, from Nashville, and Skylar Alyvia Mayton, 15, from Grand Rapids, Michigan, on Alison Krauss and Brad Paisley’s Whiskey Lullaby.

She chose Tanner for the win, calling his voice ‘shocking’ and ‘exciting.’

Stolen away: Gwen then stole Joseph, making Kelly tell her fellow coach, 'I love you!'

Stolen away: Gwen then stole Joseph, making Kelly tell her fellow coach, ‘I love you!’

Country song: In a previous battle, Kelly paired Tanner Gomes, 28, from Nashville, and Skylar Alyvia Mayton, 15, from Grand Rapids, Michigan, on Alison Krauss and Brad Paisley's Whiskey Lullaby and Tanner ended up winning

Country song: In a previous battle, Kelly paired Tanner Gomes, 28, from Nashville, and Skylar Alyvia Mayton, 15, from Grand Rapids, Michigan, on Alison Krauss and Brad Paisley’s Whiskey Lullaby and Tanner ended up winning

Blake then matched his two ‘Americana’ guys for the battle rounds, putting Jim Ranger, 38, from Bakersfield, California, up against Jim Sullivan, 32, from Denver, North Carolina.

The men learned they would be singing Kane Brown’s Good As You, and were thrilled to then meet Blake’s advisor, Kane, 27, who said the song was about his wife.

‘It’s my favorite song to sing live,’ Kane shared. ‘The crowd sings this song back to me louder than any other song that I have. And I think it’s just because of the ”feel-good” of the song.’

Country star: Kane Brown helped fellow country star Blake Shelton with his singers

Country star: Kane Brown helped fellow country star Blake Shelton with his singers

After the men’s battle, Blake chose Jim, saying he had an ‘electrifying voice, and when he really lets it go, it’s just undeniable.’

‘Jim could go far,’ John agreed. ‘He’s super-solid and soulful.’

In a battle not fully shown, Gwen put her singer Chloé Hogan, 20, from Orlando, Florida, up against Lain Roy, 22, from Larkspur, Colorado.

Battle winner: Blake matched his two 'Americana' guys for the battle rounds, putting Jim Ranger, 38, from Bakersfield, California, up against Jim Sullivan, 32, from Denver, North Carolina and picked Jim s the winner

Battle winner: Blake matched his two ‘Americana’ guys for the battle rounds, putting Jim Ranger, 38, from Bakersfield, California, up against Jim Sullivan, 32, from Denver, North Carolina and picked Jim s the winner

Electrifying voice: After the men's battle, Blake chose Jim, saying he had an 'electrifying voice, and when he really lets it go, it's just undeniable'

Electrifying voice: After the men’s battle, Blake chose Jim, saying he had an ‘electrifying voice, and when he really lets it go, it’s just undeniable’

After listening to them both perform Harry Style’s Adore You, Gwen saved Chloé, reasoning that she would benefit from her help most.

Eight-time Grammy winner Usher will be returning to The Voice as its season 19 mega-mentor, show host Carson Daly, 47, also announced.

The 42-year-old singer previously coached vocalists on seasons four and six of the show, and served as an advisor on seasons eight and 17.

The Voice will return next week on NBC. 

Partial battle: In a battle not fully shown, Gwen put her singer Chloé Hogan, 20, from Orlando, Florida, up against Lain Roy, 22, from Larkspur, Colorado and Chloé won the battle

Partial battle: In a battle not fully shown, Gwen put her singer Chloé Hogan, 20, from Orlando, Florida, up against Lain Roy, 22, from Larkspur, Colorado and Chloé won the battle



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