The Voice‘s Battle Rounds kicked off last night with a diverse set of songs ranging from Ariana Grande to Bob Dylan, but Adam Levine’s team members Adam Pearce and Whitney Fenimore inadvertently landed the most timely tribute of the evening with Tom Petty and Stevie Nicks’ “Stop Draggin’ My Heart Around.”
The pair recorded their performance just weeks before Petty’s untimely death on October 2nd. Despite the guidance of mentor Joe Jonas, their rehearsal was far from smooth sailing. Fenimore drowned in Pearce’s strong belting and Pearce showed trouble adjusting to the song’s arrangement. “When I sing with another person, I want to connect with them. Eye contact. This song is begging for it. You’ve got to do that,” said Levine as practice wrapped up, while Jonas advised them to play up the storytelling aspect.
At showtime, Pearce and Fenimore seemed to take Levine and Jonas’ pointers to heart. Fenimore’s soulful delivery melded with Pearce’s expertly controlled classic rock sound. The two also addressed their harmonizing issues and established a powerful connection. Clearly pleased with the performance, Levine struggled with his decision. “I’ve fallen in love with both of you. And I think that you’re both 100 percent equal. I couldn’t take my eyes off of either one of you guys,” commented Levine, before deciding to keep Pearce. Coaches Blake Shelton and Miley Cyrus quickly pounded their buzzers for a steal, but Fenimore ultimately went to Cyrus’ team.
The Battle Rounds continue tonight Tuesday, October 17th at 8 p.m. ET on NBC.