"The Voice" 2014 resumed March 17 on NBC with the first evening of battle round action. Team Usher opened the night's competition as soul singers Biff Gore and T.J. Wilkins went head to head with The Temptations' classic "Ain't Too Proud to Beg."
Biff, a 45-year old father of six who turned all four chairs with his blind audition rendering of "A Change is Gonna Come" and T.J., a 23-year old up-and-coming soul singer who scored three turns for "Bennie and the Jets," met up with Usher and guest coach Jill Scott to rehearse their piece. After noting the 20-year age gap between the two hopefuls, Usher explained that he'd chosen "a classic R&B record" because regardless of their respective years on the planet, both men love and excel in the genre.
After hearing them sing together, Jill noted a "complete contrast" between their respective "rough and smooth" styles. While she instructed Biff to really beg when he sings "beg," Usher encouraged T.J. to be more "confident in [his] execution." Jill said picking one of them was like "choosing between air and water" and was glad that it wasn't her task to take on.
When it came time to do battle, the two men met with a center stage fist bump, and Biff opened with the first few bars before T.J. began his effort. Both men did an excellent job of engaging the audience and both gave stellar vocal performances. Neither had a weak moment and better yet, their harmonies were stellar.
Shakira loved Biff's high leg kick and called the battle "amazing." Adam Levine thanked both of them for making him laugh and smile, and opined they'd both "killed it." Blake Shelton called it "pure entertainment." Usher praised them for pushing each other to be better and better throughout, and called it "wonderful." After mulling the decision, Usher finally named youngster T.J. the winner. T.J. looked stunned as host Carson Daly raised his arm in victory, and Usher explained his decision by noting that T.J. had been "relentless."
Biff addressed Usher, thanking him for the opportunity and calling him "a wonderful, fabulous coach." Moments later, Blake hit his button to steal. Biff declared "I'm alive!" and Blake called him "a great entertainer" and asked him to "teach me your ways." Blake said he was "shocked" that he got to steal him, and called him a "once in a lifetime artist."
"The Voice" 2014 resumes March 18 on NBC as more members of the top 48 go to battle.