“Why do I do this?” the sophomore coach questioned on Tuesday’s episode, as he rehearsed his pairing of Lennon VanderDoes and Tanner Massey. The two took the stage for their Battle duet of Billy Joel’s “She Always a Woman” that wowed all the coaches and had Niall lamenting his choice even more.
“That was so incredible!” Gwen Stefani raved. “I mean, both of you are mind-blowing in your own way.”
“That song is so beautiful, so well-written, and it inspired me to write the song that would change my life.” John Legend praised, revealing that the tune was the inspiration when he sat down to write “All of Me” for wife Chrissy Teigen. “Hearing you two sing it was magical.”
Niall’s fellow coaches all give a slight edge to Tanner, with Reba McEntire praising the 19-year-old singer, saying, “To be as young as you are, you’ve got great stage presence.”
But Niall knew it was going to be a tough decision from the start, admitting, “This is one of the Battles where I’ve really been battling with myself, and now I’m regretting putting you in the same pairing.”
Going with his gut, Niall named Lennon the winner of the Battle, but Tanner’s journey wasn’t over yet — both John and Gwen instantly pressed their buttons to try and steal the young singer.
“I just really believe that Tanner has a magical voice,” John praises, while Gwen told Tanner, “You have something in you that you’re showing us that we want more of.”
“I have a son about your age and he’s a singer,” she said, referring to eldest son Kingston, who is 17. “I feel like I can just hug you into the winning spot.”
Ultimately, the maternal pitch worked, and Tanner joined Team Gwen!
ET spoke with Gwen ahead of this season’s Battles, where she opened up about how surreal it is to return to The Voice without hubby Blake Shelton by her side. The Cowboy departed the NBC singing competition earlier this year, after 23 seasons.
“It feels kind of like [my] first season, before I knew he existed,” she shared. “It’s kind of weird, but it’s also like, I’m having so much fun.”
“Like, I’m only here because it’s fun,” Gwen added. “The coaching and actually getting to know your team after the Blinds is my favorite thing, ’cause it’s like, the dream’s there.”
She admitted, however, that it is a little nerve-wracking to look to Blake’s chair and instead see The Voice‘s newest coach — the Queen of Country herself.
Of how Reba’s handled her first season so far, Gwen recalled the Blind Auditions with a laugh.
“She did great. She didn’t have to do anything,” she remembered. “She’d be like, ‘I think you were great. I’d love to have you on my team,’ and then they’d be like, ‘I pick you!'”
The Voice airs Mondays at 8 p.m. PT and Tuesdays at 9 p.m. PT on NBC.