Things didn’t get exciting during the first night of Battle Rounds on season 18 of American Idol — they started out exciting with Blake Shelton’s Team Blake kicking off the performances with two bona fide rockers that had a little additional coaching from Bebe Rexha.
Team Blake’s Joei Fulco and Todd Michael Hall were first to take the stage with a roof-raising rendition of Tina Turner’s “The Best.” Filled with an appropriate amount of vocal gymnastics that allowed each of the singers to show off their impressive ranges, the performance earned the talented pair a roar of approval from the audience and a standing ovation from Blake, as well as coaches Kelly Clarkson, Nick Jonas and John Legend.
As the applause died down, John told them, “That was so fun and so good. Both of your voices fit the song perfectly. Joei, your tone is so strong. When you hit the high notes, it was fantastic. Todd, I remember why I wanted you on my team. Some of these high notes you’re hitting are insane and you’re hitting them with such clarity and power. Both of you were fantastic.”
Nick continued, “That performance was like 10 shots of caffeine. Todd, truly remarkable range, you’re a phenomenal singer. I’m blown away by you. Joei, truly incredible performance. Your tone is so consistent, so cool. This was a really fun performance, but on top of that, technically perfect.”
Both Kelly and Blake had plenty of praise for both of the singers, but their commitment to them became evident as Blake announced Joei as the winner of the battle.
Oh, but it wasn’t over. As she was backstage speaking to the camera and Todd was expressing his gratitude, you could see Kelly holding her hands near her red button. When she didn’t press it as Todd was walking off the stage, Blake hit his, using his only save for the battle rounds. However, Kelly almost simultaneously pressed her big red button to steal and, for a moment, she thought she had secured Todd for Team Kelly. The coach even went as far as to get up from her chair to hug the singer and then send him back to the stage.
It was then that she learned that Blake had beat her to the punch.