Blind auditions may be over, but things are just starting to heat up on season 17 of “The Voice”!
Tuesday’s battle round presented the coaches with several show-stopping performances, but it was the final duet of the night — between two members of John Legend’s team — that brought out the big guns, and sparked a showdown between lovebirds and rival coaches Blake Shelton and Gwen Stefani.
Destiny Rayne and Katie Kaden hit the stage for an epic battle performance of Elton John’s “Tiny Dancer” that left Legend’s fellow judges glad they weren’t in his shoes to choose between them. Kaden’s stage presence and powerful, unique voice weren’t to be denied — but each judge took a moment to point out how Rayne held her own in the pitch-perfect duet.
After Legend made his choice, moving Kaden on to the knockout round, save buttons got smashed — as Shelton and Stefani both attempted to claim Rayne for their own team.
“I was trying to be a hero!” Shelton yelled at his lady love after she also hit her button, as Kelly Clarkson gleefully sat back to enjoy the showdown between the coupled-up coaches: “This is gonna be so fun!”
“I don’t want to fight with my girlfriend, but I’m willing to for you!” Shelton told Rayne as she returned to the stage to choose between her future prospective coaches. “You deserve a chance and I was willing to use my only save on you.”
“When you watch someone do what you just did, under the pressure, it proves it’s not just about the voice,” Stefani chimed in, agreeing that the young singer deserved another shot at the competition. “It’s bringing out you and your personality — how do you connect? And that’s what I would want to work with you on.”
However, the positivity ended there, as the rival coaches had to make the case for themselves. “I have won this show more seasons than Gwen has been a coach,” Shelton pointed out, earning a whoop from the crowd — and Clarkson.
“Maybe he has the most wins on this show, but I have the longest career. I know how to do this, I’m just saying,” Stefani fired back. “It’s not just about this show. It’s a life choice!”
Ultimately, Rayne chose to join Team Gwen, leaving Shelton to jokingly accuse her of breaking up “America’s couple.”
“Blake was almost sleeping on the couch tonight,” Stefani told the cameras at the episode’s end. “Destiny made the right choice, so all is going to be fine.”
ET recently spoke to Shelton about his girlfriend’s return to the competition, where he promised that their relationship wouldn’t affect their rivalry — a promise that has definitely been delivered upon so far this season.
“At the end of the day… it’s no different than if Gwen and I were playing cards,” he said. “She wants to win and I want to win, and that’s what they pay us to do on this show, is to try to win.”
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