Harlan County’s Jordan Smith was paired with Atlanta gospel powerhouse Regina Love for the battle round to kick off Monday night’s episode of The Voice. And while the well-traveled Love, who toured the world and was once signed to Evander Holyfield’s now defunct record label, was reliably awesome, Smith left the judges baffled.
“Jordan, I don’t know what the hell just came out of you,” judge Blake Shelton said, following Smith and Love’s performance of Sam Smith’s Like I Can. “It doesn’t make any sense to me. Your voice is like from another planet.”
“I don’t understand you,” Gwen Steffani added. “You’re just so unexpected. That’s what turns me on. It’s like, ‘Wow.'”
But Smith and Love were on Adam Levine’s team, and he had to cut one of them loose.
“I don’t know if anyone could have handled singing with Regina, except for you, Jordan,” Levine said. “I think you both deserve to be in this competition, and I’m starting to feel dumb for putting you together.”
Ultimately, Levine kept Smith, saying, “Jordan can win The Voice, I have no doubt in my mind.”
But this story does have a happy ending, because the steal is in play, and Steffani used the option to grab Love for her team.
Smith will next compete on Levine’s team in the knockout round.
Here’s a look at our interview with Smith from late last month: