As much as I like the blind auditions, that portion of The Voice was dragging on and I’m glad to be moving on to the battle rounds. Especially with the new twists this season! When a singer is eliminated from a team, it’s possible for another coach to snap that performer up for his/her own team. To do so, the coach would have to push the button after the duel winner was announced. Each coach gets two steals during this round.
The coach/mentor pairings were surprising this week. Blake and Michael Buble, Christina and Billie Joe Armstrong, Adam and Mary J. Blige, and Cee Lo with…Rob Thomas? Ick.
Team Blake: Casey Muesiggman vs. Terry McDermott singing “Carry on Wayward Son”
Maybe this was an unexpected pairing, but I felt like Blake’s reasons for putting these guys together and the song choice made sense. However, it seemed obvious that Terry would come out on top. Terry’s phrasing was better, and I like the clarity of his voice. Overall, though, I thought the duet was kind of boring. Winner: Terry McDermott
Team Adam: Bryan Keith vs. Collin McLoughlin singing “Santeria”
Going into this one I thought that Bryan was the favorite. I didn’t know the song, but Bryan sounded fantastic on it. (How did I not know this song? I love it.) I enjoyed the performance, and while I thought Bryan was better I thought Collin might be worth stealing. Winner: Bryan Keith
We have a steal! Blake and Cee Lo pushed their buttons for Collin, and he went with Blake.
Team Cee Lo: JR Aquino vs. Diego Val singing “Jessie’s Girl”
Oh come on, didn’t we all think the hunk who sings to sick kids would win this thing? It’s not just his good looks and the tugging on heartstrings, I loved his raspy voice. But, “Jessie’s Girl”, Cee Lo? Really? Weird choice. Despite the relic of a song, I thought both guys were good – but I still preferred Diego. Winner: Diego Val
Team Christina: De’Borah vs.Nelly’s Echo singing “Message in a Bottle”
This was the first duel where I didn’t have a confident prediction. De’Borah had better stage presence than singing, I thought, and Nelly’s Echo is more of a classic soul singer. (I hate that name, BTW. Just use your real name, dude. You’re not a band.) I loved Christina’s song choice, because it was different but suited their voices. I expected Nelly’s Echo to perform better. I loved De’Borah’s creativity during the performance though, and thought she ultimately did better. By the end, I thought she’d killed it. Awesome. Winner: De’Borah
Team Blake: 2 Steel Girls vs. Gracia Harrison singing “Sin Wagon”
I really dug the yodeling girl in the blind auditions and I didn’t think 2 Steel Girls pulled off Carrie Underwood, so I went into this one feeling pretty sure that Gracia would come out on top. Gracia was sassy and fun, just like the song, and I felt like 2 Steel Girls couldn’t keep up with the quick lyrics. I thought Gracia won it hands down. Winner: Gracia Harrison
Team Cee Lo: Amanda Brown vs. Trevin Hunte singing “Vision of Love”
I’m not surprised they closed the episode with this duel, because both Amanda and Trevin are fantastic singers. Trevin’s blind audition was one of the most memorable ones for me, but I loved Amanda singing “Valerie”. During rehearsals, it looked like Amanda was going to surprise everyone and really stand out. I thought it was funny when Cee Lo said “I shouldn’t have paired y’all together, I’m mad.” It sure was a mistake, Cee Lo! During the performance, I thought Trevin started off shaky. I thought Amanda sounded better in rehearsals, but only because I thought Trevin got the best parts of the song. They were both killing it by the end, but I thought Amanda came out on top. But come on – we knew whoever didn’t win this would get stolen within seconds! Winner: Trevin Hunte
And, of course, we have a steal! I’m glad Cee Lo chose Trevin because I think they’re well-suited together and, based on this performance, I think Christina has a lot to offer Amanda. Adam made a convincing case though, and that’s who Amanda went with.
Well guys, I think this was a really successful first battle episode. I like the concept of stealing, and a few of the performances were really top notch. What’d you guys think?