Another week went by, and with it, another chapter of The Voice. After the Blind Auditions, each coach paired two of their artists on what is known as The Battle Rounds. The paired artists will perform a duet of a song picked by their coach. After a live performance, it's up to the coach to select one of the artists to stay in the competition, while the other goes home.
Overall, the Battle Rounds were a mixed bag. First, as opposed to the Blind Auditions, there were several very impressive performances in this rounds. On the other hand, there were several odd, surprising, and irksome choices made by the coaches. One gripe that me and my wife have is the fact that either the producers or NBC decided not to air all the battles. I know it would mean a lot more screentime, but then what's the point of picking up more artists, and making bigger teams, if you're not going to give them a glimpse of the spotlight anyway?
Also, one of the new spins of the show is the ability of the judges to "steal" an artist after his coach chooses not to take him during the Battle Rounds. This is a great opportunity for great artists to remain on the show, considering the penchant the coaches have for pairing two great artists together.
But anyway, here's my take on what I considered to be the most notable battles of this round:
Terry McDermott vs. Casey Muessigmann ("Carry On Wayward Son")
Great opener for thr the battles. Ironically, Terry was also the first audition to be shown during the Blinds, and one of the few that really surprised me. Plus, I love this Kansas song. Terry was practically flawless and won, but I'll be damned if I wasn't surprised by country-boy Casey. He took the challenge and brought it, making the decision more even than I would've thought.
De'Borah vs. Nelly's Echo ("Message in a Bottle")
Yet another song that I love on the voice of one of the singers that impressed me the least. Like I wrote on my earlier entry, I thought De'Borah was pretty weak in the Blind Auditions. Nelly's Echo, on the other hand, was pretty good. During the rehearsals, I thought Nelly had it. His voice was perfect for the song and he seemed to sing it perfectly. But on the night of the performance, I don't know what got into him, he was a mess. I think he actually felt threatened by De'Borah and tried to do way too much. I actually liked some of the improvisations and counter-vocals he did, but overall, his performance was too over the top and disorganized. De'Borah wasn't that great either, but I thought she was better than in the auditions.
Trevin Hunte vs. Amanda Brown ("Vision of Love")
Trevin Hunte made a name for himself during the Blind Auditions. His powerful performance turned the chairs of all four judges, and was one of the most featured in promotions for the show. Amanda, on the other hand, slipped by with an average performance and just Cee Lo's chair turned. However, their rendition of Mariah Carey's "Vision of Love" was one of the best and most powerful battles of the whole show. So great was it that even after Cee Lo picked Trevin, the remaining judges all chose to "steal" Amanda. Ultimately, she chose to be a part of Team Adam.
Julio Cesar Castillo vs. Terisa Griffin ("Conga")
This battle had one of the results that baffled me more. My respects to Julio, but Terisa sang her way around him. That's not to say that Julio's performance was bad. He held his own, but just wasn't on the same level as Terisa. Blake still decided to take Julio, I suppose for the novelty (or rating?) of having a Latin artist. Luckily for Terisa, Cee Lo "stole" her.
Sam James vs. Benji ("You Give Love a Bad Name")
This was a pretty cool battle. Both artists went at it with the right attitude, and vocally, both killed it. I know most people, including the coaches, were praising Benji's performance, but I thought he relied too much on his "waaaaaaaah!" moments. Sam seemed to be more versatile, and had a cleaner voice, so I agreed with Adam's decision. Still, I was surprised that no one "stole" Benji, after all the praise he got.
Nicholas David vs. Todd Kessler ("She's Gone")
This one could easily be one of my favorite performances of the whole battles. Competition aside, the pairing of Nicholas and Todd was so perfect, their voices blended so well together, that I can even say their rendition of the song was better than Hall & Oates'. I think I kinda liked Todd a bit more, but Nicholas was just as good. So Cee Lo picking him was still a great choice. However, I'm pissed that nobody decided to "steal" Todd. He had a great voice.
Other random notes on some of the battles:
- I'm happy Domo was eliminated. She was really, really annoying.
- Dez Duron continues to surprise me with how much he has grown from last season.
- I wasn't happy with Christina picking Sylvia Yacoub. Didn't like her performance. But thankfully, Blake "stole" her rival, Joselyn.
- Avery Wilson was yet another performer that was excellent.
All in all, the Battle Rounds were pretty solid. Now, coaches will continue chipping away five more artists. Let's hope that the best ones stay.
(All pictures belong to NBC and its affiliates)