The Voice 3/10 Recap: Better Battles, Winning Sponsors

From time to time, I’m sure I sound like I hate-watch The Voice. Sure, I may say a few words about the montages that come from out of nowhere, or the editing that gives away results, or even the fact that the show itself is the best advertisement for its coaches than it ever is for the singers trying to win the competition. But tonight’s show really hit home who another set of winners are: the show’s sponsors. I cannot remember (and yet I’m sure it was always this way) seeing so many commercials in a two hour show. Commercials before battles. Commercials after battles. Commercials between battles. Commercials between singers choosing coaches after steals. On and on and on and on. Anyway, I’ll try not to drone on with this recap. Let’s get into it.

Team Pharrell leads off with Anthony Riley vs. Travis Ewing doing “Get Ready.” This was a great battle, though the song choice clearly favored Anthony. Anthony was very comfortable with the song and gave a confident performance. Travis, however, clearly stepped up his performance and made it a tough call. Both singers listened to guest mentor Lionel Richie’s advice, and it paid off with an extremely good performance. Winner: Anthony; Travis stolen by Blake Shelton.

Battle number two pits Ameela Delandro against Sonic for Team Christina. The ladies performed “Masterpiece” by Jessie J. Another very good pairing and another very good battle. Ameera was one of the blind audition winner who only appeared in montage, while we were able to see Sonic perform her audition. Both girls showed their range and power, but Sonic was a bit more solid, while Ameela was a bit shaky in patches. Winner: Sonic.

At this point, the show gives us yet another montage, giving us three battles, quickly decided. Since I can put up video for these, I guess I can quickly summarize who won…or not. C’mon NBC. What they can really do is cut down on the backstories and rehearsals (yes, even minimizing the celebrity mentors), and give us more singing. What good is having a show called The Voice when you don’t even give all the competitors the same amount of airtime? What it says to me (and many others) is that it doesn’t bode well for any of these singers chances if they are stuck in the montage. Anyway, here’s the clip…

Team Blake’s first battle has Hannah Kirby taking on Sarah Potenza. Blake’s (and the show’s) first and last blind audition picks go head to head, tussling over “Gimme Shelter” by the Rolling Stones. The potential is there for the great scream-a-thon that might send me careening over the edge, but both girls use a bit of subtlety in their performances. There was screaming, and lots of power, to be sure, but this battle was amazing. Both of the artists went for it and gave another great performance. Not sure what will happen for either of them going forward, but it should be interesting to watch. Winner: Sarah; Hannah stolen by Pharrell.

Team Adam gets to join the fun next, pitting Blaze Johnson against Michael Leier. Adam gives the guys “Rude” by Magic! as the song choice. Giving a guy from the Bahamas a song with an island feel (even if it isn’t necessarily authentic) and then telling him to tamp down his roots is an interesting call. What we end up with is a guy who tamped down his roots ever so slightly still taking advantage of the song choice that favored him. Michael gave a great effort, and it was a good battle, but nothing like the previous one. Winner: Blaze

Cody Wickline takes on Matt Snook in Team Blake’s second pairing of the night. The guys will give their take on Randy Houser’s “How Country Feels.” I believe Snook was in one of those blind audition montages, because I never heard anything he sang. He is forty-one, which makes him easy to root for-give the older people a chance! And he does a good job…but Cody is just a bit better. Blake went looking for a hardcore country voice, and if you can say anything at all about Cody, he definitely has that hardcore country voice-at least on this song. Winner: Cody

The final battle of the night (two hours, six battles, a bazillion commercials) puts ringer Megan Linsey against Paul Pfau for Team Adam. The male-female duo performed “Don’t Let Me Down” by the Beatles. Every time Megan performs, there will always be questions about fairness-after all, she’s had a Top 5 County hit as a member of a duo, Sweet Magnolia. It doesn’t seem fair that she gets a shot to win a competition full of people without a lot of experience giving their all for one shot. Nevertheless, the battle was really good. Megan’s strong voice nearly overpowers Paul, but Paul shows he can work in different genres. To these ears, this Beatles song is as far from “Fly Me To The Moon” as you can get. I thought he won actually, though coach Levine thought otherwise. It didn’t matter anyway, because those great show editors teased the steal way before either one came on screen. Winner: Megan; Paul stolen by Blake.

And so goes episode six of The Voice. Tonight we had some great performaces, mixed in with many, many commercial breaks. I’m sure NBC pays no attention to what I say about all the breaks and wasted airtime. Why would they; this show may be the biggest hit on the prime time schedule-which explains why they shoehorn two seasons into what used to be one full television season (September—May) as well as why it runs for four hours each week over two nights.

More battles next week, and more hate-watching recapping right here.

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