Last night, The Voice gave us a hybrid two-hour show. The first hour concentrated on the last of the blind auditions, where five spots were up for grabs. The second hour began the battle rounds, and featured three battles. The first hour also gave us two (yes two!) montages of singers who didn’t make the cut, as opposed to ones that did on the last shows. So, in keeping with how I’ve been doing these posts on the show, here’s the not so shining moment for the six singers who didn’t quite get on a team: wait. There’s no video? You mean they don’t even get a video? Ok, then.
No chair turn, no chance: Jake Hendershot, Jesse Bardwell, Selina Carrera (montage 1) and Collin Taylor, Brianna Mazzola and Chase Walker (montage 2). With spots at a premium, the coaches were looking for singers who stood out, and sadly these six didn’t get through. But there’s always next season!
Now to the five artists who were featured that did make a team (coach chosen in parentheses):
Pretty good, eh? The two artists for me that fit this category were Moushimi (Pharrell Williams) and Katie Basden (Adam Levine). Moushimi’s take on Chris Isaak’s “Wicked Game” was pretty good. I thought she would struggle with such a difficult song to sing, but she did a good job with it. Basden’s cover of the Allman Brothers Band’s “Midnight Rider” was very solid. She has a lot of potential, which was almost lost (see further down in this post).
They got a chair turn, but: The last three artists to make the cut were Jared Harder (Blake Shelton), Jonathan Hutcherson (Williams) and Ayanna Jahnee (Christina Aguilera). Harder was pleasant enough on Kacey Musgraves’ “Merry Go Round”, but I don’t think he will be around very long in this competition. Hutcherson did his best on One Direction’s “You & I,” but I felt the performance was lacking some kind of spark. And while Jahnee has powerful pipes, I didn’t particularly like her choice of Adele’s “Skyfall” as her song. Maybe with a better song, I can hear more of what she brings to the table.
Three battles were presented on the show last night. In case you haven’t watched or maybe have forgotten, coaches can steal artists who don’t win their battles and put them on their teams. Each coach has two steals, and out of the three battles, two coaches used their steals, with good reason.
Battle of the night: Ok, it was leaked early and already featured on this blog. But the pair of Bryan Bautista and Malik Heard (Team Christina) were both fantastic on James Brown’s “It’s A Man’s Man’s Man’s World”. It’s not spoiling anything to tell you that the loser was definitely stolen as each of the other three coaches pressed the button to attempt to get him on their team. The “him” in question, was Heard, who lost to Bautista, who remains on Christina’s team. Heard picked Williams as his new coach.
The second best battle of the evening pitted the recently chosen Katie Basden against Ryan Quinn for Team Adam. Again, the steal was in play for this one; thank goodness. To me, it would have been a shame to see Basden go so soon, especially after they just showed her joining Adam’s team in the previous hour. Plus, I think she’s really good, and has quite a bit of potential. No worries though, as Quinn won the battle, but Basden did get stolen by Shelton. As far as the performances, both of them were good, but Quinn was just a bit better on Paul McCartney’s “Maybe I’m Amazed.”
The third battle pairing featured Brittney Lawrence against Paxton Ingram for Team Blake. Both artists were singing Shawn Mendes and Camila Cabello’s “I Know What You Did Last Summer.” This battle was not as close as the other two, as Ingram was noticeably better than Lawrence on the song. I heard Ingram’s voice crack, but I certainly didn’t hold that against him. He showed more range than Lawrence, who basically sang with power throughout. He moves on in the competition, while Lawrence is the first artist removed in the battle rounds.
While I didn’t mention it above, the coaches added guest mentors this week. For the coaches who had singers battle last night, Aguilera added Patti LaBelle as her guest mentor, Shelton added his girlfriend Gwen Stefani, and Levine added Tori Kelly. Williams’ guest mentor is Sean “Diddy” Combs, who I’m sure we will see on tonight’s show.
Disagree with my opinions? Think a singer should have won a battle, or did better or worse in the blind auditions than I did? Feel free to add your take on the show in the comments. Follow me on twitter (@mindpinball) for my impressions on the show while it airs on the east coast.