The Voice: Season 12, The Battle Rounds, Night 1

If you are familiar with the The Voice, then you know that when the blind auditions end, and each coach has filled their team with twelve contestants, the battle rounds begin. In the battle rounds, the coaches pit two singers against each other in what is best described as a “sing-off.” Both singers will duet on a single song, and the coach chooses the artist who performs the best. The other coaches have the opportunity to “steal” the artist that loses, but each coach only gets two steals. Also, each coach has a guest mentor to assist with the artists’ performances.

The first six battles were shown tonight. The first of those pitted two artists from Shetlton’s team. His guest mentor was country superstar Luke Bryan. Brennley Brown took on Lauren Duski, the song chosen for them was “Better Man” by Little Big Town. Both artists did very well; I was very impressed with Brown, who held her own despite her youth. With that said, I thought Duski was just a bit better. In the end, Shelton chose Duski as the winner, but Brown was stolen by Gwen Stefani.

The next battle pairing featured two artists from Stefani’s team. This battle featured JChosen against Kenny P. The singers performed Stevie Wonder’s “I Was Made To Love Her.” Stefani’s guest mentor was Celine Dion. The two artists performed very well; I thought this battle was a tossup. Stefanie chose JChosen as the winner, and despite pleas for a steal, none was coming for Kenny P. I thought that he should have been stolen.

The next battle featured two artists from Alicia Keys’ team. Her first battle featured Anatalia Villaranda and Missy Robertson. The singers performed “Tightrope” by Janelle Monae. I like the song when Monae performs it; I didn’t like this performance by either artist. I didn’t think the song was a good showcase for the performers voices; though I thought Robertson won, Keys chose Villaranda as the winner. Again, the crowd called for a steal, but Robertson did not receive one. By the way, Keys’ guest mentor was DJ Khaled. To me, having him be a mentor is a ratings ploy; he does not sing; he barely raps. He was described as a “music curator, “super producer,” “beat maker” and “King of Snapchat.” Please tell me what any of that has to do with singing? Guess you can’t knock the guy’s hustle. At any rate, I’m hoping there’s a way to bring Robertson back. She was definitely good enough to stay, even singing a song that did her no favors.

Adam Levine’s first battle featured Gaby Borromeo and Mark Isaiah. Both sang “Pillowtalk” by Zayn. Levine’s guest mentor was John Legend, who apparently is trying to become the hardest working singer in the business. The coaches (well, Adam mostly) keep saying that Mark has a voice like the pop stars on the radio today; that much is true. I thought that Gaby was good, but Mark was a bit better. In the end, Levine chose Isaiah as the winner. Again, no steal for Borromeo.

The next battle paired Felicia Temple against Quizz Swanigan, from Keys’ team. The song chosen for them was “Titanium” by David Guetta featuring Sia. It’s an EDM track that gives Sia room to belt, and both Temple and Swanigan had ample space to show off their vocal power. The difference to me in this battle was that Temple’s talent is fully developed, while Swanigan’s needs more time; after all, he’s only thirteen. In a battle that I thought Temple clearly won, Keys chose Swanigan as the winner. Thankfully, Shelton stole Temple to keep her in the competition. She certainly deserved to stick around in my opinion.

The final battle of the evening paired Casi Joy against Ashley Levin from team Blake. The singers did a duet of “How Blue” by Reba McEntire. In a night that featured a few good performances, this one was the best of the night in my opinion. Both artists were fantastic, going toe to toe and riff for riff throughout the song. I’m sure it was a tough call for Shelton, but in the end he went with Casi. The other coaches were impressed enough with Levin that all three wanted to steal her. In the end, Levin chose Keys as her new coach.

More battles are upcoming tonight. I’m sure somewhere before the end of the battles there will be at least one dreaded montage. Hope I’m wrong, but we’ll see.

(photo courtesy of Creative Commons via Eva Rinaldi—available for reuse).

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