The last battle rounds of Season 12 of The Voice were shown last night. There were three battles left, and Adam Levine was the only coach with a steal remaining.
The first battle paired Lauryn Judd with Lilli Passero from Alicia Keys’ team. Their battle song was “Every Little Bit Hurts” by Brenda Holloway, though Keys has also covered it. Based on the blind auditions, this song fit more in Lilli’s wheelhouse, since she chose a Carla Thomas cover in the previous round. However, both girls did well with the classic Motown song. I thought that Lilli was just a bit better overall than Lauryn though, and Alicia agreed with me.
The second battle of the night paired two one-chair turn artists from Team Adam. Jesse Larson and Taylor Alexander took on “Shameless,” a Billy Joel song done in the Garth Brooks arrangement. Thankfully, Jesse did not go off with his guitar skills; the show is called The Voice for a reason. As for their singing, both were pretty decent, but I think Jesse was better overall. Levine agreed and moved Jesse through to the knockout round.
The final battle featured Davina Leone and Brandon Royal from Gwen Stefani’s team. Their battle song was “In The Night” by The Weeknd. Thankfully, Gwen chose a song that didn’t put Brandon in the “reggae” box; I was afraid after his “Master Blaster (Jammin’)” performance in the blind auditions that those types of songs would be all he would sing. Thanks to some staging suggestions from guest mentor Celine Dion, this turned out to be the best battle of the evening. Both singers performed well; but with Adam holding the last steal, it was just a question of who would win and who Adam would add to his team. Gwen chose Brandon as the winner, and within seconds Davina was stolen.
Beginning on Monday night are the knockout rounds, where the artists will sing a song against a team member (not the same song as in the battle rounds). Each coach will be given one more steal to save another artist who may be heading off the show. At this point, usually I could pick a front-runner, or someone who I think will definitely be one to watch going forward. This season, there hasn’t been that one artist or several artists that have jumped out at me as the one or ones to beat. That makes this season’s competition wide open. Perhaps one or two singers will separate themselves during the knockouts.
(photo from Creative Commons via Eva Rinaldi-available for reuse).