Welcome to the Battle Rounds! For my Voice Virgins, the battle rounds consist of each coach taking their team of twelve and organizing them into six pairs. Each pair will sing a song selected by their coach in front of all four coaches and an audience on The Voice stage, and afterward, the coach must declare a winner. Each coach has two steals to pick up losing artists on other teams. So, at the end of the battles, each coach will have 8 people on their team. Be sure to catch up on previous blogs and insightful comments before going into battle!
COACHES AND MENTORS
This year’s mentors, Sammy Hagar (Team Adam), Joan Jett (Team Miley) and Bette Midler (Team Blake) gave advice and a bit of coaching based on their amazing years of experience and talent. Sammy and Joan gave helpful technical advice, but Bette outshined them all.
Who is the Team Alicia mentor you ask? Charlie Puth. Yeah… I didn’t know him either. Apparently, he’s a YouTube sensation. His debut album dropped in January of this year. I recognized his vocals in the Wiz Khalifa song for Furious 7 which was really a goodbye to Paul Walker, and his song “Marvin Gaye” featuring Meghan Trainor, but really only because of her. I thought it was her song, featuring some nameless dude. Sadly, we still don’t know much about him or his talent. I think the only things he said were about the difference between We’s singing and speaking voices, and to agree with whatever Alicia said. Alicia Keys is an incredible talent and while it didn’t feel as if she had much of a competitive spirit in the blinds, I suspect Ms. Keys needs to be Queen Bee in the practice room. Why would they leave out a moment when Charlie offers up advice that improves the performance?
THE TOP BATTLES
I was going to change my top three when I realized I didn’t have any from the new judges, but I’m going with my gut. Watching Charlie and Alicia was not very interesting, and while she has some outstanding artists on her team, the songs didn’t grab me like these three. Half of Miley’s battles weren’t aired. They just gave a song snippet and gave the results. I felt badly for some of those who got eliminated as they were also ones whose Blind Auditions weren’t aired. The two Miley battles that aired were very good with incredible singers, but the song choices weren’t my favorite.
Team Blake: Dan Schafer vs Sundance Head Song: Feel Like Makin’ Love
Even though the artists act surprised when they walk into the practice room the first time, I sometimes wonder if they tip off the artists as to who the guest mentor is going to be. What would happen if the artist didn’t recognize the individual? Even if they are tipped off, absolutely the cutest “surprise reaction” goes to Sundance who sees Bette and blurts out “I just watched Beaches. I love that movie!” and proceeds to turn bright red. Loved it, and now love Sundance just a teeny bit more for it too.
Their performance was amazing. It was also a great moment of coach comments on what they saw on stage and their banter with each other. I love how Miley, when moved by the music, must move!!! It was Blake’s team, but that didn’t matter. All four coaches commented on the performance. For those of you who don’t usually watch until later, this is a GREAT example of what you are missing!
Team Adam: Andrew DeMuro vs Billy Gilman Song: Man in the Mirror.
Man in the Mirror is one of my favorite songs so I had to include it. Billy was on shaky ground a bit during the song reveal and the band practice sessions. Sammy made a comment that he was very good, but he was so good he made it seem like he wasn’t even trying.
Performance was very good. This song usually makes me emotional, and one of those where I just sit and listen, and feel the message. Geez, I sound like Alicia here. Someone hand me a glass of wine. Billy wins. Adam makes a statement about how Billy showed how he is willing to listen to a critique, do his homework, and improve. When there is a small difference between the two artists and the coach feels he can really help an already excellent artist work on his or her craft that is who the smart coach picks. Adam did it with Jordan to go on to win, and he could possibly do it here. No one stole Andrew. I thought he was more like an impersonator in the Blinds, which may be the reason he wasn’t on anyone’s steal list. That steal list is crucial, and I get a feeling that this year every single coach has already written down who they want to steal.
Team Blake: Courtney Harrell vs Ethan Tucker Song: Gravity (John Mayer)
I am starting to love these two just because of how they talk about each other’s talents in the talking heads. Here is where Bette Midler shows yet again that she deserves the title “Divine” for how well she knows her craft and how to develop a performance. I thought they sounded great right away, but Bette and Blake notice a few issues. Bette suggests a different key for Courtney. It was noticeably better! For the practice with the band, Bette pointed out that they really didn’t seem to be connecting with each other – so she made them hold hands. They felt awkward at first, and it seemed silly, but soon there was noticeable improvement again. Bette is not only a master of her craft, but also knows how to share her knowledge.
The duo gave a killer performance. Frankly, one that I wait for in the Battles. A performance so good, you would only be slightly surprised if they told the Voice to go to hell and went off to make a record together. One that makes you wonder why there aren’t more duets in the world, and spend some time afterward on YouTube watching famous duets like Islands in the Stream. Blake picked Courtney, and I am STUNNED no one stole Ethan.
A FEW FINAL STRAY THOUGHTS
Even though Alicia has turned out to be a bit of an introvert with not a lot of original opinions, I’m enjoying the mix of judges. I continue to adore Adam and Blake (those dimples!) but I’m quickly falling even more in love with Miley. She’s even won over my mother!!! She’s very quick with the funny comments.My favorite this week, was when Alicia said she’d have to “whoop some ass” if they didn’t steal the loser from her first pairand Miley quickly responded “Don’t threaten me with a good time!”
I still love the bromance, but I’m also enjoying Blake’s interactions with Miley and Alicia, especially Miley. Blake hasn’t used “sis” as a nickname to anyone this round! He always used it the most with Christina. Maybe he reserves that more for her when it comes to The Voice. Miley did describe a look between her and Alicia as a “sis moment”. I might notice this because “Sis” is used a lot in my family and with some of my friends.
I could list more – but I want to hear from you about your favorite moments! What are your thoughts about the new outfits? What performances or outfits or coach interactions stood out to you? Thoughts on the mentors? I was going to comment that Joan was overdoing the Botox since her cheeks don’t move any more, but my mom made me feel guilty without even trying by asking of Joan had Bell’s Palsy or something. Shit… she can pull that guilt card without even trying!
See you in the comments!
Quick note from TT, I just have to include this video of Dave Moison and Michael Sanchez. It was awesome and someone with a one chair turn actually beat someone with a four chair turn in the battle rounds. We will be seeing more from these two!