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It’s time for the coaches to break their teams down with the Battle Rounds on ‘The Voice,’ which means one of the best parts of the show is back: The Steal! It was only employed a couple of times on Monday night’s show, with some great talent being kept in the competition. We also got to meet the team’s mentors, which are are an interesting bunch this season. Here’s how things went down on the first of the Battles.
Team Cee Lo
Mr. Green put Anthony Paul and Caroline Pennell together to sing Justin Bieber‘s “As Long As You Love Me.” I already wasn’t here for the song choice, but the two took to it pretty well, though Anthony needed to work on bringing out more emotion, as mentor Miguel told him. Caroline just has one of those voices, and it worked for this song, but Anthony had me right off the bat. Parts of it were a bit boring though, like they were doing karaoke in a bowling alley, but Christina Aguilera called it her favorite Battle of the night. Cee Lo decided to stick with Caroline’s “unique” voice, leaving Anthony to be stolen by Xtina.
For Blake Shelton‘s first pairing, he had Justin Chain and Shelbie Z. sing “Don’t You Wanna Stay.” I think it was great that Blake chose a duet for them, but it was hard for Justin and Shelbie to find the right harmonies and keep up with each other during rehearsals. Maybe they were distracted by mentor Cher being you know, Cher! She seemed like an odd choice to help with Blake’s mostly Country team, but she gave some great advice. Both had problems with pitch but got it together for the battle where I, and the other coaches, sided with Shelbie. So did Blake, and Shelbie heads on to the Knockout Rounds.
Adam Levine has some vocal powerhouses on his team this year, but he can’t keep all of them. For the first battle of the night, Grey went against Nic Hawk on Jessie J‘s “Domino.” Grey was already very familiar with the song, she sings it all the time at weddings, but Adam warned her about becoming too comfortable. Nic was a ball of energy from the start and kind of dominated the performance. I think Grey toned it down too much, but Adam chose to stick with her, giving Blake the chance to steal Nic for his team.
For his next battle, the former backup singer Donna Allen sang Emeli Sande‘s “Next To Me” with Tessanne Chin. It was almost a little unfair to pair Tessanne with Donna, who i’m sure people could hear singing from miles away. Donna blew both Adam and mentor Ryan Tedder, of OneRepublic, away with her booming voice, but needed more control from her when she went for the big notes. Tessanne stuck with her strategy of not trying to out sing, or sing over, Donna, which proved to be the key to her win. Donna, who Adam and Cee Lo compared to Tina Turner, didn’t get a steal but I hope she leaves knowing that at 54, she’s still got it.
Christina had the young but very talented Amber Nicole and Timyra-Joi sing Beyonce‘s “Listen.” There were a lot of moments in the song for these two to show off, and Timyra really took advantage of them. Amber really related to the lyrics, which is why I think she took some of the quieter parts, leaving the big runs to Timyra. Both girls were great, and they made their coach cry! They caught up to each other towards the end, making the decision a little hard for Xtina, but she stays with Amber and her “crisp” voice.
For the last Battle of the night, Brianna Cuoco and Jacqui Lee went head to head on “House of The Rising Sun.” Christina wanted them to give the song a female twist, and it really fit both of their voices. I know there has been a lot of talk about Brianna because of who her sister is, but I don’t think her voice is anything special. But who cares what I think? Jacqui won the battle, but Brianna wasn’t really the runner up, as both Cee Lo and Blake pushed their buttons for the steal. I think they both made strong cases, but she picked Blake as her new coach. It’s cool though, they hugged it out. Oh, and how cute was Jacqui having a little fangirl moment over mentor Ed Sheeran. I hope she gets to do one of his songs on the show.
So the first Battle Rounds were pretty good, though I’m still a little surprised by Blake stealing Nic. Also surprised that Anthony and Timyra-Joi were sent home, but there are plenty of singers left.
Do you think the coaches made the right decisions? Let us know!