Season 12’s final week of the battle rounds is complete. From pop to country to R&B, artists worked with their coaches and last week’s advisers in a fight to stay in the competition. Some moved on to the knockout rounds, while others (two being my favorite artists) unfortunately departed for good. For more insight into Monday and Tuesday’s “The Voice” results, check out these highlights (best battles marked with a “*”).
Monday, March 27th
Team Blake Shelton: Josh Hoyer v. Tsoul performing “In the Midnight Hour” by Wilson Pickett.
- Chemistry wise, this was the weakest battle of the entire season. The duo seemed to be in their own world and focused solely on their voices rather than their interactions. Their vocals did not complement each other until the closing harmonies.
- Tsoul’s diction was extremely messy, but the runs in the lower part of his voice were unique and lively. His upper register has room to grow, but it held the duet parts together and carried the rhythm of the song.
- Hoyer’s soul was evident in the harmonies and his stage presence lit up the crowd. His performance displayed some unease in his movements, but overall he had a solid grasp on his control.
And the Winner is: Tsoul
Team Alicia Keys: Autumn Turner v. Vanessa Ferguson performing “Killing me Softly” by Fugees.
- Using a drummed up melody and a downbeat with snares, these artists put up a great fight. Their R&B styled voices blended beautifully in the opening a Capella notes and they worked around each other exquisitely.
- Ferguson had a few Christina Aguilera type growls and definitely proved that she was a force to be reckoned with. However, her power was not up to par with her opponent’s.
- Turner’s power was undeniable and she once again proved why she was a four chair turn. Her range was far more extensive as she moved around the floor, and the way she sang the chorus was methodical and stunning.
And the Winner is: Vanessa Ferguson
Steals: Adam Levine stole Autumn Turner
Team Levine: Johnny Hayes v. Julien Martinez performing “Hard to Handle” by The Black Crowes.
- The explosive and bluesy grit that these two had was energetic and powerful. They synced up well and managed the stage efficiently like a professional concert.
- Martinez came out with less energy, but made up for it with his belt and intangible screaming high parts. He dodged some of his best vocal moments by not taking the stage. All around, he delivered a performance with minimal control in his body.
- Hayes’ rock and roll voice electrified the crowd. His experience and fearless energy on his upper register overpowered Martinez and stunned Levine by the fact that no chairs turned for him last season.
And the Winner is: Johnny Hayes
Team Gwen Stefani: Caroline Sky v. Stephanie Rice performing “The First Cut Is the Deepest” by Cat Stevens.
- Rice and Sky worked very well together on the stage and in the harmonies. Each artist picked their own special moments to mix in a run or take some higher parts of their harmonies. Despite Rice being 27 and Sky 16, these two sang together like they’ve been performing for decades.
- Rice used her painful backstory to emote throughout the duet. Her distinct style in her belt conveyed a strong connection to the piece’s message and ultimately made her stick out as the winner in my eyes.
- Sky’s voice was delicate in her lower register and had a special rasp in the upper parts of her vocals. Even adviser Celine Dion was impressed with her culmination of power choices with her register. Compared to her blind audition, she put on an admirable show despite her inexperience.
And the Winner is: Stephanie Rice
Steals: Shelton stole Sky.
Team Levine: Kawan DeBose v. Malik Davage performing “Love Me Now” by John Legend.
- This battle was the most disappointing for me. While it must have been difficult to be singing a song with its artist right in front of them, these two were really under-prepared. Their chemistry was decent, but the performance really didn’t become a worthy duet until the introduction of the chorus. DeBose and Davage struggled to blend well in rehearsal and ultimately delivered a let down.
- Davage displayed a stronger lower register and came out much stronger out of the gates than DeBose. His range is nowhere near DeBose’s, but his performance was more energetic.
- DeBose held back way too much and only shined toward the end of the duet. His falsetto was electric, but he was just too calm and quiet throughout the performance.
And the Winner is: Malik Davage
Note: DeBose was originally one of my picks to win the show and the fact that no coach stole him completely confused and upset me. DeBose has so much talent and value to offer the music industry. Terrible decision making coaches!!
Once again, “The Voice” skipped through more performances, so here is a brief update on the winners and losers. In a battle for Team Shelton, Enid Ortiz defeated Valerie Ponzio in their performance of “Love Triangle” by RaeLynn. Additionally, young pop artist Hanna Eyre miraculously took down country singer Sheena Brook in Team Levine’s battle performance of “Try” by Pink. Lastly, in a battle for Team Stefani, Troy Ramey took down Jozy Bernadette in their performance of “Angel Eyes” by the Jeff Healey Band.
Note: Like DeBose’s loss, Brook’s departure from “The Voice” infuriated me because she was one of my picks to be a finalist on the show.
Team Keys: Hunter Plake v. Jack Cassidy performing “Dancing on My Own” by Robyn.
- Both singers began behind their mic stands and executed their harmonies to perfection. Their tones are extremely distinct and had a raspy and soulful ora throughout the slow verses. It’s no wonder that they made it to the 15 spot on iTunes!
- Plake’s tone was gorgeous and his falsetto was stronger and smoother than Cassidy’s. His presence had less confidence, but his emotions masked that.
- Cassidy’s power and tenderness were qualities that I look for when searching for a new artist to listen to. His falsetto had less emotion than Plake’s, but his connection with Plake was genuine and made the duet look even more authentic.
And the Winner is: Jack Cassidy
Steals: Gwen stole Plake.
Tuesday, March 28th
Team Keys: Lauryn Judd v. Lilli Passero performing “Every Little Bit Hurts” by Brenda Holloway.
- Passero’s soothing tone was extremely captivating from the opening verse of the duet. Her belt was full of soul and power and consistently drew roars from the crowd.
- Judd was very nasally and sharp on a few of the riffs that she went for. For a young artist, she had a lovely presence and held her own
- Overall, their chemistry together was magnificent. The harmonies sung in the complex rhythm of the music were well blended
And the Winner is: Lilli Passero
Team Levine: Taylor Alexander v. Jesse Larson performing “Shameless” by Garth Brooks.
- The contrast from Larson on the electric guitar and Alexander on an acoustic guitar blended rock and a bit of country in an interesting way. Despite the positive feedback from the coaches, this song dragged to me.
- Larson has the ability to step out of the box and dip into other genres. His vocal power was way beyond Alexander’s and he carried the higher parts with his vibrato and breath control while they sang together
- Alexander delivered a decent performance and balanced out his bari-tenor voice throughout the song. Ultimately, however, he slowed down the pacing of the song and his breath control on his higher notes was not up to par
And the Winner is: Jesse Larson
Team Stefani: Brandon Royal v. Davina Leone performing “In the Night” by The Weeknd.
- The energy, sassy chemistry, and harmonies were excellent between these two. At the ending chorus between the two, the music slowed down which enabled them to explode with their upper registers.
- Royal came right out of the gates with full confidence and a smooth opening verse. Some of his higher notes during the middle and end of the battle were a bit strained, but his pitch and timing flowed well with Leone and the music.
- Leone’s aggressive passion also brought forth pizazz and essentially displayed an extensive amount of growth from her blind audition. She allowed the lyrics to guide her movements around the stage. Her dominance in finding that pocket to control her air and blast out her high notes was really remarkable.
And the Winner is: Brandon Royal
Steals: Levine stole Leone.