Let the battles begin!
In order to prepare for their battle each duo had rehearsal time with their coach AND a key advisor. The advisors they brought in this season are pretty incredible.
Team Adam - John Legend
Team Blake - Luke Bryan
Team Alicia - DJ Khaled
Team Gwen - Celine Dion
I’m not gonna lie I am SUPER jealous that Team Adam had the opportunity to meet/work with John Legend. During my season Stevie Nicks was our advisor. She is incredibly famous and well known, but I may have walked into that rehearsal not recognizing who she was….I knew her music, I just didn’t recognize her face right away. Now, had I walked in and saw John Legend, I may have crapped my pants. For that reason, It’s probably best he wasn’t the advisor during my season! And don’t even get me started about Celine Dion. I would be speechless. No. Words.
For the premiere episode of the battles Gwen and Alicia showcased some stylish outfits, Blake wore his usual, and Adam was dressed in a tuxedo….KIDDING! I think he had on sweatpants and a cardigan with his blonde highlighted hairdo. Don’t get me wrong, about 90% of my outfits include a cardigan, so I’m always a fan of the sweater, but I think he could’ve been a little more dressed up!
BEST MOMENT OF THE NIGHT: Blake calling Adam Ellen (referring to Ellen Degeneres) due to his blonde highlighted hair. I actually laughed out loud…
Brennley Brown vs. Lauren Duski: "Better Man"
Brennley and Lauren started the night off with their battle, singing the hit song by Chris Jamison, Better Man. NOT! The song they sang was “Better Man” but unfortunately it’s the one made famous by Little Big Town, but I’m not salty about it at all! During her opening interview it was clear that Lauren was able to connect to the song on a personal level, while Brennley had a harder time figuring out how to connect. After all, she is 14 years old so she hasn’t really experienced those tough heartbreak situations yet! They were greeted by Luke Bryan and Blake, who seemed like actual best friends! Their battle was flawless. Both delivered an awesome vocal performance, but my pick as the winner was Lauren. I love the warm tone of her voice and she truly embodied every lyric of the song. Brennley’s performance seemed a little forced to my while Lauren’s delivery felt very genuine. After calling me and asking my opinion, Blake agreed and chose Lauren as the winner of the battle. Before Carson had the chance to say that Brennley was available to steal, Gwen was quick to hit her red button but Adam Levine snuck in there right when everyone thought she’d be headed to Team Gwen. Adam tried to seal the deal by serenading her with Happy Birthday but that wasn’t enough! Brennley chose to join Team Gwen. HAPPY BIRTHDAY BRENNLEY!
JChosen vs. Kenny P: "I Was Made To Love Her"
After entering the rehearsal space, JChosen was left speechless and giggly as he shook hands with THE Celine Dion. Honestly, it seemed like Gwen was a little star struck too! You could tell JChosen was feeling the nerves but Celine calmed his nerves by saying, “You can’t be good all the time, you have to be good when it’s time.” I agree with the comments Kenny made in his interview! JChosen has the control and Kenny has more of the power. Celine seemed like an incredible advisor. She was really getting into the rehearsal time! JChosen and Kenny took the stage and were clearly ready to battle. While JChosen is on my team within The Voice app, I have to give this battle to Kenny! It sounded like he took the song and made it his own even while sharing the stage with another singer. JChosen has that warm tone and can sing vocal runs for days. He definitely deserves to be in this competition, but I feel like Kenny had the better performance. After a lot of thoughtful deliberation, Gwen named JChosen the winner of the battle and Kenny’s time on The Voice came to an end. Kenny is going to have a great career in music. I’m a fan!
Anatalia Villaranda vs. Missy Robertson: "Tightrope"
I don’t know much about DJ Khaled, other than the fact that he’s HUGE on snapchat and has produced music for tons of superstars, but he seems like someone that is going to provide a lot of feedback and direction during these battle rounds! He was dancing around during their rehearsal and Alicia was really giving in-depth direction, breaking down the performance and making sure each singer at their moment in the spotlight. Right off the bat you could tell that Anatalia was ready to give it her all! This battle was great! I loved the song choice (I actually hadn’t heard it before) and it fit both artists perfectly. They each had their moment in the spotlight, but Missy really stepped up her game in this performance. Her blind audition was good, but you could definitely feel her nerves. This time around Missy looked super comfortable and I heard no signs of nerves coming through in her voice. I’m going to have to give her the win for this battle, but Anatalia was incredible and had this energy that just made you smile. Alicia was on her feet at the end of their performance saying that Missy had this beautiful power to her voice and Anatalia had a pocket to her voice that was undeniable. Alicia chose Anatalia as the winner of the battle! She is definitely a great singer but I have to stick to my guns and go with Missy. Congrats on a great run, Missy. You’re incredible!
Gabby Borromeo vs. Mark Isaiah: "Pillowtalk"
During rehearsal Adam mentioned that he could hear some straining in both of their voices that he attributed, to them just being in their head too much. John (we are on a first name basis now) mentioned that their harmonies gave him the “warm and fuzzies”, definitely a big compliment coming from a man who’s voice is warm and fuzzy (is that weird for a guy to say about another guy???). Being a male pop song, this song was catered more to Mark’s voice. Even with that being said, I think Mark was the winner of the battle. He was right in his lane with this performance and gave a flawless vocal performance. Like Blake mentioned, Mark really had a grasp on the syncopation of the song, never missing a beat. Gabby gave an awesome performance, but unfortunately Mark had that extra something! Adam agreed with me (after he also called and asked my opinion. I should really start charging them.) and chose Mark as the winner. As he said his goodbyes to Gabby, Adam told not to give up! Again, I agree with Adam (great minds think alike) don’t throw in the towel Gabby, you’re amazing!
Felicia Temple vs. Quizz Swanigan: "Titanium"
Right away Felicia explained her deep connection to the song, which was something Alicia was quick to pick up on. Quizz was having some difficulty hitting notes that were at the top of his vocal range. Both of them had a great energy and vibe with each other and DJ Khaled made a point to make that known. Alicia was clearly pushing Quizz in the second rehearsal as he continued to struggle with the higher notes. No need to fear! At the end of rehearsal Quizz was CRUSHING those high notes. He stopped overthinking it and went for it! They came out on the day of their Battle ready to go! Both started out strong throwing in unexpected runs and delivering a clean vocal performance. Personally, I feel like Quizz was adding a few too many runs to his performance and therefore not all of them were as clean as they could’ve been. Felicia gave a solid performance adding in her own personal touches throughout the entire performance, naming her the winner in my book. Yes, Quizz is the youngest contestant on the show which is an incredible feat but like Blake mentioned, Felicia was 13 at once too!! Alicia felt that Felicia broke down her shield and gave an amazing performance and Quizz took direction extremely well. Alicia chose Quizz as the winner of the battle but don’t worry, Blake was quick to hit his STEAL button. I can’t wait to see what Felicia does next on Team Blake!
Ashley Levin vs. Casi Joy: "How Blue"
I had a feeling this battle was going to be amazing. Both women are incredible country singers with lots of similarities in the way they sing. Their harmonies made Luke Bryan purr like a Tiger and Blake regretted pairing the two of them together. Ashley wanted to win the battle for her dad and Casi wanted to win it for her fiance! Nothing gets me more excited than tight harmonies, so when they started the song acapella I was...EXCITED!!! The way Casi switches from her falsetto to her chest voice is so nice to listen to, but Ashley has this grit to her voice that is also undeniably good! I’m honestly torn with who I’d choose as the winner. Adam said it right, “that was a boxing match posing as a singing competition!” Alicia mentioned that she did not feel good for Blake and Adam called Blake a “dum-dum” for pairing the two of them together! I love the grit to Ashley’s voice, so I have to go with her as the winner, but honestly Casi deserves to be the winner as well! Blake chose Casi, but Ashley’s disappointment didn’t last long because Adam, Gwen, AND Alicia wanted the opportunity to work with Ashley and hit their STEAL buttons! Gwen feels like she could help Ashley figure out how to work the stage as a woman and Alicia wants to discover all that Ashley can be. Alicia ended her comments reminding Ashley that Adam didn’t initially turn around for her during the blind auditions. After all of the coaches fought hard to be Ashley’s, Ashley chose to join Team Alicia!!
What a great start to the Battles Rounds! My comments on Tuesday’s episode will be posted tomorrow, but in the meantime subscribe to the blog to be notified as soon as a new post is released AND TELL ALL YOU FRIENDS!!