Luke Bryan opened last night's episode with a lovely rendition of “America The Beautiful”. I’m not sure what prompted this performance, but it was a glorious way to begin The Battles, Part 3 episode!
Josh Hoyer vs. TSoul: “In The Midnight Hour”
These two got the night started with a performance that was full of energy and soul, soul, soul, soul, soul, soul. Did I mention soul? During rehearsals, Josh and TSoul were really vibing as they sang a song that was right in their wheel houses. I was torn between who I thought the winner should’ve been. Josh gave an incredible vocal performance and worked the entire stage, but TSoul was jumping around the stage delivering solid vocals with runs that ran for dayzzz! Although I did feel like TSoul’s blind audition performance was better than his battle performance, I had to give the battle win to TSoul. Blake named him the winner as well!
Autumn Turner vs. Vanessa Ferguson: “Killing Me Softly with His Song”
I love Vanessa’s style. She has a unique look matched with a unique voice and seems like a SUPER cool person! Something about her reminds me of Janelle Monáe. Autumn has a huge range and supports every note with tons of power. During rehearsals Alicia encouraged both Autumn and Vanessa to be cautious of how they delivered the song, because Lauryn Hill made the song so famous. Both wanted to make sure they showcased the uniqueness of their individual voices while still staying true to the original melodies. As Autumn and Vanessa made their way through their battle, I felt like Vanessa’s vibe matched perfectly with the vibe of the song. She made the song seem like it was one of her own. Autumn’s vocals were spot on and she looked super comfortable on stage. I chose Vanessa as the winner of the battle. There was something about her delivery that drew me in a little more than Autumn did. Alicia chose Vanessa as the winner, but Adam and Gwen were quick to hit their red buttons in the hopes of STEALING Autumn. Blake offered his opinion saying, “If you wanna go to Diners, Drive-ins, and Dives you should go with Guy Fieri (Adam Levine), and If you want a great powerful female coach to help you win the voice, maybe you should go with Gwen.” Autumn said she likes diners and french fries, so she headed to Team Adam!
Johnny Hayes vs. Julien Martinez: “Hard to Handle”
After not getting any chairs to turn in season 11, Johnny is back this season with a fire lit underneath him and Julien has a voice that sounds like it is coming out of a big 50 year old man. Both have a rock edge, so the pairing of them together was spot on. Nice work Adam. When their first rehearsal began John Legend felt that Julien was thinking too much about pronouncing the words and Adam mentioned that Johnny needed to really focus on staying in the pocket. Johnny continued to get tripped up during their second rehearsal but as their battle performance began, Johnny was LOCKED into the pocket. He was having the time of his life on stage and I was having the time of my life watching him. Julien’s vocal performance was flawless but at times it seemed like Johnny was stealing the show. For that reason, I had to give the win to Johnny. Adam agreed saying that what Johnny does is really special!
Caroline Sky vs. Stephanie Rice: “The First Cut Is the Deepest”
The pairing of these two together was really interesting. Caroline has a soft angelic voice while Stephanie has a more edgy-rock voice. After they got over the fact that Celine Dion was sitting across from them (i’m not sure I’d be able to get over that) they began to sing through their song and you could really hear how different their voices were from one another. At first Gwen and Celine told them that Caroline needed to turn it up a little and Stephanie needed to tone it down a little, but during their second day of rehearsals Caroline took it to another level. Personally, I wasn’t a huge fan of the song choice. The song itself is great, but I’m not sure it worked well as a duet. When all was said and done, I gave the win to Stephanie. Gwen agreed and chose her as the winner, but Blake snuck in at the end of Caroline’s thank you speech to STEAL her for his team! Congratulations Caroline AND Stephanie!
Kawan DeBose vs. Malik Davage: “Love Me Now”
They knew they were going to be singing a John Legend song but they had NO idea they’d be singing a John Legend song for John Legend. If I were in that situation my nerves would instantly skyrocket to a different universe. After hearing them sing through the song once, John encouraged Malik to reduce the amount of runs he was singing by 10%-15%. He also mentioned that he was nervous that Kawan's gentle and subtle voice wasn’t going to convey enough power in a bigger setting. As Malik and Kawan continued to work through day one of rehearsals, John said in his closing interview that he felt they weren’t as prepared as they could’ve been. That’s definitely not something I would want to hear John Legend say when I am singing one of his own songs TO HIM! Unfortunately, there weren’t many improvements from day one to day two and Adam told them that he was not very happy that they weren’t more prepared. Honestly, I’m not sure why they weren’t more prepared either! For my battle performance, Jonathan Wyndham and I worked out the arrangement of our performance the day we were given our song selection. At the start of their rehearsals and into the actual performance, I felt like there was something off with Kawan. His blind audition was incredible, but it seemed like he wasn’t thrilled about singing in this battle. Blake felt like it didn’t come together until halfway through the song. Adam mentioned the importance of being able to collaborate with other musicians and emphasized that his decision boiled down to who he felt he could work best with moving forward. That individual was Malik. I thought Adam’s comments were really interesting. It almost made me feel like Adam thought Kawan didn’t collaborate well and had a bad attitude! Interesting...very interesting….
Enid Ortiz vs. Valerie Ponzio: “Love Triangle”
Winner: Enid Ortiz
This one surprised me. I put Valerie on my team in The Voice App because of how incredible her blind audition was! I’m not sure what happened in her battle performance. Maybe she didn’t connect well with the song?
Hanna Eyre vs. Sheena Brook: “Try”
Winner: Hanna Eyre
Jozy Bernadette vs. Troy Ramey: “Angel Eyes”
Winner: Troy Ramey
Hunter Plake vs. Jack Cassidy “Dancing on My Own”
Although Hunter and Jack each have unique vocal tones, their voices blended very nicely with one another. Hunter has an emotional voice that pulls you into every word he sings and Jack has a powerful voice that was pushed even further when DJ Khaled told him to TAKE IT TO CHURCH! Both of their rehearsals went smoothly. The only challenge Hunter felt he was facing was making sure he had his moment during the battle amidst Jack’s powerful voice. I can tell you right away that Hunter’s voice was not overshadowed. I was a fan of Hunter and Jack after seeing their blind auditions and am an even bigger fan of both of them after seeing their battle. The emotion they each poured into the performance brought the song to life. Their vocals were spot on and the freedoms they took with the melody at times were genius. This was definitely the best battle of the night (no wonder they leaked it to the viewers early!). I could’ve given the win to either one of them, but I couldn’t get passed the incredible tone of Hunter’s voice. Adam hit the nail on the head when he said Hunter’s voice drew him in from the very first note he sang. My winner of this battle was Hunter but Alicia chose to give the win to Jack (which I can’t blame her for, they both gave an awesome performance!). I think we all saw it coming when those STEAL buttons were pushed for Hunter! Adam confessed that he didn’t get Hunter’s voice at first, which was why he didn’t push for him during the blinds. Gwen commented how she knew from the beginning he was special because she DID push her button for him during the blinds. Having Gwen push her button twice for him swayed Hunter’s decision and he walked on over to Team Gwen.
That's all she wrote! Check back on Thursday morning to see what I thought of last nights show.
In the meantime, feel free to check out my latest adventure: VLOGGING! It's essentially the blog but in video format (instead of you reading my words you watch me talk). It's a fun thing that I started in order to supplement the blog. Share it with the world if you enjoy it!
Also, who's been updating their team? Two of my teammates went home (Kawan DeBose and Valerie Ponzio) leaving two spots open on my team. Based on the performances I mentioned in this post I added Hunter Plake and Vanessa Ferguson to Team Chris! They gave incredible performances and will be a great addition to my team.