Reviews

‘The Voice’ Review: First Week of Battle Rounds Make for Tough Choices, Several Steals

THE VOICE -- "Team Blake Battle Reality" Episode 608 -- Pictured: (l-r) Blake Shelton with Neil, Kimberly, and Reid Perry from The Band Perry, Megan Ruger, Ria Eaton -- (Photo by: Trae Patton/NBC)

It was the first week of the battle rounds on The Voice and if you thought it was tough for the coaches choosing who they wanted to have on their teams, you can only imagine how hard it was for some of them to choose between their artists as they battle it out in song.

Monday and Tuesday’s episodes brought not only tough competition but also the advisors to help out the coaches during their rehearsal time with the artists.  As mentioned in my previous review, two-time winner Adam Levine brought on musical artist Aloe Blacc, while three-time winner, Blake Shelton scored The Band Perry to be his advisors.  As for returning coaches, Shakira and Usher, they brought on country singer and wife of Blake, Miranda Lambert and GRAMMY winner and actress, Jill Scott.

If I had to compare Monday’s show to that of Tuesday’s, I would say, the best night was of course the first.  The competition in Monday evening’s battle round was on point, and it made things very hard for some of the coaches when deciding who to keep.   One of the closest battles was that of Adam’s team in Kat Perkins and Patrick Thomson, who sang the Kenny Loggins and Stevie Nicks duet, “Whenever I Call You “Friend” “.  The performance was so in tune and blended so well, that I knew that it would be tough for Adam to choose.  Thankfully, both Kat, who remained on Team Adam, and Patrick will go forward in the Knock-outs.

The second performance that was a tough one was that of Usher’s Jake Barker and Stevie Jo who sang “Higher Love” by Steve Windwood.  I listened to their performance minus viewing, and I can seriously say that for someone who has not performed at all in front of people, Jake is beyond good.  Yes, he does sound similar to Justin Timberlake, but let’s not put a label on him, because he has his own style that just flows.  I also love Stevie, who held his own and matched Jake in the majority of the song.  Thankfully, even though Usher kept Stevie, Adam swooped in and scooped up Jake to continue on.

The battle of the night however, was that of Blake’s Paula DeAnda and Sisaundra Lewis.  He chose the song, “Do What You Want (To My Body) by Lady Gaga.  Was I the only one holding my breath on that one?  Some songs are not to be touched but Blake hit pay dirt when he chose that song.  Sisaundra did the song pure justice and while Paula had some great moments, Sisaundra stomped her and belted out several high notes to snatch that battle right from under her.  Blake better be wise when it comes time for the Knockouts.

I was very disappointed in Usher on Monday, but after seeing the show again, I understood why he didn’t choose DeShawn Washington to stay in the competition against Dani Moz. The two of them sang the Emeli Sande song, “My Kind of Love”.  DeShawn did a great job on the song and showed a great deal of emotion.  The same can be said about Dani, who belted out her vocals in all the right places.  She, just as Tessanne Chin from last season, just knew where to hit her high notes and also know when to pull back to show her emotions in the song.  I still think that DeShawn could have been stolen because he sang great.

Now on to Tuesday night.  I’m going to keep saying it, because it has to be said.  I wish they would show all of the performances on Tuesday night.  We get a two-hour episode on Monday nights for the battle round but when Tuesday show airs, its cut to one hour.  It would have been nice to have seen the other three artists that battled it out on stage and get the coaches input about their performance.

I love the strong vocals that come out of Clarissa Serna. Her battle against Jeremy Briggs wasn’t even a battle, to be quite honest.  The two of them performed the song “Cold as Ice” by Foreigner.  Clarissa pretty much dominated the song, giving Jeremy a sprinkle of lyrics her and there.  He just didn’t match and step up his game with her and that is unfortunate, because he was pretty good in his blind audition.  Shakira means business when it comes to song selection; she wants to definitely challenge her artists, and these two were definitely put to the test to give their song everything.

I’m so glad that Delvin Choice didn’t give up after not being selected to be on a team during last season’s show.   He proved himself in his battle against Caleb Elder on the tune “The Man” by advisor, Aloe.  Adam once again has the gift of choosing challenging songs that will really prove an artist’s worth.  Delvin was like Jaws to Caleb with this song.  He devoured him with his ability to connect with the song, as well as fight his nerves on stage.  Caleb, who was the final blind audition, had so many nerves coming out of him as he sang.  Hopefully when the knock-out comes, Adam will once again pick a song that will show Delvin’s strengths.

THE VOICE -- "Battle Rounds" Episode 608 -- Pictured: (l-r) Brittnee Camelle, Carson Daly, Melissa Jimenez  -- (Photo by: Tyler Golden/NBC)
THE VOICE — “Battle Rounds” Episode 608 — Pictured: (l-r) Brittnee Camelle, Carson Daly, Melissa Jimenez — (Photo by: Tyler Golden/NBC)

Someone needed to throw some water on Blake as he watched Usher’s girls, Brittnee Camelle and Melissa Jimenz perform the song, “Give It to Me Right” by Melanie Fiona.  These two ladies, who struggled with the song in rehearsals, killed it on the stage.  I thought Brittnee had a little bit more edge on Melissa, but Melissa wasn’t backing down in the battles.  Close to the end of the song, Melissa fought to try to edge out Brittnee and she did it with hitting that high note at the end.  The battle again was on at the end of the show when after Usher chose Melissa, did both Adam and Shakira slam their hands down on their buttons in order to steal Brittnee.  I love me some Shakira, but she may need to change up her pitch when trying to win someone over to her team.  Adam was just too convincing and once again, snatched another steal right from under Shakira’s feet.

On a side note, but of course, still related to all things The Voice, I was disappointed that the twin brother duo, Brother Walkers wasn’t picked to stay.  I wished I would have seen all of their battle to see if they had some problems in delivering their song.  This is why I wish Tuesday nights deliver us a two-hour show, or at least shows us more than just a blurb of who else ‘made it through’.

Make sure to tune in for next week’s battle rounds.  Until next time, this has been your The Voice review.