Wednesday, October 16, 2013

“The Voice” – The Battles (Part 2)

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The second round of battles took place Tuesday night. Like Monday’s episode, there were six battles that took place, but with Tuesday’s show only being an hour long, we only saw three complete battles. NBC showed only highlights from and the coaches’ decisions on the other three battles. While I completely understand the need to edit for space (or time when dealing with television), I’m not sure how fair this is to the artists who’s exposure is cut short.
Results and recaps ahead...

In the battles that were not shown in completion, CeeLo paired Lupe Carroll against Cole Vosbury. We said goodbye to Carroll as CeeLo declared Vosbury victorious.
E.G. Daily and Sam Cerniglia battled for a spot on Team Blake. In the end, Daily stayed and Cerniglia was sent home.
Adam chose to put Ashley Dubose up against Justin Blake, and after the battle, Adam kept Ashley Dubose.

Team Xtina started off the Tuesday’s show by preparing pop-rocker Jacob Poole and indie-pop artist Matthew Shuler for the first battle of the evening. Matthew has the power, as we saw when he had the fastest four chair turn in Voice history during the Blind Auditions, but Jacob can give it just as strong. Christina picked “My Songs Know What You Did in the Dark” to showcase the rock inspiration both Jacob and Matthew possess.
The battle started, and the dominating stage presence of Matthew was evident. Jacob held his own vocally, but he seemed a bit stiff on stage. Vocally they were almost even, but Matthew took the performance that extra step, so my point goes to Matthew. Christina also awarded the win to Matthew, and with no other coach using a steal, Jacob’s journey on The Voice ended.

CeeLo added an interesting element to the battle rounds by pairing rocker Kat Robichaud with gospel singer R. Anthony. Two very opposite styles battled with “I Don’t Want to Miss a Thing.” During the rehearsals, the gospel tone on Anthony was clearly evident. Robichaud seemed to have had the advantage as her tone during practice resembled that of nineties rock.
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The battle began and Kat nailed the song mood perfectly from the first note. I could hear inspiration from Cher, Aerosmith, and Heart... inspiration, not imitation. Kat’s vocals were no one else’s but her own, and she nailed it. R. Anthony, on the other hand, still had a small amount of gospel coming through, and he didn’t match the mood of the song choice. Although he is a powerful vocalist, Anthony's performance was mellowed by Kat’s energy and mere presence. Both were amazing in their own way, but my point easily went to Kat. It was no surprise when CeeLo gave her the win, and we said farewell to R. Anthony.

Blake chose to go the other way than CeeLo did and put up Monika Leigh and Ray Boudreaux against each other—two strong bluesy singers. Blake selected “Some Kind of Wonderful” for them to compete with. It was a good song choice, as it forced Monika and Ray to push themselves to make it work. Before the battle, we could see that Ray’s range was limited, and he was going to have push himself for any chance of winning.
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When the battle started, Ray proved himself as being able to grow. He came out with a very strong start. Monika, however, seemed to struggle a bit with nerves in the beginning, shifting to a surprising country tone. By the second verse, though, Monika found her groove and killed it with some very powerful and well placed riffs. By the end, Ray and Monika were almost equally matched, but it was Ray’s consistent strength that forced me to award him the point. Blake declared Ray the winner of the battle, but deservedly CeeLo used his first steal to grab Monika for his team... a good steal for CeeLo.

See you next week for the third part of The Battle Rounds.

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