Tuesday, April 1, 2014

Battles Round 2 – The Voice (s.6) – Recap

Last night The Battles Round 2 started. The best of the best go head-to-head once again. If you thought the first round of Battles was intense... you just wait. Last night twelve artists gave us their everything, and they were all amazing. The amount of growth from some of them is undefinable, and for that, I credit the excellent coaching they have received and the pure dedication of bettering themselves. I was beyond impressed with their talent, and I do NOT envy the decisions the coaches had to make.

You can download your favorite winning performances on iTunes here.


Audra McLaughlin - NBC
1. TEAM BLAKE: Audra McLaughlin vs. Megan Rüger (“The Climb”)
Probably one of my favorite songs, and a very good choice for the two of them, this battle was one of my favorites so far on the show. A great showcase of the country power within Audra and the awesome rocker vibe that comes from Megan.
Audra started much softer than Megan, and Megan had a more clear delivery of her vocals, but by the second verse, that power inside of Audra came out. While Megan seemed to have a little more control, the amazing range and power of Audra's vocals were no match for Megan. Both had great energy and gave us an stellar performance, but there can be only one winner. I really enjoy Megan's voice and style (and would buy her songs), but in my opinion, Audra clearly won the battle. Even Adam stated that she was “one of the best singers on the show.”
Winner: Audra McLaughlin
Steal: No (Which did surprise me... but each coach does only have one)

2. TEAM USHER: T.J. Wilkens vs. Cierra Mickens (“Get Here”)
Usher paired these two and pretty much gave us a battle of the Soul Singers. Both T.J. and Cierra decided on a ballad to showcase the best qualities of their individual vocal ranges.
T.J. started a little high and Cierra sort of had a 'wispy' start, but by the second verse, both found their groove and absolutely exploded on stage. The power that both have is incredible. While T.J. and Cierra were both well controlled during the performance, T.J. was a little more solid in his delivery, both vocally and emotionally.
Winner: T.J. Wilkens
Steal: No

3. TEAM BLAKE: Jake Worthington vs. Tess Boyer (“Have A Little Faith In Me”)
A sort of a 'battle of second chances,' Blake's choice of pairing made sense and produced a battle that also ranks as one of my favorites so far.

I have to be honest, Tess wasn't really on my 'radar' before last night. She's no doubt talented, but she never really did anything to grab my attention... until last night. I'm not sure where that came from, but she completely blew me away with that performance.
Jake is pure country through-and-through, and the song was a great fit for him. Tess, besides looking completely stunning last night, showed that she is much more versatile and powerful than she'd let on during her Blind Audition and the first Battle Round. She has a killer lower range and seems to convey her emotions and feelings through each and every note with no effort at all. Her connection to the song and to the audience was intense. Jake was technically perfect last night, but (for me) didn't connect as well as Tess did. Regardless, it was a great battle from two exceptionally talented singers, and it earned both of them a standing ovation from all the coaches and three very quick button presses for the steal. Tess has quickly become the force to be feared.
Winner: Jake Worthington
Steal: Yes – Shakira

4. TEAM ADAM: Christina Grimmie vs. Sam Behymer (“Counting Stars”)
Two very different (but great) styles, and two very different looks made for a very entertaining and exhilarating battle. Sam looked amazing on stage and showed us how versitle and unique her vocals are. Christina had great power and a very melodic way of delivering the notes. I thought both did very well and produced a winning rendition of the song. Honestly, I preferred their version of “Counting Stars” over the original.
Christina may be a little more controlled and sure of what kind of artist she is over Sam, but Sam has something I haven't seen in an artist before. Her delivery and vocal capabilities are unique and intriquing. I know in the first Battle Round I choose Cary over Sam, but in this one, I would easily pick Sam over Christina.
Winner: Christina Grimmie
Steal: No

Patrick & Josh - NBC
5. TEAM SHAKIRA: Patrick Thomson vs. Josh Murley (“Run To You”)
This was Shakira's battle of her steals. She stole both Patrick and Josh from Adam in the previous Battle Rounds, and I'm guessing she wanted to see which one would add the most power to her team.
Josh seemed to be better suited to the song choice. His pitch was well matched and had a great rock tone in his vocals. Patrick sang much deeper and with more of a rasp but did really well. For me, Josh seemed smoother and had a better sound and better control throughout the performance. I would pick Josh as the winner, but Shakira went the other direction.
Winner: Patrick Thomson
Steal: No

6. TEAM ADAM: Delvin Choice vs. Josh Kaufman (“Signed, Sealed, Delivered I'm Yours”)
Delvin surprised me last night. Maybe it was his new look, I don't know, but he really nailed it. It was the perfect song for him, and right from the start he hit his groove and never faltered. Josh's approach was different from Delvin's, but he still did really well with the song. My only thought with Josh is that his vocals seem forced and more 'from the throat.' This isn't always a bad thing, but his sound just didn't grab my ear. Delvin, on the other hand, seemed to deliver his vocals from somewhere deep within himself with absolutely no effort at all. For me it was an easy choice.
Winner: Delvin Choice
Steal: Yes – Usher

The first night of Battles Round 2 are done, and if last night is any indication of the remaining battles, Blake is definitely going to need a new liver, and I may need to start drinking. Trimming thirty-two exceptional artists to twenty will not be easy, but it needs to be done.

Everyone is so amazing this season, but my picks for 'Best of the Night' are
Audra McLaughlin and Tess Boyer
(both from Team Blake).

 

Tune in tonight as Battles Round 2 continue on NBC!

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