Tuesday, April 8, 2014

The Final Battles Recap & The Top 20 Named – 'The Voice' (s.6)

The Final Battles played out last night. Twelve very talented artists fought hard, and all seven of the artists I predicted to advance did move on to the Playoffs. Five battles predicted correctly, and one battle, where I said Blake would use his steal, I got the Win and the Steal flipped.
Everyone did an amazing job last night, and they all showed us how talented they really are. I've become a fan of many of them will continue to follow and support their sure-to-be-growing careers.
Here is the recap and results of last night's Final Battles.

Dani & Clarissa - Credit: NBC
1. TEAM SHAKIRA: Dani Moz vs. Clarissa Serna (“Perfect”)
Both Dani and Clarissa are very similar vocally, so this battle was going to be decided by who took the strongest command. Clarissa seemed nervous and stiff in the beginning and did have some pitch and control issues, but she soon overcame that and nailed the remainder of the song.
Dani projected her voice and herself very well right from the first note. She showed great range and control and was very animated on the stage. She instantly took control and never let go. Overall both did a great job vocally and finished with an killer note, but Dani was more 'present' on the stage.
Winner: Dani Moz
Steal: No

Dawn & Hawkes & Kat - Credit: NBC
2. TEAM ADAM: Dawn & Hawkes vs. Kat Perkins (“Suddenly I See”)
Adam paired Kat with Dawn & Hawkes because he felt that she does have the kind of power needed to compete with a very powerful duo, and he was right. While Dawn & Hawkes showed their great chemistry and melody, Kat showed her great energy and power. Dawn & Hawkes were connected very strongly to each other, but Kat connected much more with the audience. She worked the stage and forced most of our attention onto herself, which is what she needed to do. Honestly, as much as I love all of them, it felt as though Dawn & Hawkes were there as backup for Kat.
Winner: Kat Perkins
Steal: No

Melissa - Credit: NBC
3. TEAM USHER: Melissa Jiménez vs. Music Box (“Girl On Fire”)
Usher paired two artists that are very different stylistically, but he wanted someone that would challenge Music Box. For him, he wanted the battle to show who would be the most committed.
Melissa had a very strong start, and I really do love her tone. Music Box also started strongly, and it was very clear how vocally different she is from Melissa. Music Box held her own and showed good power and solid control, but Melissa's personality and 'attitude' on stage did overpower Music Box. I felt much more connected to and entertained by Melissa's performance. Both sang great and harmonized beautifully together, but Melissa was definitely more “committed."
Winner: Melissa Jiménez
Steal: No

4. TEAM BLAKE: Ryan Whyte Maloney vs. Kaleigh Glanton (“Easy”)
For Blake, this battle was going “to come down to emotion.” Ryan started in the lower register and his tone and control was pretty much perfect. I really like Kaleigh's tone, but she wasn't as solid as I would have liked. I did feel a little more emotion coming from Kaleigh, but Ryan really connected with the audience. Both are powerful vocalists, and honestly, when they were singing together, it sounded incredible. I could easily see them forming a duo and becoming very successful with that.
Winner: Ryan Whyte Maloney
Steal: N/A

Brittnee & Jake - Credit: NBC
5. TEAM ADAM: Jake Barker vs. Brittnee Camelle (“Climax”)
Both artists were stolen by Adam from Team Usher, and I figured that the outcome of this battle was going to rest on song choice. They decided on a risky choice of “Climax,” because of the range needed with the song. They both wanted to take a risk to reap the rewards, and it worked very well.
For someone who has been on a stage literally twice before last night, Jake really did nail his performance. His Falsetto start was surprisingly done almost flawlessly considering he only realized he could even do a falsetto during his last battle. From his high notes down to the lower register, he had great control and pitch. He really made a connection with the audience and showed a very strong presence on the stage.
Brittnee looked amazing last night, and she had a solid performance. I love her tone, and she also showed good presence on stage. Her vocals were strong, but there were a few times where I felt she pushed them a bit too much. Her voice is beautiful and easily cuts through everything perfectly. When I posted my predictions, I was tossing back and forth between the two for awhile. It could have went either way, but I believe the the song choice and Jake's ability to grow so much is what decided the battle.
Winner: Jake Barker
Steal: No

Bria & Madilyn - Credit: NBC
6. TEAM USHER: Bria Kelly vs. Madilyn Paige (“I'll Stand By You”)
I felt that this was not a good song choice for either of them to really shine, but out of the three they had to pick from, this was probably the least worst of the three.
Madilyn began with solid and simply pure vocals. I'm fairly certain that before she even finished the first line, the audience was already captivated by her, as they started cheering as she finished the first line. She showed more power last night than she has in the past, and that showed she is growing and learning. She was solid. She was consistent. She performed beautifully and effortlessly.
Bria started started somewhat shaky, which did surprise me. She does have a beautiful voice, but sometimes the amount of power she has overtakes her a little. Bria did find her groove and reigned in her power. She did very well... Both did very well despite the poor song choices available to them, and I was surprised Usher went with Bria, but very thrilled Blake stole Madilyn. I think Blake will be able to work very well with her and help her grow and find that fire within her.
Winner: Bria Kelly
Steal: Yes (Blake)

Here are this season's Top 20:

Team Adam
1. Christina Grimmie (Twitter - iTunes)
2. Delvin Choice (Twitter - iTunes)
3. Kat Perkins (Twitter - iTunes)
4. Jake Barker (Twitter - iTunes)
5. Morgan Wallen (Twitter - iTunes)

Team Shakira
1. Deja Hall (Twitter - iTunes)
2. Dani Moz (Twitter - iTunes)
3. Kristen Merlin (Twitter - iTunes)
4. Patrick Thomson (Twitter - iTunes)
5. Tess Boyer (Twitter - iTunes)

Team Usher
1. T.J. Wilkins (Twitter - iTunes)
2. Bria Kelly (Twitter - iTunes)
3. Melissa Jiménez (Twitter - iTunes)
4. Stevie Jo (Twitter - iTunes)
5. Josh Kaufman (Twitter - iTunes)

Team Blake
1. Jake Worthington (Twitter - iTunes)
2. Ryan Whyte Maloney (Twitter - iTunes)
3. Sisaundra Lewis (Twitter - iTunes)
4. Audra McLaughlin (Twitter - iTunes)
5. Madilyn Paige (Twitter - iTunes)

Tonight, the Playoffs start, and the format has changed from previous seasons. There's been no official announcement from NBC or The Voice on how exactly these are to play out or as to why the changes were made, but it seems that the Playoffs will NOT be live and the viewers will NOT be voting until the Top 12. With that said, I'm assuming the coaches will be the ones to decide which three from their teams of five move on to the Live Rounds (Beginning April 21, 2014). I'm not sure I agree with the viewers not being able to vote and choose the Top 12, but that would be a whole other article.

So, I say congratulations to the Top 20, and I say Good Luck to those who didn't make it. Everyone from the Top 32 is very talented and probably will have a productive and successful future in music.

The PLAYOFFS Begin!
Tomorrow at 8/7c on NBC's The Voice.


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Download the winners' versions of their battle songs (their solos) from iTunes.

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