Tuesday, March 18, 2014

'The Voice' (s.6) Recap – Battle Rounds 1st Night

Forty-Eight very talented contestants... but only thirty-two will advance.

Last night, the first six (of twenty-four) battles were fought, and for the most part, I wasn't surprised by the outcomes. It was exhilarating. The talent was exceptional. The battles were fought hard by all.

You can download your favorite performances from last night on iTunes here.

Bif & T.J. - Credit: Tyler Golden / NBC
1. TEAM USHER: Biff Gore vs. T.J. Wilkins (“Ain't Too Proud To Beg”)
With a twenty-two year gap between these two, it was sure to be an interesting battle, and it was. Both had great vocals. Bif was a little lower than T.J., and both gave us a great show. However, T.J. was much smoother on the stage and very suave. Technically, they were almost equally great, but the battle was easy to call, and the Steal was no surprise.
Winner: T.J. Wilkens
Steal: Yes – Blake Shelton

Jake & Lexi - Credit: Tyler Golden / NBC
2. TEAM BLAKE: Jake Worthington vs. Lexi Luca (“It Goes Like This”)
During rehersals, Lexi was very nervous and struggled with the song. Once she took the battle stage, however, I think she did an amazing job. She had the look. Her character, personality, and facial expressions matched the song nicely, and her performance was filled with passion and feeling. Jake had a good start, and his naturely pure tone sounded great. I did find him a little more stiff with less expression than Lexi, but vocally he was good. Jake did 'fumble' the lyrics in the beginning, and Lexi's did have one spot where pitch was lost for a moment. I originally picked Lexi to win the battle, and after the performance, I still believe she should have won, and Jake should have been 'stolen.' Both are very talented, and both should've been able to advance.
Winner: Jake Worthington
Steal: No

Dani & Deshawn - Credit: Tyler Golden / NBC
3. TEAM SHAKIRA: Dani Moz vs. Deshawn Washington (“My Kind Of Love”)
This was a very fierce battle, and both artists gave it their all. I was surprised by how much natural chemistry Dani and Deshawn showed on stage. It was as though they have been doing this together for years. Both took what Shakira had said to them during rehearsals and applied it to their performances. Technically, I've got nothing to say, but Dani seemed to connect more closely with the song and the audience.
Winner: Dani Moz
Steal: No

Patrick & Kat - Credit: Tyler Golden / NBC
4. TEAM ADAM: Kat Perkins vs. Patrick Thomson (“Whenever I Call You Friend”)
According to Adam, both Kat and Patrick have a “classic quality to their voices that needed to be paired” and perform a “classic duet.” Kat hit the stage looking great and immediately got into the character the song demanded. Patrick's raspy voice was a good match for the song, but I felt he was focusing too much on his technical performance and neglected his personal performance a little. Patrick has an amazing voice and very well controlled vocals, but Kat's amazing energy and great personality stole the show.
Winner: Kat Perkins
Steal: Yes – Shakira

Sisaundra & Paula - Credit: Tyler Golden / NBC
5. TEAM BLAKE: Paula Deanda vs. Sisaundra Lewis (“Do What U Want”)
Well, this was like pairing a kitten with a lion. Paula came out looking great and had the character and attitude needed for the song, but her soft (yet beautiful) vocals were dwarfed by the pure power of Sisaundra's. I really enjoyed Paula's sound and would definitely buy her music. She had great tone, but the intimidation of Sisaundra's power, I think, lead to some of her pitch problems during the song. Her oscillating note was well executed, but again, was killed by Sisaundra's power note that went beyond what one would think musically possible. I admit, Sisaundra's performance was amazing... at times, a little over the top... but amazing nonetheless. I had picked Paula to win the battle, and still believe she performed the song better and closer to the way it was meant to be performed. It was sad to see her go.
Winner: Sasaundra Lewis
Steal: No

Jake & Stevie - Credit: Tyler Golden / NBC
6. TEAM USHER: Jake Barker vs. Stevie Jo (“Higher Love”)
Rehearsals started rough for both of them, but by the time they hit the stage, those issues were no longer there. There really isn't much to say about this battle. Both started great, and both sounded great. They harmonized very well together, and put on an amazing show and an amazing battle. For me, Jake seemed to exhibit more personality on stage that Stevie, but vocally, both were pretty evenly matched. I picked Stevie to win, and originally said a Steal would not be used. But, after that performance, it was no surprise the other three coaches all hit their buttons to steal.
Winner: Stevie Jo
Steal: Yes – Adam (a great choice on Jake's part)

Everyone did an amazing job last night. All the contestants are extremely talented and will probably have amazing careers in music regardless of their fates on 'The Voice.' I say congratualtions to the ones who've made it through, and I say to those who didn't... Don't give up! Keep living your dream! You have the talent and your time will come... and I look forward to that time.

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