On The Voice tonight, the Battle Rounds begin with Round 1! The tension will be ramped up, as the competitors go head-to-head against each other, with the loser being put up for the chance to be stolen by one of the other judges. If a losing competitor doesn’t get stolen by one of the judges, he/she is out of the competition and will be sent home.
The host of The Voice, Carson Daly, talked about how the judges have enlisted the aid of mentors. Shakira has Miranda Lambert, Adam has Aloe Black, Blake Shelton has The Band Perry, and Usher has R&B singer and actress Jill Scott.
Carson says that the artists will “have to rise to the challenge.” Also, the coaches “will have to make the agonizing decision as to who will stay, who will go, and who will be stolen.”
Usher’s first head-to-head pairing was Biff Gore Versus T.J. Wilkins. Usher chose for them to sing the R&B song, “Ain’t Too Proud to Beg” by the Temptations. Usher told T.J. during rehearsals that he liked his “finesse.”
This should be a great battle to start off the show! The two performers, in rehearsals, pretended to be singing to their “woman,” as they sang to Jill Scott. The winner must sound convincing; he must sell the song.
They were both extremely great, but I think I’d give the bow to T.J., because he had smooth dance moves and a pretty good stage presence as well as being a great singer. Biff was really getting into his performance, too, though — it could go either way, really. They both got standing ovations!
Shakira to Biff: “Where did you learn that kick? From Blake?” Shakira was referring to when Biff kicked his leg up at the end of the song, his “signature move.”
Blake: “That was great! That was just pure entertainment.”
Usher: “You both represented yourselves very well.”
Adam: “Nobody was better than the other.”
Carson asked Usher who the winner of the battle was, and Usher reluctantly said: “The winner of this Battle Round is — T.J. Wilkins.”
Carson told the other judges that Biff was available to be stolen. Blake Shelton stole him!
Blake: “I’m a fan! Teach me your ways!” He added: “I’m not just a fan of his voice — I’m also a fan of his high kicks!”
Back from break, Team Blake’s Jake Worthington and Lexi Luca, a high school senior, will be going head-to-head and battle each other. Blake said that they will be singing “It Goes Like This.”
We got to see them rehearse with The Band Perry. Lexi was really nervous — Blake said that “clearly Jake has the edge” because he expressed more confidence.
However, as the rehearsals went on, Lexi got better and better. Jake admitted that Lexi seemed “more bubbly” out there. Blake said that it’s shaping up to be a more even battle than he’d thought it would be.
The Voice went to another commercial break. We’ll see how this battle goes –Lexi just might pull a win out, who knows?
After the break, Carson said that “Lexi and Jake will meet with Blake for one last time.”
Jake started off the song “It Goes Like This,” by Thomas Rhett. He did pretty good — then, it was Lexi’s turn to sing a couple of lines of it, and she didn’t sound like she was nervous anymore, at all. She sounded terrific, also.
The audience clapped along as they both sang, their voices melding together and harmonizing beautifully. This will be a tough decision for Blake!
Usher: “That was pretty incredible! Lexi, I could tell you were a bit nervous. Jake, man — I was blown away, man! If it was up to me, I’d say you were the winner of that battle.”
Shakira: “You know that nasal tone? I love it; don’t change it!”
Adam: “Jake, I think your talent will let you go very, very far.”
Blake: “Lexi, I watched you go on the stage and give an amazing performance. Jake, you did great, but you fumbled the lyrics a couple of times.”
When Carson asked Blake who the winner of the battle was, Blake said he had to “go with his gut,” and he said that Jake was the winner of the battle. Blake said that he “hates that” when they’re kids, to have to send one of them back home. None of the other judges stole Lexi.
Shakira meets with Blake’s wife, Miranda Lambert, and Dani Moz and DeShawn Washington, her first two team members to go head-to-head in battle. Shakira asked Miranda for tips to “put Blake in his place.”
DeShawn gave up everything to take care of his parents. He left college to get a job to support them. Miranda said that Lexi has a great “lower register.”
This battle is another one that I think will be a close one. Shakira wanted DeShawn to “do the right phrasing,” and she said that Dani was now getting better, “and being so bad-ass.”
We’ll get to hear how they do, but not until after another commercial break on The Voice.
Dani started off “My Kind of Love” by Emeli Sande. She has a terrific set of pipes — her voice soared to the rafters. I really liked how DeShawn sang, also — he has a fantastic vocal range, and they both sang their hearts out. It was a TERRIFIC performance, and they got a standing ovation from the audience!
Adam: “That was awesome! That was really great! You won the audience!”
Blake: “DeShawn is the one who surprised the heck out of me. I’ll have to go with DeShawn.”
Usher: “Big things come in small packages, bro! I’d pick DeShawn.’
Shakira: “I regret putting the two of you together. DeShawn, I have weakness for you, but Dani, you have such a fire a fire in you. I’m gonna go with — the winner of this battle is Dani.”
DeShawn is up to be stolen, but none of the other judges stole him. Shakira said she was “so upset” that no one else stole DeShawn.
Back on The Voice, Carson checked in with Adam and Aloe, and Adam’s first team members to go head-to-head: Kat Perkins and Patrick Thomson. They both gave very strong audition performances.
Aloe said he wanted Patrick to not seem tentative, and Adam told Kat that she “didn’t always have to sing at a twelve.” Adam told Patrick that he should think of how Joe Cocker might sing the song.
Patrick and Kat will be singing “Whenever I Call You Friend,” by Kenny Loggins and Stevie Nicks. Patrick begin the song, and Kat joins in, seamlessly. The both have such strong, powerful voices. Adam had said that he shouldn’t have paired them together — whoever is the loser, for sure, will be stolen. They were both AMAZING!
Blake: “That was really good! It’s an interesting pairing with you two, and it really works. Patrick, you have a gravelly, raspy sound. I think I’d pick Kat.”
Usher: “By the time you reached the bridge, you were both going for it.”
Shakira: “I found your delivery, Kat, to be timeless. Maybe I’d go with Patrick, though.”
Adam complimented both of his team members, and said he believed that they could both be in “the Top Five.” He said he’d have “to go with his gut,” just as Blake had — but, then The Voice cut to more commercials. Blah!
Adam after the break: “I think I’ll have to go with my gut. The winner of this battle is — Kat!”
Patrick thanked Adam for everything he’d done to help him Then — Shakira hit her button to steal Patrick. She said she’d stolen him for three reasons, each of them being “Because you’re so good!”
Team Blake’s Paula DeAnda and Sisaundra Lewis will be the second pair of Blake’s teammates to go head-to-head against each other. Blake gave them the song “Do What You Want” by Christina Aguilera and Lady GaGa.
They have to be careful not to try to overpower each power, as that would detract from the song. Both of these performers are really fantastic, so it will be another difficult decision for Blake to make.
Both Paula and Sisaundra ROCKED the place! Paula did a great job but Sisaundra is a powerhouse vocalist. It will be hard to beat her, but we’ll see what the judges have to say.
Blake says that it will be one of the better battles this season, but it will be tough for him as a coach, to decide who is the winner.
Usher: “I thought you really drove each other to give great performances. Sisaundra, what incredible talent! I’d have to give it to Sisaundra.”
Shakira also gave the nod to Sisaundra.
Blake said that Paula “also sang the crap out of the song” but he really liked the high note Sisaundra hit towards the end of the song, just as the other judges had. Blake picked Sisaundra as the winner of the battle.
Jake Barker and Stevie Jo will be the final head-to-head battle of the evening on The Voice. Stevie Jo and Jake met with Usher and Jill Scott, and Usher gave them Steve Winwood’s “Higher Love” to sing. Usher told Jake he “needed to project” his voice more. He suggested that Stevie Jo . Jill said that Jake “has a really beautiful voice, but that Stevie Jo expressed “a lot of passion in his voice.”
It will definitely be a difficult decision for Usher. He tells Stevie Jo to “round his tone out.” Usher tells them both to keep working on the song until they perfect it.
When it came time for the two to battle, Stevie Jo began the song. Jake followed suite soon after. Their voices blended perfectly — they both seemed to have listened to the advice that Jill and Usher gave to them. They KICKED BUTT! The audience and even Adam gave them both a standing ovation!
Shakira: “Jake, that falsetto you went for — really great! I think I would pick Jake.”
Adam: “Here’s the good news. You’re both going to make it through, because whoever Usher doesn’t pick will go on my team.”
Shakira also said she wanted either one of them. Blake said he’s “never seen a more evenly matched battle.” He said he’d “go with Jake.”
Usher said it’s never been this hard for him to decide who a winner of a battle round was going to be. He said the winner of this battle is –” and, of course, The Voice went to another commercial break. Arrgh!
If it was up to me, I might go with Jake; but, they are both AWESOME singers, and Stevie Jo would likely win, hands down, if the song was more of a hard rock one. I’m guessing that Usher will pick Jake, but I might be wrong.
Usher: “The winner of this battle… is…Stevie Jo!” WOW! That WAS a surprise to me — both singers, as I said, were FANTASTIC, but I had thought that Usher might think that Jake would be a better fit for his team.
Both Adam and Shakira hit their buttons to steal Jake. Then, suddenly, Blake also hit his button!
Adam: “I DID win The Voice last year! We both have tattoos — you’re incredible!”
Shakira: “Jake, you remind me of Justin Timberlake. And…I can introduce you to Rihanna!”
Carson asked Jake who his new coach will be, and he said “I think I’ll have to go with Adam!”
Adam: “This guy can do it all! I have big plans for that Jake.” Adam told Jake that “There’s no one on my team that can do what you do.”
WOW! There was a lot of great music, head-to-head battles, and big, big steals tonight on The Voice — but, according to Carson, there will be an even bigger steal tomorrow night!
The Battles Round 1 Premiere was an intense episode of The Voice, and there were many highlights. A few of my favorite battles included the first one of the evening, between Biff Gore and T.J. Wilkins, singing “Ain’t Too Proud to Beg,” Patrick Thomson and Kat Perkins singing “Whenever I Call You Friend,” Paula DeAnda and Sisaundra Lewis performing “Do What You Want,” and, of course, the final performance of the night, Jake Barker and Stevie Jo singing “Higher Love.” What were your favorite battles tonight on The Voice? Please leave your comments below!
Written by: Douglas Cobb