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The Voice: Season 10, Battle Rounds, 3/21/16

March 22nd, 2016 · No Comments

by Lyn Jensen

Featured contestants:  Adam Wakefield, Emily Keener, Brian Nhira, Alisan Porter, Daniel Passano.

Battle rounds on The Voice are always edited so the last judge gets the last steal during the last battle of the last night. On Monday the judges almost finished cutting half their teams, with the other half advancing to the knockout rounds. The judges made some dubious decisions but the season’s favorites are starting to emerge.

1.  Team Blake:  Adam Wakefield vs. Jared Harder. Blake doesn’t have that many male vocalists to begin with, and he pits his two remaining big-voiced country dudes against each other. He goes back to the seventies for his song assignment, Marshall Tucker’s “Can’t You See,” explaining it’s a bar song. He thinks the result makes the guys sound like Hall and Oates. Wakefield has a Southern rock edge, Harder is softer (no pun intended) but Blake thinks one of them could be the next country star. Blake keeps Wakefield and nobody steals Harder, despite him demonstrating considerable promise.

2.  Team Pharrell:  Jonathan Bach vs. Emily Keener. Pharrell calls these two singers eclectic, and assigns them a contemporary Ellie Goulding song, “Explosions.” After the performance Blake comments Emily was more emotional and Jonathan was more dramatic, like a theatrical performance, so he’d pick Emily. Christina disagrees, she thinks Jonathan did a better job of connecting with the audience, so she’d pick Jonathan. Pharrell must agree with Blake because he keeps cute teenage Emily and nobody steals Jonathan.

3.  Team Christina:  Kristen Marie vs. Daniel Passano. Christina says she’d like to hear them sing a male-female perspective on Adele’s “Turning Tables.” In performance he has a smooth teen heartthrob voice, she’s shakier. Pharrell, Adam, and Blake all agree Daniel was better. Christina keeps Daniel and nobody steals Kristen.

Montage:  Pharrell keeps female vocalist Moushumi and cuts Jonathan Hutcherson. Adam keeps Katherine Ho and cuts Lily Green. Blake keeps Angie Keilhauer and cuts Teresa Guidry.

4.  Team Pharrell:  Brian Nhira vs. Abby Kelso. Pharrell puts two soulful young singers with very similar voices together. He assigns them “Sugar,” which means they’ll be singing a Maroon 5 song in front of Adam Levine. Brian’s performance impresses Adam. He gets enthusiastic with, “It is high, and you sang it in your full voice!”  Blake concurs that Brian showed some Levine-like tones in his full voice, while Abby didn’t get to show off her rock-sounding growl very much. Before Pharrell announces his decision, he pleads with the other judges to make a save. Pharrell keeps Abby. Adam and Christina obligingly move in to steal Brian, who picks Adam. So Adam’s now got one more guy who can sing Maroon 5. Pharrell may be strategizing to have Brian return to his team, but why keep Abby–plainly the weaker singer–at all, and risk losing the better one permanently?

5.  Team Adam:  Mike Schiavo vs. Caroline Burns. Adam admits the pairing doesn’t make much sense. (That’s his first mistake.) Schiavo is the Maroon 5 fan who got Adam to sing with him during the auditions. Burns is a cute blonde teen but she’s plainly inexperienced. They sing a John Legend song. Blake offers some backward logic about how Caroline could shine a little more, while Christina observes Mike showed more consistency, so she’d pick Mike. Adam picks Caroline, rambling on about how she’s “too interesting” (and probably too cute, I suspect). Despite Schiavo having obvious potential as a Levine-influenced singer, neither Christina nor Blake steals him. Schiavo may not have won the season. But Burns isn’t likely to–the competition’s too stiff–and Shiavo would have made the next rounds more interesting.

6.  Team Christina:  Alisan Porter vs. Lacy Mandigo. Alisan may be emerging as a front-runner (she already has name recognition) while Christina thinks Lacy’s voice has more of a rock texture. The judge assigns her contestants “California Dreaming” but the arrangement’s the jazzier Sia version, not the one the Mamas and Papas performed in the sixties. Lacy’s delivery is sultry, Alisan’s, smoky. Blake thinks the performance shows two different types of vocalists but “that was Alisan’s moment.” I can’t see Christina cutting Alisan, and she doesn’t. Blake (in my opinion) wastes his last steal on Lacy, while he’s babbling she didn’t get the right song. Maybe not, but he’d have been wiser to use his steal on Mike Schiavo or Brian Nhira. Or Chelsea Gann. Or one of the remaining singers still on the board.

What’s left for tonight is five or six battles (I’ve lost count) plus one steal, which Christina has.

Tags: Reality TV · The Voice