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The Voice: Season 11, Battle Rounds Begin, 10/10/16

October 11th, 2016 · No Comments

by Lyn Jensen

Cutting the coaches’ (judges’) Season 11 teams began Monday night on The Voice, with the first battle rounds. Following the customary format, the four judges pair their contestants for duets, then cut the contestant they judge less likely to win. Each judge also gets two “steals” to keep a contestant someone else has cut.

As customary each team also has brought in a celebrity guest advisor, which often makes for unconventional meetings of musical minds. This season Team Blake is working with Bette Midler, Team Adam with Sammy Hagar, Team Miley with Joan Jett, and Team Alicia with 25-year-old Charlie Puth. (Alicia says that while others brought in veterans, she “brought the fresh meat.”)

So here are the battles, cuts and steals of Monday night:

1.  Team Alicia, Christian Cuevas vs. Jason Warrior sing the Adele song, “Hello.” Alicia says she matched them because they both have “powerful, soulful big voices.” She advises them to tell their stories through the music. Christian plainly has the bigger voice (almost operatic) and Alicia keeps Christian. Anybody want an R&B male vocalist?  Adam does! He reminds Jason he wanted him on his team at the audition. Jason finds a new home on Team Adam.

2.  Team Adam, Natasha Bure vs. Riley Elmore, matches up two teen idol types. Adam assigns them Michael Buble’s “Cry Me a River.” Riley’s the 16-year-old with the mature-sounding Sinatra-like voice. Sammy Hagar advises Natasha on how to improve her pitch–so it looks like she’s plainly the weaker singer. After the battle (the duet), Adam keeps Riley, saying, “You’d be the one voice we could all recognize immediately.” Nobody steals Natasha.

3.  Team Miley, Ali Caldwell vs. Courtnie Rameriz in a battle of big-voiced girls. Miley digs up an Odetta song, “Hit or Miss” for them. When Blake comments on the performance with, “Ali, hard to believe you won’t be around ’til the end,” he’s making a good call. Miley keeps Ali (she’d be crazy not to) but inexplicably Blake and Alicia start a steal war over Courtnie. Alicia wanted Courtnie to begin with, so she gets a new home on Team Alicia, but I’d say there are far better singers still on the board.

4.  Team Blake, Dan Schafer vs. Sundance Head, speaking of better singers. Two country-flavored guys, either of whom could go deep in this season, meet in a battle where the weapons are experience and country soul. Blake assigns them some classic Bad Company rock, “Feel Like Makin’ Love” and the result showcases two different vocal styles playing off each other. Alicia comments, “You both did a wonderful job.” Adam likes the way the 56-year-old Shafer rocked:  “Like, look here, Junior! I was partyin’ with Bad Company when you were in diapers!” Which singer will Blake keep?  He keeps Sundance Head, explaining afterward, “It’s just undeniable. His vocal ability is shocking.” Anybody want a country singer?  In one of the more inexplicable actions so far this season, everybody lets Shafer walk. 

5.  Team Adam, Andrew De Muro vs. Billy Gilman is an inexplicable match-up of two of Adam’s biggest guns. Sammy Hagar notes they’re two of the most talented singers on the show and either could win. So what was Adam thinking? When the contestants battle on “Man in the Mirror,” however, Gilman, the former child star on a comeback, outshines De Muro, who’s too much a Billy Joel imitator. Blake says, though, “I don’t know I’ve ever seen a more perfectly matched battle.” Adam keeps Gilman, and nobody steals De Muro, despite his promise.

6.  Team Alicia, Lauren Diaz vs. We McDonald, whose first name is pronounced “Way.” Diaz is influenced by Alicia, and We is the girl with the squeaky speaking voice and big bluesy alto. The two young women are asked to sing the blues–Janis Joplin’s big bluesy “Maybe,” to be exact. Miley thinks McDonald gave the better performance, “You wailed and showed us what you had without taking away from the lyrics.” Adam, though, thinks it was close, he likes how their notes were “climbin’ over the top of each other.” Alicia keeps McDonald but Miley steals Diaz.

Tune in Tuesday night for another hour of battles.


Tags: The Voice