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The Voice: Season 12, Let the Battles Begin, 3/20/17

March 21st, 2017 · No Comments

by Lyn Jensen

Time for the battle rounds to begin, when the Voice judges discard contestants like so many playing cards. The contestants get the honor of being coached by the judges and their celebrity guest advisers:  Celine Dion (Team Gwen), John Legend (Team Adam), Luke Bryant (Team Blake) and DJ Khaled (Team Alicia).

Predicting who’ll get to the next round is difficult because much depends on the pairings for duets. Each judge gets two steals, so I will predict some possibilities:

Alicia Keyes  really wanted one guy she didn’t get, You Tube star TSoul. She may want him if Blake cuts him, but Adam and/or Gwen may want him, too.

Gwen Stephani may be interested in Johnny Hayes and/or Hanna Erye.

Adam Levine may want to broaden his rock bench with Troy Ramey, Jack Cassidy, or even the soulful RJ Collins.

Blake Sheldon may want Troy Ramey, too, or Adam’s country singers Taylor Alexander or Sheena Brook should Adam be foolish enough to cut them. Blake also really wanted Gabby Borromeo, Stephanie Rice and Julien Martinez.

Now for what actually happened Monday night:

1.  Team Blake,  Brennley Brown vs. Lauren Duski: Blake’s putting two of his most charming country girls together because, he says, they’re both country-pop, so “the lane has to be clear.” He assigns them “Better Man,” composed by Taylor Swift, as sung by Little Big Town. I call the performance for Lauren, because she shows about ten years of experience on the teenage Brennley. Gwen lets it be known she prefers Brennley’s “innocence.” Blake admits, “This one hurts,” but he picks Lauren. 

Gwen signals to steal Brennley. Adam does, too, but he needn’t have bothered, because Brennley picks Gwen as her next coach.

2.  Team Gwen, J Chosen vs. Kenny P. If emerging season favorite J Chosen were to be come available, Adam, Blake, and Alicia would all likely signal for a steal, but Kenny P didn’t get the same level of enthusiasm when he auditioned. Gwen assigns the two male vocalists Stevie Wonder’s “I Was Made to Love Her.” Kenny comments about the pairing, “I’ve got a lot of power, he’s got a lot of control.” Gwen decides to keep J Chosen.

Nobody steals Kenny P.

3.  Team Alicia, Anatalia Villaranda vs. Missy Robertson:  Tiny Anatalia is only 16, but she out-performs Missy, even though Missy’s much more experienced. Alicia calls the tiny young Filipino-American a “a female Bruno Mars.” Alicia keeps Anatalia.

Nobody steals Missy.

4.  Team Adam, Gaby Borromeo vs. Mark Isaiah:  Adam pairs two of his mainstream pop youth-appeal types–Borromeo with her anime-character look and Isaiah with his resemblance to Justin Bieber. They make an edgy sweetheart duet out of a Zayn hit, “Pillow Talk.” Blake comments he’s leaning to Mark who “really had a grasp on the song.” Alicia says the choice is between a powerhouse female vocalist or a male vocalist who’s a little smoother. Gwen says she’s leaning to Mark, too. Adam keeps Mark.

Blake doesn’t steal Gaby, maybe because of his feeling Mark was the winner here, and nobody else steals Gaby, either.

5.  Team Alicia, Felicia “Keys” Temple vs. Quizz Swanigan:  Alicia pairs two of her soul singers. Does she want the person with a vocal resemblance to her, or the very young male vocalist whose voice is beginning to change–but still resembles a very young Michael Jackson? Alicia assigns them the very popular hit, “Titanium.” Felicia’s more experienced–but Quizz gives the impression something unique is developing here. Adam and Blake both advise keeping Temple, but Alicia keeps Swanigan. 

Blake steals Felicia Temple, boasting she can win this thing. He apparently saw something in her that he didn’t see in Borromeo.

6. Team Blake, Casi Joy vs. Ashley Levin, with Blake explaining he’s matching his two classic country types–he sees these female vocalists as similar to Tammy Wynette or Reba McEntire. He assigns them McEntire’s “How Blue.” He says it’s his toughest battle and predicts neither singer will go home. After the duet, Gwen comments that Casi is more experienced, but Adam says Ashley may have taken it. Blake keeps Casi.

Everybody else wants to steal Ashley, just as Blake predicted. Adam and Gwen give good pitches but Levin joins Team Alicia. That’s going to make for some interesting coaching during the next round.

Battle rounds continue tonight. Who’ll be kept, discarded, stolen, next?

Tags: The Voice