The Voice: The Battles Begin

The battle rounds finally started last night. I find this point in the show to be really stressful. How do they decide who to pair up? And then how do they choose?! I’m glad I’m not one of the coaches…

Apparently Adam’s grandfather sweater was a hot topic among viewers and bloggers – in fact, he even addressed the chatter on Twitter. I had no issue with his sweater, which is more than I can say about Christina’s hat. And I use the term “hat” very loosely. I’m not sure what she was thinking with that one.

But back to what matters. Last night we saw two battles each from Team Blake and Team Christina, as well as one battle each from Team Adam and Team Cee Lo. Just like last year, the coaches brought along some manpower in the form of celebrity mentors. Blake had his wife, Miranda Lambert, as well as Kelly Clarkson; Christina had Lionel Richie and Jewel; Adam had Alanis Morissette and Robin Thicke; and Cee Lo had Babyface and Ne-Yo.

Team Adam: Tony Lucca v. Chris Cauley – Tony and Chris were the first team to battle, and they were assigned U2’s Beautiful Day. During their rehearsals, I was really leaning towards Chris as my pick. I liked Tony a lot during his audition, but for some reason he didn’t sound that great to me during practice. But, lo and behold, during the actual battle Tony really won me over. The judges all put in their two cents, but Adam ultimately chose Tony as the winner.

Team Blake: Adley Stump v. RaeLynn – Blake paired up two of his country voices for this battle, but I found it interesting that he had them perform Free Fallin’. I guess it makes sense to give them a non-country song as a challenge, but I’m not sure I would’ve chosen that one. RaeLynn finally got to meet her idol, Miranda Lambert, and was very cute about it. She seemed to struggle somewhat during the rehearsals, and at the beginning of the battle she didn’t sound too great. I think overall Adley was the stronger performer, and Christina and Cee Lo agreed. Adam said RaeLynn sounded more unique, and I guess Blake agreed because he chose her as the winner. That didn’t actually surprise me because he has been known to go for the underdog. While I don’t agree that she was better, I’m kind of glad to see her stick around.

Team Christina: Chris Mann v. Monique – I think pairing anyone against Chris Mann was going to suck for that other person; his voice is amazing! Christina had them sing The Power of Love by Celine Dion, and Monique seemed a bit intimidated during the rehearsals (not that I can blame her). I had a hard time deciding who I wanted to win the battle because Monique definitely held her own. I almost think I preferred her performance, but Christina chose Chris to advance. I can’t disagree with this choice, but I kind of wish he wasn’t paired with Monique because I would’ve liked to see her stick around.

Team Cee Lo: Cheesa v. Angie Johnson – I still don’t care for Cheesa. Cee Lo had them sing Total Eclipse of the Heart, which is something of a guilty pleasure song for me, so I was excited to hear it. Right off the bat, Cheesa suggested they raise the song half a step, perhaps partially to make it more challenging for Angie. But then Angie suggested raising it a full step, which actually did prove to be difficult for Cheesa. Going into the battle, and even during the battle, I was rooting for Angie. Cheesa, however, did do a very good job, and Cee Lo ultimately did choose her as the winner. It went against my prediction that she wouldn’t make it much further into the competition.

Team Blake: Jordis v. Brian Fuente – Jordis and Brian were assigned Alanis Morissette’s Ironic as their battle song. During the battle rounds last season, the mentors sat on stage with the judges and watched. I’m sad that didn’t happen this year because I would’ve liked to hear Alanis’ opinion on their rendition of her song. During the rehearsal they both seemed to be struggling with the song; I didn’t really get to hear either of them sing it for any length of time before the battle, so I had no opinion going into it. Jordis sounded good, and Brian wasn’t bad either. I was rooting for Jordis to win it, as were Christina and Adam. Blake said neither of them did well with the song, but he chose Jordis as the winner.

Team Christina: Anthony Evans v. Jesse Campbell – As soon as she said these two were battling each other, I knew it was going to be a tough one. I remember being blown away by Jesse during his audition while not having a strong opinion on Anthony, but he has definitely grown on me. They sang If I Ain’t Got You by Alicia Keys, and they both rocked it. I wanted both of them to win, of course, but I think if I had to choose I would’ve gone with Anthony. They kept calling him the underdog, and there was a point when he hit a high note so amazingly well that I felt like he just had to win it. No one else seemed to agree with me, though. All the judges, including Christina – whose vote actually mattered – chose Jesse as the winner.

What did you think of the winners of these battles? Did you agree with the coaches’ choices?

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