The Voice recap: Some major contenders hit the Battles stage
It’s the second night of Battles on The Voice and our coaches are putting up some interesting pairings between artists with very different stylings. It seems to be working so far, so why stop now? There are only three major Battles tonight, but you can still expect some steals and saves-related drama. Let’s get into it.
Team Kelly: Desz vs. Joseph Soul
Kelly Clarkson’s pairing up two of her most soulful singers for this Battle and honestly, it seems like a mistake. They’re both very different — Desz has so much power and control over her runs. Joseph does some intricate things with his vocals but is much subtler. Kelly and her team advisor Leon Bridges try to tell Joseph to just focus on what he does best rather than trying to sound like Desz. Kelly also tells both of them to breathe. Between the big notes to belt and Joseph using his head voice, they’ll need as much air as they can get. They both deliver, but all the coaches can tell Joseph was nervous — he gets pitchy in a few places. Also Desz's power and performance level are just undeniable. It's hard to compete with.
Steals and Saves: Gwen Stefani says she wasn’t planning on this move but was so wowed by how beautiful Joseph’s voice is, she wants to help him with his nerves. Joseph Soul is moving to Team Gwen.
Team Blake: Jim Ranger vs. John Sullivan
Don’t get me wrong, John Sullivan has a very nice, soothing voice (his Battle partner Jim calls him “a mountain man version of Jack Johnson”) but there’s just no way he can compete when Jim Ranger is singing next to him. Jim is all grit and soul and power. They’re just so different. In rehearsals (with the guy who wrote this song, mind you), coach Blake Shelton tries to tell John to sing bigger rather than stick to the intimate style he usually does. He makes a valiant effort and sounds great on the song, but by the end of the performance, Jim Ranger comes in, does his thing, and steals the show. Gwen says it felt like Jim was “ramping up” the entire time and she couldn’t look away. John Legend says that John Sullivan has a very “inviting” voice with lots of “character” but that Jim Ranger commands a room. Both are talented, but Blake has an obvious choice here, especially when thinking about who will connect with voters.
Winner: Jim Ranger
Steals and Saves: n/a
Team Legend: John Holiday vs. Julia Cooper
Way to give your artists an insanely difficult song to sing. If you thought Desz and Joseph Soul’s battle earlier was a run and riff off, wait until you see this one. John Legend and advisor Miguel remind John (who sang the jazz standard “Misty” in the Blinds) and Julia (who has a more contemporary voice) that they wouldn’t have been given this song if John Legend didn’t think they could handle it. Both Legend and Miguel are beyond impressed with how well the artists do tackling this song in rehearsals. There are a few notes, but Legend's biggest piece of advice is for each of them to take advantage of their moments. Miguel concurs: “Use your instinct to choose where to embellish and where to pull back.” It’s a great battle with two very different sounding voices. All the coaches are impressed with both singers: They love Julia’s cool vibe and artistry; she held her own against John and his insane range. John, however, is so good the coaches are at a loss for words.
Winner: John Holiday
Steals and Saves: John is so proud of how much Julia has improved and he loves the artistry and power in her voice. He’s sending her to the four-way Knockout to represent Team Legend.
We get a quick peek at two other Battles: Skylar Alyvia Mayton and Tanner Gomes from Team Kelly go head-to-head on “Whiskey Lullaby” and Kelly decides to keep Tanner Gomes, her cowboy, because he seems more ready at this moment. Over on Team Gwen, Chloé Hogan and Lain Roy take on “Adore You” and it seems like all of the coaches were pleasantly surprised by Chloé’s performance. She wins that Battle. We’re really flying through this round, huh? Well, friends, the sooner we get to Knockouts, the sooner we get to spend time with this season’s Mega-Mentor, Usher. Prepare yourselves!
Team Kelly: Madeline Consoer, Sid Kingsley (steal), Desz, Tanner Gomes
Still to Battle: Marisa Corvo, Ryan Gallagher, Kelsie Watts, Emmalee
Team Gwen: Payge Turner, Joseph Soul (steal), Chloé Hogan
Still to Battle: Liam St. John, Ryan Berg, Carter Rubin, Larriah Jackson, Van Andrew, Tori Miller
Team Legend: Tamara Jade, Lauren Frihauf (steal), Bailey Rae, John Holiday, Julia Cooper (save)
Still to Battle: Cami Clune, Rio Souma, Casmè, James Pyle
Team Blake: Worth the Wait, Taryn Papa (save), Jus Jon, Jim Ranger
Still to Battle: Ian Flanigan, Aaron Scott, Ben Allen, Sam Stacy
A rotating chair-full of judges search for the next great superstar singer on this NBC reality show.