For the first time, the coaches are sending their teams back into the ring in pairs in this new battle added to NBC’s singing competition show “The Voice”. Blake said after this second battle round it will be like taking “the ultimate team into the playoffs.” The artists of each team have no idea who they will battle until their first rehearsal session. Shakira said these battles forces them to “be the best that they can be.” Usher said “the artists had to be good to get through the first battle round, but in this one, they have to be great.”
The artists get to chose their songs for their battle from a short list of songs. The coaches will have one final steal. Blake’s team is first. In these rounds, each artist gets to talk to their family members before going into their battles to get their words of encouragement. Each team also gets the priceless advice from “Coldplay” vocalist Chris Martin. Blake said he likes having Martin as an adviser but wishes he wasn’t advising all of the teams.
No Twerking Here!
Audra McLaughlin vs. Megan Ruger – TEAM BLAKE
Megan said she was surprised to be paired with Audra and said that she didn’t want to do a country song. Megan said Audra “has such color and control.” Audra said “Megan, she’s a rock star. She has that stage presence that I need to work on.” They got a short list of songs to choose from. They picked “The Climb” by Miley Cyrus. When they told Blake and Chris Martin the song that they picked, Martin asked if Miley twerked in it.
Blake said, “Audra has an amazing voice and unique sound. Megan has the ability to sing this razor perfect pitch.” But during the rehearsal he told them he’s heard them both sing “better than this.”
Audra said if she loses the battle, she’ll return home and finish her Medical Assisting Degree and will have no future in music. Megan said if she loses the battle, she’ll go back singing for tips.
Singing: “The Climb” by Miley Cyrus
Usher said, “Megan, I felt like this was a challenge in starting, but once you got to the bigger notes, you made yourself comfortable. Audra you have a unique thing that you do with your voice. I’d give it to Audra.”
Shakira reacted to their battle, “Megan is so confident. You look like a star tonight. Audra, even though you started out shaky, you were connected to the lyrics of the song. Megan, although you were technically accurate, I connected to Audra’s delivery.”
Adam said, “What’s so astonishing about this second round of battles, you really see people step-up. I think Audra is one of the best singers on the show. It was a real battle. It’s not going to be easy for Blake.”
Coach Blake – “Audra, the way you navigate yourself through a vocal I have so much respect for. I’ve never heard anything like it in country music. The second, you think you know what she’s going to do, you do something completely different. Megan – you approach the song more like I do, you sing the crap out of it. I know it’s the rocker in you. This is the theme song for everyone on the show and I know you meant every word of it. The winner of this battle is Audra.”
Battle Winner: Audra
Blake said “Audra is unique and I think I can win this thing with her.” Adam said, “I’m waiting on my steal because I only have one and it needs to blow me away.”
A Soul Battle:
TJ Wilkins vs. Cierra Mickens – TEAM USHER
Cierra reacted to her pairing with T.J. “vocally I think T.J. and me are matched. This will definitely be a soul battle.”
Cierra said she felt like she was at a disadvantage because T.J. goes to music school. T.J. said Cierra is a powerhouse vocalist.
Usher told them to be careful of too many dance moves in their performance which causes “breathiness”. He said, “T.J. and Cierra both have their unique voices and are able to bring out great performances.”
They chose to sing “Get Here”. T.J. said, “We felt that the song choice showcased the best of both of our voices.” T.J. got star-struck by Chris Martin. “The fact that we can connect on something as minute as a lyric about wind surfing says a lot about the power of music”, said T.J. about Martin’s comment to him about the wind surfing lyric.
T.J. said winning this performance could mean one step closer to getting his family out of their unfavorable neighborhood.
Singing “Get Here” by Oleta Adams
Shakira commented on the battle, “Cierra I’m so proud of you. You were unbelievable. T.J. you are a phenomenal singer, both of you, it was perfect” and finished off, with “I just have this to say,” as she bowed to them.
Adam said he wasn’t a fan of Cierra’s, “I would have thought that T.J. would have went away with it,. But Cierra, you were right there with him. It’s a tough one. I shed a tear for all other shows that have singers in the singing competitions, because this one is the best one.”
Blake to Cierra, “it was greatness, it was perfect. T.J. your voice is so good, it cuts through. It’s powerful. I believed it, I got sucked into your performance. Usher, I don’t know what you’re going to do.”
Coach Usher said, “I enjoyed the comfort of this being a female song and you being able to take ownership of it. And T.J. for you to take a female song and for you to be as comfortable as you were on it. That’s a testament to a wonderful singer…the winner of this battle is T.J.”
Battle Winner: T.J. Wilkins
Usher said it was shocking that T.J. would make it his own. Blake said “T.J. is just a special singer and it would be hard for anyone to beat him.”
Tess Boyer vs. Jake Worthington – TEAM BLAKE
Blake told Tess that she won her battle from the first rounds. Jake was feeling intimidating by Tess because she “is quiet the performer,” he said. They decided to sing “Have a little Faith in Me”. The song is “the perfect blend of what Tess does, and just Country enough for Jake – Said Blake.
Jake said Tess has a “crazy low range” and has a better one than he has. Tess said if she loses the battle she will have to go back home and take pre-law classes, but really wants to be an entertainer.
Singing “Have a Little Faith in Me”
After the battle, Usher said, “Tess, I’m proud, I see the growth. Jake, I got to see something new. you are definitely on track.” Shakira said, “Tess you are a revelation. You blew me away girl. It’s powerful and sweet at the same time. That’s what I got from you. Unbelievable.”
Adam’s reaction to the battle was, “That was a grade ‘A’ performance. You have shown so many signs of improvement. I don’t envy Blake right now.”
Coach Blake said, “my liver is not going to make it. Jake – it was so believable because you believe what you are singing. Tess, for me, it blows. Because I have to sit here and figure out what to do.” He chose Jake as the winner.
Blake said he chose Jake because, “I have no doubt that Jake is going to go very far in this competition and I think he’s going to be a star.” Blake said he is excited about introducing him to Nashville.
Battle Winner: Jake Worthington
Steal: Tess to Team Shakira
Shakira, Adam, and Usher hit their buttons to steal Tess. Usher said his vote has always been for her – he picked her first. Adam said, “you let her go”. Usher said “I just can’t wait to be reunited and it feels so good.”
Shakira said, “after what I saw today you are, hands down, the best female voice. I know you are under both Country and Pop names, but I even have Miranda Lambert on my team. I just recorded with Blake Shelton. I know that we can get to the top.”
Adam said, “I wasn’t a big believer in you in the past, but I have become one. I think it would be smart to be on my team and I have won twice (cough).”
Tess chose to go with Shakira. She said, “I am the dark horse and I’m going to continue to do that. I’m going to sneak-up and I”m going to win this thing.”
In The Pocket!
Christina Grimmie vs. Sam Behymer – TEAM ADAM
“I just need to be really sure who I am as an artist and deliver everything with confidence,” said Sam. Adam said he wants Sam and Christina to get
better and make his decision really hard. When she saw adviser Chris Martin, Christina got star-struck and told him she liked his song ‘Violet Hill.’
They chose to sing “Counting Stars” by One Republic. “Certain melodies are so good, I don’t think you should mess with them” said Martin. Adam told Christina not to go over the top. Adam said, “The key to Christina winning this has to do with pocket and control.”
Singing “Counting Stars” by One Republic.
Blake said, “Christina she’s so little, she’s like a little ball of fire. Your voice really cuts through. Sam has a lot of finesse. and very dramatic vocal approach . Its a complicated sound, but you mastered it. For that reason, I’d go with Sam. Usher said, “The both were really amazing.”
Usher told Christina, “as a young vocalist, you seem like you’ve been here before. You’re comfortable and that can’t be taught. Sam, I’m looking to the right and you have a movie going on. You’re still in the moment. They were both really amazing.”
Shakira said, “Sam , you have a really unique sound, but you’re still searching. You haven’t really completely found your sound. Christina, you display a little more confidence and more maturity. I don’t know”
Coach Adam said, “I’m equally proud of both of you guys. The biggest note we discussed is rhythm. It can’t be super impactful if it’s not in the pocket. There’s no way for me to make a right decision. I don’t want to decide. I think I’m going to have to go with something …I’m going to go with a gut decision. The winner of this battle is Christina.”
Battle Winner: Christina Grimmie
After the battle, Adam said, “I have to go with Christina because she is more prime and ready.” He said Sam had some vocal mistakes.
Like A Boxing Match
Josh Murley vs. Patrick Thomson – TEAM SHAKIRA
Shakira said she put Josh and Patrick together because they both have “similar styles.” Patrick and Josh were both stolen by Shakira from Team Adam during the first battle round.
Shakira said she thought the song “Run To You” was more of Patrick’s style. Chris Martin said, “There’s no way I’d be able to sing that song. Only certain guys can and luckily you both do.” Martin also said Josh’s voice is great but “he needs to work on his looseness.” Shakira observed, “technically they are almost perfect, they just need the conviction.” Shakira told them that they both just have to sell it, and she’ll buy!
Singing “Run To You” by Bryan Adams
Adam said, “Man I miss you guys. Josh, you showed me this other side I didn’t know about. You have this range that I didn’t know about. You sang the crap out of that one. Patrick, there were some moments that were shaky maybe because it was off-mic. I’m really impressed by you guys. I love you guys. I’m pleading the fifth on this one.”
Blake told Josh that was a run that he did that he hit all these notes really fast and you hit them with perfect pitch, that was an eye opener for me and told Patrick that he really opened up when he sings. That’s harder to do and hit those bigger notes. I’d go with Patrick.”
Usher said, Josh you came out with a great deal of confidence, and I thought Josh won this round. But, then Patrick started singing the second verse, and I was like waoh! I never imagined that coming out of the performance. Then Josh went back down, and at that point, man..” Adam said “it was really like a boxing match.” Usher continued, “It was, it was a very deliberate decision. You didn’t want to over-shoot the note and you wanted to show control because that’s what your thing is. It makes it complicated to make a decision.”
Coach Shakira was happy with Patrick’s “rock star” antics and said, “I asked you for a big rock star moment, and you gave that. And how awesome was that. Patrick you really challenged yourself. That makes me feel so proud. Josh you delivered a really amazing, solid performance. This battle was even matched. Because I need a voice like yours on my team and I feel like I can coach you better, it’s Patrick.
Battle Winner: Patrick Thomson
Delvin Choice vs. Josh Kaufman – TEAM ADAM
Adam called them his “soul brothers”, and told them that they are both amazing singers. They chose to sing “Signed, Sealed, Delivered, I’m Yours”.
“It’s a perfect choice for them, they both have big beautiful voices and they punctuate this,” Adam said about their song choice.
Chris Martin said, “Josh has this really soulful tone and he can really do some damage.” During rehearsal, Adam told Josh to let the monster out. He said Josh’s concern is that Delvin’s voice is huge “So Josh, don’t try and compete with it, just do your thing.”
Adam said, “Josh is smooth, he’s a crooner. Delvin just has this monstrous voice. That’s going to be my toughest decision is choosing between Josh and Delvin.” Before the battle, Delvin said he’s going to sing to his Grandma who was in the audience because it may be her last time, and it may be his last time.
Singing “Signed, Sealed Delivered, I’m Yours’ by Stevie Wonder
Blake gave his opinion about Delvin’s updated hair-do, “Delvin, I love it way better than the egg roll, the lobster roll. You look cool! I’m not trying to hit on you on national television. Josh, you’re sexy too! Delvin, your bravado didn’t dominate the performance like I’ve noticed before.” Blake gave props to Adam, “When you affect change, that’s always a big deal. I go with Delvin.”
Usher said, “vocally this was the performance so far. Delvin, you are such a powerful vocalist. The same for you Josh.”
Shakira said, “Today Delvin, you surprised us all. You came across as a solid singer. I always thought that Josh was one of his strongest ones. But, Delvin stepped-up to the plate. Because of this shock factor, I’ll go with Delvin.”
Coach Adam said he knows he can only chose one and he quits. He said, “I thought it was flawless. Congratulations guys, you made it impossible for me. Either way I lose a potential winner of this thing. After much deliberation, Adam chose Delvin as the winner. Adam said because, “Delvin is a serious contender. His voice is earth shattering. He has this intangible charm. Give him the right song, forget it.”
Battle Winner: Delvin Choice
Steal: Josh to Team Usher
Usher stole Josh before Josh got a chance to start his good-bye speech. Usher told Josh that he feels like they can go all the way to the end. Usher said, “I want people to fall in love with Josh.”
MISSED IT OR JUST WANT TO SEE IT AGAIN?
Watch THE VOICE season 6 episode 14 “The Battles, Round 2 Premiere” first aired by NBC on Monday, March 31, 2014. This full episode is now available at HOLLYWOOD JUNKET until 06/19/14 courtesy of NBC. ENJOY!