The Voice Recap: Do You Believe in Life After Blake (After Blake) (After Blake)?

Ray Boudreaux Monika Leigh Voice BattleGood news for NBC: If Blake Shelton ever decides he needs to sit out a season of The Voice — and heaven knows, at some point he probably will — the network has an obvious replacement part that should keep its reality-singing machine chugging along in fuel-efficient, ratings-potent fashion.

No, I’m not referring to Cee Lo’s red cotton rehearsal-room pajamas — riveting as they may be. The obvious Coach-in-Waiting can be described in a single syllable: Cher.

RELATED | The Voice: Ranking the Season 5 Top 20 Heading Into the Battle Rounds!

Yes, yes, yes, the “Gypsies, Tramps and Thieves” singer proved during Night 2 of the Season 5 Battle Rounds that she’s got the rare combination of qualities that make for a perfect mentor: She’s invested enough in the process to really pay attention to contestants (evidenced by her note to Monika Leigh that the Colorado hotel employee sang “Some Kind of Wonderful” a different way on every take). She’s brutally honest (sample quote: “You’re gonna have to pull from your bootstraps to sing against him!”). And she’s damn funny, too — able to openly taunt Blake without ever coming off as small or mean-spirited.

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And heck, if contestants ever fail to take her advice, she can always channel her Academy Award-winning role in Moonstruck, smack ’em in the face, and holler, “Snap out of it!”

But while you mull Cher’s ability to occupy the chair on the far right side of the screen, let me jump to a ranking of each of tonight’s Battles from least- to most-promising winner (and bear in mind I’ll be back overnight to update this recap with more detailed reviews of the three central Battles):

Full Battles
3. Team Cee Lo: Kat Robichaud defeats R. Anthony on Aerosmith’s “I Don’t Want to Miss a Thing” | Note to reality competition producers: If you click the following link, it’ll take you to the Wikipedia page labeled “Aerosmith singles discography.” It’s not prohibitively long, but you’ll see the band has dozens of tracks for your contestants to cover that aren’t titled “I Don’t Want to Miss a Thing” (from 1998’s craptastic Armageddon). How about “Sweet Emotion”? Or “Livin’ on the Edge”? Heck, I’d take “Janie’s Got a Gun” at this point. Comprende? Good. Anyhow, getting back to the actual battle at hand, while Kat definitely earned her win over R. by virtue of her gut-busting commitment to the cause, I felt like there were at least three or four big moments where she overshot the mark, her husky runs veering from almost sublime to borderline caustic. R. kinda of fell apart on the bridge, too — not that any of the coaches mentioned it — which is one of the main reasons I found myself wincing during his post-elimination declaration about never going back to his day job. (Dude, your dreams contain 0% of the recommended daily allowance for any of the vitamins and minerals your children need!) I might be dining on my words about Kat come mid-December, but my crystal ball predicts she’s more a Top 16 or Top 12 player than a true contender for the win.

2. Team Xtina: Matthew Schuler defeats Jacob Poole on Fall Out Boy’s “My Songs Know What You Did in the Dark (Light ‘Em Up)” | Can I be honest and admit that Xtina announcing she’d chosen a Fall Out Boy ditty for this matchup was about as welcome as hearing my dental hygenist yell, “Omigod! Blood!”? And can I continue my candor by sharing that, to my shock, I actually kinda dug the end result — especially the way neither dude ran out of breath while delivering the song’s rapid-fire lyrics and bouncing around the stage like it was a trampoline? To me, that speaks volumes about the potential of both of these preachers’ sons — that they managed to make me reconsider a band for whom I have zero affinity — and about the subtle improvement in Xtina’s Season 5 coaching. Girlfriend suddenly seems less focused on promoting/glorifying herself, and more excited about her roster of acts, than in past seasons. My only problem with Matthew-Vs.-Jacob was that I found their voices almost impossible to tell apart, leaving me ambivalent about the outcome. Matthew, though, had a slightly more engaging stage presence (and a killer red-shirt/black-suspenders combo), so I wasn’t mad at Xtina for handing him the win.

1. Team Blake: Ray Boudreaux defeats Monika Leigh on “Some Kind of Wonderful” | I went into this battle completely #TeamMonika over #TeamWhosThatDudeAgain?, but as Adam pointed out, Ray showed a lot of skill in the Battles that simply wasn’t evident in the Blinds. Dude has a huge range, a tone that soothes like a backscratcher and what appears to be a genuine understanding of the blues (despite having a ridiculously cute toddler daughter). Xtina was right that Monika was less consistent with her pitch and phrasing, but there’s still something hypnotic about her voice that makes me refuse to give up on her competitive fortunes. Paired with a fellow blues brother like Cee Lo, she could just as easily emerge as the Season 5 dark horse as she could get flushed during the Knockouts.

Shown in Snippets With Not Enough Information to Judge
Team Cee Lo: Cole Vosbury defeats Lupe Carroll on Toto’s “Africa”
Team Blake: E.G. Daily defeats Sam Cerniglia on Bonnie Raitt’s “Something to Talk About”
Team Adam: Ashley DuBose defeats Justin Blake on Blake Shelton and Christina Aguilera’s “Just a Fool”

And with that, I turn things over to you. What did you think of the second set of Season 5 Battle Rounds? Did anyone deserve to get the Save and didn’t? Who gave the best overall vocal of the night? Sound off below!

Comments are monitored, so don’t go off topic, don’t frakkin’ curse and don’t bore us with how much your coworker’s sister-in-law makes per hour. Talk smart about TV!

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  1. Ju says:

    This is the first season I’ve watched The Voice. Do they always only show snippets of some of the battles? I can understand skipping over some of the initial auditions but once it gets to this point they should really show everyone. How unfair. Anyway I think for the most part the right choices were made. I actually really liked Jacob though and wish he had been stolen. I don’t really remember his audition but I found their battle to be really entertaining. I thought he deserved it more than Briana yesterday.

    • B. says:

      Yeah they do but honestly they montage only the boring battles. It doesn’t really seem to make a difference in terms of a contestants popularity though. Case in point: Cassadee Pope’s Battle wasn’t shown and she went on to win Season 3.

      • what says:

        Same thing with Michelle Chamuel–her battle for whatever reason got cut but she went on to be runner up. I don’t know why her battle was cut though? I feel like Titanium would’ve been really entertaining to watch and I know that the other contestant was pretty good too.

        • blackbird325 says:

          It was probably pretty obvious who the winner was. I’d guess Michelle probably beat her “opponent” badly.

        • Z says:

          They may have cut Michelle’s and Chelsea M’s battle because Titanium was already sung in the blind audition by that lady with a bird call.. can’t remember her name. Just theory, not entirely sure.

      • Jake says:

        Cassadee is not a good example . . . she had a massive fanbase before the show even started. Others in battle snippets don’t fare so well in general, like Loren Allred from Season 3, whose blind audition and battle weren’t shown, yet she won her Knockout, made it to the live rounds, and was promptly eliminated to the surprise of exactly nobody.

    • LB says:

      Apparently the “epic” battles are shown in full. Anything non epic is reduced to a snippet.

    • The Guest says:

      The montages suck, especially when they could just as easily dump some of these performances on a Friday night, or at the very least put them online in their entirety. The problem is if an artist gets montaged twice, in both the blind audition and the battle round. Even if they make the live round, they’re screwed.

      • Angie_Overrated says:

        I’m fairly sure they engineer the editing to make sure someone who only gets montaged never makes it to the live shows.

      • Lacey says:

        I would rather have them drop the backstory stuff and show the full battles. I’m sure if they stopped showing us backstory and reminders on why they were chosen there would be more time. I know that stuff is important once the singers make it to the live rounds, but right now there’s just not enough time.

    • Eidi says:

      I would really like them to cut the sob stories and focus more on the concerts, without making snippets of any of them.

    • Wil says:

      They glaze over the battles that are painfully lopsided.

  2. GTS says:

    How long was this episode? Were there really only three full battles shown?

    • B. says:

      Hour long show tonight.

    • rwfblog says:

      It has become a reality host’s job to stretch things, such as constantly showing us 10-second snippits of what you are going to see in 3 minutes. Your best friend is the fast forward on the DVR. It lets you watch a 30-minute show in 35 minutes, instead of the hour they want you to spend.

    • Tyler says:

      I agree. I realize there’s commercials and all that. But it’s kinda ridiculous that a battle took almost 15 minutes!

      • Terry says:

        I actually prefer to see them working with the coach/guest mentors more that the battle itself, I wouldn’t want that to get cut, so I don’t mind them being longer.

  3. Shawn says:

    Can they just retire the song I don’t want to Miss a Thing already I’m so sick of hearing it on these shows. I hear that song more on these shows than I did in 1998 when it was brand new and being played on the radio.

  4. dj says:

    I agree about retiring “I Don’t Want to Miss a Thing,” and can we also retire “Something to Talk About”? I enjoyed Cher. I liked it when she told Blake she’s been working, not sitting on her butt pushing a button. She definitely could hold her own on a show like this and probably win.

    I don’t like it when they show a montage of battles I would have liked to have seen in their entirety. Why can’t the show go on for another week so they can show all the battles? I don’t get why they wasted valuable time on that recap show of the blind audition highlights (did anyone sit through that?) and now they don’t have time enough to show half the battles.

    I too found Ceelo’s lounging pajamas fascinating in a “is that long underwear?” kind of way.

    • Teeny Bikini says:

      I love Cher! She’s hysterical and her insights are razor sharp. And she’s tough, but in a good way. If they did a much-needed edit, they could fit in all of the battles for sure. The montages seem like a cop out.

      • Terry says:

        Agree with you on Cher! And what an outside-the-box choice by Blake, I never would have guessed in a million years she’d be his guest mentor.

        • Lacey says:

          I am pleasantly surprised by Cher as a guest mentor. She appears to care about each singer and she gives them constructive criticism.

        • senor skippy says:

          Is it just me or does anyone else think the 4 coaches have nothing to do with selecting the Mentors other than picking names out of a hat. I think Blake lucked out with his draw and Christina got the short end with Ed Scheeran.

      • The Beach says:

        It seems funny that Christina has never even mentioned the Cher/Blake mash-up, especially since she and Cher co-starred in a big budget movie together…odd. Makes ya wonder if there was too much diva-ness on that sound stage.

    • HTGR says:

      Yeah and you just made it even more clear I forgot they not only preview the next five minutes of the show with a five minute preview before each commercial break and not only recap the previous five minutes of show for five minutes after each commercial break they even recapped all the recaps and whatever actual show there was for two hours the other week (two hours which I did not watch). They could so easily have room to show all of the rounds. It doesn’t make sense and really isn’t fair.

    • Tom22 says:

      ha.. I like both of those songs.. not sure many contestants are up for them though… takes a real entirely unself-conscious connection with them to pull them off.

    • Josh says:

      They wasted an hour on a recap show and can’t show us all the blind auditions and battles?

  5. Val says:

    Love Michael and his recaps but I don’t agree with the rankings tonight. The battle between Jacob and Matthew should have been number one. They were awesome and someone should have stolen Jacob.

    • Teeny Bikini says:

      Agree. The rankings were off to me too. I would switch 1 and 3 :) I enjoyed Ray, but I interpreted Monika’s “changing the song every time” as a lack of control, intention and experience – not creativity.

    • sophie says:

      I think Michael ranked it lower just because he doesn’t like the song. I enjoyed this battle very much, it was actually a really cool song choice, splecially comming from Christina. Eventhough I think Ed choose this one.
      Sidenote: I thought it was really sweet from Adam to choose Just a fool.

  6. Teeny Bikini says:

    It drives me nuts when someone like Monika is saved when I can think of at least 4 eliminated contestants – that were ions better than her. That was a wasted save.

    • HTGR says:

      You could make arguments against every single save so far other than for Anthony. Not that the saved were bad, they were good, but you could argue there may be others who are going home who were a little bit better.

  7. Kaba says:

    All I wanted to see was EG Daily be amazing >:(

  8. Angie_Overrated says:

    Was I the only one who cringed everytime Kat Robichaud was singing? I don’t get it. Worst winning contestant yet. That’s not a vibrato; it’s a manufactured wobble that sounds like a sheep bleat or a machine gun rat a tat tat. Not digging it at all. Given the much higher level of talent this year compared to last season, she SHOULDN’T last long, but doesn’t mean that she won’t.

    • LB says:

      She’s not my favorite, but she also doesn’t bother me too much. Since she’s a rocker, I don’t really expect her to have a diva ballad singing voice. I do wonder, however, if that kind of singing blows out your voice after awhile.

      • Angie_Overrated says:

        Yes, singing like that will blow her voice out. She’s slamming her cords together which leads to nodules that need to be surgically removed. Ask Julie Andrews how awesome those are.

        Good news is that this is a pretty good season thus far. Even the country singers are good, and I typically hate them.

      • MC says:

        Okay, Kat was mediocre tonight. I wouldn’t draw too many conclusions from her off night. Kat still gave one of the best blinds from this season. The feedback to her blind audition was (almost) universally positive. She’s a very experienced musican and performer for such a young person. Kat needs to return to her rocker niche asap. I think it’s possible to manage any vocal style successfully. The biggest danger a singer faces is overuse of the vocal chords. Proper rest between gigs is extremely important. The genre of music is less important, as evidenced by Julie Andrews. Julie was certainly not a hard rocking chick.

        • Angie_Overrated says:

          No, Julie Andrews was not a rocker. But the common thread between her and Kat was the sheep bleat. Not only does it sound terrible (like it did in the blind audition), but it’s also dangerous.
          And not so sure I agree with the overuse thing. Properly trained vocalists can sing everyday for hours, and many of them do in genres ranging from pop/rock to opera/musical theater. It’s bad technique that’s the most problematic issue.

          • LB says:

            I just did some quick vocal nodule research and I think you are both right. It seems like many singers get them on tour from vocal chord overuse (and lack of rest). However people can also get them from screaming loudly, even as a one-time occurrence.

          • MC says:

            @LB I did a quick check also. From “Vocal overuse is using the voice too much, so that it gets overly tired. This can lead to an increased risk of vocal fold injury.

            If your voice feels tired or gives out easily, you may be overusing your voice. Examples of vocal overuse include talking and/or singing for too long.”

            It’s fine if someone wants to say that Kat is screaming and that might hurt her vocal chords. I can understand that, but I don’t think “sheep bleat” is a technical term. It’s just an unnecessarily cruel term. I still love Kat’s blind audition, but her screams at the very end (were those the bleats?) could be harmful if she does that too often. Kat has commented often on social media the last few days. Kat is a mature person and I trust that she has some knowledge of these issues.

    • Terry says:

      Her singing wasn’t as offensive to me as her using her dead father to further herself on a reality TV show. That made me cringe.

    • Eidi says:

      I agree with the fact that Kat is not so good as the coaches judge her. But I disagree that this season has higher talents than the last one. I think both are equal, or perhaps the last season has higher talents than this one (Michelle Chamuel, Sarah Simmons, Amber Carrington, Sasha Allen, Judith Hill and so on). Talking about Michelle and Kat, by the way, I thought their looks were similar, though I think the former beats not only the latter, but the entire casting of this season.

    • Lacey says:

      The cringe factor for me was when she tried to reach those notes clearly out of her range. I don’t understand why none of the judges pointed out that screeching a note doesn’t equal hitting a note.

  9. Johnny says:

    I feel like they picked all of the right winners in tonight’s battles, but frankly I would have rather seen the full-length versions of the battles they only showed snippets of. Kat-R. Anthony was largely a bleating contest, Matthew-Jacob was a shouting contest, and Ray-Monika was decent but not incredible. I like Kat’s personality, but her voice doesn’t do it for me. Matthew still isn’t that great for me. I like Ray a lot, but this song was a bit of a snoozer. Meanwhile, three of the my “ones to watch” (Ashley Dubose, Sam Cerniglia, and E.G. Dailey) were just snippets.

  10. Sarah says:

    Say what you want about The Voice, but in my opinion – strip everything else away and they really do put superior talent out there. They may not all be the most original performers you’ll ever find (I’m not nearly as obsessed with those out-of-the-box performers as Michael), but they do find some really, really talented vocalists. I don’t really follow the X Factor all that closely, but from the little I did see the talent is so vastly inferior on the X Factor compared to The Voice. Just my two cents…

    • MC says:

      The X Factor advertises massive cattle call auditions in major cities that are in the tradiiton of American Idol. The Voice holds some group auditions, but also personally invites many established singers onto their show. They send their talent scouts out to evaluate individual singers and then personally invite many of those singers onto The Voice. Comparing the talent pool of The Voice to the X Factor (or to AI) is comparing apples to oranges. The Voice will always have a greater amount of polished, professional sounding singers because they don’t rely as much on the cattle calls.

  11. DarkDefender says:

    I have always FF’d past all the crap and only watched the singing during the actual battles. But I must say.. This season.. I have not missed one second while Cher was on screen. She is amazing.. She needs to mentor, like, now.

  12. HTGR says:

    Wow I’m surprised you were to hard on R! He brought to something probably not of the sort he is even used to handling. And that was one of the few times that song was ever done any justice at all on one of these shows. I still you think are to hard on Kat, as always, and were much to hard on R.

  13. HTGR says:

    I wish they’d stop with the incessant 5 minute preview of the upcoming after the break next 5 minutes of the show and then recapping that last 5 minutes of 5 minutes of the show right after the break! Why spoil it with any previews? And if people are THAT weakly commited to watching the show they will probably be incapable of hitting the clicker to spin away to other shows anyway. And I come on, we don’t need THAT extensive recaps for things we JUST SAW THREE MINUTES, THREE FREAKING MINUTES, AGO.
    It sure would’ve been nice to have seen E.G.’s round instead of all that nonsense.

  14. HTGR says:

    I was never particularly sold on Michale during his four chair turn around. He did do well in that he kept it going despite high intensity and keeping on that song isn’t easy and he did, they both, so that was impressive, although I still think he might not be quite the all that all that that they all say he is. He seems like he could be a vote magnet though. Anyway, all that said, I thought Jacob came out of nowhere and despite the one chair, beat Michael. I’d have saved him. I felt like XTina sorta wanted too, but then got too afraid of giving up a mega-four chair turn contestant.

  15. HTGR says:

    Xtina certainly has a newly energized spirit and demeanor. And doesn’t Xtina suddenly look like 10 years younger this season and she seems to be styling a bit more in the Shakira method of clearly showing it off but doing it in a better sort of way.

    • The Beach says:

      So true. She seems like a different person. I think Shakira’s likability factor and how well the viewers took to her could definitely have caused Xtina take a hard look at herself. Her previous bitchiness seems to have dropped with the pounds. Good for her.

      • HTGR says:

        Either that or maybe she had simply been in a defensive, prickly shell (which would be understandable) the first few seasons because of the beating she had been getting in the ‘press’ the year or two leading in or both.

  16. Jenny says:

    If Blake doesn’t have Ray Boudreaux doesn’t sing a Marc Broussard song it will be such a waste of his voice (though I doubt Blake knows who Marc Broussard is).

  17. Paula says:

    My thoughts so far:
    I really liked Jacob and wish he had been stolen.
    Monika Leigh is very inconsistent. She was the clear loser in that battle.
    I’m loving Cher as a mentor.
    Caroline is still my favorite so far.

  18. Mary says:

    The best part of last night was Ray’s daughte, too cute. I am glad he was picked. Nobody really stood out for me.

    • Terry says:

      She is a cutie pie. And when she was yelling “Ray” from the audience… how could Blake possibly not pick him. Seriously. But I wonder what her reaction would have been if he hadn’t won the battle. I hope they’re not going to show her in tears if her dad gets eliminated at some point because that would just be mean.

  19. Kaba says:

    Slezak! Jacquie has met Candice Glover!
    You are practically required to love her now

  20. Kathy says:

    I watched it online and immediately skipped over “I don’t want to miss a thing” because it has been done so many times!

  21. A says:

    Matthew and Caroline have been my favorite in this round so far

  22. Nicole says:

    I’m surprised they didn’t show the battle where the contestants sang Blake and Christina’s duet. Would have been interesting to hear the feedback.

  23. cx says:

    Ray doesn’t have a huge range and his sound production technique is absolutely terrible. His high notes are so stretched and pulled and they all sound like they’re about to pull his throat apart. That is NOT good.

  24. Alec says:

    We have 13 of 20 names make it through the knockout round (sourse:mjsbigblog) :
    Nic Hawk
    James Wolpert
    Tessanne Chin
    Preston Pohl
    Will Champlin
    Ray Boudreaux
    Josh Logan
    Olivia Henken
    Matthew Schuler
    Kat Robichaud
    Shelbie Z
    Jacquie Lee
    It means Will Champlin lost the battle round to James Wolpert and get stolen by Christina then lost Knockout round as well to Josh Logan and get stolen by either Ceelo or Blake. Adam stole Juhi and Lina Gaudenzi so He may pair his knockout round like this:
    Grey vs Ashley
    Preston vs Juhi
    Tessanne vs Lina
    James vs Matt
    I don’t think Adam would choose Grey over Ashley so it mean Grey get stolen and I’m pretty sure by Christina since she really like her consistant vocal. I’m pretty sure Christina would pair her knockout round like this:
    Matthew vs Amber (2 pop vocalists)
    Josh vs Will (2 rockers)
    Destinee vs Olivia (2 country singers)
    Jacquie vs Anthony (2 R&B singers)