The Voice Recap: Back in the Battles Again

The Voice - Season 6One of these days, I’m going to have a nightmare about The Voice Battle Rounds.

A tiny teenage diva bludgeoning a spritely, bespectacled competitor with a glory note — or a baseball bat. A twentysomething country stud choking out a musical barista with a deft bit of harmony — or his guitar strings.

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It’s not so crazy, really. I mean, the entire “Phase 2” of NBC’s reality singing competition takes place inside a wrestling ring filled with screaming, chanting fans trying to will the outcome one way or another.

Yep, the Battle Rounds are anxiety-inducing — even if, once in a while, they result in some genuine musical magic.

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On that note, let me jump to a ranking of each of tonight’s Battles from least- to most-promising winner:

3. Team Shakira: Clarissa Serna defeats Jeremy Briggs on Foreigner’s “Cold as Ice” | Two strong albeit not exactly distinctive vocalists, though if I’m being honest, I might’ve preferred the way Jeremy’s voice cut through the room more than Clarissa’s occasional affectations.

2. Team Adam: Delvin Choice defeats Caleb Elder on Aloe Blacc’s “The Man” | An utter mismatch, with Delvin nailing the fleet rhythms and rounded, soulful notes as Caleb gasped and spluttered like a fish on the dock. But it was nice of Adam to pretend to deliberate.

1. Team Usher: Melissa Jiménez defeats Brittnee Camelle on Melanie Fiona’s “Give It to Me Right” (Brittnee stolen by Adam) | It’s an odd phenomenon, but all too often on The Voice, attractive straight-up-the-middle pop divas seem to fall a little short in the pitch and passion department. And while I’m not 100% this battle broke the mold on the former consideration, I did love the way Melissa brought extreme sass to the lyric and piercing accuracy to her upper register. (Her rehearsal bangs, however, were not the look.) Brittnee, whose tone is a little fuller, struggled when she wasn’t full-on belting. Which is why I’ve got to give a slow clap to Usher for making the right choice.

Shown in Vrrrrrry Brief Snippet Version
Team Shakira: Ddendyl defeats Lindsay Pagano
Team Blake: Megan Ruger defeats Ria Eaton
Team Usher: Morgan Wallen defeats The Brothers Walker

And with that, I turn things over to you. What did you think of the second set of Season 6 Battle Rounds? Did anyone deserve to get the Save and didn’t? Who gave the best overall vocal of the night? Take our poll, then sound off in the comments!

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. Kaba says:

    Brittnee vs. Melissa was the sexiest battle in Voice history.

    • Name This Tune says:

      Agreed! It was epic.

      • MC says:

        I just caught it on YouTube. Definitely epic. I don’t think you will ever see that type of sexiness on AI. This was great. It’s a shame that very few battles bring out the best in both singers.

        • Adake says:

          Yep. Sexy song, sexy performance, and great singing by Brittnee and Melissa. The Jill Scott/Usher combo has brought out not only some of the best performances, but also the most entertaining ones in the battle rounds so far. Like Adam, I thought Brittnee won that round. She is definitely someone to watch.

          • Tyler says:

            So far Adam is stealing everyone from Usher’s team. At least what is being shown in its entirety. Interesting.

      • Tom22 says:

        I enjoyed it and the entire show. and yeah that was a hot pairing. I think it helps to enjoy things if you don’t try to figure out who’s better. They’re singing duets with a slightly rakish take on each other. The judge will know how easily they took coaching and things that he/she saw in them in practice and whether they had poise to perform live. The coaches aren’t going to necessarily decide on just what they see on the battle performance.. they know if they gave one singer an easier task than the other . Its not a competition but a chance to prove worthy of a longer experience with mentors and career advice in terms of where they can hope to grow to and maybe who they think has a tiny shot to actually make it in the recording business.

    • Blank Slate says:

      I smell something rotten in the State of The Voice.

      Before Usher makes his “decision,” the camera shows Carson Daly very clearly getting ready to reach for Melissa’s hand. He catches himself and awkwardly wraps it back around the microphone.

      Usher then ultimately says “Melissa.” (Not that I didn’t like her better but …we already knw she’s the one.)

      What BS!

      • iluvcandy says:


        • Blank Slate says:

          It is only more kindling to the flame of hunches that all of these talent competition programs are as scripted and manipulated as any theatrical production.

          The judges are reading from note sheets -and- are pushed to say what the producers want. Do we really believe Any of these alleged judges on AI, THE VOICE, etc are the ones picking and choosing contestants??

          Carson’s flub tonight was like the curtain pulled revealing just a man, not a Wizard of Oz.

          • Sandler says:

            One more example of why Ryan Seacrest puts all the other hosts in the shade.

          • Foxfire says:

            Seacrest is the best Sander, glad I’m not the only one who appreciates him.

          • Jacob says:

            On The Voice, at least, the coaches really do make the decisions. I can guarantee you that. I think you are all interpreting Carson’s hand gesture the wrong way. Besides, the Battles were taped weeks ago. If the producers thought this was going to give away their “big secret,” they had plenty of time to edit it out.

          • NotTheSame says:

            All of the judges on Idol always say their notes that they are reading from always come from the final rehersals that they watch before the show is actually taped and that those along with the actual live performance is what they base their critiques on. My guess is that the Voice judges would give the same answer when asked.

          • Tom22 says:

            This is coaches picking their teams given lots of data, including the one element of how they did that particular night. Later it goes to public voting. Coaches are looking for lots of things and they’re interested in more than final product.. how well did a singer take coaching…can I find types of songs that would fit them better and make them special from what I saw with this song etc. . They don’t say anything about the battlerounds being only based on the one performance.. if fact they deliberately explain how it is only one of the factors they use.

        • Grammy says:

          I noticed this too, thought the judges displayed poor judgment on many of the pairings. The blonde black girl (hope it is okay to say that!) did not sing, she stood there and screamed the whole time, and some other choices the judges made that I thought were really poorly thought out.

      • paul says:

        yep saw it too…I am shocked- shocked TV would rig something

      • Eric Daugherty says:

        Or maybe, Carson just thought Melissa won based on his own opinion and experience and subconsciously reached for her hand but caught himself?

    • Rivka Simons says:

      Both are such beauties, but Jill Scott hit the nail when she pointed out Britt’s street aire. Melissa is far more refined. However, Slezak was right about the gelled combed wisps for bangs. Yuck.

  2. M. says:

    You actually think Clarissa is less promising than Delvin?
    That’s funny

    • Eric Daugherty says:

      Devlin Choice vs Caleb Elder wasn’t the worst song I’ve heard during The Voice Battle Rounds. No. the worst I’ve ever heard was Clarissa Serna vs Jeremy Briggs. I liked both of them coming out of the battle rounds but 20 seconds into their song I just wanted it to be over. That was awful. And Clarissa was by far the weaker of the two. The final pair, Melissa vs Melanie was much better but the audience clapping almost ruined the song. Overall the night was so bad I have to wonder how poor the pairings that weren’t shown were if this is what the producers decided to show.

  3. John Anthony says:

    Slezak pointed it out last night. Not enough competitive performing for an hour of viewing time! Eight and a half minutes of tonight’s show was actual performing by the artist’s. By the time they get around to the actual competition your too bored to care.

    • Foxfire says:

      I much prefer American Idol’s faster paced program. I wish The Voice could pick up the speed a little more.

      • HTGR says:

        NBC is a bit too obsessed with the preview (i.e. spoil) everything that is about to happen after the next commercial and then review everything that happened a few minutes ago after the commercial break thing. That said, I prefer The Voice at this point.

  4. danin says:

    Jeremy vs.Clarisssa= best battle.Why did no one steal Jeremy? And what a rip off for Caleb.That mediocre song in no way was good for his voice.Plus the lifting from Elton John’s Your Song, was just plain lazy on Aloe Blac’s part. Not to mention the sampling from The Time of The Season by The Zombies made Melanie Fiona’s song alluring. Melissa,not so much.

    • Tyler says:

      Agree with everything. I was surprised Shakira didn’t steal Caleb.

      • IneedaHUG says:

        I agree with BOTH!!! Caleb’s full potential wasn’t reached here. a great song. Tough one. But it was all for Devin’s. Would have preferred another song that can balance both voices out. Adam is may favorite among all 8 VOICES coach. 2nd among all coach/judges (next to Harry Connick Jr). But this decision (song choice made for Devin) was bullshiiiit.

        And yes, I thought Shakira SHOULD HAVE STOLE HIM!! Wasted potential, I think.

        • Violette says:

          Your favorite out of all 8 Voice coaches?! Adam and Blake are the same person whether they’re with Christina & Cee-Lo or Shakira & Usher ^^

          • IneedaHUG says:

            Yes all 8. Ha! I see what you did there. I’m gonna find you Ms. Violette! I’m gonna find you!

  5. Josie says:

    Slezak, I respectfully disagree and I think that Clarissa is very promising and may have deserved your number 1 spot. However, i will say that her blind was better than her battle.

    • danin says:

      Josie,agree w/you about Clarissa.

    • Foxfire says:

      I preferred Jeremy over Clarissa in the battle round and agree with Slezak on this one as I preferred Jeremy’s voice over Clarissa’s.
      Clarissa put on a good show definitely but just not sure she has the greatest voice this year. Kat and Dani are both better imo.

  6. Angie_Overrated says:

    Where are all the folks who were saying Caleb was underrated? Yeah, not so much. I felt really bad for the kid, but he shouldn’t have gotten a chair turn to begin with. I think Adam was just tired of the blind auditions.
    On a more positive note, Delvin was money tonight. Doubt he’ll go that far, but I very much enjoy his voice.

    • OhMy says:

      Neither were good. Both were very bad.

    • Kaba says:

      Delvin was vocally excellent, but that song gave him no room (for me at least) to be impressed with him beyond a vocal standpoint. Nothing made his voice moving to me. Then again, I hate this song and I have no clue why he’d give such a song to someone who auditioned with “A Song For You”. Something more soulful would’ve been more down his alleyway. Then again, it was clear that Caleb was fodder, so…oh well.

      • Angie_Overrated says:

        It’s a weird song. That range is more or less my range, and I was having trouble making it sound good when I was improvising in front of my unenthusiastic husband. He concurs. The song sucks. There’s no room to let it rip. It just sits there uninterestingly.

        • Kaba says:

          I just think the song is just ugly. I don’t like the song whatsoever. It doesn’t compliment anyone aside from Ale Blacc I guess…but then again I hate the song so whatever

      • OhMy says:

        Back to my exchange with Angie_Overrated — neither were good. I won’t argue that Devlin was better than Caleb — and perhaps it was the song that wasn’t song, but he wasn’t strong tonight. If you still have it on your DVR, go back and listen — he’s flat for most of the song.

        • Angie_Overrated says:

          Even Pavarotti was flat sometimes. I just relistened. He did fall below the pitch a few times, but to say he’s flat for most of the song is objectively incorrect.

    • Sara says:

      I didn’t really think either of them were outstanding. What stood out to me in that segment was the way that Adam and Aloe coached the two of them. I really liked that they tried to teach them and help them develop their craft.

  7. Jennifer J says:

    I wish they’d cut some stuff and condense these battles into one week, so we could lose only one contestant a week during the live shows. Cut the “drama/stalling” of choosing the winner and give us more time with the contestants!

    • Foxfire says:

      Great idea jennifer.

    • John Anthony says:

      I agree. Anything that picks up the pace will help. I would like to see a version of The Voice on cable. Almost twenty five minutes last night was commercials and they could be eliminated or at least cut done so that more of the show could address the performers talent. Maybe some day.

  8. Kaba says:

    Tonight was good, the lack of a montage would have made it better, but I’m not complaining.
    Nonetheless, I heard Bria Kelly is battling to “Piece of My Heart” and this ought to be…gigantic.
    To put it in one word.

    I really hope Usher puts through Bria and Madilyn Paige next week though.

    • Angie_Overrated says:

      Agreed. All the right people are going through, and most of the right people are getting stolen. I’m happy a few contenders are starting to emerge. I’ve still got my eye on Kat Perkins. I can’t even remember Bria or Madilyn. I’ll have to relook them up.

      • Kaba says:

        Don’t recall you being keen on Bria for good reason. Something about her performance being contrived.
        Madilyn has garnered a lovely amount of youtube views for her audition so far and appears to be an early favorite.

        • Angie_Overrated says:

          Good memory. Bria was kind of contrived. I’ll wait til I see her next performance. I wasn’t super into Tessanne last year until late in the game. I’m amenable to changing my mind here. Madilyn’s not bad. She seems green, but she has a pretty tone.

          • Kaba says:

            Yeah, I can see where Bria comes off as contrived. You can argue she threw in growls just because it sounded interesting rather than it being from somewhere deep and meaningful. Though if she can sing like that when she’s faking it…I can only imagine what Usher can bring out of her since he’s the king of emotional connection to songs.
            Madilyn, I loved her approach to the song and how she never became too over-indulgent. She’s a lovely counter to Melissa, who said she gets caught in the moment easily. Her tone is lovely and she seems to have a formidable understanding of her voice for such a young age. I’m interested in what can come out of her.

      • Kaba says:

        I’m intrigued by Morgan, Ddendyl, Kat, and that’s it so far. I’ll wait for the rest of the battles

        • Angie_Overrated says:

          I’m all about Ddendyl and Kat so far, so we have decent overlap. I worried when D got the montage treatment tonight. My only consolation here is knowing Michelle Chamuel was also montaged for her battle round. There is still hope. And I know this wacky, but I kind of love Delvin. Smooth like butta and he’s got that husky church thing going on. He won’t last, but it doesn’t change the fact that I love his voice.

          • Kaba says:

            I think I’ll like Ddendyl quite a bit and that Shakira could have some serious contenders this season if she plays her cards right.
            I cannot wait for next weeks battles. And then part 2….unsure how I feel about the new formatting. I was hoping they’d make the knockouts like the voice uk

  9. Ed says:

    Somewhat off topic… Why do we only see so few artist sing. If they stopped with the back story that his always so depressing and seeing them practicing the whole song before they even come on stage. There is no surprises. Thanks goodness for DVR. But still I would have loved to hear the other artists that they did just a recap on. Come on now!!

    • Name This Tune says:

      I would say that it is due to having such large teams. They could cut it to 8 instead of 12 and then they could show every battle.

    • Adake says:

      Completely agree with you Ed about the montages. So unfair to those contestants. Some of them we never get to see until the knockouts. Come on NBC – fix this!

    • abz says:

      Agreed. The “coming up next” and preparation scenes pretty much give everything away.
      Also, I’m so over the back stories. That one girl (I think Britnee) when Jill Scott told her she was holding back and then she was giving this sob story about how she was shy as a child and teased; I think I rolled my eyes so far back into my head. Like shut up. All she said was your holding back. It’s preparation time, so she wants you to work out kinks in the performance, not come up with some sob story excuse for why you’re messing up!!
      Also, I mean an entire episode for 3 artists and one quick montage??? They could have filled in two more singers and montages if they cut out the “coming up next” and pre-performance packages

      • Foxfire says:

        While Britnee has a pretty voice she is holding back and that’s a shame because I really want to like her and think her shyness seems to be affecting her performance and ability to relate to the audience.

  10. Adake says:

    I really like the Jill Scott/Usher collaboration. Most of his contestants have improved under their advice and most of his losing contestants have been stolen. Either that means they are really doing their jobs or he’s making mistakes on his pairings. Surprised that Adam his used both his steals so quickly, though he got two good singers in Jake and Brittnee.

    • Kaba says:

      Team Usher is the team to steal this season. All his artists are showing wonderful growth.

    • Foxfire says:

      I’m really hoping Adam can work miracles with Britnee and help her overcome her shyness when performing. She does have a lot of potential and I’m glad Adam saw this.

  11. tealeaves says:

    I thought this was a truly painful episode. I don’t know what the producers were thinking putting all these performances in the same episode. IMO they could have sent everyone home.

    • Eric Daugherty says:

      I liked the last pair but I think this might have been the worst singing in one episode of any season.

  12. Kaba says:

    Also, it’s great to see Usher is clearly the superior coach this season. If if has didn’t put them through a lot of his team has been stolen.
    9 out of 12 of his original team will be in the knockouts, that’s more that any of the other coaches so far.
    And we’ve yet to see the rest of his choices, who knows? Maybe the rest of his team will be stolen too.

  13. Kiley says:

    First off, I absolutely love the Voice! However, this week left me annoyed with the show. I watched an hour and only saw three battles? Really?!? How about they cut out some of the backstory and rehearsals and actually show the battle rounds? This is a singing competition and yet we only saw three performances the whole hour? I think the Voice will be DVR’d from now on because that was really disappointing. I’ll fast forward and watch the 8 minutes of actual singing next time.

    • Angie_Overrated says:

      ITA. It’s a show I dvr so that I don’t have to see the backstories. Then when you just do performances, unfortunately it’s over in 10 mins? That’ll change once we get to the live shows.

    • Name This Tune says:

      I found out I can wait until it hits Hulu or YouTube. Then I can just see the performance. I don’t really need to see all the fillers and there is a lot of other things to watch.

  14. Adam Fachry says:

    Have you guys heard of the news? Chris Martin will mentor Battles: Round 2, a new round to replace knockout rounds where contestants will sing the same song (not sure if it’s going to be done separately or by duet). Interesting.,,,

    • Kaba says:

      No knockouts? Why?
      I think they should do it The Voice UK way, some of them got some crappy songs.

      • Kaba says:

        Whoops, I assume they meant they sing the same song individually.
        They’re be battling again to a different song.

    • Angie_Overrated says:

      Yikes. Not sure I like that development. Even the greatest singer ever isn’t necessarily going to sound good depending on the song choice, so it allows the mentor more leeway to sabotage the red headed stepdaughters of his/her team. The knockout rounds were much more honest.

      • Kaba says:

        Amen, even if it seemed like a fodder pairing for the knockouts, the contestants got to stake their claim at least by choosing their own song for the most part.

    • Adam Fachry says:

      Imo, the main reason they’re doing this is because they want to appeal to their younger demographics, hence the involvement of Chris Martin. The purpose of keeping the show fresh by changing up one of the rounds might be secondary on their part, but I can see this becoming a sabotage galore.

  15. Titina says:

    Loved Clarissa! So happy she went through. She was awesome..

    BTW, I am not liking the new BAttle Rounds version 2. The contestants sing individually but they have to sing the same song chose by their mentor. Total sabotage!
    At least in the Knockout Rounds it was more honest and people win or lose base on their own decisions…. Too bad they did not keep it that way…

  16. Timmah says:

    I couldn’t believe the way they spoiled that last segment. It’s like the producers were telling us: “Here’s what going to happen after the break… try to act surprised when you watch it”.

  17. analythinker says:

    This comment is not applied to this episode alone, but to the whole show (and similar shows) in general.

    I don’t get why there’s a need for canon fodders. Can’t they just turn around, steal or even eliminate people based on related performances? Is it so hard to do? If on battles, both people are great, they can give great performance and more people would tune in for that, no? If rating is a concern, picking less talented people as canon fodder would make the show predictable (if not already) and viewers would get bored.

    Sure, we will scream, yell, and probably curse if good singers are eliminated, but if it’s to make sure the better singers advance, then why not?

  18. abz says:

    I didn’t think the Britnee/Melissa performance was that great. I feel like I’ve seen these same types of voices all the time. Nothing really unique about their voices tbh.
    Also, that steal was just stupid IMO. It just seemed like Knockout Round fodder. I don’t think they’ll go far. I think they should’ve used the steal on Jeremy. There might’ve been a lot more we could have seen from him.
    Glad Clarissa is moving on. I’m still loving her “Zombie” cover.

  19. Christine says:

    The montages are Driving Me Crazy. Particularly when the show spends so much time rehashing background, the original performance, repetitive cuts where each contestant says the same thing about how impressed they are with the other performer and how they have to leave it all out there. I’m not saying I don’t like these parts, but it’s pretty hard to justify when so much is montaged out.

    Slezak, I really hope you will use your position to help organize the voice lovers to contact NBC and suggest a change. It makes no sense when there is so much filler in each episode. At the very least, NBC should make the montaged blind auditions and battles available online.

    • Adake says:

      Great idea Christine. Put it on Hulu, Youtube and The Voice site so people can judge for themselves. I’m guessing the montaged performances were more clear cut but let’s enjoy them anyway.

    • Scott says:

      I am pro-montage. There have been three Battles this season where I would have been happy if they sent both singers home. If the montage are actually worse than the ones we are shown, the show is wise to keep them to under ten seconds. I guess that if they actually showed all the montage Battles it would really hurt the ratings.

  20. Mikko says:

    Not a bad episode, but none of them was really interesting to me, except Delvin.

  21. What’s up with Shakira? Is it just me or does she always pick the worse of the two to advance? It’s like she wants to lose.

    • Eric Daugherty says:

      On the plus side, nothing she does this year can equal the screw up of not taking Mary Miranda to the live shows in season 4.

  22. Starry sky says:

    I like Caleb Elder. I love his voice! I think the song wasn’t fit for him.

  23. Eidi says:

    I’d rather watch a presentation of Melissa and Brittnee singing “Can’t Remember to Forget You”. Melissa could represent the latina’s side of Shakira and Brittnee would get the black power of Rihanna. Don’t you agree with me?

  24. Ted says:

    I cant believe that Brothers Walker are gone. I am going to miss the harmony and I loved their personalities. Cant believe they didnt get stolen. They have a TON of potential.

  25. Foxfire says:

    The battle rounds are not very fair to the duo’s are they? Both members of the duo should get the equal amount of time as the other competitor gets instead of each of the acts getting one half of the time. I enjoy watching the duo’s and would like to see them getting a fair shake.

  26. Kiki says:

    I’ll say it again…never lose Melinda, Slezak!!! And yes, AI should get her on the show! What are they thinking?!?

  27. Aida says:

    Why in the hell did they cut Morgan’s battle?! Love him! But sad he defeated The Walker Brothers, love them too.

  28. syb says:

    This show could have accomplished what it did in a half an hour even with commercials, fake drama and banter. It’s become unwatchable.

    • John Anthony says:

      I couldn’t agree more with syb. I really like the show but why so much fake drama and banter as you put it? The show surely needs more attention paid to the actual performing. If I wanted to listen to a talk show I would tune in to late night TV!

  29. Viajero says:

    I thought you rated both Delvin and his battle too high. I thought it was easily the worst battle of the week (even below Dani vs. Deshawn on Monday). While most of this was due to a completely wrong song choice for Caleb, Delvin didn’t do all that well either. It was a big disappointment as I really liked his blind audition. Instead we got the Delvin from last season’s blind audition.

    I would also rate Clarissa as the strongest singer of the evening and I’m glad both Melissa and Brittnee went through since I liked them both about equally. Their battle was certainly the best of the week.