The Voice Recap: Duel Realities

Like those old episodes of Mutual of Omaha’s Wild Kingdom where the straggler impala gets picked off by the hungry lioness, The Voice‘s Battle Rounds are compelling (though not necessarily comforting) viewing.

Only the strongest voices — or at least those attached to the youngest, doe-eyed-iest, most social-media-approved bodies — survive the two-person, one-song contests.

And while I understand those who wince at the inherent cruelty of whittling a pool of 48 singers down to 32 (eight Battle “losers” get second chances via The Steal), it’s nevertheless a necessary evil. I mean, let’s be honest: After three consecutive weeks of Blind Auditions, what percentage of the four dozen acts’ performances could you actually remember? Three quarters? Half? Somewhere in the 25 percent range?

Limited audience memory for reality-singing competition contestants — even among folks like myself, who remain obsessed with Battle Rounds evictees like Grace Askew, Rebecca Loebe and Matt Cermanski — is the mother of elimination, or so the old saying goes. And while at least one Steal got totally squandered as two rock-solid contenders left in disgrace, it’s nevertheless time to get to the business of ranking tonight’s half-dozen Battle Rounds in order from least- to most-promising winner. (Bear in mind, I’ll be back overnight to update this recap with more detailed reviews of each showdown.)

6. (Team Gwen) Sugar Joans defeats Jean Kelley on Destiny’s Child’s “Survivor” (Jean inexplicably stolen by Pharrell) | File this one under “Two Perky Law Students Dueting at Karaoke Night” — or something to that effect. Because despite singing mostly in tune, neither chica could handle the rapid-fire wordplay or muster the internal oomph required to convincingly deliver DC’s humble-brag anthem. Jean, despite audibly gasping for air (irony alert!) on the line “thought I couldn’t breathe without you,” delivered a marginally stronger, more pleasing vocal, but her tone is about as distinctive as a ream of printer paper at Staples.

5. (Team Adam) Chris Jamison defeats Jonathan Wyndham on Bruno Mars’ “Young Girls” | I loved Chris’ Blind Audition, but this time around, he seemed to be working overtime to try to match Jonathan’s over-embellished runs instead of bringing the song’s lyrics to life. Lucky for him, his supercute rival’s tone got tight and quavery whenever he had to extend into his upper register, making Adam’s decision an easy choice in favor of the lesser of two evils.

4. (Team Gwen) Taylor John Williams defeats Amanda Lee Peers on Dolly Parton’s “Jolene” | Wait, wait, wait… so Amanda put guts and grit and physical commitment into her Dolly Parton cover and didn’t miss a single note in the process, and yet not only does she lose to a guy who brought all the fire of a lit match in a torrential downpour, but she didn’t even get a Steal? No me gusta! Taylor’s voice is pretty, to be fair, but if dude really wants to make the live rounds, he’ll need to step out of his coffeehouse comfort zone and prove he’s got some personal magnetism. Urgh.

3. (Team Pharrell) Elyjuh Rene defeats Maiya Sykes on Alicia Keys’ “If I Ain’t Got You” |
OK, Maiya could’ve dialed back a little on the nonstop vibrato and folksy ad-libs, but to my ears, her voice pretty much swallowed and digested Elyjuh’s every time their parts overlapped. But (gasp!) I guess sometimes The Voice isn’t necessarily about the voice — which most of us discovered back in Season 1 and begrudgingly accepted in Season 2. As Blake noted, Maiya has “world class” talent, but he preferred Elyjuh because of “growth.” In other words, if you’re over 30 and female, don’t expect any more button-pushing past the Blinds. Elyjuh, meanwhile, has some chops, but right now his delivery seems a little too immature (or perhaps self-impressed) to be truly moving. If he can dial back in that department, he could be a surprise contender on Team Pharrell.

2. (Team Blake) James David Carter defeats Craig Wayne Boyd on Pat Green’s “Wave on Wave” (Craig stolen by Gwen) | The night’s most evenly matched showdown found James’ springwater clear tone bringing an inspirational quality to the lyrics, and Craig’s gruffer, more raggedy approach capturing the world-weariness of the narration. It was nice to see Gwen steal the Nashville veteran — especially since his style is so far out of her wheelhouse — but I can’t blame Blake for choosing James, either. Dude’s got Approved by Mom charm and solid chops — a combination that’s proven popular with Voice voters over the past six seasons.

1. (Team Pharrell) Luke Wade defeats Griffin on Paul McCartney “Maybe I’m Amazed” (Griffin stolen by Blake) | Let’s give a slow clap to Alicia Keys, for insisting that Luke and Griffin shift their cover to the “Aretha Franlin version” — something that doesn’t exist, but probably should. Once the band found the piano-driven blues side of McCartney’s love anthem, Luke’s swooping falsetto and memorable growl emerged — making him a clear and present danger for the Season 7 crown. Griffin, who had to wait a mighty long time for a solo moment, may have overshot the mark with his more theatrical approach, but dude has a huge range and plenty of charisma (as long as he’s not falling into default perma-grin, anyway). It’ll be interesting to see which fella lasts further into the competition.

What did you think of the first set of Season 7 Battle Rounds? Did you geel like Maiya and Amanda got robbed? Which Steals delighted you? Take our poll below to vote for your favorite advancing singers, then hit the comments with your thoughts!

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. Ana Andrade says:

    Amanda should’ve been stolen.

    • MC says:

      Remember that the other three coaches passed on Amanda during the blinds. They planned their teams without her and it’s difficult to see where she would fit on any of those teams going forward. Having said that, Amanda definitely won the battle in my mind. However, the song seemed to be in her wheelhouse and Taylor couldn’t connect to it at all. I’m not sure that warrants a steal because Amanda was good, but not quite awesome.

    • Timmah says:

      Amanda wasn’t stolen because she showed about as much personality as a sack of concrete.

  2. Kaba says:

    Not the slightest bit upset about Maiya losing.
    I didn’t expect her to make it to the knockouts anyways, not my cup of tea.
    Upset, not because Amanda didn’t win, but because she didn’t get stolen. Either or was fine with me, but I felt they both deserved a steal.
    Glad that Jonathan guy is gone, didn’t like him. Not a bit.
    And Blake is so everloving predictable.

    • Maybe you just agree with Blake’s decisions. Shock is only good if the contestants warrant it. Otherwise, it just shows you agree with the coach–which is probably good come voting time.

      • Kaba says:

        Blakes battle winner was predictable, not because I agreed. I barely even listened. I called it from the get go when I saw they were paired last week. Blake is painfully easy to read. Even his steals.

        • Yes, he is easy to read. He puts strong against weak. The show isn’t about being dramatic and surprising, it’s about creating a strong team. Adam pits 4-chair turns against each other and it’s a blood bath. Blake puts similar voices together so everybody sounds good and tees up wins for his top people, it they don’t kill it, you know they don’t deserve it. Poor Gwen had people singing crap that was way outside their lane. I don’t need surprises. Surprises are what make the “most robbed” contestant lists. I like the Voice as more of a variety show, and Blake’s guys sang a great duet. I didn’t need to worry how it would all end, and didn’t care how it would come out.

          • Kaba says:

            Congrats? That’s not what I’m looking for and it’s the [simple] point I’m trying to make.

          • The point I’m trying to make is watching for “surprises” is watching for coaches making bad pairings and decisions. And I can’t understand why’d you want to do that. I watch for the music.

          • Kaba says:

            Sigh, what I meant with Blake being predictable was his obvious choice of choosing James.
            Idgaf who he pairs who with, surprises are fun and they can be entertaining just as bad surprises can piss people off. Boring pair ups aren’t fun either, this was a given so that’s not what surprised me.
            I listen for my own purposes and they’re not simply just the music might I add.

          • Sara says:

            Kaba, I wouldn’t say it was a boring pair up. The two guys actually sounded really good together. I’m not really a country fan AT ALL, but I really enjoyed both of them. Yes, it was pretty obvious that Blake would pick who he picked (the prettier boy will always win with Blake, as will the young ingenue), but I’m like the pairing and am glad the other guy was stolen.

          • Tyler says:

            I’m with Kaba on this. Blake is predictable and seems to take the easy way out. That’s one of the reasons why I like Adam–he takes risks! Who else would put a 4-chair turner against another 4-chair turner? That takes guts. I also like how Adam had his battle round sing a more contemporary Bruno Mars song than an American Idol song that was written by McCartney almost 40 years ago!

          • MSJ4321 says:

            I’m with Blake’s style of doing things. You don’t need every contestant to be a 4-chair-turner. You just need a strong team after the battles. I always yell into the tv for singers not to choose Adam; you just know that, right in the battle round, he’ll have cut half the best singers on the whole show. Pick a few who can go all the way, then tee them up for the win.

    • Angie_Overrated says:

      I’m a bit upset Maiya is gone, but I agree with Pharrell’s choice. I was confused by Blake’s comment that was something to the effect of, “Elyuja has more to improve and is therefore the better pick.” I can’t stand when they say that. People who are good and accomplished shouldn’t be penalized. This “growth arc” nonsense that these shows trumpet doesn’t always sit with me well, particularly when they’re at the expense of people who are already very good. Ultimately it’s a moot point because I think Elyuja beat her, but I did not appreciate Blake’s comment there.

      • Tom22 says:

        I think they can improve the wording a bit more but they have been getting clearer about what they say each season. I think their sentiment of choosing an unknown potential over solid but undifferentiated singer is right and fair and good. I’ll take it one step away then come back to The Voice
        I’ve enjoyed watching Project Runway a few seasons a year for about 7 years now. yeah I’m a heterosexual guy that drives a f150 but I like shows about creativity and flair for expression. The comment “i’ve seen it before” is a kiss of death from judges… and will occasionally even lose to something terrible looking where they felt the designer was at least chasing a creative vision that they could see past the failed execution The fashion designers aren’t there to make something you can find in the stores already.
        I think that same sort of “i’ve seen it before” dialogue would help.(and less gushing about them sounding like legends would help too) The coaches do often say “i’m looking for something special for my team” etc, but I think they’d do well to make it clear that “no one makes it in the industry with a great voice a lone.. there are 500 of those waiting tables in LA and Nashville”… a singer needs a unique charm and approach and tone.. or mix and match of those on top of musicianship.
        Anyway… I do understand your point about “potential” sounding like they’re willing to pick a weaker singer…but I don’t think that’s really what they mean. I think what they mean is “this experienced singer has honed their craft and sung that way for years and is unlikely to change much… do I like that as it is enough to think they can make it to the final 3 or 4 of the show?… will people become charmed and keep enjoying and voting and buying their recordings?” . If the answer in there mind is “I think I see what I’ve got here and it really won’t make it to the end or in the outside business” … “but this other one has some quirky things about them and showed me enough in rehearsal to feel like my coaching can make a big near term impact” I can seem them conclude “… I’d rather take a flyer on that uniqueness + potential than some one very very strong yet unremarkable compared to the 500 great voices I know that can’t get consistent work”
        I guess that comment is to Michael too….a few of the strong voices that go eliminated were only strong voices.. I People can’t necessarily agree on “who has a special philosophy on the world they can put to music”, but even if we can’t agree, that’s where the fairness is.. the intangibles are the real merit… people vote based on a combination of execution and their attraction or repulsion to the whole approach a singer brings to a song on top of pitch etc.

      • HTGR says:

        especially since they cut them 2 and 3 at a time on this show so there isn’t even time to grow as much as on Idol

  3. Angie_Overrated says:

    Gwen is effectively assembling the most formidable anti-Dream Team in Voice history. Her 3 she put through tonight are… interesting. I don’t think I’ve ever seen a coach as bad as her on this show. Jean was clearly better than Sugar. And that steal? Weird. I said to my husband “if that Taylor kid wins, Gwen is dead to me.” You could have fit a watermelon in my mouth with how my jaw dislocated and dropped to the floor when she announced the winner of that battle.

    • analythinker says:

      I even wrote down a “battle winners” prediction list and I listed Amanda as the winner. Ugh. Taylor didn’t even look like he appreciated the song. I don’t know why but that kid comes off unlikable to me.

      • I’m indifferent to the kid, but I could see why he’d come across as unappreciative of a song that showed Gwen could care less what kind of artist he was and only made him look bad. What a terrible song choice for that battle. And calling “Jolene” indie was just absurd.

        • analythinker says:

          Well, there’s an indie version of Jolene, so I wouldn’t say it’s absurd. And I happen to think that great singers will make the most of what they’re given, so anyone who says they’re “uncomfortable” with a song choice (in general) earns minus points from me. But that’s just my opinion :)

          • I think the contestants choose the coaches on the pitch that makes them feel the most wanted, especially choosing the one who (they think) understands them the best. When those coaches turn around and throw them under the bus with a bad song, I think they might justifiably be annoyed and/or feel betrayed. Gwen put Taylor in a hole and asked him to climb out. For me that’s crappy coaching, because even with him “winning” she’s made him look bad, or at least not good. He gets three chances to make an impression before we vote and Gwen ruined one. He’s got to be asking himself how many more is she going to mess up moving forward.

            Yeah, absurd isn’t the right word. But the song 1) isn’t indie–even if an indie, pop, R&B, etc, cover exists–it’s old fashioned with a country soul; and 2) has been done a couple of times very well on the show. Gwen and Pharrell demonstrated that they haven’t watched previous seasons to know what’s already been done.

          • analythinker says:

            See, here’s where we differ. Say that’s really Gwen’s goal: to make Taylor look bad (which I don’t think was the case because she chose him, for me this looks like she was trying to challenge him to come out of his comfort zone, instead of that hole term of yours). If I were Taylor, feeling a bit cheated/betrayed by the song choice, I would have felt like I had more to prove and consequently worked harder. Surely if I work hard, it would show and wouldn’t hurt my chance.

            That’s my logic though.

        • Mytake says:

          I can’t imagine a worse song for those two. Originally (and the words weren’t changed) it’s about a woman pleading with another woman to not steal her man. So Gwen gives that song to a gay woman (who’s love of her life would not be a man) and a male singer, who I don’t believe is gay, therefore why would he plead for someone not to take his man away? I just couldn’t get into the song or feel either of them were believable singing it. Just bizarre.

          • Mtn Kat says:

            I’m glad somebody else noticed the actual lyrics of “Jolene”! It has a good melody, and there was some nice harmony, but the lyrics were all wrong for both of them.

          • safado says:

            I had the identical thought. How on earth could Taylor connect with those lyrics? (It’s a song I’ve never liked. It–and “I’m a Survivor.”)

          • breeze says:

            Two words: Jack White

          • Scott says:

            Ironically the song has been performed twice on the show before: once by a lesbian and once by a dude, so not a completely bizarre pick.

          • Nedsdag says:

            Jack White did a version of “Jolene.” This is why Gwen chose the song.

          • Tom22 says:

            I don’t particularly like the song however I’d think the message of another person stealing your mate is pretty universal no matter what your gender or sexual orientation. The word “man” is easily converted to women in a mind … its the personal dynamics not the details of the words.
            But again, I’m not really big into the message of the song or why its a good emotion or a true emotion worth musing about artistically. And even there it doesn’t contribute a lot of ideas.

      • I agree that taylor shows little or no personality or passion when he sings. Its like he didnt even have to fight for his place in the competition! He has no facial expression either. And also Im from Oregon and should be standing behind someone from my state, but Im not going to. Could it be that he is so sure of himself that he thinks he doesnt have to try harder? I think the judges have made his head to big now by telling him “hes a real artist and the real thing”!

        • MSJ4321 says:

          Yeah, I didn’t get Gwen’s choice of (and Adam’s love for) Taylor, either. He didn’t strike me at all as having worked very hard to master that song. And I really can’t get behind the hipster suspenders and hat, either. They are pretentious . . . he’s not a good enough singer to get away with them.

          • MSJ4321 I think that its got to his head, they keep telling him he is the real thing so many times that he feels he doesnt have to work at it at all! The suspenders dont work! He is the type that should just wear a flannel and jeans and show more emotion

    • JM says:

      While I agree that Gwen’s choices for battle winners disagreed with mine, I still thought her coaching advice was good. Her coaching led to one of the best and most entertaining battles of the night, i.e. Jean and Sugar.

      • Angie_Overrated says:

        You liked that one? I think Jean’s a lot more talented that Slezak is giving her credit for, but that’s not a singer’s song. It’s scat, rapid-fire spitting of lyrics, and attitude as opposed to singing. I generally dislike Beyoncé / DC being sung on these shows because few people have the skills to do that. I think “Since You’ve Been Gone” would have been a better option. Or many other choices too. Just not DC.

        • JM says:

          That song was a stretch for them–I get that, but it seems that was Gwen’s strategy. Hence, ‘Jolene’. I personally would rather see a risky song performed than a boring song.

      • Stacy Meyer says:

        I admit some prejudice, because of my strong dislike of that DC “song.” But that battle came across to me like cats fighting in a shower. By the time it was over, I’d have been tickled with a double elimination.

      • Viajero says:

        It was one of my favorite battles of the night as well. I´m glad Jean got stolen.

    • Timmah says:

      Let’s face it, the actual battles have little to do with who they choose. Taylor has way more of the “x-factor”, I knew he was going to win before they started singing.

      • Angie_Overrated says:

        Taylor having “x-factor” is the most damning criticism I’ve heard yet of this season. I’m still baffled the kid got a chair turn.

  4. analythinker says:

    I like Jean Kelley, so I’m sure it’s not “inexplicable” for some people :) I find her tone more pleasing than Sugar, who has tendency to get nasaly sometimes.

  5. Andres says:

    Luke and James were awesome. I don’t understand why Sugar beat Jean in the battle.I feel maybe if Jean had won, I don’t think they would have stolen Sugar and maybe someone more worthy of a steal such as Amanda would have been stolen. I expected Elyjuh to lose his battle but he really surprised me.

    • analythinker says:

      I agree on the Sugar-Jean battle. Jean should have won and Amanda could take the steal spot.

    • Timmah says:

      I don’t get the appeal of Luke. He sounds like Mickey Mouse after swallowing a bunch of helium.

      • DarkDefender says:

        His nasally, stifled sounding falsetto is similar to Adam Levine’s voice. They will want to mold him into pop. I bet Blake let’s him do Sinatra or an Elvis ballad next time, which will get him eliminated. But that Falsetto can be shaped into something great… Remains to be seen.

  6. Gailer says:

    In love with Gwen’s Taylor

  7. Davey says:

    James Taylor Carter. Yawn. Sugar Jones. Yawn. Luke, Chris and Taylor are my favorites so far in tonight’s group. Craig’s hair will be fun to watch.

  8. David H says:

    The trend for the coaches this year seems to be: Go with the contestant that shows the most growth. Maiya sounded the same all the way through, while Elyjuh did what was asked. (BTW, Maiya had a touch of goat bleat in her voice). Taylor won because Gwen thought he improved the most. There was no place on anyone’s team for Amanda.

  9. dlonyc4 says:

    Wasn’t Adam the one who stole Jean Kelley? I thought I remembered him saying “Blah blah blah you’re on my team” to her when she started saying her farewell to Gwen. Or am I having mini-strokes again (I think they come from Adam’s terrible shirts)?

  10. The Beach says:

    I think Elyjuh (sp?) has a good voice but his over-emoting and mugging are already wearing thin with me.

    • Angie_Overrated says:

      I feel like he’s the “Ugly Betty” of the season, which I say as a term of endearment. Much like the show, he’s a bit of an underdog who happens to be very likeable. My “awwwww” meter when he was bawling after he won the battle was off the charts. Not the most perfect voice and he needs to work on his stage presentation, but I can’t help but love him.

    • MSJ4321 says:

      Pharrell needs to set him in front of a mirror so he can see himself sing. Then he’d know what we have to go through.

  11. Tyler Kohrs says:

    Amanda Lee Peers and Jonathan Wyndman and Maiya should have been stolen. I think Amanda should have just flat out won her battle, but I don’t know. The steals are scaring me because they are not using them as they should, as always. I don’t know, it is only the first night of battle Rounds and three steals have been used. COME ON! USE THEM RIGHT!

  12. GS says:

    I wish Gwen would remember that this is the VOICE, not a fashion show or a stage performance competition.

  13. Jules says:

    I’m still annoyed that Chris didn’t initially go with Pharrell but I’m glad he won his battle. Wait, actually I take that back!!! He would’ve been stolen by Pharrell if he hadn’t. I love his voice and he’s one of my faves but I’m worried Adam will ruin him.

  14. Jenny says:

    Gwen is not a good coach. I don’t understand why ppl picked her in the blinds as she has nothing to offer other than fashion advice.

    • Erin J. says:

      i agree. She makes Shakira a great coach.

    • MC says:

      I can’t defend everything Gwen says or does. Did she choose that horrible “Survivor” song? It’s a talky, shouty performance art piece that does not showcase singing at all. However, she is still one of my favorite recording artists from the 90’s. Gwen is constantly talking about fashion because she has a successful line of women’s clothes. I wish she would tackle other subjects in front of the camera, but fashion has been one of her obsessions for a long time. I’m sure the casual viewer (not all that familiar with her career) thinks Gwen is a vacuous idiot based on her comments. That’s an understandable impression, but I know there’s more to her than that.

      • Sara says:

        I agree. The fact is that Gwen is a very visual type of artist. The fact that she is also worrying and potentially prepping her contestants for the presentation aspect of their performances is not necessarily a bad thing. Blake worried about that kind of thing with both of his winning ladies and they are arguably (and this PAINS me to type) two of the biggest successes the show has had thus far. Yes, it is called The Voice, but the unfortunate truth is that appearances matter to actually expand these contestants’ careers beyond the show.

    • Timmah says:

      She’s just being realistic. Success in the music industry is about the whole package. Your style and your vibe is just as important as your voice, if not more so. Just look around at who’s making it big.

  15. Timmah says:

    I sure hope they’re saving the good ones for tomorrow night.

    • MC says:

      They haven’t shown Reagan James yet. I’m excited about her potential.

      • Me Too! Cant wait to see Reagan. Blake has a very young team. In fact has anyone noticed that this is the “youngest contestant year? And they are slowly getting rid of the older ones! I wonder if they are following American Idols “lead” from last year! The youngest contestants ever. The oldest on American Idol were Caleb 22 and Jess 23. Most of them were just young teens. And that is what the voice looks like this year!Blake has many 15 to 18 year olds.

  16. Konia says:

    Can’t take a season of Elijah

  17. Lana says:

    All I have to say is Gwen please do not make plans on cutting Craig’s hair. In fact he looks good just as he is and his voice is wonderful and he was the one I felt should have won. So just pick a good song for him and let him go for it.

  18. DarkDefender says:

    Every single person I liked best, lost their battles. I hate that they nullify the chair premise (choosing a singer unseen) only to immediately buy into that looks are everything while choosing battle round winners. A couple of better singers didn’t get picked because their opponents “had the package”.. If not the better vocal.
    Still like this show, but it is a tad bit hypocritical.

  19. Tom22 says:

    I thoroughly enjoyed the show. Great music…friendly likable contestants. Decent enough coaches comments that weren’t allowed to run on past a few good punch lines and polite praise with actually some grains of actual advise too. Great band and great footage from the rehearsals giving us a window, as usual into how musicians work and prepare.

  20. Name That Tune says:

    Wake me up when we’re down to 12.

    I can’t get invested in 48 or 32 singers that we will never hear from again.

    BTW, was Blacklist any good tonight?

  21. debbik says:

    Missing you and Melinda. Will there be a Reality Check this season?

  22. Eddie says:

    I also agree Amanda should of won the battle or at least get stolen

  23. May says:

    My thoughts exacty!,…. “or at least those attached to the youngest, doe-eyed-iest, most social-media-approved bodies”

  24. Voicefan says:

    I’m sorry, but I just don’t enjoy Amanda’s tone. It is too weird. Also, with Luke Wade, I feel like I’ve heard his voice in Season 3, with Sam James.

  25. daezyg says:

    I’m still trying to understand how Sugar got a chair to turn in the first place. It’s not that she can’t sing, it’s just that her voice grates on my nerves more than Jason Derulo’s song “Wiggle” (everytime I hear that song, a little of my faith in humanity dies). She, to me, sounds like what Cece Frey would’ve sounded like if she had taken some serious vocal lessons from Sisaundra.

    I knew Maiya was going to lose going into that battle.

    Craig is the real deal when it comes to country, but I understand why James won. Give him some cheesy country love ballad’s, and he’s got this thing in the bag.

    I really hope Gwen won’t cut Craig’s hair. It’s perfect on its own.

    Luke has restored my faith in the Voice. That battle was MAGIC! Griffin is going to do well as long as he keeps doing what he did in that battle.

  26. Lloyd says:

    Let’s follow Michael’s order again:
    6. It was a pretty duet, though I agree they weren’t awfully distinctive in their tone/delivery. Still, enjoyable enough. LOL@ Gwen saying “Survivor” is the most difficult song in the world.
    5. They both looked kinda uncomfortable on stage, it was difficult to watch. Meh.
    4.I am actually very upset with this outcome, because I really liked Amanda since the blinds, and I agree with Michael’s assessment (though Amanda did get a line of the lyrics wrong). Besides, Taylor was taking breaths in between syllables, which is an ultimate sin according to Melinda Doolittle. :p He also looked embarrassed for singing a song about being in love with a man, which is understandable, I guess. Still, not a convincing delivery at all. Also, I kinda disliked this rearrangement of the song.
    3. They both overembellished it for my taste. I think this is what Simon Cowell would call “indulgent”.
    2. I was befuddled when Pharrell said they have “two different distinctive styles” – did he mean in the hair styling and outfit department? I thought their performances were pretty similar, though I might have liked Craig’s a little more.
    1. I disliked the sound of Griffin’s both low and high notes. Not sure what Gwen meant when she said his voice was like butter… middle register, I guess? So, Luke was an easy choice for me.

    • SW says:

      As a lifelong country fan, I totally understood what Pharrell meant when he said James and Craig had two different styles. James is more of the “pretty guy who sings a lot of ballads” modern-day country singer, like Keith Urban, Kenny Chesney, Luke Bryan, and Josh Turner. Craig is the gritty, “older” style of country singer, like Travis Tritt, Zac Brown, Jason Aldean, Eric Church, and Hank Williams, Jr. And in my opinion, with the exception of Jason Aldean, Zac Brown and Eric Church, Craig’s style isn’t the one preferred these days. I like them both, though, because I was brought up on both styles.

  27. Sally says:

    I just want to know where are the winners of the voice performing? It’s definitely not on the radio..

  28. Ram510 says:

    Amanda Lee Peers was excellent she should still be on the show right now

  29. Sotrue says:

    I thought both Sugar and Jean were awful, bordering on a SNL parody where two white chicks make fools of themselves trying to emulate a culture they’re not a part of.

  30. Static says:

    I personally would’ve put Sugar vs. Jean 2nd. Their rhythm was off in some places, but I felt they had the swag and the attitude required to sell that song. Their stage presence was really strong too. In any case, I enjoyed it very much. Maiya and Amanda were robbed.

  31. Anonymous says:

    Its hard to pick the singers because there are so many that are so great. I think that this group of judges is the best group they have ever had since the very first show. They are so much fun to watch. Also, the way that Pharrel is so gracious the way he points the singers in the right direction for picking a judge that may benefit them to become a star even if it means they do not pick him. That’s awesome.

  32. monicaplace says:

    Dead on about Maiya! I was hoping someone would steal Amanda; I’d have liked to have seen what she could do.

  33. Okay I just went back and watched the maybe im amazed performance and it really was awesome! Luke shows so much passion when he sings and the other guy was phenominal! They are only at 89 on the I tunes charts! What? and the country duo(which I also loved is at 32 on country i tunes. I dont understand why “maybe Im Amazed isnt way higher on the charts.

  34. Last week when that guy did “Say Something” on the voice, did not even compare to “Jay James” x factor UK! Watch on u tube. It already has over 2 million views and is the most emotional version! Made MEL B cry! And he is cute and humble! My favorite version of the song!

  35. Karen Nunneley says:

    Amanda Peers was awesome. How could you have let her go??? And no steals?? Hope to see Ananda next season:)

  36. Michael Johns says:

    F*** YOU GWEN WHAT HAVE YOU DONE. Amanda is a supernova, ****h.

  37. Kim says:

    It’s like you’re reading my mind every single episode.

  38. Letting Amanda go was criminal and I was SO pissed, damn it.

  39. colton says:

    finally you right on the money , amanda was robbed, she is the real deal
    gwen made a hugh mistake and the judges are idiots for not picking her
    hugh loss

  40. HTGR says:

    “4. (Team Gwen) Taylor John Williams defeats Amanda Lee Peers on Dolly Parton’s “Jolene” |”

    It had to be on more than last night, Gwen more or less said as much, since Amanda brought the missing passion and connection. We’ll see. As you, I’m a touch dubious, but we haven’t seen hours of behind the scenes and maybe don’t known as well where they can each go?