The Voice Recap: Steal Crazy After All These Years

Like an overstuffed deli sandwich that leaves your jaw and your stomach simultaneously dialing 1-800-Too-Much, The Voice jammed the end of its Season 8 Blind Auditions and the start of its Battle Rounds into a single two-hour telecast tonight.

To paraphrase Q-Tip’s verse on Janet Jackson’s “Got ‘Til It’s Gone,” Now why you wanna go and do that Voice huh? Now why you wanna go and do that and do that huh?

Now that the action-packed telecast is done, however, I’m pleased to report I am not requiring a smoothie of Zantac, Tums and warm milk.

After all, we heard oodles of fantastic singers — and better still, no potential winners wound up covered in bus tracks at the end of the 120-minute extravaganza.

I’ll kick things off by listing from least- to most-promising the final five singers to achieve Blind Audition nirvana, then rank the three excellent Battles in order from least- to most-promising winner.

5. Vance Smith — “Reach Out I’ll Be There” (Team Xtina) — Supercute guy who thinks of his mom as his superhero — but some of those extended notes played out like his Kryptonite.

4. Paul Pfau — “Fly Me to the Moon” (Team Pharrell) — Geeky charmer sounded rock solid on an old standard, but didn’t really give it much in the way of unique energy. Watch, he’ll go and win the whole thing now and make me look like an idiot.

3. Hannah Kirby, “The Letter” (Team Blake) — Questionably attired chica showcased beastly-good power-rasp vocals, but needs to fine-tune her sense of rhythm and work a little harder on dynamics.

2. Nathan Hermida — “Sure Thing” (Team Adam) — Science-loving, glasses-wearing guy proved a study in understatement — and while he didn’t choose the range-iest ditty, his tone was wonderfully warm and inviting.

1. Caitlin Caporale — “Impossible” (Team Pharrell) — Nerves hindered those quieter notes in her lower register, but once Miss Thing got to belting, she actually proved herself a match for Xtina at her feathers-unfurled showiest.

3. Team Blake: Brian Johnson defeats Joshua Davis on “Knockin’ on Heaven’s Door” (Joshua stolen by Adam) — I far preferred Joshua’s exquisite gravel-liciousness, and dude has a legit shot at the crown if Adam doesn’t sabotage him. Brian’s got real horsepower, too, but there’s an R&B affectation that creeps into his delivery that’s not entirely pleasing.

2. Team Adam: Tonya Boyd-Cannon defeats James McNeice on “P.Y.T.” — Tonya’s tearful breakdown in the arms of her husband and kids was one of the more moving moments in Battle Rounds history. And her effortless swagger on “P.Y.T.” showed she’s more than just a whopping instrument — she’s legit fun, too.

1. Team Pharrell: Mia Z defeats Ashley Morgan on “Put the Gun Down” (Ashely stolen by Xtina) — This one ranks up there with the all-time great Battles. Mia’s tone is divinely unique — and she’s got great passion and stage presence — but Ashley, as Xtina noted, appears to have zero vocal flaws. Can’t wait to see what they do next.

What did you think of this week’s Voice proceedings? Who were your faves? Take our polls below, 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. RawwkOn says:

    One of the best episodes of the show in a long time. I’m serious

  2. Michael says:

    I think Mia, Tonya, and Caitlin all deserves shoes thrown and anything else we can give them. Can Mia and Tonya just advance straight to the live rounds though? I don’t want Adam and Pharell screwing both of them over like they did with Toia and (to a lesser extent) Menlik. Because they are goooooooood!

  3. Ginger Snap says:

    Always at this point in The Voice journey, I am not certain who everyone is.

    Too many faces thrown at us over past 2 weeks.

    Maybe by the end of next week, I will to formulate an opinion about this group of singers.

  4. Scott says:

    Really great episode. I love Caitlin, she’s one of my faves now. Also, solid battle rounds, no one did poorly. Now I’m excited for this season. Hope they can keep it up continuing into the battles. Mia is really good, but I do prefer Ashley. The Mariah Carey like whistle notes don’t really do anything for me, but Mia is very talented.

  5. I was so upset when Ashley was eliminated, but she’s on a better team now. Christina will treat someone like her well.

    Also, heck yes to some ZZ Ward on the show!

  6. Angie_Overrated says:

    Can it be that The Voice and Idol will simultaneously both have amazing seasons? Anyone schooled in multivariate regression analysis to tell us what the odds were on that happening?
    I was not at all impressed with the last few blind auditions with the exception of that girl who sang Impossible. Yuck to the other ones.
    The Battles, however. NICE! I thought Ashley won though Mia didn’t get walloped like I expected. Tonya was ok, but I know she can do a lot better than ok. I think she was sabotaged by the key the song was in. And both those guys nailed that last battle with the correct one winning. Good stuff.

  7. Andres says:

    This episode was really good. I am really excited about Mia Z the most.
    I still have the feeling that they are gonna montage some battles.

  8. Jill Moy says:

    Let’s face it, Caitlin is probably best this year but can’t be a phoney, I picked my 3 early and like do with every talent show, I pick them (always 2, but 2 tied for me so 3 this year) and I stick with them and always win or get runnerup, which is amazing since I don’t wait till end of 1st auditions when I pick! My girl Ashley got picked up so she is STILL ALIVE!

    • Y says:

      Really. Always win or get runnerup. So basically you picked mostly Blake’s team since his team always ended up either winner or runnerup.

      • Jill Moy says:


        I left you a long reply that didn’t post. Well, last yea I only hear CWB and only for a few seconds,after whuch I srated I wasn’t gonna listen to anyone else the whole season….HE IS THE WINNER! I gave done many anazing things oicking talent. One show in particular I heard a country singer fir a few seconds and said she would win USA AND WORLD CHAMPIONSHIPS IN IRELAND! SHE DID! I KNOW TALENT! I HOPE TO CONTINUE MY RUN ON SHOWS THIS YEAR…KNOCK ON WOOD!

  9. danin says:

    I would put Paul before Hannah.I like her tone but she’s a little too one note for me.And actually I think Paul&Nathan tied.I thought the guy who battled w/Tanya was good and added some flavor to the song.Thought someone would steal him or should have.For some reason I’m not connecting w/Josh and I love gruff voices or dusky voices.And am a big fan of folk-rock.

    • Birdy says:

      Hannah’s def one note. Hope somebody teachers her how to scale it back when necessary and makes her reach her range on both ends. Great stage presence, though!

  10. akillesheel says:

    I preferred the loser in every battle. That said, though, the two that I thought won theirs by significant margins (Ashley and Joshua) were stolen, and the winners of those battles were certainly good as well. I slightly preferred James in the PYT battle, but it could have gone either way and that was definitely the most underwhelming battle of the three.

  11. HTGR says:

    I totally agreed with Pharrell on his Mia choice. There is just something about her. Her presence and feeling. And those crazy high notes things, not overdone, just stuck in there once as needed, ooooo yeah. I was glad to see Ashely saved though. She did very well, but she seems more generic to me. So yeah agree there.
    I didn’t think Blake made the right choice, Joshua just had that perfect gravel and his emotion was so felt. So yeah agree there again.
    I agree with Blinds rankings totally.
    I’d swap the last two spots around for the Battles.

  12. analythinker says:

    Aw, I liked James!

  13. Birdy says:

    Personally, I can’t wait to see Sawyer again–love that kid!

  14. Static says:

    I feel the Jessie J comparison with Ashley is spot on. Her voice is bombastic and she hits every note square in the jaw. Should’ve won her battle tbh, but I think she’ll be better off on Team Christina.

    • daynamonet says:

      honestly all i could think of during the battle is how much she looked like Jessie J, I thought that girl Sonic sounded just like Jessie J to the point I thought she sang a Jessie J song, but I found out it wasn’t. Ashley sounded like jessie J too and looked like her.

  15. Antonio Hall says:

    Ashely you have very powerful voice and I am glad you on Christina Aguilera team . She is amazing . Pharrell didn’t do good with that battle . Mia have a unique great voice but she just need probably more practice . Tonya Boyd Cannon was alot of fun to watch and amazing talent she have . She do have a great voice . James McNiece voice was incredible and his falsetto was effortless , it sounded like Chris Jamison and James were one to beat . He’s awesome . Brian I am happy you won the battle because you killed it and you have a killer voice and Joshua Davis have a lovely gravel and his voice is on point . Caitlin voice was just WOW !! She is one to beat and best voice ever on The Voice History . She going to win the entire season 8 . This is a Fantasic season .

  16. Meme says:

    What a great show of talent! I do think both Blake and Pharrell made a mistake in their battle round choices, but then Adam and Christina lucked out with those steals. I just melt whenever Joshua Davis sings and in my book he has a real shot at the title this season. Ashley Morgan really shined last night too as well as Tonya. The battle round winners were all great! I know it has to be a hard choice for coaches to call. I respect the challenge they face b/c more often than not there is no real “winner” among all this great talent.

  17. Lyn Jensen says:

    Interesting that the two people who were cut and stolen were the two most liked in the above fan poll.

  18. Birdy says:

    I think many of the females who made it on have fantastic voices, especially Caitlin (did she ever hold her own with Christina!) and Ashley, but most of them sound “formulaic” to me. OTH, many of the males have both talent and uniqueness. Sawyer, of course (if he doesn’t win the whole thing, it will be a travesty), but even Josh–who doesn’t seem to have the range of some, has that good-in-an-odd way voice like Dylan, Rod Stewart, etc. Brian, too, has a great voice with some real passion behind it. Josh & Brian’s rendition of “Knockin’ on Heaven’s Door” was inspiring!

  19. Lloyd says:

    Christina seemed a little disappointed that Vance picked her. LOL

  20. Aaaa says:

    The final 4 contestants were mind-blowingly awesome. That was unexpected!
    And someone totally should have stolen James!

  21. HTGR says:

    These shows really are dying. Wow, only 33 posts.

  22. Sharon says: