The Voice Battle Rounds Recap: Dude, Where's My Carnage?

File this one under Things You Never Expected to Hear Carson Daly Utter on The Voice: “You know what? America has to pee. America, go pee and we’ll be right back with Pharrell’s decision!”

Sorry, Carson, but there’s no excuse for that kind of targeted tinkle tirade — unless, of course, you’re about to embark on a road-trip with a toddler in tow.

Then again, it did take Pharrell Williams a ridiculous amount of time to call a winner in Monday’s toughest Battle Rounds matchup — the epic rocker ballerina Kimberly Nichole vs. the swagodocious Lowell Oakley. So, maybe we ought to forgive the typically inoffensive host’s uncomfortable expression of concern for our weary bladders.

Actually, come to think of it, Carson’s off the hook — mostly because he presided over a rare two-hour Battle Rounds contest that did not result in a single miscarriage of justice. I mean, yeah, there were two instances (Lowell vs. Kimberly and India vs. Clinton) where perhaps it came down to a matter of taste — but both of the “losing” vocalists in these cases were quickly stolen by rival coaches. And the only other close call (Treeva vs. Katelyn) was merely a decision about who’d be Team Xtina cannon fodder.

Great singing? No brutal carnage? All emotions unofficially sponsored by Pharrell’s “Happy”? Let’s hope it’s the start of a trend!

While the positivity flows, let me get to ranking tonight’s Battle Rounds in order from least- to most-promising winner:

The Voice - Season 86. Team Xtina: Treeva Gibson defeats Katelyn Read on Florence + The Machine’s rendition of “Addicted to Love” | Xtina’s advice to add an ethereal layer of falsetto over the verse was awesome — but Treeva’s runaway pitch and Katelyn’s off-putting pronunciations made this a “what could’ve been” type of party as opposed to anything that’d make me want to press “rewind/repeat.”

The Voice - Season 85. Team Adam: Barry Minniefield defeats Jack Gregori on Joe Cocker’s “Feelin’ Alright” | The matchup of Season 8’s Men of a Certain Age was all but wrapped up at the song-choice stage — Barry’s mighty soul growl proving a much better fit than Jack’s pedestrian twang. But Barry ran up the board, so to speak, by really digging into the melody and actually looking like he was having the time of his life — two qualities that were in short supply on Jack’s side of the stage.

The Voice - Season 84. Team Blake: Kelsie May defeats Brenna Yaeger on Bobbie Gentry/Reba McEntire’s “Fancy” | Note to Blake: Please, please please never assign “Fancy” to a gal under the age of 30. It’s a song told from the viewpoint of a grown woman looking back on that dismal time her mother kicked her out of the house and encouraged her to make a better life through prostitution. Despite the “yikes!”-iness of hearing 16-year-old Kelsie tell this hardscrabble tale, it was clear she had stronger pipes and a superior sense of rhythm compared to her 19-year-old rival. Xtina was right that both girls could use a lesson in dynamics, but if Kelsie proves a quick study, she could find herself on a Danielle Bradbery-like trajectory (only with slightly livelier facial expressions than the Season 4 champ).

The Voice - Season 83. Team Xtina: India Carney defeats Clinton Washington on Rihanna’s “Stay” (Clinton stolen by Adam) | To paraphrase the Rihanna’s lyrics, “Not really sure how I feel about this Battle…” I mean, it’s clear that India and Clinton have immense instruments and enviable vocal control, but their embellishments added wayyyy too much dressing to a simple salad — and the end result, while “impressive” I suppose, felt emotionally limp. I’d also have cut the “dramatic hand-touching” choreography in favor of something more spontaneous, but now I’m just sounding like Cranky McComplainerston.

The Voice - Season 82. Team Pharrell: Caitlin Caporale defeats Briar Jonnee on Alicia Keys’ “Fallin'” | Caitlin is one of those rare vocalists who can stretch her voice to its absolute upper limits and yet maintain a rich, full tone — a quality that served her very well on Alicia Keys’ crazy-range-y ballad. If Pharrell can walk that fine line of finding songs that showcase Catilin’s power — without making her come off as a future Vegas side-stage act — she might be, as Adam noted, a contender to inherit Craig Wayne Boyd’s crown and lasso.

The Voice - Season 81. Team Pharrell: Lowell Oakley defeats Kimberly Nichole on “Big Mama” Thornton’s “Hound Dog” (Kimberly stolen by Xtina) | No way Lowell actually “defeated” Kimberly — did you see adviser Lionel Richie practically fall off his chair when she opened her mouth to sing? and did you catch her utterly boss “Hallelu” hand gesture/twirl? — but in true Pharrell fashion, this appeared to be a calculated decision to ensure both contestants would survive. If NBC’s “coming up after the break…” hadn’t spoiled the inevitable Steal, I might’ve panicked. But knowing that Kimberly wouldn’t get eliminated, I was able to enjoy Lowell’s victory — if only because his deep dig into the spirit of the blues anthem and spotless pitch are also deeply worthy of the Knockouts. To quote Blake’s feelings about Pharrell pitting two of his best in head-to-head combat, “What is wrong with you?!”

OK, your turn. What did you think of Night 3 of The Voice‘s Season 8 Battle Rounds? 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. debi says:

    Very impressed with Kelsie May.

    • JM says:

      Personally, I would have gone with Brenna–I just preferred her voice. But I do agree that Kelsie was more comfortable on the stage.

    • Matthew B Lawler says:

      Seriously listen to Reba sing fancy and tell me with a straight face you are impressed with Kelsey may

      • Candace says:

        It was a tough song choice for the girls, in more ways than one. It would be hard for them to relate to and the song sure doesn’t leave much time for taking breaths. I think Kelsey won the battle but it’s just a case of preferences, right?

      • Tom22 says:

        I’d prefer to hear a singer fall a bit short on a song like Fancy rather than hear them attempt big Beyonce notes that they get thin and a bit screechy on. It doesn’t hurt my ears if they stumble on a word or two.

      • debi says:

        Reba tweeted that she thought they did great on the song.

  2. analythinker says:

    I thought India vs Clinton’s battle started a bit rough, but then it goes down as probably my favorite battle this season. The connection is there, too.

    • Angie_Overrated says:

      Yeah, seems like we’re alone on that one. India vs Clinton was the only battle that I didn’t have to force myself to pay attention. The two of them were amazing. It wasn’t Trevin Hunt vs. Amanda Brown amazing, but it was IMO the best of the season. Those harmonies in the middle were gorgeous and their voices blended eerily well.
      Not understanding the love between Kimberly and that dude. My vote would have been to cut both of them. Was not into that at all.

      • analythinker says:

        Yeah, love the intricacies of the harmonies.

        I’m not that ga-ga over Kimberly and Lowell either, but they’re at least more worthy than some of the eliminated ones, IMO.

      • bobsaccamanna says:

        Ok I have to go to my vocal guru for some solace here Angie, what am I missing with Caitlin, I don’t get the love for her. Admittedly Christina like diva voices are usually not my thing anyhow( see Joey Cook lol) but I usually can tell if they have good voices or not and to me Caitlin sounds strained and screechy. Am I missing it? I usually agree with Michael but not on last nights show, I thought it was one of the weaker shows of the season, no one really made me sit up and take notice until that last battle, those two really connected and sounded great together IMO.

        • Angie_Overrated says:

          Caitlin doesn’t have a top to her voice yet. It’s a tension related issue that’s blocking the tone in her top notes (i.e., jaw tension, tongue or throat) and she’ll never get those notes until she releases it.
          I’m not knocking her. She’s young and I liked her voice, as well as the girl’s voice whom she beat. She just has a bit of technique to work through.
          And agreed with you on last night’s show. I thought it was awful, quite frankly. I thought the last duet was the only good performance.

          • bobsaccamanna says:

            India reminds me a little bit of one of my favorite all time Voice contestants, Sasha Allen, maybe not so much vocally, but in appearance. I don’t think she has the same pipes as Sasha, I’m not sure what place she finished that season, but it was too low wherever it was.

          • Angie_Overrated says:

            YES! Her voice is actually incredibly similar to Sasha’s voice. They both have a lighter tone, good agility, and a quicker vibrato. I was saying the same exact thing last night to my hubby. Slezak was not a Sasha Allen fan either, so we have to give him points for consistency. lol

      • Tom22 says:

        I can’t believe people thought that “fallin” was good at all ! I just can’t stomach those “big” notes which I found far from rich. I found them rather shrill…. far far worse than a real singer like xtrina or beyonce etc. Those ballads are a thing of the past and should never be sung on these shows.. UNLESS someone has a beyonce like voice…few and far between. Maybe one contestant a season comes close. I will say in the blinds that one girl went almost step for step with Xtrina on a song of hers an maybe she can sing the big notes.
        Please MS.. don’t encourage them to do over-sung songs by giving them high marks… at least take them down a couple notches for it.

    • Sharon says:

      My favourite of the night as well and the only battle I would watch again from last night’s show — killer harmonies!

  3. Andres says:

    I am really happy that Kimberly got stolen. To be honest I was not a fan of Lowell at the blinds but he has gained my interest into what he is doing in the future.

  4. Matthew B Lawler says:

    I can’t believe you ranked team Blake so highly those girls murder Reba’s Fancy

  5. JM says:

    Sometimes I find myself wishing that some of these singers would consider forming a duet. If they don’t win, Kimberly and Lowell, India and Clinton could really have a future together. I enjoyed those battles so much. Looking forward to Sawyer tomorrow night, but based on the previews, it looks like it might be montaged.

  6. JM says:

    Did anyone else have to pee after all that talk about it?? I laughed so hard–I had to go!

  7. Kaba says:

    Kimberly and Lowell were certainly awesome!
    India and Clinton, why did they ever montage Clinton? He’s great!
    I’ve got to say, even though we haven’t been absolutely decimated with amazing battles, we’ve got strong contestants and I’m excited for the knockouts!

  8. Ron says:

    Christina really started the foundation of a killer team tonight by keeping India and gaining Kimberly. I kinda also hope that she gets Clinton back, because I honestly feel like she can do more with him than Adam, and Clinton has the potential to go far after what he showed tonight.

  9. analythinker says:

    Is The Voice better when American Idol is on? <- serious question

    • Candace says:

      Yes, the Voice is better than American Idol!

    • Tom22 says:

      Matter of preference. I find The Voices atmosphere more comfortable to watch – think the banter between the V judges is funnier than Harry’s cracks.
      I really like to see the preparation and coaching on The Voice but maybe we’ll get some of that back on Idol with a two hour episode and slightly fewer singers than the last weeks. (and there will be a mentor I guess).
      The singers are on average more experienced on The Voice so that can make for more solid singing on average.
      The Idol story of less experienced singers growing is pretty compelling and could be enough to trump all of those above edges. Also, you can watch The Voice two seasons a year so there’s a reason to choose Idol when it’s on if you like both but can’t watch both in a week.

      • analythinker says:

        I’ve seen it live, so I’m a little biased, even though my all-time favorite singer is an AI winner. But I find myself cringing most of the times at Harry’s “jokes”. And I still can’t get the picture of that pre-teen girl “on top of” Harry out of my head. Yikes.

  10. Jill Moy says:

    Told you all so….INDIA, without even watching anyone else at the time….period! I don’t watch this show so you haters can’t criticize every word I say! INDIA from the start! Didn’t hear her tonight but who cares…she made it! NO MORE WIRE HANGERS!

    • Hey Jill Yes that was a great battle! I have to wait until tomorrow to see my favorite, SAWYER! There are just so many options here for good singers and winners! Jill there are way, way less haters over here on The Voice page! Its very pleasant for a change! Even though there was a small boy named Tanner that Blake had last season. Small and cute, not very good! He looked very much like Daniel. But yet I didnt see any hate for him at all!Geez, so many good singers! I like Sawyer, Cody, India, Clinton, Lowell and what is the other African American girls name that did Hound Dog? She is right up there with India! There is just too many good ones! Oh Yah and Kelsey for her age was pretty good! Im going to predict now. Cody Wickline and Sawyer are going to be at the top of the i tunes charts a lot!

  11. trace says:

    Why do they feel the need to announce that a steal is about to happen? Then, they act like it’s a surprise even though the last thing we saw before the comercial break was literally the word STEAL.

  12. danin says:

    Thought Briar was better than Caitlyn. Didn’t matter who won between Barry&Jack.Thought Clinton sang his butt off w/ was very moving.Was she holding back some? Even forgave the fast vibrato.Was surprised at how well Lowell sang on Hound Dog.Kimberly was so good.And agree about the other two duets.

    • Birdy says:

      danin, you & I must be the only people in America who thought Briar was better than Caitlyn. Briar has a beautiful voice, and I think it’s only because Caitlyn (who has a nice voice, too, but it’s not very unique or pretty) is more comfortable onstage that she “won.” And, wow, did Clinton ever wow–he was awesome. They both were.

  13. Mart says:

    Another great show with only one true clunker. Good God, whatEVER made Christina pick “Addicted to Love” for Katelyn and Treeva. Seriously what was she thinking? I don’t care if the was the Florence version instead of the Robert Palmer version, that song needs a huge amount of sass and both girls look and sing like they just stepped away from selling Girl Scout Cookies long enough to sing on the voice. And what was with the weird pronunciation? We did enjoy the slightly disgusted look on Christina’s face indicating that she pretty much hated both the performances. 2nd place for lousy song choice goes to Blake for “Fancy”.

    • NotVirgin Mary says:

      The song doesn’t really need sass if it is the FATM version. They needed less movement and more of a calm, cool attitude. Their pronunciation ruined it for me, though. It was sort of cringey.

    • Timmah says:

      Addicted to Love is a horrendous song to begin with, both musically and lyrically. I’m not sure why anyone would voluntarily choose it for a singing show. Maybe this is why Christina never wins.

    • Birdy says:

      IMO, the Robert Palmer version is the only “Addicted to Love” there is…. And those two girls should not have been singing it.

    • Viajero says:

      I agree. Both were horrible song choices.

  14. NotVirgin Mary says:

    I thought Briar’s embellishments weren’t as clean as Caitlin’s, and she could have toned down the vibrato a bit. Caitlin was the clear winner to me. I’m just glad Kimberly is on xTina’s team now so she finally has a chance to go far. Loving EVERYTHING about this woman.

  15. analythinker says:

    My observation of the battle rounds:
    – Blake’s pairings are predictable, thankfully he (almost) always picks the better one
    – Adam’s pairings are sometimes unpredictable, but he almost always favors his “favorite”
    – Christina’s pairing are sometimes predictable, but she almost always goes with the belter of the two
    – Pharrell always chooses the lesser-ones, in hopes for a steal

    • Angie_Overrated says:

      One additional observation to add: Ellie Goulding is the blond, thin female version of Randy Jackson when it comes to mentoring. Words are coming out of her mouth, but they don’t mean anything. Sage advice such as “if you dig deeper, you’ll be surprised how much more there is to the sound.” Ugh.

      • analythinker says:

        One hundred percent agree!

      • Sharon says:

        I was thinking last night how generically meaningless her suggestions were, especially when you see some of the specific points the other mentors (take a bow Mr Jonas) are offering.

        • Angie_Overrated says:

          I was groaning every time Golding spoke. It was such a colossal waste of oxygen each and every time she opened her mouth. She made Meghan Trainor look like a grizzled veteran.

  16. What I love about these shows is, that all of a sudden, you notice someone is great that you didnt notice before. 2 of them! Clinton and lowell! WoW

  17. patdamico says:

    Sawyer tomorrow. Really hope he does well.

  18. Jill Moy says:


    I stand corrected. I watched the episode with Caitin’s first audition. I had picked India already so it was too late to pick Caitlin. I even said that on my comments that I thought Caitlin was the best. But, the dummy that I am, I decided to pick another, forgetting about Caitlin, ending up with Ashleyand military guy. Too late for me to changge now; I just don’t do that! Oh well….that’s life! I don’t know about anybody else, not watching the show! Good to see ya out here!

  19. Eman says:

    I like the fact that Michael gets his post up so fast but rarely agree with him. Stay by far had the most emotional impact of any duet of the night, they were both connected and both tremendous singers! India is truly amazing and Clinton was much, much better than I thought. They seemed connected to me so I don’t know what Michael is talking about and the it is not surprise that it is getting a stronger % as song of the night.

    Really did enjoy Hound Dog as well, both singers did their style and did it well. I liked Lowell a little better, but enjoyed Xtina as well and liked what they did with the song a whole lot.

    Fallin was a distant third and both singers did a good job, but I thought Briar connected with the song better.

    It was a good night for the Voice.

  20. Kim Moores says:

    You saw that chemistry India and Clinton had?
    Lord if I was India I probably would’ve fallen in love with the guy on the spot.
    Made me swoon.

    • Angie_Overrated says:

      Whereas some saw melodrama there, I thought the emotional connection they had felt really genuine within the context of the performance. Of course, they were acting, but it looked and sounded darn good. Those harmonies were money. Now I want to hear them sing more duets!

      • Kim Moores says:

        I’m genuinely stoked for this season!
        I saw more melodrama in the Lowell v Kimberly battle (from Lowell) than this.
        This was just a great pairing, if they get nothing from this show…they ought to pair up and take this show on the road!

        • Angie_Overrated says:

          It’s a pretty good season. There are several I’m rooting for already, which is already a massive improvement over last season.
          That last pairing… besides the obvious that they’re both talented, I think what made it work is that they treated it as a duet as opposed to a “battle.” They were partners in a performance, which I’d love to see more of.

        • Florence+TheMachineRules!!! says:

          But wasnt Kimberly just FANTASTIC!!!

  21. Florence+TheMachineRules!!! says:

    In my opinion, Kimberly, India, and Lowell Dominated the night!!! but MISS KIMBERLY NICHOLE was giving me everything I needed as what melinda doolittle says. She was fierce, charismatic, and free of her worries completly.

  22. RedInDenver says:

    What is Michael Slezak’s problem?

    “Sorry, Carson, but there’s no excuse for that kind of targeted tinkle tirade ”

    Michael needs to work at being less of a stuffed shirt, and get a sense of humor.

  23. I hate what they did to “Stay” they totally ruined a song that I love.

  24. Lyn Jensen says:

    I don’t think we can hold Carson Daly accountable for a topic that was already on the table. Blake “started it” (right, like kids) when he said, “She probably needs to pee!” Christina joined in, then Adam (who I’d give the “no excuse” prize to), and finally Carson, who really did need a commercial break by that time!

  25. Lyn Jensen says:

    “Fancy” has nothing in it a teenager can’t sing (especially today’s teens who watched “CSI” when they were ten). The narrator’s recounting events that happened when she was a teenager, and there are far sexier songs around.

  26. Jill Moy says:

    I usually don’t watch this show but I decided to finally watch this. First of all I thought Briar did a fine job vs. Caitlin! For Michael to not give her a single word mention was unfair! She was better than some of the other Bozos who got stolen! Plus, why didn’t the host announce that she was available for a steal (we know she was but why not push her chances of a save to be greater)? I think she was pushed aside like yesterdays garbage, poor thing!