the voice recap battle rounds quizz swanigan lauren duski

The Voice Recap: Marching Into Battle

[Bleep] just got real. Monday night kicked off The Voice’s Season 12 Battle Rounds — or, as I think of them, Thunderdome with more key changes. Who managed to survive the spectacle of trying to outsing their teammates/rivals to perform another day, and who was told to exit stage left? Read on…

Team Blake: Lauren Duski defeated Brennley Brown on “Better Man” (Brennley stolen by Gwen) | Birthday girl Brennley poured all the intensity of her 15 years into the Little Big Town hit and really soared whenever she was allowed to let loose with her vocal. But, maybe in part because she’d yet to actually have her heart broken, she couldn’t entirely relate to the angst of the song, so coach Blake preferred the authentic ache that he heard from Lauren, who flashed back to a failed romance to give her vocal a passionate edge. (Also, I will never throw shade at Lauren again — she was terrific, her lower register in particular, a marvel. I get it now. I get it.)

Team Gwen: JChosen defeated Kenny P. on “I Was Made to Love Her” | Kenny absolutely slayed the 1967 classic, bringing a touch of gravel to his soulful vocal and throwing in a song-stopping falsetto to boot. He was so good from the word “go” that I really thought he had the win in the bag. But, after getting off to a rough start in rehearsals with mentor Celine Dion, J had his act 100 percent together and his nerves banished by the time he hit the stage, allowing him to turn in a performance that was a real (Stevie) Wonder. Too bad the guys couldn’t work as a team permanently. They played well together, even incorporating a little dance into the number.

the voice recap battle rounds anatalia villarandaTeam Alicia: Anatalia Villaranda defeated Missy Robertson on “Tightrope” | I couldn’t take my eyes off Hurricane Anatalia for the whole performance — she was so entertaining and animated, Adam wondered aloud if she wasn’t really a wind-up toy. But the show is called The Voice, not The Entertainer, and she seemed to struggle vocally at times, whereas Missy was solid throughout the performance, hitting notes that even stunned the coaches. So it was a surprise to me — and maybe you, too? — that not only did Alicia elect to keep Anatalia, nobody stole Missy.

Team Alicia: Quizz Swanigan defeated Felicia Temple on “Titanium” (Felicia stolen by Blake) | In rehearsals with mentor DJ Khaled, Quizz had difficulty hitting his high notes (damn puberty!). However, on the stage, he acquitted himself beautifully, rising to the occasion and singing with impressive force. I still thought it sometimes felt like he was playing catch-up to Felicia, trying to match her power — and there was no matching it — but clearly, Alicia disagreed. Thankfully, Blake knew a good thing when he heard it and swooped in to add Felicia to his team.

the voice recap battle rounds gaby borromeo mark isaiahTeam Adam: Mark Isaiah defeated Gaby Borromeo on “Pillowtalk” | After being pushed by mentor John Legend to trade some of her sweetness for rawness on the Zayn smash, the violet-haired popster tried to edge up her vocal come performance time. Not sure that it worked — and she was still pretty smiley for somebody being edgy — but I did think that she outsang her teammate, who kinda faded away for me. He’s a good singer with a nice, teen-idol smile. But, if I’d had to choose, I would’ve let her purple reign go on a little longer and let somebody steal Mark.

Team Blake: Casi Joy defeated Ashley Levin on “How Blue” (Ashley stolen by Alicia) | How cool — Blake’s country girls started the Reba classic gorgeously acapella. From there, it seemed like both of them might have been oversinging at times, trying to blow away their coach — and potential coaches — as much as do the song justice. (Not that you could blame ’em — they each wanted to stay in the contest, of course.) After that special something that Casi has proved once again undeniable, Gwen, Alicia and Adam all vied for Ashley, so maybe singing right to the border of oversinging wasn’t such a bad idea.

So, who gave your favorite performance of the night? (For me, Felicia.) Who could you not believe didn’t get stolen? Hit 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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40 Comments
  1. analythinker says:

    Oh my. The steals are going up FAST. I think I disagree with almost every coach choice (including the steals), especially Kenny! Dammit. I’d take him over any of the other steals. I demand re-election!

    • JMark (formerly JM) says:

      Agree. I would have kept Kenny and Missy. And most certainly Felicia over Quizz, whose voice is still changing and should have waited a few years to audition.

    • Smokey says:

      I think Kenny is a very good singer, My analysis (or best guess) is that the show wants to establish certain “Lanes” in the competition, regarding genres, types, looks, etc. Kenny didn’t look like he was going to establish or dominate a particular “Lane” in the competition, even though a powerful singer — therefore not kept, not stolen.

    • Barry says:

      That’s valid, outside the Titanium battle I don’t think there were any big missteps tonight. But the song choices were always in favor of the winners, so no meter how good the loosers did in their battle, the desicion was made a while ago (it still doesn’t justify Quizz over Felicia)

    • davmon says:

      What is going on? Kenny, Missy, Felicia–even Gaby seemed the better. Twice the kids 13 and 15 were favored over more mature and more capable singers. So what gives? They lowered the age of competitors to 13 this time. Are they trying to prove they were right to do so? or are they trying to capture a young demographic? There did not seem to be valid reasons for some advancing.

      • analythinker says:

        I agree completely with you. Perhaps they just don’t think it works anymore for “artists struggling for years before the competition”.

  2. OhMy says:

    Quizz — goodness that was awful. I get he’s 13, but that only gets you so far.

  3. kevstar69 says:

    6 performers in a 2 hour show? Might as watch the non stars on that Dancing show and catch those battles on my cell. Or switch between the 2.
    They cram at least 10 performers in that some period. Not so banter between the judges might have something to do with it. Perhaps?

  4. Person says:

    Can you also give letter grades for the battles? (One for each contestant tho, not one for both)

  5. Barry says:

    Titanium should be banned from singing competitions at this point. Still, I can’t comprehend how Allicia choose Quizz over Felicia, she was the clear winner in that battle. The country duets were the highlights of the night along with Anatalia, I love the 3 of them, but I fear that Casi and Lauren will end up canceling each other at some point. I also wanna point out how creepy and irritaiting Gwen is. Giving a win to someone just because their 13, please… Can Miss Celine please take her place?

    • Smokey says:

      I agree on the song “Titanium”, it’s way overdone on these talent shows. I enjoyed watching Quizz, but there are several other better singers with more fullness of voice and more pleasant to listen to. ………………………………….And it’s a strong possibility that Lauren and Casi, if both survive the Knockouts, will be in competition with each other for the Country slot(s) on the show.

    • Gorgonzola Matrix says:

      Right on all points but I’d like to add that I would LOVE for John Legend to replace Adam.

      • Smokey says:

        John Legend was a coach/mentor on some talent show a few years ago, along with Jennifer Nettles, Robin Thicke and Kelly Clarkson. ………………..(Kelly was the first to lose all her contestants by elimination, love Kelly but she was not a good picker of talent…always really fun but not a great talent scout). ……………..anybody remember the name of that talent show…….??………. Anyway, I’d like to see him replace Gwen, I think he would be a real strong competitor as a coach/mentor against the other 3.

      • Barry says:

        Any replacement for Adam is good with me, I can’t stand him either, but Gwen is much worse. They need to do a full clean up at this point, would love to ser people like Celine, Jennifer Nettles, Charlie Puth, Jonh Legend among others.

        • T says:

          I watch the auditions and battles etc. mainly for the coaches and their banter. Then I see if I like any of the contestants to determine if I will keep watching. Most years it is slim pickings for talent by the final 12 (the type of musicians I like) so I would say keep the current judges or the only one I would like to see swapped out is Gwen and bring back Usher.

          • Barry says:

            The show should be about the contestants, not the coaches. It should try to promote the contestants, and their post show carreer, not a Gwen/Blake lovefest. That’s why alumni of the show don’t do well outside the competition, because the focus is not on them. And honestly, after 12 seasons of watching Adam and Blake, I know I’m not the only one who would like to see something fresh.

          • Tig says:

            Swapping out Gwen would leave Adam having to find his own opinions, since most of the time he says “Like Gwen said..” How about Usher instead of Adam?

  6. Diane Raetz says:

    Luke should advise Blake all the time. His teams have never sounded better in battle rounds than tonight

  7. JMark (formerly JM) says:

    Ugh. What is the fascination with the youngsters? And such boring song choices for the battles? Anybody remember Christina’s inspired song choice ‘Light Em Up’ by Fall Out Boy? What a great battle that was? Why not pick a song we haven’t heard a million times, like ‘Kiss This’ by The Struts? Really disappointed in the battles so far, and they are usually one of the highlights of the show for me.

  8. scott says:

    Is it me or did Kenny win his battle hands down? In fact, I missed in over half the battles and none of the deserving contestants were stolen. If this keeps up, it’s gonna be another thinly talented season. But maybe that’s the intention, to make sure there isn’t a ton of competition so that whoever the ‘chosen one’ is, has an easier path.

    • Smokey says:

      I see that the duet of ” I Was Made To Love Her (The Voice Performance)
      Artist: JChosen & Kenny P.” — just made it to #88 in the R&B category on itunes.

  9. Pavoratti says:

    I’m against the grade-schoolers and high-schoolers entering these contests. Even if they win, their voice will probably still change, as has Sawyer Fredericks’, the archetype example.
    Plus, these children aren’t ready to exploit their new-found adult-quality fame. In fact, like a lottery-hit, it may ruin them instead.

  10. Pavarotti says:

    I’m against the grade-schoolers and high-schoolers entering these contests. Even if they win, their voice will probably still change, as has Sawyer Fredericks’, the archetype example.
    Plus, these children aren’t ready to exploit their new-found adult-quality fame. In fact, like a lottery-hit, it may ruin them instead.

    • Smokey says:

      I would agree that they should use a little higher age minimum for getting on the show. . But producers want to catch the “Young Teen Star” wave if they can, to give cred to the show. Some of the really young contestants on talent shows also sometimes get the “so cute” votes or “amazing for their age votes” that can overshadow the older but better singers who have worked for many years to get their shot.

    • davmon says:

      Yeah, this pushes kids into show biz too early. Let their minds and bodies mature before they get into this rat race.

  11. Gorgonzola Matrix says:

    Pairings are always unfortunate, especially when it’s two worthy of being finalists that are put together. Boy were those song choices god awful. Glad Ashley and Casi could both stay. Gaby and Mark should have both moved on but neither Jchosen nor waxstache were very interesting to me. Surprised more judges didn’t try to steal Felicia, she did it for me tonight. I hate this mentality of judges needing to ‘win’ so they pass up deserving artists.

  12. danin says:

    Couldn’t believe Kenny&Missy didn’t get stolen.

  13. Tony The Tank says:

    The show is sinking because they are doing what Idol did and that is staging who will be on the show. Anyone out there who could say that Quizz did justice to Sia’s Titanium is nuts. How in the world are you dancing like Michael Jackson singing this ballad. I wanted Alicia to just sing the song herself since she gave the song some justice with her vocals. So what happens Alysha picks Quizz. What a joke!! And then Blake of all people saves Alicia. A bigger Joke !!! Can this show get any worse. Oh yeah get some producer D.J. to be an adviser. BYE BYE VOICE. By the way Kenny P. and Missy out sang both their competitors. But the show still calls itself the Voice.

  14. loisbea says:

    Every winner was predictable. And the winners either were indeed the best (J Chosen) or equal to the other singer (Quizz). J Chose’s voice is so smooth and rich, and he knows how to use it and employ dynamics and stage presence to really sell the song. Kenny P’s voice tone is not rich, but he is powerful. But in the blinds and the battle, he’s on 11 the whole time. So, for me, that was the most obvious win. I wasn’t surprised no one stole Missy. She has a lovely voice, but everyone in the competition has a fine voice and having a distinctively fine voice is what matters now. For instance, could the average viewer distinguish between Brennley’s voice and Ashley Levin’s? And one’s voice personality, joy, and energy does come through loud and clear in the voice. “Tightrope” seemed tailor-made for Anatolia, making the winner seem predetermined. If the song had been a ballad, Missy probably would have been the more obvious winner, but with Anatolia, you never know. I actually would like to see all that energy poured into a ballad.

    • Barry says:

      I’d argue that every song tonight was tailor-made, especially the ones that ended on elimination. While I think that there are better female country voices on the competition than Brennley and Ashley, they still have beautifull, distinctive tones, so I don’t think it’s entirely fair to lump them together. I also think that Felicia outsang Quizz (even if it wasn’t her best), and I’d have picked Kenny over JChosen, especially since the song didn’t fit him at all, but it’s nice to see someone with a different point of view.

  15. jon stark says:

    i totally agree with you, missy and gaby should have won. or at least deserve to be stolen!

  16. My106pressword says:

    Boy, this show is getting to be less about “voice only,” upon which this show was predicated. Missy slayed Tightrope and wasn’t stolen?? Huhh??? Another mindboggler was the absence of a steal for Kenny. He slayed as well! I can only surmise they are waiting on certain remaining battles for steals. I sure hope that Trey Ramey doesn’t get tossed – my personal favorite.

  17. Lyn Jensen says:

    To me, the surprise of the night was no one took Gaby.

  18. John Anthony says:

    I agree with anyone who thinks there’s too much wasted time on the show. Eighteen minutes of singing competition in two hours is crazy! Having performers slighted while making the knockouts is bad for the show!

  19. Brian H. says:

    In the battle rounds, why do they skip some acts? Is it because they screwed up?