You and I, we go back a ways with The Voice, right? So we know: The show is often as much about the coaches’ confounding decisions as it is about the contestants’ efforts. And Tuesday’s conclusion of Season 23’s Battles served up a doozy of a head-scratcher. As you’ll read when you get to the last Battle in this recap, Chance the Rapper went so far as to suggest that one of his team members could win… then kept the other guy, thereby allowing the standout to be stolen by Blake Shelton. WTH? A lovely parting gift for the cowboy on his way out or what? Before you weigh in in the comments, let’s review the night’s performances.
Team Niall: Jerome Godwin III (Grade: B+) defeated Talia Smith (Grade: C+) on “Like I Can” | To get the Battle of Team Niall’s “two big voices” on track, the coach first had to strip down the instrumentation on Talia’s opening lines to give her more equal footing with her opponent, then adjust some notes that Sam Smith could hit, but Jerome? Not so much. In the end, the winner seemed clear. Mom-to-be Talia showed that she had great range and charisma to spare but was dinged by Chance for pitch issues and Blake for leaving too many “loose ends.” (Nice to get some actual critique, huh?) For his part, Jerome sang like thunder booming. And what was really impressive about what he did was that he sang at top volume… but never seemed to be yelling at us; he maintained his musicality throughout.
Team Kelly: Rachel Christine (Grade: A-) defeated JB Somers (Grade: B) on “Light On” | As sweet a fella as JB seems to be, there was something vanilla about his voice that kept making me want to write him off as boring. But dang it, he wouldn’t let me! It wasn’t just the vocal tricks that he left on the stage that swayed me, either; there was real commitment in his tone. Nevertheless, Christine was clearly superior. She sang with uncommon clarity and a richness that left my jaw drooping. (How amazing would she sound on a country number?) JB’s a good singer, Christine is a potential star (insofar as The Voice makes stars).
Team Blake: Neil Salsich (Grade: B+) on “I Heard It Through the Grapevine” | Since Alex Whalen was N/A to perform, owing to personal reasons, his teammate was automatically advanced to the Knockouts. Even if they’d competed, though, Neil would surely have made it. From what we heard of his solo cover, it was scorching. He seemed to alternate between singing in bold, in italics and both! Said it before and will again: He could well turn out to be another Todd Tilghman.
Team Chance: Ray Uriel (Grade: B) defeated NOIVAS (Grade: A) on “Jealous Guy” — NOIVAS stolen by Blake | As the duo tackled the Donny Hathaway version of John Lennon’s oldie in rehearsal, it sounded like the four-chair turn (NOIVAS) was going to blow his one-chair-turn opponent off the stage; his voice is just this crashing tidal wave full off feeling. When the spotlight fell on them, Ray did a lovely job… but honestly didn’t much hold my interest. It wasn’t just that NOIVAS was louder, he sang with so much more passion — he made ya sit up and take notice. So when Chance said that he could win the whole thing, it didn’t sound like empty hype. Why, then, he let NOIVAS get stolen, I’ll never understand.
Your thoughts on Chance’s confounding Ray > NOIVAS pick? Hit the comments after voting for the evening’s standout in the poll below.
It’s obvious why Chance let go of Noivas, so that Blake could steal him-the show is rigged!
Exactly what I was going to say! I said it before they even sang. Well, it was obvious, because it was the last battle, and Blake had a Steal left, and he wouldn’t want Ray, so Chance was instructed to “give” him Noivas. Is that why they put a cowboy hat on his head? Not that this hasn’t happened before, but this was blatantly obvious.
sooo the artists are told what coaches to pick?
I agree 100% that something weird was up with Chance’s comment, predicting Noivas as the end game winner then picking Ray & turning Noivas over to Blake! WTF was that? Pre determined destiny cuz its Blake’s last year? Bizarre & a rigged show are thoughts coming to mind!😳
Noivas was definitely better in his battle round, but is a better fit with Blake anyway.
Glad to see I am not alone with my suspicions.
Been waiting to see what Round Two with NOIVAS would be. He was among top 2 or 3 of Blinds imo. For Chance, who blocked Blake to get him, to now throw him away is inconceivable! I don’t like where that leads my thoughts….
The reasonable concludion is that this was engineered from above. So Blake could get him.
I can only assume producers believe NOIVAS is the top talent this season. But they also want (or expect) Blake to win again his last season. So they “scripted” for Chance to cavalierly ditch best singer on show. And for Shelton to snap him up.
I’ve seen this kind of thing before, where a coach gets so invested in his singers that he will choose the less obvious singer because he believes the other will get stolen. Nothing nefarious here.
Agreed. Plus we never really know what the personality/style issues may be working together behind the scenes. Maybe something happened that left Chance thinking he just wasn’t the right fit to work with Noivas and thought he’d let Blake try.
I agree. It has definitely happened before in past seasons. Chance has also made comments like “going all the way”/”winning the whole thing” to other contestants.
Agree 100 percent. Chance knew that his choice enable both singers to move on.
I agree Chance erred on the choice, but this season would be Blake’s to win even without the “gift.”
People who have voted for Blake’s singers through the years will be out in force to send him off with a win.
The only possibility for another coach to win is if they return to the “each coach has one finalist” format — and even then it likely won’t be enough
I have heard Blake say multiple times on past seasons he doesn’t always pick the best singer he picks the person he thinks he can help the most. Maybe that’s what Chance was doing – he seemed like he really wants to work with Ray. Plus Chance seems like a really great guy and maybe he felt a little guilty for blocking Blake since NOIVAS said he would have picked Blake if he wasn’t blocked.
I just love watching Chance as a coach. I feel like we get to see what a great guy, how cool he is, and how smart he is with music and picking songs. I’m just all heart eyes for Chance over here.