The Voice seems to be speeding towards the finale, with the Battles over. Maybe if they hadn’t spaced The Blind Auditions across 9 episodes, they could take more time to develop this season. This episode was a much-needed improvement over the last two episodes. I guess they wanted to save the best until last. Still though, there were some baffling decisions and Steals tonight (see: Shirin vs Ben, Aaliyah vs Brianna, and Ellen vs. Claire).
Let’s get recapping!!
Team Madden: Lexi Clark vs. Casey Rose (Elle King’s Ex’s & Oh’s*) | Lexi declared as winner
*Check out The Voice U.S. Season 9 contestant Ellie Lawrence‘s cover
This song choice seemed to lean towards Lexi’s tone, whereas the intro package seemed that the Battle would sway towards Casey. In the actual performance, I’d call it for Lexi. Both had some issues with pitch in their attempts to be adventurous with the melody. However, in terms of delivery and presentation, Casey was really stiff on stage , whereas Lexi was more loose and her raspy tone really matched the performance, although I’m still not sure if I like it.
Team Delta: Andrew McKinnon vs. Alfie Arcuri (One Direction’s Drag Me Down) | Alfie declared as winner
This was the Battle of the longline fashion – Andrew donned a white longline button up, with Alfie appearing to wear a camo t-shirt on top of another longline t-shirt. In terms of the song choice, Drag Me Down didn’t particularly favour either of them, with Andrew’s youthful energy more so being able to be transferred the song. Speaking of favouring, I did not care for The Voice spending the whole intro package picking on Alfie’s relative inexperience. Nevertheless, during the actual performance, Alfie’s tone and interesting melodic changes outweighed Andrew’s more energetic delivery.
Team Jessie: Aaliyah Warren vs. Brianna Holm (Nirvana’s Smells Like Teen Spirit) | Brianna declared as winner; Aaliyah stolen by The Maddens
Wow Jessie J, great time to suddenly realize that this song was really just too big for the two girls. That being said, Brianna was the clear winner out of the two. Opening the performance, Aaliyah’s enunciation was quite slurred, while also veering off pitch. Brianna’s vocal was much more controlled, dark and commanding. Aaliyah’s vexing choice to wear lacy flared pants was almost as peculiar as the Madden’s decision to steal her. While she did have some pretty great moments in the performance, Jessie was right in her assessment of her as underbaked.
Team Ronan: Georgia Carey vs. Kate Van Elswijk (Cher’s Believe*) | declared as winner
*Check out Jeffery Austin‘s cover on The Voice U.S. Season 9!
I think both girls had some issues in this Battle. Kate was singing very out of tune, while Georgia struggled to stay in the pocket in some points. In what seemed like a very short Battle, Georgia’s hurt yet quietly angry approach was very engaging – giving her an easy win over the struggling Kate.
Side note: I’m almost surprised that Kate’s visual impairment hasn’t been milked for ratings by The Voice producers. Guess they don’t want someone competing for votes with golden child Adam Ladell.
Team Delta: Ben Logan vs. Shirin Majd (Andrea Boccelli & Celine Dion’s The Prayer*) | Shirin declared as winner
*Check out Jessica Sanchez‘s cover from Season 11 of American Idol!
First things first, I did not care for the intro package, which was pretty much dedicated to roasting Shirin. That being said, my sympathy for her was erased in the Battle. DELTA WHAT WERE YOU THINKING PICKING HER OVER BEN? Shirin’s nasal tone when singing the lower English parts was offputting, and she hit some noticeably off notes. She did hit her stride in the climax of the song, but Ben’s smoother tone and more colouring in his approach was much more pleasing.
Team Madden: Kylie Jane vs. Talia Giancaspro (The Dixie Chicks’ Not Ready To Make Nice*) | Talia declared as winner
*Check out Sasha Allen‘s cover on Season 4 of The Voice U.S.
I really thought both girls were going to make it through, being one of the better, more evenly matched Battles this season. Both of them were great. Kylie’s tone and pitch were excellent, and she was much more adventurous in her approach to playing with the song’s melody. However, she was lacking the desperation and gusto Talia had. Talia brought more of an edge, tapping into the angry lyric of the song and attacked the melody. I really thought Kylie deserved a steal, but I’m not holding my breath anymore, knowing that the Coaches make the weirdest decisions.
Team Ronan: Adam Ladell vs. Mitch Gardiner (Kygo ft. Conrad Sewell’s Firestone) | Mitch declared as winner
On a repetitive dance track, both of the guys sounded good. I thought Mitch would wipe the floor, as he sounded amazing in the rehearsal footage. I thought they were about even in the Battle though. They both had great pitch, and brightness and clarity in their tones. However, I wish both of them had worked with dynamics a bit more and had been helped with their awkward stage presence. I think Mitch is more along the way with his musical identity, so I don’t fault Ronan for picking him as the winner. However, Delta was then forced to steal Adam, which leaves no Steals left for the next Battle…
Team Jessie: Ellen Reed vs. Claire Howell (Katy Perry’s Unconditionally*) | Ellen declared as winner
*Check out covers from The Voice U.S.’s Tessanne Chin (Season 5), Mia Pfirrman (Season 7), X Factor’s Reigan Derry (Season 6), American Idol’s Olivia Rox (Season 15) and The Voice Australia’s Candice Skjonnemand (Season 3)!
WHY DID THE STUPID COACHES WASTE THEIR STEALS ON ALL THE CRAP PEOPLE?? Seriously, we have two powerhouse vocalists and they’re left without a safety blanket because the Coaches got trigger happy and decided to steal inferior contestants, including (if I’m gonna keep it real) Aaliyah, Tash, Georgia, Mikaela, and ESPECIALLY Carmel the Disney Princess. Anyway, rant over. They both started off the Battle really tender. The girls both hit their stride in the chorus, and brought control, power, emotion, dynamics and some incredible runs. Claire struggled a little hitting the lowest notes of the song, giving Ellen a slight edge. That being said, Claire outperformed a lot of the other contestants who made it through. Major side eye to the Coaches and The Voice producers, or whoever’s to blame for this terrible travesty.
Ranking of contestants who made it through based on their performances (and my taste!):
- Ellen Reed
- Alfie Arcuri
- Brianna Holm (the top 3 is very close, by the way!)
- Talia Giancaspro
- Mitch Gardiner/Adam Ladell
- Lexi Clark
- Aaliyah Warren / Georgia Carey
- Shirin Majd