The Voice 2016 – Live Blog and Recap – The Battles, Part 3 (VIDEO)
Welcome to the live blog and recap for The Voice 10, “The Battles, Part 3”! Coaches Adam Levine, Blake Shelton, Christina Aguilera, Pharrell Williams and host Carson Daly set out to find the next great singer!
The Battles continue, as the coaches welcome superstar guest mentors, many of whom are appearing as advisors for the very first time! Team Pharrell welcomes Sean “Diddy” Combs, Team Adam will be helped by Tori Kelly, Team Christina will have the legendary Patti LaBelle, and Team Blake welcomes back coach Gwen Stefani!
Who will advance? Who will be eliminated? And who will be the recipient of a Steal?
Keep it locked right here, as I’ll be updating with commentary, results, and videos as soon as they become available!
Let’s get this show on the road!
-After a preview of what’s in store for tonight, coupled with Blake sweet-talking Gwen in the rehearsal room (calling her an awesome legend, and then shaking her hand and saying, “It’s good to touch you”), we kick things off with the first battle of the night…
TEAM BLAKE SHELTON: ADAM WAKEFIELD VS. JARED HARDER
-Blake announces that the men will be singing “Can’t You See” by the Marshall Tucker Band, a song he feels they should know if they’ve done any time in a bar. When it starts out, Adam proves to know the song better than Jared, which prompts Blake to warn Adam against underestimating Jared. He states that the man who usually doesn’t know the song as well ends up working on it 100 times harder, and ends up rising to the occasion, so he doesn’t want Adam to sleep on Jared’s potential. To his credit, he doesn’t, praising Adam’s potential and noting what a formidable opponent he is. In the final rehearsal, Jared focuses on working on his stage presence, since he doesn’t want to go home yet. Blake hopes the loser of the battle gets stolen, although he worries about the potential of one of them ending up on Team Adam. Before the battle, he gives the guys one last pep talk (“You both look sexy”) and then sends them out for the face-off.
-Jared is on the guitar and Adam is on the keyboard, which creates a very cool dynamic, as it looks more like they’re performing together rather than battling each other. I still wish this show could choose to take artists and pull an X Factor by turning them into a duo or group. Granted, that would kind of kill the theme of individuality that the show has been pushing, where artistry is key. But I think these two would make a really good act, like a cross between the country credibility of the Swon Brothers and the laid back, folksy vibe of Midus Whale. As for this battle, I’m genuinely torn. Jared has the more versatile voice, but Adam just has this special something. The grit in his voice reminds me of Chris Stapleton. The performance ultimately earns standing ovations from Blake, Pharrell and Adam. Adam Wakefield really could be the one for Team Blake.
-Christina called the battle “dope,” noting that Jared came out strong, and Adam nailed all of his bluesy vocals while sitting at a keyboard. She would go with Adam, but she thought both men did a great job. Pharrell is impressed by Jared’s growth, but he loves Adam’s soulfulness. He, too, would go with Adam. Adam Levine, meanwhile, thinks Adam is soulful enough to go on tour with the Allman Brothers tomorrow. He likes Jared but feels he was thinking a bit too much during the performance. Blake praises Jared for holding his own, and then tips his hat to Adam for the character of his voice and his overall look, comparing him to someone who just shot a cowboy in a western. Blake makes his choice…
ADAM WAKEFIELD WINS THIS BATTLE!
-Adam feels blessed to have moved on to the next phase of the competition. Back in the studio, Jared does not get stolen. In an unfortunate voiceover, Jared admits that nerves got the best of him, and that he doesn’t really have a plan B right now. However, he remains optimistic that a plan B will present itself with time. Jared does have a lot of talent, but I think tonight was just not his night, sadly.
TEAM PHARRELL WILLIAMS: EMILY KEENER VS. JONATHAN BACH
-I forget, was Jonathan montaged? I feel like I would have remembered his version of “Born This Way”. Either way, this guy has a hell of a voice. In an endearing moment, he also geeks out about meeting Diddy, calling him a pioneer. As a 90s kid, I probably spent way too much allowance money on Diddy’s music. Jonathan is surprised by the power and range of Emily’s voice, while Emily admits that Jonathan can do things she can’t due to her introverted singer/songwriter nature. They’ll be singing “Explosions” by Ellie Goulding, which is one of my FAVORITE songs, and one I’ve been waiting to hear on this show for a while. Diddy warns Jonathan against premeditating too many of his vocal inflections, and tells Emily she has to find a way to interpret another person’s emotions. Pharrell encourages Jonathan to try belting out the chorus, just to see if he can do it. Jonathan struggles, but Pharrell is proud of him regardless. In the final rehearsal, Jonathan surprises himself by how much he taps into the emotion of the song, while Diddy once again tells Emily that her presentation has to match the emotion of the song. “You have to make me wanna cry,” he says, and then tells both singers to try an exercise in which they sing with their backs to one another. It adds an uncomfortable energy to the performance, as they confront their struggles with connecting, and come out the better for it. “They’re in contention for performance of the night,” Diddy says. While the edit seems to suggest a Jonathan win, I think Emily is taking this one. That said, I do anticipate the loser to be stolen.
-I’m actually kind of disappointed by this battle. It’s got compelling drama from a performance standpoint, but I really expected the vocals to be better. Emily is one of those singers who gets deliriously overpraised for reasons that aren’t entirely clear. Hell, I don’t even know why I gushed over her blind audition, because it’s far less strong in retrospect, now that I’ve watched it back. If it were up to me, Jonathan would take this. He’s got a gritty pop voice, and he’s got loads of potential.
-Adam says their voices didn’t blend like he hoped they would, but Emily was one of his favorites from the Blind Auditions, and he loves Jonathan’s voice. Blake feels he was watching a theatrical production, in a good way. However, he’d ultimately go with Emily. Christina goes in the opposite direction, praising Jonathan and picking him over Emily. Pharrell praises both singers on their poise, noting how Emily connected with the track, and how Jonathan carried himself like he deserved to be up there. Ultimately, he picks the person he feel he can best continue guiding…
EMILY KEENER WINS THIS BATTLE!
-Pharrell says he picked Emily because she’s a 17-year-old girl who already knows what she wants to do. Emily fights back tears backstage when talking about how surprised she was to win. Back in the studio, Jonathan thanks Pharrell for the experience, and for his constant faith. However, no one steals him. Christina admits she liked him a lot, but she’s still holding onto her saves.
TEAM CHRISTINA AGUILERA: DANIEL PASSINO VS. KRISTEN MARIE
-Kristen geeks out when she learns their mentor is Patti Labelle, calling her “The Godmother of Soul”. Christina announces they’ll be singing “Turning Tables” by Adele, since she wants to hear a duet-style approach to the song, bringing out that Adele-like quality in Kristen and the tenderness in Daniel’s voice. Both Christina and Patti try to set the two up, asking if they’re married. “We will be,” Daniel declares. Adorable. In the final rehearsal, Christina notes that Kristen has to throw away everything she knows about this song in order to approach it in a new way. Meanwhile, Daniel needs to remember not to lose the intimate quality of his performance in the bigger space. Christina is optimistic about this battle, and so am I, honestly.
-This is easily the best battle of the night so far, as both Daniel and Kristen connect with the song beautifully. Much like the last battle, there’s a lot of theatricality and drama to this, just from how they appear to be acting out the song. My only issue is how they’ll occasionally look away from each other on lines they really ought to be singing to one another. But I can’t fault the vocals here. I prefer Kristen’s tone, but I think Daniel deserves to go forward just from the pure amount of control he showed.
-Pharrell praises Daniel for his control, while he notes that Kristen brought a lot to the song. He would go with Daniel. Adam agrees, saying that Daniel was really strong, while Kristen had a bit of a wall up that prevented her from really seeing her. Blake liked both singers, but says he had a harder time understanding the lyrics from Kristen, so he’d go with Daniel. Christina praises both singers, but says she is going to go with the person she feels has the most confidence in who they want to be…
DANIEL PASSINO WINS THIS BATTLE!
-Christina thinks Daniel made some great choice, and says he tackled all of his high notes with perfection. Kristen thanks Christina for everything she saw in her. Backstage, Kristen says she’s loved every minute of this experience, and that she made friends from this.
MONTAGE TIME! (UGH…)
-Three battle get montaged tonight, and some of them feature contestants whose Blind Auditions were montaged, making this a bit of a Rebekah Samarin situation, where a contestant’s entire run got montaged. The results were as follows:
Moushumi defeated Jonathan Hutcherson on Team Pharrell (“Photograph” by Ed Sheeran)
Katherine Ho defeated Lily Green on Team Adam (“Lovefool” by The Cardigans)
Angie Kielhauser defeated Teresa Guidry on Team Blake (“Backseat of a Greyhound” by Sara Evans)
I’m not sure if this is an injustice or not, since we don’t see enough of the performance to know just how good these performances were or weren’t. Kind of surprised we didn’t get Moushumi vs. Jonathan Hutcherson though, since their respective Blind Auditions got plenty of screen time. It’s all the more surprising because few of the battles tonight have necessarily been blowaways. I can only imagine it’s because none of these artists necessarily go that far. Wait, montaged contestants HAVE gone far before, haven’t they? Meh, my memory sucks.
TEAM PHARRELL WILLIAMS: ABBY CELSO VS. BRIAN NHIRA
-Abby gushing over Diddy comes across as the most inauthentic gushing session in history. But it’s still kind of adorable, in its own way. The pair will be singing “Sugar” by Maroon 5, and this sounds like a slower, more soulful version, in keeping with Pharrell’s reasoning behind pairing these two in the first place, noting that he feels they both have strong pop/soul voices. Pharrell and Diddy warn Brian against giving too much too early, with Pharrell saying that when you enter a conversation, you don’t enter at 10. Brian plans to work on scaling it back. During the rehearsal, Pharrell praises Brian for taking Diddy’s words to heart about delivering emotionally, but he wants to hear better diction. Diddy, meanwhile, wants Abby to emote more, explaining how he tackles a character when he does a movie. I’m struggling to remember anything else he’s been in since Get Him To the Greek (he was pretty great in that, to his credit). In the final rehearsal, Pharrell and Diddy go back-and-forth about the amount of Brian’s vibrato, since he doesn’t want Brian to think too much and end up becoming too proper, while Pharrell wants a little more structure, it seems. They meet in the middle, advising Brian to deliver a more measured performance, but not at the expense of his natural swagger. It’s an insightful mentoring session, so much so that I wouldn’t mind seeing Diddy come back in future seasons.
-This starts out really cool, all slow and soulful, like a real baby-makin’ tune. Unfortunately, the tempo eventually kicks up, turning this into a carbon copy arrangement of the original. Don’t get me wrong, I absolutely love this song, but I was really excited by the new take on the arrangement. All the props to Brian and Abby though, as their make some interesting vocal choices. I’d give this to Brian, but Abby has more stage presence. Regardless of who wins, I think their friendship is adorable, as they do a secret handshake at the end that’s downright precious.
-Adam LOVES the song choice, and then praises Brian for hitting notes that he himself struggles to hit in the song. Blake admits he likes the song too. He notes that Abby has a great rock quality to her voice, and he likes that better than her falsetto. He’d ultimately give it to Brian though. Christina notes that Abby has some qualities in her voice that Brian doesn’t have, but she admits she must agree with the boys and give it to “Smooth Operator Brian.” Pharrell thought Abby’s high notes were crazy, and adds that the little runs she had tucked away in the vocal were awesome. Meanwhile, he was impressed by how Brian carried himself up there, and the vocals he delivered. He really wants both of the singers to continue on this show, and says there NEEDS to be a save. He says he’s going to go on faith…
ABBY CELSO WINS THIS BATTLE!
-Pharrell feels Abby has a lot of range, which is why she’s advancing. Abby is touched that Pharrell has that kind of faith in her. Back in the studio, Brian is available to steal…
ADAM AND CHRISTINA HIT THEIR BUTTONS!
-Adam loves Brian’s voice, and says if he picks Christina, he’d get lost in the shuffle, whereas he’d be put on a pedestal on Team Adam. Christina agrees that Adam has no one like Brian on her team, but she’s determined to break the Girl Curse this year. Brian thanks Pharrell for his show of faith, and then praises Christina’s talent and beauty, but he ultimately makes a choice that breaks her heart…
BRIAN NHIRA CHOOSES TEAM ADAM LEVINE!
-Brian flips out backstage, celebrating with his family, and saying that they’re proof of what happens when you follow your dreams. Adam meets the family backstage, and notes how talented and sweet Brian is.
-Speaking of Adam…
TEAM ADAM LEVINE: CAROLINE BURNS VS. MIKE SCHIAVO
-Caroline talks about being a huge fan of Tori Kelly, admitting she was watching her videos just the day before. Caroline and Mike will be singing “Like I’m Gonna Lose You” by Meghan Trainor and John Legend, a genuine duet between a man and a woman. Adam loves Caroline’s voice, comparing her to Meghan Linsey from Team Blake or Danielle Bradbery. He then notes that Mike has great instincts, which he could tell from the time they performed “She Will Be Loved” together. In the final rehearsal, Adam praises Mike and Caroline for being in perfect sync with each other, although he suggests they look at each other more. Mike admits it’ll be a challenge, since this is the first time he won’t be playing with his guitar. Caroline has similar concerns about tackling this performance with confidence, but both Tori and Adam seem confident in the singers’ abilities to tackle this number.
-I really liked this battle. Caroline really showed a lot more here than I was expecting, taking the meekness of her voice and making it work for the story of the song. She’s got a wonderful pop tone, and she’s good at emoting onstage. Mike, meanwhile, has one of my favorite voices of the entire competition. He’s just got such a smooth sound to his voice, and his runs just sounds so effortless. That said, Caroline does nail a really cool long note with a similarly awesome run. I’m torn. I’d hate to lose Mike this early, but Caroline really impressed me here.
-Blake was confused that Mike allowed the battle to be all about Caroline, although he admits that Caroline IS adorable (“Yes you are!” he coos, in a weird moment). Blake picks Caroline for this battle. Christina thought Mike did a good job of modulating his performance based on who he was singing against, while Caroline was impressive as well. Because she wanted more consistency, she’s going with Mike. Pharrell could see what Mike was going for in trying to make this the best battle he could, and Adam agrees, saying that it’s not like Mike was just going to squash someone that adorable. He praises Caroline for holding her own though. He thinks about which artist he can take all the way to the end, saying he sees a workhorse in Mike, and tons of potential in Caroline. He makes his choice…
CAROLINE BURNS WINS THIS BATTLE!
-Caroline notes how awesome it feels to make it this far after having not turned a chair last season. Back in the studio, Mike thanks Adam for turning the chair the first time, saying he’s been an idol of his for a long time. Adam hates seeing Mike go, but he felt Caroline showed just a bit more, comparing her to Sawyer Fredericks. Unfortunately, no one steals Mike. I can’t believe he’s already gone! I so wish singers who’ve made it to the battle rounds could come back in a subsequent season. So many great artists get cut early every season.
TEAM CHRISTINA AGUILERA: ALISAN PORTER VS. LACY MANDIGO
-Patti Labelle is the favorite singer of Alisan’s mother. She even sings some of “On My Own” to prove to Patti that she really did grow up listening to her. Christina loves the natural grit to Lacy’s voice, which has a rock texture to it. She notes Alisan’s voice goes in the complete opposite direction, which is why this could be a very interesting battle. They’ll be singing Sia’s version of “California Dreamin'” by The Mamas and the Papas. Lacy is a bit intimidated by the song choice, Patti feels she could be a “hot mama” vocally. However, the edit illustrates that Patti is favoring Alisan a bit. In the final rehearsal, Lacy notes what a considerable range Alisan has, although she notes her age (18-years-old!) gives her an edge since she can only learn from here. Patti advises Alisan on some of her phrasing, while Christina notes that Alisan needs to bring it, since Lacy came into this rehearsal with more confidence. In a confessional, Alisan states she’s never wanted something as much as she wants this. I mean, they all want it, don’t they?
-This is exactly as good as you’d expect it to be. Lacy has a great voice, and her gritty tone reminds me a lot of Bria Kelly. But Alisan’s voice just has so much body and character to it that I’d be downright shocked if she didn’t not only win this battle, but also the entire season. She’s just the total package. Granted, I have absolutely no idea how well she’d sell, because I have no idea what kind of album she’d make. But she’s got one of the most incredible voices I’ve ever heard on this show.
-Pharrell praises Lacy for her star quality, but feels Alisan is just terrific. Adam agrees, saying Alisan is ready now, and that Lacy is only behind on experience and age. Blake feels these are two different kinds of vocalists, so it’s hard to compare them like that, although he does agree in part with what Adam’s saying — namely, that Lacy needs more experience. Christina is proud of both singers, and declares they slayed everybody tonight. But she has to make a choice, so…
ALISAN PORTER WINS THIS BATTLE!
-Alisan says she is doing this for her family, like everything she does. In the studio, Lacy tearfully says goodbye to Christina, and thanks her for all of her guidance. As she steps down to embrace Christina…
BLAKE HITS HIS BUTTON!
-And now Lacy is claiming to have had a dream similar to her Blind Audition dream about Christina turning her chair on the last note, as she says she dreamed Blake saved her. I don’t really buy it, but who cares? Lacy gets to advance! And I think she deserves it. As the show comes to a close, Christina gushes about Alisan, and Adam calls her “The Jordan Smith of this season.” I can’t help but agree.
-And that’s a wrap! What did you think of tonight’s show? Sound off in the comments!
Until tomorrow night, thanks for reading and hanging out!