The Voice 9 – The Battles, Part 3 – Live Blog and Recap (VIDEO)
Welcome to the live blog and recap for The Voice 9, “The Battles, Part 3”! Coaches Blake Shelton, Adam Levine, Gwen Stefani and Pharrell Williams continue whittling down their teams of finalists with some of the most dramatic battles this competition has ever seen!
The spoilers are in for tonight’s Battles, if you want to see the song choices and match-ups we’ll be seeing tonight, complete with iTunes download links so you can get a sneak preview at the battles themselves. It’s looking like another night of really solid match-ups, which should add some big pressure to the competition, since each coach only has one steal remaining. But which artists will be stolen? And which singers will advance to the Knockouts?
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!
-We get an opening tease for tonight’s show, and Adam surveying the other coaches to see how many steals each of them have left. Upon learning they each have one steal remaining, Adam declares that the competition is about to become a “bloodbath”. And, with that, we’re onto our first battle of the night…
TEAM BLAKE SHELTON: BLAINE MITCHELL VS. BLIND JOE
-Blind Joe is thrilled to meet Brad Paisley, stating that anyone who knows country music knows who he is. That said, Blind Joe feels he needs to “up his game a little bit” if he wants to beat Blaine, since Blake has given them “Old Time Rock and Roll” by Bob Seger, which Blake describes as a “universal” song. In a funny moment, Blake notes how awkward he feels calling Joe “Blind Joe,” noting that it’d be like people calling him “Fat Blake”. But Blind Joe insists that all his friends call him Blind Joe, so there are no problems here. In the studio, Blaine admits that he and Joe are becoming good buddies, which is making this harder. Meanwhile, Blind Joe is over-the-moon when Brad notes what a good guitar player he is. And it’s hard to disagree, since he plays the hell out of the song with his guitar laying flat across his lap.
-This is a solid battle, although Blind Joe has this, in my opinion, and it’s not even close. Blaine has an awesome raspy voice, but Blind Joe just has that extra something that puts this over-the-top, for me. I think Blind Joe could go really deep into this competition. Seriously, he’s a great performer, imbuing the vocal with life and supporting Blaine at the same time.
-Pharrell was impressed with Blaine’s high notes, and then states that he didn’t expect Blind Joe to be as soulful as he was. He’d pick Blind Joe, but notes both men were great. Gwen praises Blaine for his vocal prowess, and then Gwen notes how her son just bought a shirt exactly like Joe’s online. She points into the crowd and asks if the people she’s pointing at are his family, forgetting that JOE IS BLIND. This leads to a funny moment in which Blind Joe gets on her case, and says he hopes the people she’s pointing to are good looking. Adam says he loves Blind Joe (Blind Joe: “I love you too, brother.”), but adds that Blaine was a revelation, comparing him to Michael Hutchence from INXS. Blake rips on Adam by comparing him to “Stone Cold” Steve Austin, before noting that both guys delivered a battle that was everything it was meant to be. He felt it was a tie, but he still needs to make a pick…
BLIND JOE WINS THIS BATTLE!
-Blind Joe is obviously stoked, while Blaine seems resigned to going home. But then…
ADAM LEVINE STEALS BLAINE MITCHELL!
-Blaine is absolutely stunned, but Adam seems shocked that Blaine would even be surprised. Honestly, Blaine deserves to stick around, although I don’t know how far he can go. But I’m interested to watch his development regardless.
TEAM ADAM LEVINE: CASSANDRA ROBERTSON VS. VIKTOR KIRALY
-This is an interesting battle, since it’s a one-chair turn vs. a four-chair turn. Adam, however, says that this fact doesn’t matter, since Cassandra doesn’t exactly lack for power, despite only turning one chair. They’ll be singing “Nobody Knows” by Tony Rich, and it’s a really great song for them, honestly. It doesn’t give either one an inherent advantage over the other, but it’s also a song that both could release as a single today. In final rehearsals, they go over how to perform the song, even considering singing the song to each other. Adam trusts them to figure it out since they both “know how love works.” I think it’s a foregone conclusion that Viktor wins this battle, but I’m still really excited to hear this.
-Full disclosure, this was my favorite battle of the Battle Round so far. This, despite it not really being a straight-up battle so much as a duet. Their voices blended so well, and I genuinely believe they could release this to radios and have a hit with it. That said, I do think Viktor had some better moments in the song, particularly one killer run towards the end. But Cassandra keeps up with him, and I would argue her voice is actually the more powerful of the two. So I’m torn, even while I fully anticipate that Viktor has this.
-Blake felt it was the best battle he’s seen, and leans towards picking Viktor. Pharrell agrees on how great the battle was, but would go with Cassandra as the winner. Gwen praises the battle by trying to mimic one of Cassandra’s crazy runs, and failing spectacularly, in a funny moment Adam asks her to repeat. For his part, Adam is proud of both his artists, and says neither of them could have possibly done better. But he makes his choice…
VIKTOR KIRALY WINS THE BATTLE!
-Viktor is thrilled to win, but notes that Cassandra is amazing, so this win is bittersweet. Cassandra says her farewells, hoping she’s taught her children something through this experience. Unfortunately, no one steals her, even though it seemed like Pharrell might. Perhaps this was filmed after all the steals were used up?
TEAM GWEN STEFANI: CHASE KERBY VS. KORIN BUKOWSKI
-Korin is absolutely starstruck to meet Selena Gomez, recalling how she grew up eating cereal and watching Selena on TV. Gwen has given the duo “Samson” by Regina Spektor, which is a great song choice, possibly my favorite of the battles so far. She feels they’re both emotional singers, and this song has the feeling of these two having written it themselves. Gwen feels Korin is the kind of artist you just want to record, although she feels she needs to ramp up more to compete with Chase. For her part, Selena loves Chase’s falsetto, stating that “it’s not too pretty”. In the final rehearsal, Gwen praises Korin for stepping it up, and Selena agrees. Both Gwen and Selena got goosebumps, so yeah — there’s a lot of drama in this edit, since it doesn’t seem obvious who’s winning this.
-Ugh, this is SO GORGEOUS, you guys. Korin has this otherworldly, ethereal quality to her voice that pours this song into my SOUL. I just love her voice so much. Chase does a tremendous job himself, although he struggles here in ways he didn’t in rehearsal. Also, I think he took Gwen’s advice to open his eyes more often too literally, since I actually felt it more when he seemed lost in his own world. It just felt like he was forcing himself to keep his eyes open. Still, great voice. That said, Korin has this one.
-Adam loved Chase in his normal and falsetto voices, but found the transitions shaky. He’d ultimately go with Korin, but he thought both artists were great. Blake actually loved the emotion of the transitions, saying it sounded like Chase was about to cry, which admits he was, at points. Pharrell is uncertain which artist to pick, and admits he’s no help to Gwen here. Gwen admits that she’s so “Mama Bear” about these two that she gets overprotective and pissed off about it, and she’s never gotten that way on this show before. Pharrell and Adam slink away from Gwen, with Pharrell even hiding behind his chair, to avoid her fury. For her part, Gwen tells the artists that, no matter what happens, they both touched her.
KORIN BUKOWSKI WINS THE BATTLE!
-Chase says his farewells, and thanks the coaches for the chance they’ve offered him. Unfortunately, no one steals him. Blake admits that while Chase certainly has a future in music, he only has one steal left, and he’s saving it.
TEAM PHARRELL WILLIAMS: EVAN MCKEEL VS. RILEY BIEDERER
-Pharrell has given the duo “Higher Ground” by Stevie Wonder, and Riley is initially intimidated, since she knows Stevie Wonder is in Riley’s wheelhouse. But she really starts to feel it during the rehearsal, to such an extent that Evan ends up being the intimidated one. Pharrell calls Evan a natural, and Riley a beautiful singer, so it was tough for him to pair them up, since he doesn’t want to lose either one. For her part, Missy Elliott feels Riley has “the stank” to her voice, while Evan has a raspy voice, which she feels gives him a little bit of an edge. In final rehearsal, Riley stutters and struggles with the song, noting in a confessional that she told her friends Evan was the one person she DIDN’T want to battle, because he’s such an outstanding talent. Evan, however, is worried he’s singing over Riley. They work together to iron out the details, and I’m actually really digging how this is turning out. Hopefully, this is just as strong in the battle itself.
-I really thought this would be a clean sweep for Evan, but Riley really gives him a run for his money. I seriously have no idea which singer to pick, since they’re so evenly matched, matching each other on some really incredible runs. It also helps that they both look like stars, and perform like stars too. This is going to be an insanely tough choice for Gwen.
-Gwen talks about the magic of hearing that voice in Evan’s body, prompting Evan to do a cheeky pose that causes the crowd to go wild. Gwen also praises Riley for her outstanding vocals. Adam says Evan not only pulled it off, he pulled it off so unbelievably well that it pissed him off, since he can’t do it that well himself. He’d go with Evan. Blake loved Evan, and loved the “Risky Business” slide he did on the way out. However, he does favor Riley, even if Evan probably did win that battle. Pharrell praises both singers on their range and talent, but he has to make a decision.
EVAN MCKEEL WINS THE BATTLE!
-Riley says her goodbyes, and then begins walking down the steps to leave, when…
GWEN STEFANI STEALS RILEY BIEDERER!
-Evan is INSANELY happy for Riley backstage, having a wonderfully goofy celebration once she’s stolen. Riley is over-the-moon, and Gwen is super-excited to work with her. I think this was a great call by Gwen, since Riley is a singer she could really work with to mold into a proper pop star.
TEAM GWEN STEFANI: BRAIDEN SUNSHINE VS. LYNDSEY ELM
-Lyndsey is stunned to meet Selena Gomez, noting that she’s on the top of the charts right now. Gwen has given them “No One Is To Blame” by Howard Jones, saying that no one would expect a song like this from singers this young. Selena is impressed by Lyndsey’s voice, but she’s downright FLOORED by Braiden, considering he’s only 15. “Braiden is adorable,” she says. “When I see him, I root for him.” Lyndsey is a bit worried about Braiden, since he’s just 15 and already such a powerhouse. Even Gwen comments on how Lyndsey is holding back. At the final rehearsal, Lyndsey plays a video greeting Selena sent her years ago, noting how crazy it is for her to be in a room with Selena Gomez now. Lyndsey feels more confident in this final rehearsal than she did initially, whereas Braiden is now the one holding back. So Gwen demonstrates how to perform this song to the audience, and to each other, by singing the song to them personally. Selena then gives advice about how she tends to focus on someone whose attention she wants to get. This should be a close battle, honestly.
-Lyndsey did a great job, but I was positively stunned by how great Braiden was here. I went in prepared to absolutely love every note that came out of Lyndsey’s mouth, and I did. But I think I’d actually give this to Braiden, as crazy as that sounds. Regardless, I hope the person who doesn’t win gets stolen. They both deserve to be here.
-Adam compares the battle to a tennis match with all its back-and-forth qualities, prompting Blake to compare him to the title character from the movie Powder. Blake is torn, saying both artists were great but for different reasons. Pharrell asks how both artists are doing, and Braiden admits he was “sharp on the C,” which impresses Adam so much he states he’s going to start inserting those sorts of comments into his own conversations. Pharrell feels Braiden actually went into sixth gear with that sharp C, saying that he has all the makings to be a killer, whereas Lyndsey has a very seductive voice (drawing suggestive cooing from the audience and the other coaches). Gwen thought Lyndsey had great tone, control and presence onstage, while Braiden is a cool kid with a mindblowing voice, even though he might not be the most comfortable onstage performer just yet. She admits there’s never been a moment in which she’s been more confused, since she loves Braiden but he’s a bit of a risk, whereas Lyndsey would stay in the competition longer. Braiden says part of the fun is working on improving together, and Gwen feels he’s just made her choice harder. So she’s just going with her fut…
BRAIDEN SUNSHINE WINS THE BATTLE!
-Braiden is stunned, and flustered to have won the battle, talking about how stoked he is to go to the Knockouts. Lyndsey says her goodbyes, and no one steals her, although she tells Gwen it’s okay and not to feel bad about her decision. Lyndsey is a total class act.
TEAM ADAM LEVINE: ANDI & ALEX VS. CHANCE PENA
-Chance is stoked to get to work with a legend like John Fogerty, although he’s worried about being paired against Andi & Alex, since their voices sound so good together. However, Andi & Alex are just as, if not more, intimidated by Chance, whom they feel just sounds amazing. They’ll be singing “Wherever You Will Go” by The Calling, and this sounds amazing. This might end up being my favorite battle of them all, if this keeps up. John feels Andi & Alex sound like angels, while Adam notes what an amazing collaboration this will be, comparing them to Lady Antebellum. I so wish they could pull an X Factor and create new groups. I really do think this show should open this competition to Groups, not just duos. But I guess they won’t always show up here, sort of like how rappers stopped auditioning altogether after Miles Stone. In the final rehearsal, this sounds even better than the first time. I seriously can’t wait for this battle.
-Andi & Alex’s harmonies are otherworldly, although I wonder if their vocals would be as strong individually. Because, honestly, I think Chance is a stronger singer than either one of them, although I’m not sure he offers what the sisters do as a package. Seriously, I love Andi & Alex and think they could be the second coming of The Swon Brothers in terms of a duo act that goes VERY far into the competition. Regardless, I really don’t think there’s a wrong choice to be made here. Both acts are among the strongest on Adam’s team, and this ended up being one of the best battles of the season.
-Blake loves the sibling harmonies, and he’s still bitter than Andi & Alex didn’t pick him as their coach. However, he notes Chance really surprised him, stating that while he went into this thinking Andi & Alex had it won, he’d actually pick Chance. Pharrell compares the sisters to two unicorns, while he praises Chance for his vocal control. Gwen thought the battle was unbelievable, calling Andi & Alex “magical”, and stating that if she were 15, she’d have all of Chance’s posters on her locker. “I’d be losing my mind over you!” she says, and adds that he NEEDS to stay on this show. Adam says they were all so good. He thinks the sound they create when they sing together is real, and that a group really should be formed out of the three of them (YES PLEASE!). However, he can’t do that, so he has to make a choice. Adam struggles to decide, so Blake advises him to rub his own head for luck in making the right choice. Adam makes a decision…
ANDI & ALEX WIN THE BATTLE!
-The sisters can’t believe they’re going to Knockouts, and Adam declares that he chose the girls for the ethereal quality in their voices. Chance begins to say his goodbyes, thanking Adam for believing in him (Adam: “I still do!”), but then…
BLAKE SHELTON STEALS CHANCE PENA!
-Blake feels Chance has a very special voice, and he swears to get Chance socks (since he isn’t wearing any). He then declares that he and Chance are heading to the finale. How crazy would it be if Blake has stolen another winner from a coach, a la Craig Wayne Boyd? Madness. In a cute moment, Blake greets Chance’s family, and his sister is in tears, prompting Blake to assure her that this is a good thing!
-And that’s a wrap on tonight’s show! To recap, here are the results…
Team Adam Levine:
Viktor Kiraly def. Cassandra Robertson
Andi & Alex def. Chance Pena
Team Blake Shelton
Blind Joe def. Blaine Mitchell (Adam Levine steals Blaine Mitchell!)
Team Pharrell Williams
Evan McKeel def. Riley Biederer (Gwen Stefani steals Riley Biederer!)
Team Gwen Stefani
Braiden Sunshine def. Lyndsey Elm
Korin Bukowski def. Chase Kerby
What did you think? Did the coaches make the right choices? Sound off in the comments!
Until next time, thank you for hanging out and reading!