The Voice 9 – The Battles, Part 4 – Live Blog and Recap (VIDEO)
Welcome to the live blog and recap for The Voice 9, “The Battles, Part 4”! 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!
Last night’s show featured some of the best battles yet, so the competition is likely to be more intense than ever, considering the competitors already waiting ahead in the Knockouts. Adding to the drama, only one steal is left in the Battle Round, and it belongs to Pharrell Williams! Whom will he steal? 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 open with the coaches talking about their respective teams, with Adam being the most confident of all. However, Blake feels Adam is verging on cockiness, prompting a back-and-forth between the two coaches. We move forward to our first battle of the night…
TEAM ADAM LEVINE: AMANDA AYALA VS. SHELBY BROWN
-Amanda felt it was incredible to meet John Fogerty, particularly since her mother is such a big fan of his music. Adam has given the girls “The Edge of Seventeen” by Stevie Nicks, noting that it requires big voices. It also helps that they’re both 17 themselves. Although Shelby likes the challenge of the song, she feels the song is more in Amanda’s wheelhouse than her own. However, she wants to prove she can sing a rock song. For her part, Amanda wants to be able to keep up with Shelby’s voice without sounding like she’s straining. In the final rehearsal, Shelby flubs her lyrics due to being intimidated by singing with a band. Adam tells Amanda that the only thing that will get in her way is herself. He encourages her to have the emotional strength to center herself and give the song her all. He feels if Shelby can get into it emotionally, and Amanda can match Shelby’s vocal power, it’ll be one of th ebetter battles of the competition. And I think he’s right.
-In retrospect, having the girls sing this using the original arrangement makes this feel instantly dated. Maybe if they’d slowed it down or something, it might have given us more of a moment, as well as more of a look into the capabilities of both girls. As it stands now, they’re kind of being swallowed by the band, to the point that they pretty much sound exactly the same, in places. I’m really not sure which girl I’d pick, since this song choice really gave them nothing.
-Blake starts off by ripping on Adam’s baldness by stating he’s about to audition for Blue Man Group. Adam lashes back by laughing obnoxiously loud at the joke. Blake then returns to noting how Amanda has a wonderful, sandpaper-like rasp to her voice, while Shelby has a pure voice with almost no vibrato, so he’s torn on whom to choose. Pharrell feels Amanda had terrific control, whereas Shelby has a very strong voice. He admits he has no idea what Adam is going to do, nor does Gwen, who notes that both girls gave it their all. Adam is proud of both girls, telling Shelby that she grew a lot, while telling Amanda that her ability to sing that song at this age is astonishing. He makes his pick…
SHELBY BROWN WINS THE BATTLE!
-Adam notes how tough this choice was, since both girls are terrific singers. However, he felt Shelby really stepped up to the occasion. He embraces Shelby on the way out and tells her to believe in herself. Amanda then says goodbye and thanks Adam for the opportunity. Adam gives her a hug and tells her not to let this be a bad thing, in a sweet moment.
-We get another Kohl’s #VoiceOfStyle fashion segment with Christina Grimmie, who gets more adorable every time she appears on-screen, I swear.
TEAM PHARRELL WILLIAMS: AMY VACHAL VS. JUBAL AND AMANDA
-Pharrell has given the artists “To Love Somebody” by the Bee Gees, feeling that it’s right in their respective wheelhouses. And he’s right. This is downright beautiful, particularly when they all sing together and blend their harmonies. Pharrell points out that while Jubal and Amanda have lovely individual voices, they reach a whole new level when they harmonize, whereas Amy’s strength is more in her emotion. In the final rehearsal, Missy Elliott tells the artists to ditch the guitars, while Pharrell also has them remove the music stands, hoping to bring out the subtleties in both acts’ voices, particularly Amy’s. He wants the harmonies tightened up as well, resulting in what is the most detailed coaching session we’ve seen for the battles so far, at least for Team Pharrell. Here’s hoping it leads to something special in the battle itself.
-It’s a bit of a weird deal here. I like both acts, but don’t feel like they’re the right pairing. They’re both good for different reasons, of course. Amy has this beautiful, subtle quality to her voice, whereas Jubal and Amanda have crazy harmonies and vocal power. I have them as just about even, so I have no idea who will win this thing.
-Gwen was floored by both acts, particularly when they harmonized together. However, she feels Amy is a star. Adam thought Amy started out a bit like a third wheel, but feels she really made her mark on the song by the end of it. Blake says Amy is still the most painful rejection he’s ever had on this show, and although Jubal and Amanda were vastly better here than they were in the Blind Audition, he can’t imagine moving on without Amy. Pharrell praises both acts, and then states he’ll have to go with his heart on this one…
AMY VACHAL WINS THE BATTLE!
-Amy is stunned, since she wasn’t sure how the battle would go. But she loves Pharrell, and she’s stoked to advance to the Knockouts. Jubal and Amanda are honored to have had this experience on The Voice, and Jubal is excited to begin “the next adventure” with Amanda (indicating the wedding ring on her finger). Best of luck to them!
WATCH AND DISCUSS: The Voice 2015 – Amy Vachal vs. Jubal and Amanda – To Love Somebody (VIDEO)
-So we get some montages, and for once, I’m actually not sad to have missed any of these, since they all seemed kind of boring (although the battles so far tonight have been just as snoozeworthy, so I’m not sure how the decisions on what to cut got made)…
On Team Pharrell, Darius Scott defeated Daria Jazmin (“Lean On Me”). On Team Blake, Nadjah Nicole defeated Cole Criske (“Hit Me Baby One More Time” — would have LOVED to hear Blake’s reasoning for that song choice). And on Team Gwen, Summer Schappell defeated Hannah Ashbrook (“Leave the Pieces”).
-And now, we head onto the final match-up of the Battles…
TEAM BLAKE SHELTON: EMILY ANN ROBERTS VS. MORGAN FRAZIER
-Emily freaks out upon meeting Brad Paisley, noting that his was the first concert she ever attended. Blake has given the girls “I’m That Kind of Girl” by Patty Loveless. Morgan admits that Emily has a wonderful vulnerability to her voice after the first rehearsal, whereas Emily is intimidated by the amount of power in Morgan’s voice, as well as her greater level of experience. Brad thinks it’s really interesting to hear two people at completely different stages in life. In the final rehearsal, Blake notes that Emily and Morgan “came in and they brought it.” He and Brad both gush over the girls, implying this will be a much closer battle than expected. Brad says Blake has to pick between a 22-year-old woman who’s ready now, or a 16-year-old girl who, if he eliminates her, he’ll regret cutting for the rest of his life. Well, when it comes between a teenager and a slightly older adult, the teenager wins far more often than not. Maybe it’s that underdog story, maybe it’s the coach seeing someone they can mold more than someone who already knows their identity as an artist. Either way, I fully expect Emily to take this one.
-I thought this was a terrific battle! Both women were evenly matched, but I actually think Emily is the far more complete performer, even if Morgan is far more seasoned. I think Blake could do a lot more with Emily than he could with Morgan. It’s simply a matter of who’s got more personality onstage, and I think that person is Emily. It helps that her voice is great too.
-Pharrell and Gwen can hardly think of anything to add to help Blake make a decision, since they both loved Emily and Morgan together. Blake calls Adam “Mr. Clean,” and I swear, Adam looks FED UP with these bald jokes. Adam responds by saying that Blake is a ding-dong for putting these girls together in the first place. Ultimately, Blake picks the person he thinks he can make the biggest difference with, and so…
EMILY ANN ROBERTS WINS THE BATTLE!
-Blake says Emily Ann is so young and so unique that he just couldn’t pass up the opportunity to work with her. As Morgan prepares to say goodbye…
PHARRELL WILLIAMS STEALS MORGAN FRAZIER!
-Pharrell says he chose Morgan because he’s never had a country person on his team. Blake, meanwhile, is hoping Pharrell cuts her later on so he can steal her back. Wouldn’t surprise me if that happened.
-We close the show on a preview for the Knockouts, with key advisor Rihanna. It’s looking like Jordan Smith is being built up as the guy to beat. Should be an awesome Knockout Round!
-And that’s a wrap on tonight’s show! To recap, here are the results…
Team Adam Levine:
Shelby Brown def. Amanda Ayala
Team Blake Shelton
Nadjah Nicole def. Cole Criske
Emily Ann Roberts def. Morgan Frazier (Pharrell Williams STEALS Morgan Frazier!)
Team Pharrell Williams
Darius Scott def. Daria Jazmin
Amy Vachal def. Jubal and Amanda
Team Gwen Stefani
Summer Schappell def. Hannah Ashbrook
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!