The Voice season 18 Battle Rounds continue tonight with returning coaches Blake Shelton, Kelly Clarkson and John Legend. New coach Nick Jonas joins the panel. Carson Daly returns as host. We’ll be live blogging all the Battle performances right here.
As always, each coach has brought a celebrity mentor on board to help get their teams ready for battle. Nick Jonas will team up with his brothers Joe Jonas and Kevin Jonas. Kelly Clarkson will join forces with pop star Dua Lipa, John Legend and UK R&B singer Ella Mai will work alongside each other, and Blake Shelton will enlist the help of Bebe Rexha. The crossover country singer served as a “Fifth Coach” on The Voice season 16 digital “Comeback Stage” series in 2019.
As far as the round’s format is concerned, In the upcoming Battles, reportedly each coach gets a save and a steal. The four saves will perform in a four way knockout, and America will choose the winner.
Jacob Daniel Murphy vs Toneisha Harris – Good as Hell by Lizzo – Team Blake Shelton – Toneisha is an accountant. She was set for The Voice years ago, but quit after her son was diagnosed with Leukemia. Jacob’s ancestry is Filipino, Mexican and Irish. He feels privileged to have been exposed to all three cultures. He comes from a military family, but he’s the artistic one. We previewed this Battle HERE. Blake heard the song first time when Gwen performed it on the show last season. Bebe couldn’t take her eyes of Toneisha. Blake calls Jacob a powerful singer. Bebe is so excited, she’s spilling drinks. They encourage Jacob to use his falsetto. He’s the underdog in the battle–Blake and Bebe encourage him to step it up.
When Jacob uses his falsetto, Kelly is out of her seat. It’s a little weak? Nevertheless, I’m drawn to Daniel’s tone. I love his sound. Toneisha knows how to deliver those tasteful runs. Her voice is sturdy and soulful. I hope they both get to stay. Also, the two have tons of chemistry on stage, so much fun! John is sure Toneisha will make it to the finale. Nick calls her incredible. Kelly calls Jacob a “firecracker.” She loved their funny vibe. “One of my favorite battles,” she says. Aw. John picks Toneisha. She deserved that win, but I’m still sad Jacob is gone.
Blake picks Toneisha Jacob is Eliminated.
Gigi Hess vs Micah Iverson – Someone You Loved by Lewis Capaldi – Team Kelly Clarkson – Micah is the only male on Kelly’s team. He really wanted Kelly as a coach from the beginning. Micah grew up in Japan, coming to the US for college, where he performed with an a cappella group. Gigi idolizes Kelly. She works at a pre-school and loves helping kids. The duet left Dua speechless. Micah sounds a bit pitchy in the rehearsal room though. Kelly notes the duo’s chemistry. “They should date!” Gigi has issues with self-confidence–she used to be 300 pounds. During the stage rehearsals, Kelly gives Gigi an extra pep talk. Their rehearsal performance makes Kelly cry!
I like this song, but it’s on its way to becoming just another oversung competition tune. Gigi’s voice is a little thin. Micah’s Blind Audition was better, but this is still pretty good. Blake can’t decide who wins. In the end, he chooses Gigi. John felt both were really good, but the song was more in Micah’s pocket. Nick mentions the song is hard to sing. He thought Micah had more confidence. Kelly calls Gigi’s brokenness beautiful, and loves Micah’s falsetto. Kelly picks Micah. She thinks he’ll make the finale. Kelly does NOT use her save on Gigi.
Kelly Picks Micah. Gigi is Eliminated
Erm. John is promoting a studio audience ticket contest sponsored by Lays? Maybe in a parallel universe.
Cammwess vs Mandi Castillo – Senorita by Shawn Mendes and Camila Cabello – Team John Legend – Mandi, a bilingual singer, was a 4 chair turn. Recently, Mandi was working in construction. She donated a kidney for her mom. John recalls all the coaches forgetting Cam’s name during Happy Birthday. The singer is putting college on hold for The Voice. Dua notes that Cam sounds similar to John. John compliments the duo’s vocals, but feels they are still a little tentative. They need to bring a sexy vibe, says Duo. Both are a little nervous about bringing on the steam. They work on chemistry at stage rehearsal. Will they pull it off?
Dang. I don’t know which to pick. Mandi vocals are so pure and pretty. She sings with ease and simplicity. Cam has a beautiful faletto. This is a good match up, vocally. I wouldn’t call the chemistry super-sexy, however. Nick is really impressed. He’d pick Cam because he’s grown a lot. Kelly has a musical crush on Mandi. Blake chimes in “I had a musical crush on Ratt.” That obscure 80s headbanger reference–lost on everyone. He’d pick Cam. John thinks Mandi sings with clarity and is perfect for pop. John actually likes that Cam imitates him. John picks Mandi. Cam is eliminated. OH KELLY STEALS CAM. I wasn’t expecting that. I thought John might give Mandi to Kelly. She’s got two guys on her team now.
John Picks Mandi. Kelly Steals Cam
Cam Spinks vs Kailey Abel – What Ifs by Kane Brown and Lauren Alaina – Team Blake Shelton – Kailey’s family fosters kids. She’s a fellow Oakie. Cam grew up on a farm. He portrays himself as a hayseed. But actually his family buys land, digs it up and to build subdivisions. When he finds out the song pick, Cam looks down his nose at the choice. He’s a purist, don’t you know. Blake chose the song because it’s half way between the two singers styles. But Cam really struggles with a song he doesn’t like.
Kailey wins in my opinion. Ok. At this point, I’ll admit I’m biased against Cam. Regardless, Kailey has a standout rasp, and seems game to stretch out and try different genres. She’s versatile. Cam has a generic country voice, and seems not nearly as adventurous. Or at all. John loved Kailey’s energy, but he would lean toward Cam as a vocalist. Nick calls Kailey the pace car. “I think your passion is going to take you far.” Kelly thought Cam nailed the song, despite the song not suiting him. She’d pick Cam. In the end, Blake picks Cam. Boo. Kaily is eliminated.
Blake picks Cam, Kailey is Eliminated
Anders Drerup vs Tate Brusa – Circles by Post Malone – Team Nick Jonas – Tate is 16. Anders is 36! Tate produces his own stuff in his bedroom. Blake tried to woo him with a puppy! Anders has been working for years as a rock n roll sideman. The brothers feel the duo aren’t connecting. Joe tells Anders to lean into his upper register. Joe shares his experience dealing with a voice change at 16, which Tate is still experiencing. Anders feels pushed out of his comfort zone, and doesn’t feel he has a leg up on Tate at all. Nick gives Tate tips on hitting the high notes. At studio rehearsal, Nick helps them become comfortable in their space.
The song is more in Tate’s wheelhouse. Anders is a straight up rocker, while Tate is a pop singer. Tate sounds better here, even if Anders has the stronger vocal. Still, Anders voice has character. In the end, I prefer it. Kelly calls Anders voice “big.” She thinks Tate is adorable. She leans toward him. Both she and Blake found the duet “chaotic.” I agree, they didn’t really blend well together. He would also go with Tate. John thinks Anders is the more gifted vocalist, but he finds Tate’s voice interesting. He’d go with Anders. Nick agrees that they may not be the perfect duo, but it’s not the point. And TOTALLY unsurprising, Nick picks Tate. The coaches nearly always choose a singer they can help. It’s gotta suck for Anders to lose to a newbie singer 20 years younger.
Nick picks Tate, Anders is eliminated.
Darious Lyles vs Nelson Cade III – Come Together by The Beatles – Team John Legend – Nelson’s mom is a school teacher, his dad a rocket science. He recently performed with Stevie Wonder. He was a 4 chair turn. Darious, a 2 chair turn, helps kids with behavioral problems. His adoptive parents passed, but he recently reunited with his birth mom. John likes Darious’ vocal choices. When Dua suggests that Nelson is stuck in his own head, he ditches the guitar he was playing. John helps the two arrange the song’s ending.
Well, this duo is dead even. Stylistically, the two have their differences. Nelson has a rock edge, where Darious is straight up R&B, but they both kill this performance. One WILL be stolen or saved, for sure. Nick calls it “phenomenal” he can’t pick. He’s sorry he didn’t turn for Darious. Kelly finds Darious exciting, but she’d pick Nelson. Blake would go with Darious. John calls the performance entertaining, and he’s proud that they took his notes. John picks Darious. John felt that he took command of the song. BUT WAIT. John SAVES Nelson.
John picks Darious, and SAVES Nelson
Next MONDAY. More Battles!