The Voice season 22 Battle Rounds continue tonight with returning coaches Blake Shelton, Gwen Stefani and John Legend. Pop star Camila Cabello joins the panel. Carson Daly returns as host. We’ll be live blogging all the Battle performances right here.
Celebrity advisors will join each team: Jazmine Sullivan joins Team Legend, Sean Paul joins Team Gwen, Charlie Puth joins Team Camila and Jimmie Allen joins Team Blake
The coaches will pair up their team members for unforgettable duets. Afterward the coach will choose the winner. The eliminated contestant can be saved by the coach, or stolen by a rival coach. Each coach gets 1 steal and 1 save.
REMINDER: NO SPOILERS IN COMMENTS. Keep spoiler talk under spoiler posts above. Thank you.
Ava Lynn Thuresson vs Orlando Mendez – Team Camilla – Rocket Man by Elton John
Ava just graduated high school recently, and does not have much experience. Orlando is the “Cuban Cowboy.” Camila calls the song choice a “country version” of the Elton John song. Charlie compared Ava to Taylor Swift. He’s impressed with her range. Camila suggests Ava pick a fan to make eye contact with. Charlie helps Orlando with breathing techniques. Camila suggests they “sing the song on the treadmill,” in order to strengthen their “core.”
Orlando is a bit nasally and twangy. The song feels like a stretch for him, while it comes more naturally to Ava. Her tone is so pretty and her head voice is divine. I prefer her on this song. It’s not quite the right fit for Orlando. It’s weird that Camila paired them up. Their voices are very different.
Gwen calls Ava’s head voice “flawless,” and feels Orlando’s voice has a lot of character. John calls the take on the song “interesting.” He thinks Orlando owned the stage. Blake felt Ava gave more variety, but Orlando had the most impressive moment. Camila picks Orlando, Ava is eliminated. She finds Orlando’s “swag” exciting. He was “my four chair turn.” That’s too bad about Ava. She really performed well.
Cara Brindisi vs. Jay Allen – Team Gwen – Leather and Lace
Jay’s mom passed away after a battle with Alzheimer’s. He wrote a song which has raised thousands of dollars to fight the disease. Cara works as a music therapist in Massachusetts. Gwen paired her more “seasoned” artists together. Also, because they both have “storytelling” voices. Gwen advises Jay to hit his “tender spot” more. “Build up” is important, says Sean. Gwen suggests that Cara stick closer to the original melody, because it’s such a classic.
Gwen picked the perfect song for this couple. Their harmonies soar. Cara has a sweet tone that plays well with Jay’s raspy voice. He took Gwen’s advice to emphasize the tender parts of his voice. As far as their solo voices are concerned, I prefer Cara’s tone, but Jay is very passionate.
John calls Cara “perfect.” But John found Jay more compelling. Blake thinks Jay had the more “Stevie Nicks” approach. He would also pick Jay. Camila says Jay’s voice made her “feel” more. Gwen is proud that Jay took her notes. She calls Cara’s voice “soothing.” Gwen picks Cara, She saves Jay, Blake Steals him What a jerk! cries Gwen. Blake wants to confirm the fact that he’s a great singer. He’s not really pitching Jay hard. Jay ditches Gwen and picks Team Blake It’s odd, because Blake turned for Jay in the Blinds, but Jay went with Gwen. Now he says “I’m a country artist, so I’ve got to go with Blake.”
Nia Skyfer vs Emma Brooks – Team Legend – She’s All I Want to Be by Tate McRae
Nia sang one of Camila’s songs for her Blind Audition, but her team was full. John suggests that Nia try yawning so her tone doesn’t sound pitched. He thinks Emma’s manner is too “sunny” on the song. Emma admits that so far, she’s had a happy life. Jazmine wants more intensity from Emma. They both want more attitude from here.
Setting aside the worries about Emma’s attitude, she’s delivering the best vocal. And she took the notes about having more “attitude.” Nia is a firecracker, though, working the stage while Emma more or less stays planted in one place. It’s probably just not a good song choice for Emma.
Blake calls Emma poised and is drawn to that rather than Nia’s chaos. Camila thinks Nia improved since the Blinds. “You’re exciting to watch,” she says. Gwen is impressed with Emma’s voice, but she loves Nia’s star quality. John felt the song was closer to Nia’s wheelhouse. He thinks Emma “can do anything.” John picks Emma, Nia is eliminated.
Jaeden Luke vs Bodie – Team Blake – As Long As You Love Me by Justin Bieber
NBC previewed this Battle last week. Bodie was a four chair turn. Jaeden was the last person Blake put on his team. Camila promised to save Jaeden, and has been continuously flirting with him, even though he covered a terrible Bread song. He still lives with his parents and is close to his entire family. Bodie, who comes from a family of performers, finds the song choice a stretch. Blake thinks Bodie has the bigger challenge. Blake notices that Jaeden is a little off pitch at times.
Jaeden’s phrasing is interesting in spots, but his whispery tone sounds lackluster. And in this matchup, Bodie’s bold, strong tone really cuts through by comparison. He easily wins the battle.
Weirdly, Camila keeps flirting with Jaeden. She calls him “the whole package.” But she compliments Brodie as well. She would steal both singers. Gwen got lost in the performance. She calls Bodie “next level,” but finds Jaeden compelling. John prefers Jaden’s tone, but notes his “execution isn’t all the way there.” I agree. He would pick Bodie. Blake compares Jaeden to Chris Isaak. Blake appreciates Bodie’s power. Blake picks Bodie, Camila and Gwen STEAL Jaeden. Camila flirts more to woo him Call HR! Gwen points out that she’s “been around for a long time.” But Jaeden “can’t say no to my girlfriend.” Jaeden picks Team Camila
Grace Bello vs Reina Ley – Team Camila – Time after Time by Cyndi Lauper
Reina is the youngest contestant this season. She’s 13 and performs mariachi. Grace admits that she hasn’t performed live much. She posts mostly on Youtube. Camila and Charlie give her tips on working her diaphragm. Interestingly, young Reina seems more confident.
This song is notoriously hard to pull off on singing shows. It appears to be deceptively hard to sing. Both aren’t at their best. Some nerves may be at play. Reina is more expressive, while Grace is more reticent. She gathers some steam on the chorus, though. Technically, Grace is the better singer, but she needs more confidence.
Gwen calls Grace’s voice “pretty,” but calls Reina “unbelievable.” She’d pick her. John compliments Reina’s confidence. Blake notices that Grace seems scared, while Raina is taking the competition in stride. Camila thinks they had an even performance. Camila feels terrible. Camila picks Reina, Grace is eliminated. Poor Grace.
Justin Aaron vs. Destiny Lilia – Team Gwen – No More Drama by Mary J. Blige
Sean and Gwen thinks Destiny is holding back. She’s also having some timing issues. Sean tells both to remember Mary J’s powerful rendition. Destiny grew up poor and struggling in a single parent home. Justin sings at church, and works as a teacher’s assistant. Sean and Gwen have few notes for him.
Sean and Gwen noted correctly that Destiny has pitch problems. Her runs aren’t accurate. Justin, on the other hand, is an effortlessly great singer. They’re both bringing the drama and power to the stage. But Justin has the definite edge.
Destiny was “on fire,” notes John, who compliments Justin’s “crazy range.” John picks the fiery Destiny. Blake would also go with Destiny. But Camila loves Justin’s tone. She’d pick him. Gwen feels Destiny has potential. She but calls Justin’s voice “butter.” Gwen picks Justin, but SAVES Destiny