The Voice 24 Battle: Brandon Montel vs Kara Tenae Ends in Epic Steal

The Voice 24 - Brandon Montel, Kara Tenae
Pictured: (l-r) Brandon Montel, Kara Tenae — (Photo by: Tyler Golden/NBC)

The Voice 24 Battle: Kara Tenae and Brandon Montel Bring 90s Vibes with Brandy Duet

It was an exciting night of The Voice Season 24 on Monday as the Battles wrapped up, and the Knockouts began. Coach John Legend still had a steal left, so of course the battles ended with a bang as the final battle featuring a duo from Team Gwen Stefani ended in an epic steal. This battle, between artists Kara Tenae and Brandon Montel, brought a classic and refreshing 90s R&B vibe to The Voice stage.

Brandon said he was excited to be paired with Kara because of their “similar tones.” Gwen stated that she paired them because “genre-wise they are in the same lane, a little bit R&B, a little bit soul.” The two are singing Brandy’s number 1 hit “Have You Ever” from 1998.

In the pre-performance package, Brandon recalls his Blind where Reba McEntire blocked John, and Brandon picked Gwen. John said he would be the first to steal Brandon if he got the chance. Brandon has done some backup singing and is in the underground ballroom culture. Kara has been a fan of Gwen since a kid. They share a California connection as Kara grew up in Riverside, California. They have both performed at Spanky’s Cafe. Kara shares that she and her sister used to sit by the TV, “mesmerized” by Brandy’s song. She was happy to share her audition moment with her supportive sister.

The Voice 24 - Brandon Montel, Kara Tenae
Pictured: (l-r) Kara Tenae, Brandon Montel — (Photo by: Trae Patton/NBC)

In rehearsal, Gwen describes Kara as very “dynamic” and notes her “classic 90s R&B vibe.” Calling Kara and Brandon “quite equal,” Gwen advises the singers to bring the emotion saying, “individuality comes through when it’s coming truly from the heart.” Brandon connects to the lyric “have you ever loved somebody so much it makes you cry” as he lost his grandpa a year ago and they shared a close connection. Gwen wants Brandon to “bring more of that character out” as his singing is already on par. She tells Kara to blend better with Brandon, calling her “too sharp and too tense” while he is “too soft and too round.” Kara needs to give the performance “more body,” says Gwen.

Kara starts with silky smooth, understated vocals. Brandon matches the vibe and also sounds very good. But Kara shows more power and dynamics as the performance goes on, while Brandon is left in the background. He still sounds good, but Kara is simply more captivating and overshadows him. I believe Kara has even more tricks than she has shown as in both this performance and her Blind, she hits one very impressive note, indicating that she’s holding back at times. This performance was a great showing for her, and in the end, it lended a solid duet too.

Gwen picks Kara, John steals Brandon after his Blind Audition block

Brandon’s higher register shocks John. He says, “Kara you were powerful and brilliant,” but he thinks Brandon’s voice is “rarer in a way.” Reba says she was “really entertained,” but she preferred Kara after the way “she handled herself.” Niall Horan states that the “technical stuff that was going on was crazy.” He calls it the best Battle when it comes to “technical.” He too thinks Brandon is more unique, so he would pick him. Gwen calls Brandon’s voice “so pretty yet so skilled,” but critiques some of his body language as she felt it was stronger in her rehearsal. On the other hand, she feels Kara was even better than rehearsal dynamic-wise, saying, “there was not one out of tune note, you were really tasteful with your runs, you were captivating.” In the end, Gwen chooses Kara.

John steals Brandon. Gwen is thrilled. John says, “there is no one that sings like him in this competition.” He notes Reba blocking him, which didn’t give him a chance to win Brandon in the first place.

If an epic steal wasn’t enough in the battles for Monday night, we also saw a steal and a save occur in the Knockout round with it all ending on a cliffhanger. The two true standouts of the Knockout round were Team Legend winner Kaylee Shimizu who delivered a stellar vocal of Aretha Franklin’s “Ain’t No Way” even if it lacked some of the angst of the original, and Team Reba winner Jacquie Roar who continues to rise to the occasion as she absolutely nailed Maren Morris’ “Girl.” Overall, the Knockouts were off to a fiery start, and I hope that continues because based on tonight they will well surpass the Battles.

About Blake Busch 270 Articles
I am a graduate of Drake University with a BSBA in marketing and minor in data analytics. My favorite shows to follow are American Idol and The Voice. I also love crime thrillers, Top Chef, and Masterchef. My hobbies include cooking, baking, playing basketball, and watching sports.