The Voice UK Battle Rounds begin today (Feb 23) from 3 PM EST/8 PM GMT to 4:25 PM EST/9:25 GMT.
Tom Jones, Olly Murs, Jennifer Hudson and will.i.am return to the coaches panel, along with host Emma Willis. The new twist this season is Trios. For the first time, groups of three will be able to audition alongside solos and duos.
The Battle Rounds begin tonight! Which artists will survive? Each coach gets ONE steal.
Mike Platt v Cedric Neal – Team Tom – Jumpin’ Jack Flash by The Rolling Stones – Cedric received FOUR turns in the Blinds. Tom turned for Mike for his “high piercing” rock voice. Cedric had never heard “Jumping Jack Flash.” Mike was familiar with the classic tune, but only a little bit. WOW. This song seems to favor Mike. Cedric did his homework, though. He’s the better singer. However, Mike is more impressive here than in his Blind Audition. Kicking off the night with a solid duet, for sure. Especially when the singers grab their mics and play up to the coaches. Jennifer calls it “Amazing! I enjoyed every bit of it.” Olly calls it a “proper battle.” Will says, “Your harmonies were flawless. That’s control.” Tom says they both sang “fantastically well” but… Team Tom chooses Cedric Neal. Mike Platt is eliminated. Aw. He is really upset. Tom apologizes afterward. “I thought somebody would steal you.”
Iliana v Breiya May – Team Will – American Boy by Estelle and Kanye West – Iliana was a one chair turn–she sang that odd song in several languages. Olly and Will fought over Breiya. FYI: Will produced the “American Boy” single. Doesn’t matter who loses this battle. She won’t make it out of the Knockouts! Breiya is good, but green. Iliana is better with a more conventional song, but she’s still odd. “It felt unsure in parts,” says Tom. He’s correct. Will insists they “both won.” But admits the rehearsal went better. Team Will chooses Iliana because her “range is broader.” Breiya is eliminated.
Kieron Smith v Remember Monday – Team Jennifer – Home by Phillip Phillips – Whee! Phillip Phillips! This was an Idol winner’s song, FYI. Remember Monday is a trio. Their harmonies are very strong. Kieron is nervous about getting lost among the voices. Plus, he was a one chair turn. This song really favors harmonies, especially when it’s time for those OHH OHHS on the chorus. Kieron is acquitting himself nicely here, but is definitely the underdog. Tom says, “You all performed really well.” Jennifer admits she “loves the song.” adding that Remember Monday’s harmonies are “undeniable.” Unsurprisingly, Team Jennifer chooses Remember Monday. Kieron Smith is eliminated.
Molly Hocking v Connie Lamb – Team Olly – With You by Ghost The Musical – Olly and Tom turned for Connie. Molly was a one chair turn. Connie, trained in musical theater, knows the song. Molly has “never heard it in her life.” Still, once she digs in, she’s moved emotionally. The song is post death, pre-ghost. It is very sad! Both are delivering heartfelt performances. Not perfect–there are wobbles–but very emotional. Good song choice Olly! I don’t know who I’d choose. Tom calls it “powerful, tremendous.” Jennifer is impressed all the way around. “You guys did spectacular, better than your blinds,” says Will. Team Olly chooses Molly Hocking. Team Jennifer STEALS Connie Lamb “I can’t believe I stole from Olly’s team,” says Jennifer. Because his members are typically subpar? Heh.
Nyema v Christina Elinas – Team Will – Confident by Demi Lovato – Will says these girls, both powerhouse singers, “know who they are.” Yet, they are both so nervous before the performance. I really like Christina’s tone. Her voice is so strong. I’d choose her in this battle. She’s hitting some crazy high notes. Nyema is having pitch problems. Olly calls them both “amazing.” Jennifer compliments Nyema’s stage presence and Christina’s range. Team Will chooses Christina Elinas. She cried all the way through the decision! Nyema is eliminated. Olly keeps saying “I’ve got someone in mind.”
Georgia Bray v Flatpack – Team Olly – Hit The Road Jack By Ray Charles – Flatpack is a male trio specializing in standards. Before turning his chair, Olly thought Georgia was a duo, because her voice was so “unique.” During rehearsals, Georgia is intimidated. But this is a good song pick for her compelling jazz alto. Flatpack are sort of annoying, to be honest. The tone, the tone. Dial it back boys. Yuck. Gonna be disappointed if Olly doesn’t choose Georgia. Will says, “There was so much personality” He compliments Georgia for “holding her own” against a trio. Team Olly Chooses Georgia. YAY. Flatpack are eliminated.
Jimmy Bailito v Roger Samuels – Team Tom – Let It Be by Labrinth – Roger is a gospel singer. Jimmy was a prior no-turn with a big range. Jimmy is worried–the song is outside Roger’s comfort zone, but Jimmy will not underestimate him. Definitely a better song pick for Jimmy. But Roger is doing a great job adapting his gospel style. Still, Jimmy’s clear tone is so expressive. There’s something about him that draws me in. All in all it is a powerful duet. “This is what the battle are about,” says Olly. “Mesmerising.” Will calls Roger “powerful,” declaring it a “serious” battle. Tom thinks BOTH singers have “the best voices I’ve heard on this show.” Yet you set them up against each other? Hm. Team Tom chooses Roger. He’s bawling his eyes out! He’s going to do it for his children and his wife. Olly and Will steal Jimmy! Will compliments Jimmy’s tenacity. Olly chastises himself for not giving Jimmy a turn. And Jimmy chooses Olly. Seems like a good fit. Olly says Jimmy and Roger were two singers he wanted on his team.
And that’s it for this week. Two more episodes of Battles coming.
By the way: I SO MUCH PREFER the way The Voice UK handles battles. MORE music. Less contrived babble. It proves “celebrity” mentors add…nothing really.