. These battles are by far more interesting than the first round as they are more evenly matched and the singers themselves are more comfortable performing. Only one steal is used and Chris Martin from Coldplay continues to mentor the singers throughout their battle performances.
Team Blake: Biff Gore vs. Sisaundra Lewis ("It's a Man's Man's Man's World" by James Brown)
Blake pits Biff and Sisaundra against one another because they are both powerful R&B singers. Based on the three options they are given, they choose the James Brown song so they can both shine dynamically.
During rehearsals, they both sound great. Chris Martin advises Sisaundra that because she has such an amazing voice, she just needs to ensure she is connected with the lyrics and audience to give a killer performance.
They both are bringing it right out of the gate. But despite Biff's valiant efforts, no one can touch Sisaundra. She sounds so unbelievable. Blake would be a fool to let her go.
Usher understands how difficult the song is to perform and gives the battle to Biff for loyalty. Shakira tells Biff that his voice is timeless, but Sisaundra's voice is sick. Adam gives it to Sisaundra for her commitment. Blake hems and haws a while, giving them their due compliments, but in the end he obviously chooses Sisaundra. I love that she is so surprised.
Team Shakira: Deja Hall vs. Ddendyl ("Say Something" by A Great Big World & Christina Aguilera)
Shakira pairs these two together because they are both young with unique voices. They choose to sing "Say Something" because it is a sweet, sad song that highlights the sweet softness of their voices.
In rehearsals, Deja has trouble connecting with the song because she is so young. Ddendyl has issues with stage presence and looking too stiff on stage, which I would say Deja does as well. They give them mic stands (or dance partners, according to Chris Martin) to work with during their performances.
This song does suit them both well. I do wish Ddendyl had left out a bit of her vocal inflections because it is distracting on such a simple song. Deja sounds nervous and struggles a bit as a result. The performance loses energy toward the end and the whole thing comes off as more depressing than emoting anything.
Ddendyl seems more ready for the entire competition while Deja needs to develop a bit, though Usher would choose Deja for her still-developing talent. Shakira agrees and chooses Deja for making the most notable changes and her ability to grow over the competition.
Now for the fast-forwarded portion of the program:
Team Shakira: Emily B. vs. Kristen Merlin ("I Can Love You Better" by Dixie Chicks)
In the few seconds we see of this performance, both singers hit a high note and Kristen's tone seems better suited to the song. Shakira chooses Kristen. Though I'm surprised Emily is off the show, all of Kristen's performances have been fast-forwards so I look forward to actually seeing one of them some day.
Team Usher: Morgan Wallen vs. Stevie Jo ("Story of My Life" by One Direction)
Usher paired these two guys because he wants the pairing to be fair and complimentary. Stevie has a lot of confidence going into this round based on his previous battle win. Even though Morgan won his previous battle, he was not happy with his performance and is looking to step it up this time.
During rehearsals, Chris Martin advises that they work on their breath control since both guys are struggling with their lower registers. Usher is worried that Morgan will buckle under the pressure and Stevie Jo will get thrown off during the performance.
The performance starts out pretty laid back, but builds and gets much better as it goes on. Stevie has a great upper register that is perfect on this song and shows artistic ability in his various vocal runs. There are elements of greatness in Morgan's performance, but he is a bit inconsistent.
Shakira is impressed with the raspy edge in Morgan's voice (she always goes for raspy). Adam assumed Stevie would win over Morgan, but he loves the soulful edge to Morgan's voice that he feels is yet untapped. Usher is impressed with Morgan's ability to learn and grow and with Stevie's overall talent. Usher chooses Stevie as the winner. In the very last second, Adam steals Morgan.
The Battles Part 2 of The Voice
continues on Monday at 8pm on NBC.
(Image and videos courtesy of NBC)