The coaches have full teams and are ready to move on to the Battle Round in season 12 of The Voice
, bringing with it a double dose of both singing and coaching.
As in past seasons, each coach recruits an advisor to help them prepare the contestants for their Battles. Here's the lineup of mentors for each coach, featuring some of the biggest heavy hitters in the music industry: Team Adam has John Legend, Team Blake has Luke Bryan, Team Alicia has DJ Khaled and Team Gwen has Celine Dion.
Team Blake: Brennley Brown vs. Lauren Duski ("Better Man")
As a teen of only 14 years old, Brennley Brown has to dig deep to find emotional inspiration for a song about love and heartbreak. Lauren, however, has to be careful not to become overly emotional when channeling a prior breakup that's still fresh.
The two young, blonde singers serenade their way through the Little Big Town hit, both earning their own power moment. Lauren has stronger ownership over those moments, and maybe that just comes with maturity. The coaches compliment both singers equally, noting both the innocence and raspy inflections, respectively.
Winner: Blake chooses Lauren
Steal: Adam and Gwen both move to use their steal on Brennley, and after a birthday serenade from Adam, Brennley chooses Team Gwen.
Team Gwen: JChosen vs. Kenny P ("I was Made to Love Her")
During rehearsals, JChosen fumbles a bit under the pressure of the audiences of two superstars, and Celine warms Kenny P not to overpower his opponent during the song. As far as mentors go, Celine is one of the most involved with the contestants I've ever seen, making the vibe in the room glow.
JChosen and Kenny P. both give solid performances, filled with soulful runs and an abundance of energy, but neither has that shining moment to create a clear-cut winner. Gwen obviously doesn't see a clear winner either, asking the other coaches what to do and making a split-second decision.
Winner: Gwen chooses JChosen
Team Alicia: Anatalia Villaranda vs. Missy Robertson ("Tightrope")
Alicia chooses a high energy, fast-paced song for these two powerhouse voices to perform, placing importance on where each one of them should choose their runs and standout moments since there are so many.
These two give what I'd call the best performance of the night so far, full of bold, fearless notes and runs; plus, they look like they're having a total blast. The other coaches express a clear favor for Missy's poise and steadiness.
Winner: Alicia surprises everyone by choosing Anatalia
Team Adam: Gaby Borromeo vs. Mark Isaiah ("Pillowtalk")
John Legend reunites with Gaby, a singer who performed for him when she moved to New York City to perform music. During rehearsals, the two coaches push the contestants to gain more confidence when performing.
During the Battle, Mark's voice sounds smooth and melodic, remaining in his comfort zone, but Gaby's voice is really something special, shining through like silk. Blake leans toward Mark for the win, as does Gwen.
Winner: Adam picks Mark
Team Alicia: Felicia Temple vs. Quizz Swanigan ("Titanium")
Felicia reveals that she used to sing the assigned sing when she was sick, so Alicia encourages her to dig for the emphasis on joy when she's focusing on her emotions rather than disappearing and internalizing.
Quizz, who finds himself right in the middle of "the change," struggles with hitting some of the high notes of the song but absolutely nails it in the Battle. Though the song choice seems made for Felicia's powerhouse vocals, Quizz holds his own with his spunk and fearless energy. The coaches are split roughly down the middle with the recommendations, so Alicia doesn't get much help in deciding.
Winner: Alicia chooses Quizz
Steal: Blake uses a steal on Felicia
Team Blake: Ashley Levin vs. Casi Joy ("How Blue")
Ashley and Casi have such similar styles and voices that the two have to work to figure out how to develop a signature strategy to stand out in the performance with a classic country song.
Sass and class coat this Battle, which performs much more like a duet than a competition. These two voices blend together flawlessly, each line complementing the one before it. All of the coaches express admiration for both performances, commenting that Cassi seems to be a bit more seasoned of a performer.
Winner: Blake chooses Cassi
Steal: Adam, Gwen and Alicia all compete to use a steal on Ashley. Adam emphasizes that he is the only coach who named Ashley as the winner of the Battle. Ashley chooses Alicia as her new coach.
That's a wrap on the first round of Battles on The Voice, leaving Gwen, Blake and Alicia all with one steal left, and Adam with both of his still intact.
Which Battle performance did you think was the best? Did the coaches make any bad decisions? Let us know what you think in the comments section below.
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(Image courtesy of NBC)