Are Nic and Briana good singers? Yes. Are they great? Neither made my cut for the Top 13 Blind Auditions.
But did they both have a disadvantage with either the battle pairing or the song choice by their original coach? Yes. So maybe Blake felt they deserved to still be in the competition because there's more to them that we haven't seen. I also think he chose strategically because Nic seems like he has a big following while Briana does by default because of her last name.
Even so, it's way too soon to use your only two steals when we've yet to hear three-quarters of the competition.
It seems like more puzzling steals will be used as Carson Daly promised us after Monday's episode that there will be an unexpected steal tonight.
The Voice Recap: 3 Steals Are Used as the Battle Rounds Kick Off>>>
I don't know if it has something to do with the song catalog the network has permission to use, but by this fifth season, it feels like these songs are being recycled, songs that were big moments on the show because I still remember them clearly. I know the blind auditions are a bit unfair to compare since the choice is up to the singer alone and not the coach, but it still feels a bit lazy on the coaches' part.
For example, Trevin Hunte sang "Listen" for his season 3 blind audition; Christina chose that song for Amber Nicole and Timyra-Joi. When Sasha Allen made it to the top 10 of season 4, she performed "Next to Me," which Adam picked for Donna Allen and Tessanne Chin. In season 2, Pip's "House of the Rising Run," was replicated by Briana and Jacquie Lee when Christina selected it for them.
I just want to hear some unheard songs because three replicated songs out of six battles is a bit too much. But it's still early, so I'm keeping my fingers crossed.
Anyway, on to tonight's show! The Voice live blog is under way.
Welp, not sure how we're going to get 12 singers in one hour tonight since two hours on Monday showed 12 singers. I guess we'll have a lot of fast forwards.
Team Christina: Jacob Poole vs. Matthew Schuler ("My Songs Know What You Did in the Dark" by Fall Out Boy)
It's the musical director we didn't see during the blind auditions (Jacob), and the second coming of whoever, don't even care (Matthew). I don't understand what Ed Sheeran's saying, but his disheveled look and hand gestures are amusing. Christina says this will be an amazing battle, but I'm not liking what I hear during rehearsals. It's too high for them. Christina sounds amazing though.
This is fairly evenly matched. I like the edgier tone that Jacob has, which suits this song. It sort of feels like Matthew is trying to keep up with Jacob. But they're both spot on as they hit their notes, even the high ones.
They are both crazy sweaty afterward (thanks HD!). Adam gives it to Matthew since he was one of his favorites, but Blake says Jacob won because he surprised him after being just a one-chair turn. Matthew is the winner! Blake wishes he had a steal ... um yeah, Jacob should be in the competition over his two steals.
Team Cee Lo: Kat Robichaud vs. R. Anthony ("I Don't Wanna MIss A Thing" by Aerosmith)
Yess, the zebra pants, high-kicker! And ... I don't have a distinct quality I remember about R. Anthony other than wondering whether R. Anthony is his full first name or whether he goes by R. These two couldn't be opposite genre-wise, so this should be good. Cee Lo wants them to connect emotionally, while Miguel doesn't want R. to make this a gospel song.
Since I kind of learned to hate this song, it's difficult not to roll my eyes. Just so cheesy and overdramatic. I think these two are falling in love on stage? Then Kat has a great moment, and then the rest didn't really matter from there.
Christina says Kat performs like a tiger, which is pretty accurate. Cee Lo calls her a natural disaster, which is supposed to be a compliment. Kat is the winner!
Team Cee Lo: Cole Vosbury vs. Lupe Carroll ("Africa" by Toto)
Here come the three quickie performances: Cole in the winner. What a song choice, I would've liked to have heard that than what I just saw with Team Christina.
Team Blake: E.G. Daily vs. Sam Cerniglia ("Let's Give Them Something to Talk About" by Bonnie Raitt)
Kind of a boring song, glad I didn't hear it. E.G. Daily is the winner. Blake says she did something cool in the end. I'll take his word.
Team Adam: Ashley DuBose vs. Justin Blake ("Just A Fool" by Blake Shelton and Christina Aguilera)
Ashley is the winner. Wish I had more to add.
Team Blake: Monika Leigh vs. Ray Boudreaux ("Some Kind of Wonderful" by Grand Funk)
Cher is just blunt and funny. Ray's worried of the high notes.
They do a lot with the song, but I'm too distracted by all the braids that are just on one side of Monika's head.
Christina said it was a good pairing, Cee Lo says Ray can "sang" as opposed to sing. Their quick comments mean it wasn't that exciting to them either. And the best part of the show round, I think, is when the audience is quiet as Blake makes his decision and Ray's kid blurts out, "Ray!" Ray is the winner!
Cee Lo steals Monika Leigh! Cee Lo thinks Monika has soul, which he wants on his team.
Another night of the battle rounds comes to a close. It was hard to get excited about, with only three performances. My favorites in the competition still have yet to take the change, so I'm hopeful for next week.
The Voice airs Monday at 8pm on NBC.
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(Image courtesy of NBC)