As The voice lowered the curtain during the battles of season 18 on Monday evening, the fate of 16 singers was decided. Which candidates inspired Blake Shelton and Nick Jonas to use their Steals? Who would Kelly Carlson hang on to Save for? And what aspirants ended up receiving – all together now – “the dreaded editing treatment”? Read on and find out!
Team Nick: Arei Moon (Grade: B-) beat Samuel Wilco (Grade: C) in “Missing You” | After the Jonas Brothers and Arei sang a quick “Happy Birthday” to Samuel, who was 40 years old on rehearsal day, the gang set out to add R&B to John Waite’s 80s classic. Interestingly, Nick wanted his team members to advance and train a little more separately so they can surprise themselves on stage. Hmm … I was skeptical about the possibility of this practice. When finally the spotlight fell on the duo, well, Samuel and Arei have definitely reinvented the song, but not entirely. She seemed to be struggling with her lower register before coming to life on the big bills. Samuel, I’m afraid, didn’t make much of an impression at all. I mean this number was messy and generally “off”; however, it could have been just my ears reacting to the distance from the original melody they fired. A doubtful start to the evening…
Team Kelly: Megan Danielle (Grade: A-) beat Samantha Howell (Grade: B-) on “Top of the World” – Samantha saved by Kelly | Arriving for the rehearsal with Megan, Samantha was particularly taken with her trainer and advisor Dua Lipa. They are so beautiful, she says, “They look like statues. As the contestants scanned their Patty Griffin cover, Samantha impressed Kelly with her polish; Megan, with his brutality. If the latter could control this naked emotional quality of her voice – especially having never had a singing lesson – she could really kill on stage. It is certainly linked to the song (by associating it with the father who tried to make amends). At the point of truth, wow … Samantha looked so cold that I thought she had been playing the Grand Ole Opry for years. She didn’t always sound that way, however. (Even Blake hit her on pitch issues.) Megan, on the other hand, absolutely conquered the song. As Nick suggested, it made it sound like she was singing her story … what it was sort of. “When it counts,” added Kelly, “you fight. No contest for me: Megan left with this one, had it laminated and now carries it in her wallet as proof of genius.
Team Blake: Todd Tilghman (Grade: B) beat Jon Mullins (Grade: B +) on “Ghost in This House” – Jon stolen by Nick | Before the guys arrived for the rehearsal, Blake chuckled at Councilor Bebe Rexha that they were both going to regret being part of his team, because Shenandoah’s shot was really not in any of their wheelhouses. But “either you get on the plate,” he said to the guys, “or you don’t. As the practice started, it looked like they were really going to escalate – they just had to, as Blake pointed out, remember that it was a sad song. On stage, the two guys rocked, Jon singing with a languid sweetness that made him sound like a Sam Smith country. For his part, Todd sang in a harsher and raucous way (is that a word?) But really not less successfully. It was actually a more difficult battle than usual to call. But I would have gone with Jon. As nice as Todd is, and Joe Cocker-esque as he can be, his teammate’s performances were bigger, more memorable and demonstrated greater reach.
Team legend: Zan Fiskum (Grade: A-) beat Brittney Allen (Grade: B +) in “Closer to Fine” | Sweet Jiminy Cricket, these two sounded like they had already been mixed for iTunes just repetition on their Indigo Girls cover. John’s only notes were that Zan was “tightening his vowels,” and maybe Brittney shouldn’t keep her eyes closed. whole when she was on stage. (Even though she said she suffered from fear of the scene, it didn’t show in her voice.) Even Councilor Ella Mai was surprised that she and John gave the women less comment than they did. any other pair. They were fair. This. Good. When the battle started, Zan sang with a voice that only the angels wish they had; she was divine. Very Maelyn Jarmon in its perfection. Brittney had a fire in her performance and a little twang I suspected was going to make Blake fly it. Honestly, I really liked it, but Zan owned this one for so long that she put a “Property of …” sticker on it. (I still couldn’t believe that Blake hadn’t stolen Brittney.)
Team Kelly: Mandi Thomas (grade: B +) beat Sara Collins (grade: B) in “My Baby Loves Me” | In rehearsal, Kelly explained that she had given this duet Martina McBride to cover because Sara is at least the country and opera singer Mandi love country. After their first run, their coach said that she wanted the ladies to “bubble” throughout the song so they don’t get out of breath and get jerky. Mandi was holding on, but Sara looked so much like a fish in water – that was her type – I couldn’t see how she could lose. When the time came, Sara looked solid, although a little thin. But the power that Mandi’s pipes incorporated into the song allowed her to make a bigger impression. In addition, she was sassy, present, funny. When they finished, Blake noted that Sara had opted for more notes than she had managed to hit. Still, I was surprised he hadn’t used his Flight on it – she couldn’t have been more in her favorite lane if she had parked there.
Team legend: Orage Artis (Grade: A) beat Cedrice (Grade: C +) on “Stay” – Cedrice stolen by Blake | Listening to the duo repeat, I thought Cedrice, especially after her dull blind, sounded pretty good … until Thunderstorm opened his mouth and reminded me that he was in another league altogether. On stage, the teammates gelled beautifully, much like the way the pizza ingredients do when you leave a slice in the fridge overnight. Only, you know, musically. But Cedrice never managed to look as beautiful as she looked. She looked more like a chorister, a captivating accessory for Thunderstorm, whose bag of turns of voice seemed to be as large and overflowing as the bag of Santa Claus. When they finished, we talked a lot about Cedrice’s amazing appearance – and the amazing thunderstorm sounded. That said it all. Still, not country girls Brittney or Sara, she got Blake’s theft.
Finally, a montage revealed that Tayler Green had defeated Jules on “Water Under the Bridge” to stay on Team Kelly, and Jacob Miller had defeated Kevin Farris in “Light Up” to sing another day for Team Nick.
So who, if any, really wowed you during the third and last night of the battles? Vote in the poll below, then tap the comments. Do you like James Taylor’s idea as a Mega Mentor?