By: Jacob Elyachar, jakes-take.com
Hold on tight, Voice fans!
After the Blind Auditions concluded, the show immediately dove into Battle Rounds!
But before we get to know the remaining artists that will be participating in the Battles, here is a recap of where the Coaches’ teams currently stand:
Team Adam: Barry Minniefield, Blaze Johnson, Bren’nae DeBarge, Deanna Johnson, Jack Gregori, James McNeiece, Josh Batsone, Lexi Davila, Michael Leier, Nicolette Mare & Tonya Boyd-Cannon
Team Blake: Bay Brooks, Brenna Yaeger, Brian Johnson, Brooke Adee, Cody Wickline, Corey Kent White, Jacob Rummell, Joshua Davis, Kelsie May, Matt Snook & Sarah Potenza
Team Christina: Ameera Delandro, Clinton Washington, Gabriel Wolfchild, India Carney, Jeremy Gaynor, Joe Tolo, Katelyn Read, Koryn Hawthorne, Rob Taylor, Sonic & Treeva Gibson
Team Pharrell: Anthony Riley, Ashley Morgan, Briar Jonnee, Kimberly Nichole, Lowell Oakley, Meghan Linsey, Noelle Bybee, Mia Z, Sawyer Fredericks & Travis Ewing
All three original coaches need just one more artist to complete their teams, while the early trailblazer Pharrell Williams’ winning streak slowed down and needs two more artists complete his team.
Who were the lucky artists to join teams? Read on to find out…
Up first to face the coaches was 17-year-old Boston native Nathan Hermida, who loves karaoke, science and most importantly: R&B. In all honesty at the beginning of the song, I was not impressed. However, as he continued his cover of “Sure Thing,” I thought he improved from note-to-note. Adam and Christina fought over him and despite Xtina pleading with her case…he became the centerpiece (and final member) of Team Adam!
26-year-old Paul Pfau majored in economics in college had a past with Adam Levine (he chickened out on giving the Maroon 5 singer- a demo CD) and can croon! His unique take on “Fly Me To The Moon” gave me chills and got the attention of both Blake and Pharrell. Both Adam (Paul made him feel even more guilty when he finally gave the Maroon 5 singer his demo) and Christina really wanted him. Unfortunately, all three originals might have to wait to steal Paul in the Battles, because he joined Team Pharrell!
22-year-old Vance Smith survived the east side of Detroit to pursue his dream as a musician. He hoped that a coach would turn around after hearing his cover of Motown staple: “Reach Out, I’ll Be There.” After hearing his velvet like vocals, I hope that TPTB at Empire hire him to portray one of Jamal Lyon’s rivals during the show’s sophomore season. Both Christina and Pharrell pulled some 11th hour moves to attempt to secure Vance on their team. In the end, the Georgia transplant chose and completed Christina’s team.
Longtime Voice fan Caitlin Caporale had her wildest dream come true: perform on The Voice stage. She wanted a spot on Christina Aguilera’s team and sang for her before that Extra had during the first season. During the first few bars of “Impossible,” the reigning queen was frustrated as hell that she could not turn around. However, Blake and Pharrell could turn around and wanted her on their team. She decided to join Team Pharrell, but before leaving the stage…she sang “Impossible” with Christina! Caitlin became the third artist in show history to sing with Christina at the Blind Auditions!
The last Blind Audition of Season Eight belonged to Texas native Hannah Kirby. Her cover of the late Joe Cocker’s “The Letter” sent chills all throughout my body. She would have made Mr. Cocker proud and I am glad that she is on Team Blake! Meanwhile, seeing Adam, Pharrell and Christina hitting their buttons in agony could mean a steal might be reserved for Hannah during the Battles.
As Hannah left the stage, it was time for the Battle Rounds to begin! Team Pharrell’s Ashley Morgan and Mia Z were the first battle of Season Eight. Pharrell brought in music legend Lionel Richie to help advise him in the next round. They tackled ZZ Ward’s “Put the Gun Down.” From the word, “Go!” each girl delivered a fiery vocal that made me dance in my seat! However, I would go with session singer Ashley because she has something that Mia Z does not have: experience.
As their coach gave a standing ovation, Adam stated that he was left speechless with the performance and Blake added that Pharrell would be screwed with his decision. However, Xtina was more upfront and stated that she would choose Ashley. Unfortunately, Pharrell did not listen to Xtina or to my psychic vibration and chose Mia Z. Before Ashley left the stage, all three original coaches wanted Ashley to join their team! All three coaches delivered great pitches, but none of them had the honest conviction that Christina had with her pitch. I am so glad that Ashley chose Christina!
After Adam hugged Blake, James McNeiece and Tonya Boyd-Cannon caught up with their coach and met their guest mentor: Ellie Goulding. They tackled the King of Pop’s “P.Y.T. (Pretty Young Thing).” This was going to be a battle-to-all-end-all-battles. I loved watching them go vocally neck-and-neck. However, the main star of the fight was Tonya Boyd-Cannon’s sick vocal range. They truly made Adam’s job hard and I am so glad that America is going to watch Tonya in the Knockouts!
Brian’s voice moved me! As soon as he sang his first few notes, the waterworks started up! Joshua’s tone also cut through like a knife as well. This was truly one of the best battles in all eight seasons. All three coaches could not advise Blake on whom to pick…because they were waiting to steal! After Blake declared Brian the winner, Adam stole Joshua!
Tomorrow night, “The Voice: Season Eight” battles heat up as a three-way steal is in the works!