This weekend on The Voice UK, it’s a double bill. With the blind auditions over, the Coaches’ Battle has only just begun.
Tonight and tomorrow night, it’s a Battle. All of the 40 contestants had to go head-to-head against each other to win a place in the next round.
Each Coach had a celebrity to help them, and with Anna Matronic from the Scissor Sisters helping Jessie J, Paloma Faith helping Danny O’Donoghue, Cerys Matthews with Sir Tom, SantIago with will.i.am, it really was a case of – Who will survive?
First up was Team will. Joelle Moses vs. Jenny Jones. 21 year old Joelle was excited, whilst 25 year old Jenny was hoping to make her passion a career. In their VT, will said: “The reason I paired you guys was because you both have the package. You are both divas.” Their song was I’m Every Woman, and in rehearsals, it was apparent that Jenny was quite strong in her vocal abilities. Joelle, on the other hand, felt quite scared of Jenny’s powerfulness. They were both on the stage and were looking very fierce. Joelle started it all off, with a very soulful voice, but when Jennny came in, in EF’s opinion, it was clear that she was the stronger candidate. Both girls gave it their all, and it was a great opening performance for the show. Jessie J said: “You both have different qualities in your voices, but you were both really good. Jenny, you grew into it.” Tom said: “Jenny has a firm voice, but Jeolle has the edge.” Danny said: “Both were flawless, but I’d go with Joelle.” will.I.am said: “When we were at the piano rehearsals, Joelle came in like you didn’t have competition. But then Jenny came in and surprised us all. Joelle, we talked about where you needed to come with, and there was one point where you blew me away. But Jenny, you punched it. But you came through Joelle, and I want you to come with me to the live sessions.” So, Joelle Moses is the first to go through to the live shows! Well done Joelle.
Next up was Team Danny. It was Max Milner vs. Bill Downs. Danny’s reasons for ringing them together was: “I feel like you could work together well and you’ll both have great careers.” Paloma Faith helped Danny, and her pet hate was: “Singers standing on stage motionless”, so she decided to make them feel the music. Their battle song was Beggin’ by Madcon. They both started together, but then split. To be honest, you couldn’t tell much difference between them, until Max started rapping which was very good to hear. As the song went on, Bill’s voice came through and he was the better singer in our opinion. Will said: “First up, that was a dope ballad you put together. Max, you’re like maximum there. Sometimes, you went a bit flat. If I had to pick, I’d have gone will Bill.I.am right there.” Jessie said: “You were very entertaining.” Tom said: “I wouldn’t know what to do right now. You are evenly matched right now.” Coach Danny said: “I’m thinking the UK are looking at me thinking I’m an idiot for putting you together right now. Max, I’ve seen a spark in you, but over the course of rehearsals and tonight, I’ve seen Bill come on so much. I’m going with my gut instinct, and I’m taking through Max.” EF thinks this might have been the wrong decision, but Bill can now marry his fiance!
Team Tom was next, and it was Aundrea Nyle vs. Sam Butteny. Both had strong personalities, so it was going to be a tough battle. Cerys Matthews helped Tom, and they were both excited. Sam was very overwhelmed to be coached by his idol. Their song was A Little Less Conversation. Aundrea said: “I want to win this battle for me and my girls.” Sam started things off, and with his different voice. Aundrea then came in, and her strong voice dominated the battle. EF felt that Aundrea bit off her words a bit too much, and Sam had more of a musical ability inside of him. Whilst Aundrea had the groove, Sam felt a lot more interesting. Will said: “My eyebrows were so far back, I had to pull them back!” Jessie said: “Such personalities with voices. Wow.” Tom said: “In rehearsals you were both fantastic. You did that song justice. I think the one that I’m gonna take to the live show is Sam.” Good choice Sir Tom. Sam said: “Wow…I’m completely…erm…I feel like the biggest bee!!”
Team Jessie was next, and it was Kirsten Joy vs. Tony Warne. Kirsten is a backing vocals, and wanted more. Tony had a powerful voice, and had overcome many obstacles in her blind auditions. Both girls were feeling very happy to be at the battle stage, and were very in awe towards each other’s voices. Their song was Freedom by Aretha Franklin, and they started off as strong and amazing as each other. So far, this was the best battle! Both girls had it going on, and EF could not pick between them. If we had to pick, we couldn’t! Each of them had attitude in their singing and came alive during the song. Jessie was on her feet by the end and EF had tears! Tom said: “Oh, I wouldn’t know who to pick. You are two fantastic singers.” Dannny said: “Both of you were incredible, and you both took it over the edge!” will said: “I never thought two voices could sound like a choir!” Jessie said: “I would be scared to sing with you guys, there was no note out. You two have the best female voices I’ve heard in the UK. Tony, music is in your heart. Everytime I’m with Kirsten, I can see the passion. You are not a backing vocalist.” Making her decision, she said: “I love you girls, you know that right? Don’t cry, cause I’ll cry. I’m taking through Tony.” Tony was very happy.
Next up was Team Danny and it was Vince Freeman vs. Bo Bruce. All Vince ever wanted was the opportunity to show what he could do. Bo had a different style, and it was her style rather than vocal that made Danny turn round. Danny said: “They’ve got contrasting voices, and that’s why I put them together.” In rehearsals, Vince drowned out Bo, and it was difficult for him to control his voice. His biggest challenge would be to reign his power. Their song was With Or Without You by U2. Barefooted Vince started proceedings off, with Bo coming in a little later. Bo has a very atmospheric voice which you could listen to all day. Vince, however, exceeded in the higher noted, where he was much stronger. Bo’s rendition was very haunting. Having said that, Vince was amazing. They were both amazing! Will said: “I don’t know whether to be honest, but I will. Bo, you’re an amazing singer. It was like I was watching a Grammy performance. But Vince, you’re like you’re selling out your own festivals. You’re both like superstars!” Tom said: “It sounded like a great duet, like they should sing together. I couldn’t be able to pick one for the other and thank God I don’t have to.” Danny said: “I’ve grown to known these people. Bo, your voice. Wow. Vince, you executed it beautifully. I’m basing this decision on who I think will go into the music business straight away and who will sell the most amount of records. The person I’m taking into the live show is Bo Bruce.” Good choice Danny! EF would have picked Bo too! She was something else!
Next up was Team will.i.am. It was Tyler James vs. Heshima Thompson. Tyler’s audition was the chance to re-start his career after his friend Amy Winehouse’s death. After being told their track, neither competitior was happy with their song. Will said: “I threw this curveball for a reason.” They both respected that. Heshima said: “I’m cool. I’m a big boy, I can talk.” will was taken aback a bit, and said: “Heshima needs to drop a whole bunch of attitude. SantIago asked: “What’s holding you back with this song?” Heshima said: “Is this a question?!” You could feel the tension. Ohhh. But, in dress rehearsal, he said he felt better with the song choice. Their song was Chris Brown’s Yeah 3x. Heshima started off, very strongly, with Tyler coming in later. When Tyler did come in, he was a little bit flat. They both went flat later, and EF felt uncomfortable watching it. Jessie said: “Tyler, I loved the fact you put your own spin on that. Heshima, I felt you crammed so much in, but amazing vocals.” Tom said: “I thought you were both great, but with Tyler, it sounded more interesting.” will said: “This is hard. I threw this song, but it was a challenge to see how we could flip it up. Tyler, you knocked me out. That was amazing. Heshima, every lick was incredible. That’s why this is hard. I’m gonna need somebody that knows how to take it and own it, so you can forget the original, so I’m going to take Tyler.” Considering Heshima’s attitude towards will at rehearsals, EF agrees with will.i.am.
Next was Team Jessie, with Vince Kidd vs. Jessica Hammond. EF loved Vince when we first saw him, and Jessica impressed us with her audition. Jessie placed them together because: “The way they do songs is very different.” In rehearsals, they were struggling to get the battle going. Anna asked: “How often do you compete with the person you’re on stage with?” Jessie agreed and said: “It’s difficult to battle with someone you like so much.” Their song wasWe Found Love by Rihanna. Jessica started things off slowly, and when Vince came in, it was apparent who had the stronger voice. Jessica sounded very vulnerable and pure though. When the song when into its own, both were very strong. If EF had to choose, we would go with Vince – he has everything, and looked as if he was enjoying performing much more than Jessica was. Tom said: “Jessica would be the one for me.” Danny said: “Jessica, I was very worried, but you held your own tonight.” Jessie said: “You two put your own spin on songs, and you’ve done it again. You both drew me into your voices. This is tough.” Making her decision, she said: “The person I’m taking through to the lives with me is…Vince!” YAY! We 100% agree with Miss Jessie J!
Team will was next, and it was Jay vs. Jaz Ellington. Jaz’s audition was memorable after he sang Ordinary People and made his Coach cry. Will put them together because: “I have two of my best male singers, with the best vocal abilities.” In rehearsals, Jay said: “My fear, Jaz has a high voice, and I think he’s gonna murder me.” Jaz, however, had a chest infection, but will told him he had to find a way to overcome it. SantIago said: “I was on tour with Prince, but I had pneumonia, but I had to get on with it.” Their song was I Heard It On The Grapevine by the amazing Marvin Gaye. Jay started things off, and he was very groovy, when Jaz came in, however, his voice completely blew EF away. Whilst their voices suited the song, EF felt that it would be a very difficult decision for will to choose between the two. Who would you choose? Jessie said: “What are you doing putting them together? Television is not ready for this talent!” Danny said: “The reason why I’m standing is to make a statement. This is what The Voice is all about. Jaz, you have the tone and talent. Jay, you held your own so much dude.” Will said: “You guys don’t sing alike, but you have so much in common. I’ve worked with Justin Timberlake before, and Jay, you are better than him! Jaz, you had this one riff, and it knocked me out! There was a part in the beginning where you was flat, and you have bronchitis. If that what you sound like with bronchitis? Shazam! You both killed it, and knocked us all out. Jaz, I want to take you on to the lives!” Good choice will, but commiserations Jay. That was one of the best Battles we’ve seen!
Last tonight was Team Tom. Deniece Pearson vs. Ruth Brown. Deniece found fame in the 80s, and felt her experience could help her. Ruth felt in awe of her competitor. In rehearsals, Ruth broke down whilst singing because the lyrics meant so much for her after the death of her father last year. It was very emotional to watch. Their song wasNo One by Alicia Keys. Deniece started it off, and her lovely voice was very strong and we thought we couldn’t hear any other voice, until Ruth came in. We did feel that Ruth was shouting a bit. She did have a great voice, but she needed to tone it a bit down. Deniece was very polished. Ruth did keep her emotions in check, and produced some very high notes. Danny said: “That was amazing. I honestly heard every note ever created by music. It was beautiful. Deniece, you’re a professional. Ruth, you were great. I was captivated.” Tom said: “Help me! You feel the soul, from the bottom. Deniece has experience, and you have Ruth. You’re coming from a different place, there’s things that come out of you and its built in and it works!” Choosing the winner was very difficult, he said: “The one I’m bringing to the live shows is Ruth.” EF thinks he may have made the wrong decision, but maybe Ruth can control how much she shouts in the live shows. We hope so.
What a show that was! All of the singers were truly amazing, and EF can not wait to see the them all live! With another Battles round tomorrow night – let’s bring it on!