'The Voice' Season 6 battle rounds Week 3: Only 1 steal remains
Battle 1: Austin Ellis vs. Josh Kaufman (Team Levine)
Song: "Happy" by Pharrell
Both men sound nice on this song, but it seems to suit Austin's voice just a little more, at least at the beginning. He just sounds richer than Josh, though Josh does loosen up as the song goes on, plus his falsetto is nice and he handles the high harmony with aplomb. It's a tough one and a great battle to kick off the episode. We were Team Austin at first, but by the end, we were Team Josh, so it's a hard choice. But we would vote for Josh Kaufman.
Winner: Coach Levine declares Josh the winner and that's the right choice, though Shakira says that this was one of the best battles of the season. Unfortunately, nobody steals Austin.
Battle 2: Alaska & Madi vs. Audra McLaughlin (Team Shelton)
Song: "When Will I Be Loved?" by Linda Ronstadt
Great Linda Ronstadt tune, terrific choice on Shelton's part. In fact, the opening few bars is like an awesome trio, can't they just form a new group? They all do a great job, but they could all rein in the shouting just a touch. Like, we don't need to be able to watch your uvula vibrating in high-def, you know? And while Alaska & Madi don't do a bad job by any means, we think Audra is stronger and would vote for her to win.
Winner: The judges affirm our feelings that the girls could be shouty at times, though Levine says that he's mad he doesn't have a steal to use on whichever artist Shelton doesn't pick. Either way, Shelton picks Audra to advance and says a voice like hers is missing from country radio right now. That's fairly true. Shelton is also irritated nobody steals Alaska & Madi.
Battle 3: Deja Hall vs. Music Box, (Team Shakira)
Song: "Eternal Flame" by The Bangles
This choice suits Deja's clear tone much more than it does Music's throatier, gospel voice. It might be just because the original is so engrained, but we much prefer Deja's sound on this, plus she seems to be having more of an emotional connection with the song. Deja also sounds so current, she's like the next teen pop star ready to go. We would pick Deja easily in this one.
Winner: Shakira says basically what we said about Music and picks Deja, but Usher steals Music Box to his team, which is not a huge shocker and definitely great for her.
Battle 4: Madilyn Paige vs. Tanner James (Team Usher)
Song: "Everything Has Changed" by Taylor Swift
They bill this as the "most adorable battle ever" and it totally is. These two should team up as a duo and tour the country (or Utah) being cute and playing up the young love thing. But alas, this is a battle and Tanner's very earnest and puppy doggy, but Madilyn wipes the floor with him, for us. She has such an interesting tone to her voice and doesn't miss a step, she's another one who is very, very current. She is a little pop star in the making.
Winner: Madilyn and that is absolutely the right decision.
Battle 5: Dawn & Hawkes vs. Josh Murley (Team Levine)
Song: "Stuck In the Middle With You" by Stealers Wheel
In rehearsals, Levine says the three-part harmony needs to be "killer." Perhaps they could cut off a cop's ear as a warm-up exercise. Anyway, the performance is good, though the song is just more dynamic with D&H doing their harmony thing, plus Murley's voice is a little nasally for our taste. The duo really just dominates this, this is the second battle in a row where we see a clear-cut winner.
Winner: Dawn & Hawks are declared the winner, but Shakira steals Josh as he is leaving the arena. Exciting!
Battle 6: Bria Kelly vs. Tess Boyer (Team Usher)
Song: "Piece of My Heart" by Janis Joplin
Based on rehearsals, Bria is is more Janis-y. That suits this song, but it's also hard to control and easy to go off the rails. However, when they perform Tess really sounds awesome on the lower, throaty verse stuff and Bria has a weird pronunciation thing going on, what is with that? Weirdly, we thought we were going to like Bria here but we pick Tess.
Winner: Usher picks Bria, but thankfully, Blake Shelton steals Tess.
So Blake, Usher and Shakira each used a steal tonight, which means the only steal remaining for tomorrow night's battles is Usher's second one.
Do you agree with all the judges' choices tonight?