I was all set to write a blog post on the “art of the steal” and then I got blindsided by the “knockout” round. I’m not sure what the point of the steals were if they were just going to go into another situation where a coach might be forced to get rid of someone they wanted to keep.
But I guess those are the perils of having so many people on each team coming out of the blind auditions.
Another peril is the fact that we didn’t see certain battles. I understand that so many battles would really draw out the season, but, given that the singers rely on audience voting in the live rounds, it’s rather unfair that they don’t all get the same exposure. Of course, from the promos, it seems that perhaps the live rounds will work differently so maybe it’s not so important.
In any case, here are some highlights from the battle rounds:
Bryan Keith vs. Collin McLoughin on “Santeria.” This was a forgone conclusion in my mind, but I was impressed with Collin’s performance. Apparently, the judges were too and this battle produced the first steal with Blake snagging Collin. Sadly, Blake didn’t keep him in the knockout round.
Nicole Nelson vs. Brandon Mahone on “Ain’t No Mountain High Enough.” I went into this loving both of them so I was hoping for a steal. I was pretty surprised that no one scooped up Brandon. But then I was also surprised that Nicole didn’t make it through the knockout round.
Interestingly, Adam kept both his steals in the knockout round. I had no strong opinions about Joselyn, but I thought Amanda killed it on “Paris (Ooh La La)” so I was quite happy to see her stick around.
This is a strong team, although I would rather have Nicole Nelson or Brandon Mahone over Joselyn Rivera. Loren Allred really came out of nowhere—in her battle round, she knocked out Brian Scartocci, but that’s one of the ones they didn’t show us and now I really wonder why.
Terry McDermott vs. Casey Muessigmann on “Carry On Wayward Son.” This was very close; they can both belt it. I think this battle may have come down to the steal. If Blake had chosen Casey, Terry would have been snapped up.
Blake had some pretty awful song choices as per usual. I like Florence and the Machine but “Dog Days Are Over” didn’t really seem right for either singer, or for this format. “Baggage Claim” had zero appeal; Blake needs to stop picking his wife’s songs. And don’t even get me started on “Conga.”
Julio Cesar Castillo
Besides Terry McDermott, who was incredible on “Maybe I’m Amazed,” Blake sort of had a nightmare knockout round. Granted, Gracia Harrison and Rudy Parris screwed themselves through song choice, but Blake lost a lot of good people here. I don’t see most of these remaining singers going very far. I didn’t like most of the song choices (Maybe Blake is cursed?). I already miss Collin McLoughin and Suzanna Choffel—I’d rather have either of them over anyone except Terry.
Team Cee Lo
Trevin Hunte vs. Amanda Brown on “Vision of Love.” Holy shit. I totally dismissed this woman in her blind audition, but that was amazing. Vocally, that is. I think both of them have to work on appearance and stage presence. But that was a well-deserved three-way steal. I’m thrilled both of these performers ended up making it through the knockout round as well.
Nicholas David vs. Todd Kessler on “She’s Gone.” I thought this song was a great choice for a battle and that these two were great together. I wish Todd had been stolen, I would have liked to hear more from him.
Avery Wilson vs. Chevonne on “Titanium.” This was a fun battle, but I was still sort of surprised that Chevonne was stolen by Christina. For some reason, I got a weird vibe off of Avery on this, and when he picked Chris Brown for his knockout round, I was kind of happy (though surprised) he didn’t move on.
This isn’t as strong as Adam’s team, but these five are the ones I probably would have chosen myself. I really loved Cody’s rendition of “Jolene” and, while I didn’t love the stripped-down “Call Me Maybe” by Mackenzie, I thought it at least showed initiative. I thought Teresa and Caitlin sang well, but I didn’t particularly like them before so I’m fine with them exiting now. I am sorry to see Mycle Wastman go, he was good and we didn’t get to see him in his initial battle round. I find it hilarious that Cee Lo now has an all-guy team.
Nelly’s Echo vs. De’Borah on “Message in a Bottle.” Wow, Nelly’s Echo was my favorite going into this round and this performance, but I thought De’Borah killed it. I’m sort of shocked there was no steal and was kind of hoping that Christina wouldn’t use one of hers and somehow bring back Nelly’s Echo.
Aside from De’Borah, Christina really ended up with team bland, didn’t she? That may be her choice, but I thought she should have put together different people for the knockout round. I would much prefer Aquile or Chevonne to Devyn, Adriana, or Dez.
Current Favorites: Amanda Brown, Melanie Martinez, Terry McDermott, Cody Belew, Mackenzie Bourg, De’Borah
In the end, I like the steal, although I don’t always think it was used wisely by the coaches. Also, I would have preferred it if it could have been used in the knockout round as well.