10 Best and Worst Moments of ‘The Voice’ Battles Round 2 (Guest Blog)

10 Best and Worst Moments of 'The Voice' Battles Round 2 (Guest Blog)

From left, Delvin Choice, Josh Kaufman (Tyler Golden/NBC)

A Season 2 semifinalist, I blog about the NBC competition for TheWrap

This is the first week of Battles: Round 2, a new addition to NBC's “The Voice” format. The only things differentiating it from the previous round are 1) duos pick their own song (from a short list), 2) there is only one steal per coach left, and 3) Coldplay's Chris Martin. Let's have a cup of PG Tips (in honor of Mr. Martin) and chat my highlights from the last two episodes.

1. Unofficial theme song of “The Voice”
The week kicked off with coach Blake Shelton's pairing of country balladeer Audra McLaughlin with rocker Megan Ruger. While Megan's more precise approach worked well for “The Climb,” it quickly became clear the song was better suited to Audra's honeyed tone. Blake gave Audra the win, noting “The Climb” could easily be the theme song for everyone on this show.

2. Oh hey, Chris Martin!
The most exciting aspect of a second battle round is the addition of Chris Martin as mentor to all four coaches. Not only did he send the contestants into fits of fan girling, but he was also incredibly charming this week – asking “Does she twerk in that song?” in response to Miley Cyrus‘s “The Climb” and suggesting Harry Styles as a romantic motivation for Deja Hall. Most importantly, I think we all enjoy hearing Blake say, “This is my new friend Chris Martin,” because how weird is that??

Also read: ‘The Voice’ Coaches Shakira and Blake Shelton to Duet on ACM Awards

3. Windsurf into my life…
Coach Usher called his pairing of Cierra Mickens and T.J. Wilkins “the battle of the soul singers,” and their song choice (my go-to karaoke jam “Get Here”) delivered one of the best duets of the week. It also gifted us with the sight of T.J. giddily recounting how he and mentor Chris Martin bonded over the line “You can windsurf into my life.” Both contestants did a beautiful job, but ultimately T.J.'s more pliable voice earned him the win.

4. Feel-good battles
Some of the best battles on this show are the ones that are the least cutthroat, where contestants seem to genuinely like each other and enhance their partner's strengths. Jake Worthington and Tess Boyer are a perfect example. The Team Blake duo merged Jake's country style with Tess's pop style and gave a connected and engaging performance of “Have A Little Faith In Me” that allowed them both to shine. Blake awarded the win to Jake for his fierce rendition, but the surprising Tess also won a steal via Shakira after all three coaches turned their chairs to fight for her.

5. When Battles: Round 2 falls flat
One problem with repeating the basic conceit of the last round is that battle fatigue has already set in. The show's attempt to squeeze human drama out of the lackluster performances of Team Shakira's DDendyl versus Deja Hall and Team Adam's Christina Grimmie versus Sam Behymer might have worked last week, but now we've been there and done that. If the battles aren't excellent or close to excellent, they just fall flat like these pairings.

Also read: NBC's ‘The Voice’ Taps Pharrell Williams as New Coach

6. They came two by two
Coach Shakira is a little like Noah, taking fleeing Team Adam members onto her arc in groups of two. This week's two consisted of Josh Murley and Patrick Thomson. While Josh's voice was more technically impressive on “Run to You,” Patrick won the battle with his distinctive tone and expressive performance, earning himself a spot in coach Shakira's Top 5.

7. Drop the mic!
In the best and most evenly matched performance this week, Team Adam's Delvin Choice and Josh Kaufman tore through “Signed, Sealed, Delivered” like their lives depended on it. While Josh was the more obvious choice to win, Delvin shocked everyone (including coach Adam Levine) with his powerful, roaring vocals, showing clear improvement since the last round and meeting Josh note for note. Both had some fantastic moments, but Adam chose the infectious Delvin, leaving Josh available for a steal via Usher.

8. What planet did you come from, and can I go there?
Team Blake's Sisaundra Lewis has an incredible voice that is not of this earth, and Biff Gore has a jaunty sidekick that makes the world go round. Their duet “It's a Man's, Man's, Man's World” was my personal favorite this week. It gave Biff the chance to demonstrate his lived-in style while allowing Sisaundra to do what Sisaundra does best – blow everyone away with her stunning vocal prowess and range, earning herself a spot in Blake's Top 5.

Also read: 10 Best and Worst Moments of ‘The Voice’ Battle Rounds Week 2 (Guest Blog)

9. My buddy
What's the deal with that furry creature sitting atop Usher's head this week? Is it an old childhood friend? A talisman that gives him good luck? Who knows, but he's making it work.

10. Most satisfying steal
Team Usher's Stevie Jo rightly won his battle against Morgan Wallen after their duet “The Story of My Life,” giving a strong performance that showed off his vocal dexterity. However, the real story of their battle was watching Morgan discover parts of his voice he didn't even know existed. That was irresistible to Adam who gestured him over to do a fist pump on his way out, then pressed his button for a heartwarming, last minute steal.

Who were your favorites this week? Also, how do you feel about the news that Pharrell Williams will be taking CeeLo's place next season? One of our faithful commenters suggested this weeks ago (good call!). This is a HUGE catch for the show, but will Arby's let Pharrell borrow his hat back for this special occasion? Leave your predictions in the comments.

Also read: 11 Best and Worst Moments From ‘The Voice’ Battle Rounds Week 1 (Guest Blog)

If you're in the L.A. area, join for a show at The Hotel Café Thursday, April 10th (tickets available here!). And don't forget to check out my album “In & Out of the Dark,” which is available on iTunes NOW. For more updates, follow me on Twitter at @katrinapmusic and visit my website, katrinaparker.com.

  • David Perkins

    I couldn't agree more about the relative ho-hum-ness of some second round Battles, and we have to endure six more pairs before it's over. Even worse, the show's other ‘high drama’ event — the steal — had virtually no dramatic impact whatsoever. Most all the steals were telegraphed by teasers before they occurred. And, every Tuesday show of all the Battle rounds followed the ‘two-and-a-steal’ blueprint. That is, two full performances, followed by a third pairing that resulted in a steal. Breathtaking. Let's not forget poor Kristen Merlin. How'd she become the montagee of choice this season?

    • wat

      Out of these six remaining battles, who do you personally think Blake would be interested in stealing?

      Brittnee Camelle vs. Jake Barker

      Madilyn Paige vs. Bria Kelly

      Clarissa Serna vs. Dani Moz

      Dawn and Hawkes vs. Kat Perkins

      Music Box vs. Melissa Jimenez

    • wat

      I think Jake, Bria, Clarissa, Dawn and Hawkes, and Music Box will be winners with Blake stealing Dani Moz.

      • David Perkins

        Let's see now… They've stacked a bunch of potentially great pairings into the (thankfully) last Battle show. As a result, I expect some big surprises are in store. In addition to that, Adam has been dumping his earlier favorites like crazy. I'll take Jake, Bria, Dani, Kat and Music Box as winners. Blake steals the person closest to his heart – Madilyn. In the Battle not listed, Ryan beats Kaleigh. How's that? (I hope it turns out better than my March Madness bracket.)

        • wat

          Oops, forgot about that one. Also you take Dani over Clarissa?!

          • David Perkins

            Yup. I'm REALLY expecting the final battle show to have some HUGE shocker in it. Dani over Clarissa would certainly meet the criteria.

          • wat

            Clarissa being eliminated would be a bit TOO shocking lol

          • David Perkins

            Fasten your seat belt! Seriously, it's a wild pick, but I sense an upset. Another factor: Shak makes the choice. Still too shocking? BTW: I got a confirmation on the voting change. No live shows and no voting until the Top 12.

          • wat

            …Haha I always forget to not think rationally when Shakira makes the choices.

            May I see your confirmation source? Just so I can read up.

          • David Perkins

            In response to questions on his Voice recap (including mine), Michael Slezak, columnist at TVLine, sent the following Tweet at 11 am Pacific today: “The Top 20 will perform. Then each coach will narrow his/her team from 5 to 3. The Top 12 will then compete live for our votes.” There hasn't been official word from NBC or The Voice. That will likely come on Monday's show. Carson did, however, mention a ‘new’ Playoff round in his sign-off teaser Tuesday night.

          • wat

            While it's a good thing that the coaches will get to throw trios that they feel represent their team the best and will have the most success with America's votes into the live shows, I'm disappointed that we won't get the suspense of seeing which 8 out of the Top 20 America likes the least.

          • David Perkins

            Yeah, I'll miss the voting and I'll have an extended comment on that later. (Still working on it.) But, it gives us prognosticators the opportunity to guess which three artists each coach will select.

          • wat

            …True! You know how much I like trying to predict! Haha. I already have a good idea of who the coaches will go with but of course I'll reserve any predictions for after Monday's night's results.

          • David Perkins

            Unless Katrina writes a Battle Round wrap-up blog after Monday's show (wink wink), some Tuesday Playoff results may already be public by the time this delightful space is filled late Wednesday morning (wink wink cough. Ahem, excuse me).

          • wat

            Yeah I was thinking that too. Katrina will potentially have to find 10 things for one episode (final battle episode) and 10 things for another (first Playoff episode). Good luck Katrina! (wink wink)

          • David Perkins

            An extra Hollyblog next week would be terrific. (P.S. don't tell Katrina that we could simply bookmark this blog, and post our predictions right here on Tuesday. Shhhhh. It'll be our secret.)

          • wat

            I wonder how many episodes the new Playoffs will occupy.

          • David Perkins

            The live shows start on 21 April, so they've got three episodes to fill — one 2-hour Monday and two 1-hour Tuesdays. There are 20 artists to perform. I see two potential options. 1. They use up all three available episodes (April 8, 14 and 15) with Playoff performances, coaches decisions, filler crap and, probably, some montages. 2. They squeeze it all into two episodes (April 8 and 14) with lots of montages, and then have a final one-hour clip show (April 15) that re-introduces viewers to the Top 12 — in case we've forgotten everything. In short, there are four hours available, starting next Tuesday 4/8.

          • wat

            I think they'd go with the latter. Two episodes of Playoffs and then a recap episode showing the journeys of each of the top 12.

    • Katrina Parker

      Haa, they did make it kind of obvious, didn't they? It's as if their heart wasn't in filming or editing this round.

      • David Perkins

        If they follow the blueprint on Monday, the final pairing of the final (please!) Battle Round show will result in a steal. I'm predicting it's Bria vs Madilyn. Blake steals Ms Paige.

        • Adam

          Hmm… any chance Usher actually keeps Madilyn? It wouldn't be his first time letting go of a four-chair artist (see also Ryan Innes and Biff Gore).

          • David Perkins

            Anything is possible, but it's difficult to imagine Usher dropping Bria — unless her Battle with Madilyn is extra-extra horrible, and that's hard to imagine as well.

    • Honey Badger Don't Care

      Since she was this year's lesbian contestant, I think they used Kristen for her story, and never thought much would happen with her after that. So since there's nothing to exploit her for, they just montage her.

  • April Sokol

    I was personally hoping that the 4th coaching chair would go to Jill Scott :( Why does it seem like there can only be one female judge anyway?? I really enjoyed her mentoring this season..so maybe I'll get my wish in the future. I LOATHE the montage. If they would have cut out the completely unnecessary watching of their first battle bit..they wouldn't have had to cut out poor Kristen :(

    • David Perkins

      And they showed the artists meeting with their families prior to their second battles. Cute. But, when time is at a premium, I'd prefer actual singing.

      • April Sokol

        Completely agree!! Although Sam's Mom telling her to ‘open her face and let the awesome come out” was kind of priceless :)

      • Katrina Parker

        Oh, the excessive amount of pre-battle voice-overs were killing me. Trying to wring out all that drama where there was none (“If I don't win, I have to go back to school! The horror!”) It was a bit much.

    • David Perkins

      Agreed. Jill was a fantastic mentor this season. At this time, there's no guarantee that Christina will be ready and/or available when taping starts for Season 7. Jill would be a perfect fit.

    • wat

      Jill Scott was a great mentor and has tons of wisdom and a great sense of humor, but for some reason I'm having a hard time seeing her mesh well with Shevine.

      • Katrina Parker

        Why do you feel that way? Do you think she's too intense and/or not quirky enough? I would love to see a more no nonsense, fiercely intelligent female hand them their a***es in a non-flirtatious way occasionally, haaa.

        • wat

          Idk, their respective senses of humor are very different haha. But if she was chosen as a coach, I'd absolutely love it because she'd cater to so many things The Voice was missing (that singer-songwriter lane as well as having a, as you said, no-nonsense intelligent female). However if Jill were to replace Christina, we'd also lose the seemingly more popular “powerhouse” lane.

          • David Perkins

            On the flip side, I don't see the producers adding anyone considered a ‘diva’ to the coaching panel. It's not a good fit. Second, former mentors are most likely chosen as new coaches. Third, coaches on The Voice are nice. (Sometimes too much so.) There's never harsh or degrading criticism. Jill would be ideal in all respects. My favorite mentoring moment of this season was Jill's comment about ‘attitude’ in the Melissa Jimenez/Brittnee Camelle pairing. It was absolutely no-nonsense and biting, but not nasty. Perfect!

          • wat

            Oh, what I'd give to be a fly on the wall in one of the producers’ meetings…

    • Katrina Parker

      Jill!!! My imaginary BFF. That's a good point. I mean, I'm happy they nabbed Pharrell, but agree that Jill would be incredible (and I also agree it would be refreshing to see a female majority for once).

      Ugh, it puts Kristen at such a disadvantage, which is just wrong. I abhor montages in this round more than ever.

      • Elle Kay

        Montage abuse has hit a new level this season. I made a comment above about it that seems to have disappeared into the byte bin. Would love to see Jill Scott as mentor too, but wonder if they will ever get someone who connects with indie and rock artists like CeeLo did.

    • Honey Badger Don't Care

      American Idol tried the two female judge thing. It was horrible.

      • April Sokol

        American Idol has never really been about the talent. It was always more about the judges and their bickering (Simon and Paula from the get go) So of course they were looking to create drama when they picked Mariah and Nicki as judges. It was a stunt to gain media attention..nothing more, nothing less.

        • Honey Badger Don't Care

          Well in all fairness, The Voice is all about the judges too. There is no lack of bickering between Adam and Blake.

    • Elle Kay

      Love Jill Scott as a mentor, and we still don't know whether or not Xtina is coming back next season with her pregnancy. Shakira was able to work it into her schedule just fine, but it may be more complicated with Xtina's due date.

  • David Perkins

    From the stats department: How well are the artists who turned one chair in the Blind Auditions doing so far this season? They’re doing just fine.

    In S6, 13 1-Chairs were selected in the Blinds. Six of them remained standing after Part One of the Battles. As of today, two 1-Chairs are in the Top 20 – Tess Boyer and Stevie Jo. Two more 1-Chairs – Dani Moz and Ayesha ‘MB’ Brooks – haven’t yet performed. So, at least two (and up to four) artists will make the Top 20 this season.

    In Season 5, there were 11 1-Chairs chosen in the Blinds. Only three survived the Battle Round, and only one survived the Knockout Round — Cole Vosbury. As we know, Cole ended up in the Top 5 last season.

    Season 4 had all of 17 1-Chair artists chosen in the Blinds. Five of them got through the Battle Round, and four survived the Knockouts, reaching the Top 16. That season, one 1-Chair artist — Amber Carrington — went to the Top 5.

    Should we expect a 1-Chair artist in the Top 5 this season? I wouldn’t bet against it – at least not with that super-resilient Tess Boyer in the mix.

    • wat

      I think Stevie Jo will also go far.

      • Diane

        Agree!

        • David Perkins

          And possibly Morgan as well.

    • Diane

      And don't forget our very own Katrina Parker here – she was Team Adam season 2 and top 8. She should have been top 4 (probably would've won) because America voted her to the finals, but Adam swayed the vote (still mad!).

      • David Perkins

        We never forget our very own. We simply didn't include the first three seasons.

        • Diane

          ok, good! lol

      • Katrina Parker

        Haaa, it's cool – Diane! I don't hold it against Adam. ;) Everything happens for a reason!

        • Diane

          You are a better person then me because I still hold it against him. lol. you are amazing and deserved it – more than the other guy. Glad to see though that you didn't let it stop you. Your album is wonderful – a favorite of mine. I wish you only the best.

    • Katrina Parker

      I would love an underdog story, so yes – let's expect it! Once again – loving the statistics!

      • wat

        I've said it since the beginning, and I'll keep on saying it, Stevie Jo is my favorite underdog lol. I need Usher to treat him like the second coming of Michelle Chamuel and take him to Usher Boot Camp. Just imagine the result.

    • Elle Kay

      Amber Carrington was the last person to get on a team in her season, but still made impressive progress. Danielle was a 3 chair turn the same season. Tess has the best dark horse potential this season, especially since her blind was montaged.

      • David Perkins

        I certainly agree about Tess. Stevie Jo (also a surviving 1 chair) is another dark horse to watch.

        • wat

          Today I was listening to Usher's “Burn” and I think it'd be an amazing song for Stevie Jo to perform during the Live Shows. The falsettos at the end would be big hit. After all, as Usher says, “these girls, they love a man with a falsetto.”

  • wat

    The only battles I enjoyed were Delvin vs. Josh, Stevie vs. Morgan, and of course Biff vs. Sisaundra. Looking at the remaining six battles, those three will likely remain the only ones I like lol

    • Katrina Parker

      Delvin/Josh and Biff/Sisaundra were both masterful duets – they were so above and beyond the other battles, it was like watching an entirely different show. I miss Biff already!

      • wat

        Don't remind me. :(

  • xheyheyo

    I didn't think I'd like BR 2 but I was more than pleasantly surprised. Some really great battles.

    Sisaundra vs Biff
    Delvin vs Josh
    Jake vs Tess
    Stevie Jo vs Morgan
    Cierra vs TJ

    I liked a lot of people this season, almost seemed unfair anyone had to go home.

    There has to be a way to keep Madylin on the show. I do think Blake will steal her.

    I'm thrilled that Pharrell will be on next season. I've wanted him to be a coach since I saw him as Usher's advisor in Season 4. Figured he'd be too busy and too big of a ‘get'.

  • wat

    Speaking of Pharrell, I'm SO excited for Season 7 because of him. Just imagine the song choices he'll make or the adviser he'll choose. That guy knows music.

    • David Perkins

      See that? My Madilyn steal prediction has support!

      • wat

        Haha we'll see David!

    • Honey Badger Don't Care

      It all depends on what songs they can clear for the air.

      • wat

        True, I forgot about clearance.

  • David Perkins

    CONSPIRACY THEORIES ABOUND!

    I can’t help but wonder about the reason for the change in the Playoff format. It’s a big step after five seasons in which voting began immediately after the Battles or Knockouts. Doesn’t there have to be some purpose in mind beyond a simple tweaking of the show to ‘see how it goes.’ The Conspiracy Theories are plentiful:

    Perhaps there are some behind-the-scenes negotiations with iTunes, Sprint, Twitter or some other third party with financial or logistical ties to the voting process. Perhaps they want to trim the budget by cutting expensive live shows. Maybe the reason is more sinister — they want to ‘steer’ the show toward the likelihood that a certain artist (or ‘type’ of singer) wins. Or doesn’t win. (No man has won since S2. Have we had enough ‘country’ winners lately?) Perhaps they want to help a coach other than Shevine get a win. Maybe they think the show’s first super megastar is in this group, and they want to increase the chances he or she will win. Maybe they simply want more viewers ranting about idiotic choices the coaches make. Who knows?

    Could it be they’re making the change in order to create controversy? What evil genius! To paraphrase Oscar Wilde: ‘The only thing worse than being talked about, is not being talked about.’

    • http://precisely.me/ Pratik Bothra

      Definitely think it's the budget, as the 3rd singer is anyways the coach's choice, so they do have some influence even in the live round. How do you think the playoffs will work? It feels like its going to be like the british version, where each of the 5 perform a song of their choice, and the coach chooses 3.

      Btw just from the twitter feed, and active level of interest the contestants are showing on the Voice, can we make out who goes through to the top 12 and who doesn't. How long ago do you think the playoff's were actually shot?

      • David Perkins

        I've never seen the Brit version, but it would make sense that they'd use a format that has already been tested elsewhere. I don't get much from Twitter about how The Voice contestants are doing. Besides, my personal feed is so overloaded with tweets from Darby Stanchfield and others in the Scandal ‘family,’ it's somewhat surprising to me that they actually find the time to make a TV show. But, I digress…

        I detected the change in Playoff format because my TV listings indicated live shows started on 21 April. At the same time, many columnists who follow the show were reporting that part two Battle winners were moving on to the live shows. The time frames didn't match, so something had to be amiss. To my knowledge, the show itself hasn't said anything official about the format change, or how it will work. I surmise that will happen on Monday. Based on tidbits of info in comments sections like this around the web, I'm guessing that the ‘new’ Playoff round was taped near the end of March. It's an assumption, without much in the way of proof.

        The more I think about it, the less I think I know about who might make the Top 12. Based on their past decisions in the various Battle Rounds, it's tough to predict what any coach is thinking and/or how he/she makes decisions. I'm going on gut feelings, assumptions, and apparent popular sentiment from iTunes and what I read in Internet commentary. None of it reliable sources.

        • http://precisely.me/ Pratik Bothra

          Never seen the Brit version? You haven't missed much. :-)

          The Voice US, is definitely better. But, as BBC, has to factor in the cost of judge appearances, and as they operate on a much tighter budget, there are only 4 live shows -: live playoff (20 -> 12) , quarter-final (12->8), semi-final (8->4), and finals (4->1). Results are announced on the same day itself.

          But that wouldn't work here, as the Voice here uses iTunes as a rating measure, and America would panic at such mass-removal. :-)

          So far, i haven't been impressed with Christina Grimmie in the battle rounds, but just looking at twitter pictures I think she makes it to the top12. And so does Bria. Maybe even Jake, though I can't be sure.

          @Dasha_Saxobeat I hang with @BriaKelly @TessHannahMusic and @TheRealGrimmie pretty much all day :) #askjakebarker

          (All assuming that the playoffs have already been recorded)

          On Team Adam – Christina, Jake , ??? (Dawn and Hawkes/Delvin/Morgan)

          I'm not so sure about Dawn and Hawkes. Either they tweet less, or they are going to go out soon.

          #Pure-Speculation

          I was too tired after this, to follow tweets of other contestants, but I do wonder if there is any truth to it.

          • David Perkins

            Okay, but leaks that spoil the results are no fun at all. It's much more entertaining to make wild guesses. In this day and age, I think the show does a very good job of keeping things under wraps, especially because the Blinds and Battles are taped months before they air. The show producers have to contend with Twitter-gabby teens, their families and friends, members of studio audiences, a production team, and many dozens of others who have inside knowledge. It's a wonder that any of it remains secret. I'm glad it does.

          • http://precisely.me/ Pratik Bothra

            +1 :-)

          • David Perkins

            This season, I'm having a great time looking for clues about what'll happen next based on what the editors have done so far. They've been remarkably predictable by ending every Battle show with a steal. They've also chosen to telegraph upcoming steals with teasers. So, with one steal remaining in the final Battle show, will the ‘steal pairing’ be the last pairing in the episode? Yeah, probably. I'm guessing it's the Bria-Madilyn pairing, but I'm biased. I like Madilyn's voice, and she seems (to me) the best fit for Blake's steal. I could be way, way off. But, that's my best guess and I'm sticking with it.

            What about the other five pairings in the show? It's likely that the editors wouldn't have saved these five pairs for the last show unless there's some kind of high drama among them. Otherwise, the final Battle show would be dull as toast. To me, it stands to reason that there's a ‘shock and awe’ moment in at least one of these five battles — a major upset nobody saw coming. That's why I'm predicting a win for Dani Moz. Yeah, it's hard to imagine that outcome. But it doesn't seem too crazy to me. Of course, my sanity is open to question.

          • wat

            If the producers wanted a shock, Grimmie would be gone lol

          • David Perkins

            You lol my friend, but who's to say that Adam keeps Grimmie in his final three? Adam went ga-ga for Cary Laine in the Blinds. She's gone. Same for Josh Kaufman. Stolen. If he dumps Dawn & Hawkes this week, I'd be seriously worried for anyone Adam professes to like. Perhaps Grimmie's saving grace is that Adam has been more measured in his assessment of her, suggesting she can do better and ‘we haven't seen the best of you.’ The fact that Adam hasn't been overly ga-ga for Grimmie could be a sign that she stays.

          • wat

            We all know Grimmie isn't going anywhere. :P

            Despite saying I'd wait, I'm going to give my top 12 predictions (of course they obviously could be completely wrong considering the Battles aren't over yet and I didn't factor in Blake's steal but you know I can't help myself):

            Team Adam
            1. Christina Grimmie
            2. Delvin Choice
            3. Jake Barker (if not, Dawn & Hawkes just because I feel like the producers want one of the three duos to at least make it to the live shows)

            Team Shakira
            1. Clarissa Serna
            2. Tess Boyer
            3. Patrick Thomson

            Team Usher
            1. Bria Kelly
            2. Stevie Jo
            3. Josh Kaufman (if not, T.J. Wilkins)

            Team Blake
            1. Sisaundra Lewis
            2. Audra McLaughlin
            3. Jake Worthington

            (I'm going to save this comment so I can see how right and/or wrong I was lol)

          • David Perkins

            I've made my predictions for Monday's show, and I'm sticking to them. But I'm going to wait on Top 12 guesses until Monday results are in. After all, more than one-third of the Top 20 hasn't been selected yet. Besides, I'm having trouble getting into the coaches’ heads. Will they tend to choose their best singers? Or, will they choose their best singers who can win? It happens, but the ‘best’ voice doesn't necessarily beat the ‘most popular’ voice once voting starts. Everybody knows this. I wonder how much this fact figures into the coaches’ decision making.

          • wat

            That's exactly why my predictions are simply predictions. They can be wrong or right, doesn't matter. :)

            Also since the coaches don't really get anything from winning the show besides bragging rights and a new incentive for contestants in the new season, I think it's safe to assume that they choose who they believe are the best singers.

          • David Perkins

            Yes, but in addition to choosing the best singers, I get a sense that Blake and (to a lesser extent) Usher have a competitive spirit — more so than Adam and Shakira (and who knows what she's thinking). Absolutely, Blake and Usher want great talent, but I also think both want to win because they don't like to lose — at anything.

          • wat

            Do you think Blake's still competitive? I think he's more relaxed since Season 5. That's why, in my opinion, he's actually thinking outside the box for his team. Because after winning three times, why not? lol. Also Usher is competitive but not nearly as competitive as he was in Season 4.

          • David Perkins

            I can't resist. Subject to change after Monday night, here goes:

            TEAM ADAM:
            Christina Grimmie, Delvin Choice & Jake Barker
            TEAM BLAKE:
            Sisaundra Lewis, Jake Worthington & Audra McLaughlin (if not Audra, Madilyn)
            TEAM SHAKIRA:
            Patrick Thomson, Tess Boyer & Dani Moz
            TEAM USHER:
            Bria Kelly, Stevie Jo Rosenbalm & Josh Kaufman

            Wooo-hooo!

          • wat

            Hahaha you're sticking to your prediction of Clarissa losing her battle. Good to know we more or less see the same group advancing to the live shows.

          • David Perkins

            Yeah, in most cases it was relatively easy to pick the first two on each team. I went back and forth on some possible third team members. I thought there might be a slight chance that Adam might take Morgan Wallen instead of Jake, and that Usher could keep T.J. We shall see.

          • wat

            We shall see indeed.

            I think Adam keeps Delvin because he has a unique voice thus lots of possibilities, keeps Grimmie because DUH, and… You have me second guessing who he'd choose between Jake and Morgan lol

            I think Usher keeps Bria because she's the most unique member left on his team, keeps Stevie Jo because he's almost Usher Jr. and a potential heartthrob, and keeps Josh Kaufman just to have a soul artist in his ranks.

            I think Shakira keeps Clarissa because she's clearly her only frontrunner, keeps Tess because… Idk, some Shakira reason?, and keeps Patrick just because he's the most unique member left on her team.

            I think Blake keeps Sisaundra because he knows he'd be a fool to let her go, keeps Audra because she's his best female country artist, and keeps Jake because of his charm and the fact he's the only country male remaining.

          • David Perkins

            LOL!!!!! Basically, they keep Grimmie, Delvin, Bria and Sisaundra because DUH. LOL!!!

          • wat

            Haha yes. Precisely.

          • wat

            I'm going to change my Jake prediction to T.J. as plan A and Jake as plan B. I forgot how good T.J. was.

          • David Perkins

            Clarissa losing her battle to Dani isn't that much of a stretch. Yes, Clarissa turned four chairs in the Blinds and Dani was montaged as a one chair. So, on its face, it appears way, way unlikely. But, Tess Boyer was montaged as a one chair in the Blinds. Since then, Tess has been paired against two four chairs (Bria and Jake W.), and she has managed to survive both. Let us not forget that the ‘Story of Tess’ is partially invented. When they chose to montage Tess in the Blinds, the editors ALREADY KNEW she would get stolen twice. The ‘Cinderella story’ of Tess’ resurgence from a montaged nobody to a two-steal wonder isn't entirely based in fact. THEY KNEW. It's not impossible that another montaged one chair artist (Dani) could make the Top 20, or the Top 12. If I were an editor looking to create fake drama, I'd go for it.

          • wat

            Yeah I know. I just still don't see it happening. Especially her getting eliminated outright. *counts down the seconds until we can finally see the result*

          • wat

            Wow David…. I'll always trust your predictions now. x_x

          • David Perkins

            Thanks, I guess. The show doesn't start here for another 1-3/4 hours.

          • wat

            Oh. Sorry for the spoiler. But you were absolutely right. x_x *bows down*

          • David Perkins

            Not a problem. I'll get back to you in 90 minutes or so.

          • wat

            You, sir, are the prediction guru. I'm not worthy.

          • David Perkins

            Looking back, I got most of it. I missed on Melissa vs Music Box. Wearing my editor's hat, I also predicted the final battle pairing of the night, and the resulting steal. (Their editors are SO predicable.) Now, I REALLY want to change my predictions for the Top 12. I'm more convinced than ever that TPTB (Mark Burnett et al) are ‘steering’ the show toward a win for a coach that isn't Adam or Blake. How's this for an early prediction? Team Usher wins S6, but the ‘winner’ always has an asterisk (*) near his or her name because TPTB overstep their boundaries (and it is too obvious). Conspiracy? Yes. Another prediction? Okay. Now, it is ENTIRELY possible now that neither Grimmie nor Madilyn Page make the Top 12. It's not a certainty, but I'm leaning that way.

          • wat

            Yeah your two most important predictions were spot-on: The surprising elimination of Clarissa Serna and Madilyn Paige being Blake's steal (not surprising at all, but you were RIGHT).

            I thought Usher was going to win Season 6 from the start but I don't think it's being steered that way. I think they would've began fixing it in Season 4 instead of allowing Blake to get three wins in a row. It just seems like now Usher has built a better team than he did in Season 4 and his competitive edge will get him to the end victorious this time, with Adam naturally as his biggest competition.

          • wat

            Yes! I finally predicted something right (Blake's top 3). Granted, the choices were obvious but I'll still enjoy the glory lol

    • Diane

      I bet it is so the show has more control of who makes it to the top 12.

      • David Perkins

        It's hard to believe that there isn't some reason for the format change. My favorite ‘sinister’ theory is the ‘new’ coach hypothesis. That is, they're not manipulating the show to favor a particular artist. They're manipulating the show to favor artists on teams that are not coached by Adam or Blake. Sneaky!!

    • Elle Kay

      I'm not quite ready for the tinfoil hat I keep handy for Idol, but smh at some of the changes this season, mainly no voting until 3 per team…and the montage/filler abuse I can't seem to let up on whining about.

      One thing I have liked is they have had 2 older contestants (Biff & Sisaundra) who still have their pipes and use them well.

      • David Perkins

        It's sad there isn't much room for singers over 40 (and not much more room for singers over 30) on these shows. The teens and twenty-somethings are most marketable.

        • Elle Kay

          The Voice UK has a singer in her mid 50's in the finals on Team Tom. You're right about the music industry being biased for younger singers, but it's nice to see a few older ones on singing shows who haven't blown their voices out.

          I love watching international versions of the Voice and even the X Factor and not just for older singers, but the unpredictability factor. The Italian version of The Voice even had a nun with a 4 chair turn!!

      • wat

        Last year had Donna Allen and E.G. Daily.

        • Elle Kay

          Neither one of them made the live shows, or Shauna P. from Season 4, but I'm holding out hope for Sisaundra.

          • wat

            She'll most definitely make it to the live shows but once her fate lands in the hands of America, that's when her age will get her eliminated.

  • David Perkins

    Three of this week’s Battle Rounders made the iTunes Top 200 Songs chart. Jake Worthington led the pack, followed distantly by Sisaundra Lewis and Christina Grimmie. I understand that iTunes purchases don’t mean much until voting starts with the Top 12. They’re simply one available measurement of early fan favorites. But the new format change adds a tad of significance.

    When the two-part Battles were taped, there wasn’t any iTunes charting.
    However, the Playoffs were taped much more recently — after iTunes results started to appear. I expect the coaches had people assigned to watching the various iTunes genre charts. (If I were a coach, and if I had people, I certainly would.) If that’s true, every coach had some idea about how every artist was charting when they cut their team from five to three.

    Sure, artists’ performances in the Playoffs are most important in choosing the best talent. But, if I were a coach, I’d also consider iTunes performance as a small measure of who can best win votes. Strategy.

    • wat

      Grimmie is doing well on iTunes? I'm so shocked! :o

      • David Perkins

        Yeah, it's no surprise that Grimmie is faring well on iTunes (whether she's in a montage or not). But, her iTunes numbers right now aren't what I'd expect from her army of followers. I'm sure they'll increase big time once the downloads translate into votes. For now, her numbers are lower than I anticipated.

        Another very interesting iTunes stat belongs to Jake Worthington. The buzz about Team Blake has largely focused on Sisanudra (duh) and Audra. Obviously, Blake would be nuts not to include Sisaundra in his final three. But, on the country side of things, Jake is way, way ahead. This week, for example, all three of Jake's songs from S6 were on the iTunes Top 200 Country Singles chart. (Those are Danielle Bradbery-type stats.) By comparison, Audra was nearly invisible. Assuming Blake had some knowledge of iTunes when he chose his final three, I'd predict that the Team Blake going to the live shows is Sisaundra, Jake and somebody else. The ‘somebody else’ might not be Audra.

        • wat

          (If he's in Blake's top 3) Jake will go far mainly by charm alone.

        • Elle Kay

          Blake would be an idiot not to take Jake W further into the competition. The kid still needs a bit of work before he's ready for prime time but so far, he's shown an impressive growth trajectory. I'm also watching Idol and their country guys can't touch him.

          On Grimmie, idk in spite of a great blind audition. Judging from her youtube stuff, she's either on point amazing or wtf bad. Song choice and coaching will be critical for her.

          • David Perkins

            Yeah, Jake and Sisaundra are likely shoo-ins on Team Blake. The third remains something of a mystery, particularly because Blake's steal is still available.

          • wat

            For Jake, America would love the kind, polite country boy who was once a reject and is working hard for his goal.

  • Elle Kay

    Always enjoy your post show blogs, even if I don't always comment here.

    This season has to be the worst for montage abuse and way too much filler. Also do we have to get steal spoilers during the show?!? I would have thought the montages would be over with for round 2 but……>.<

    I did enjoy Chris Martin and the coaching he did. In spite of the battles being a step up from the first rounds, I'm still having a case of duet fatigue tho.

  • Yogachic

    Someone should have stolen Biff!!!!

  • wat

    Okay, I finally decided (after hearing their iTunes recordings) that Stevie Jo and Delvin Choice are in fact my favorites. T.J. Wilkins in up there too. This season has some great R&B/soul artists.