The Voice: Battles 9 – 16
We are straight to battle stations tonight. Well, once The Block finally finishes and we get through the recaps of last night’s events.
Keith starts off with Taga and Cam who will battle it out over “Change the World” by Eric Clapton. Taga doesn’t know the song and is also quite intimidated by Cam, but Megan suggests that Cam might be up against it if he continues to sing with his eyes closed. Stage rehearsals show that this advice has largely fallen on deaf ears. It’s all about living the dream for these guys once they hit the stage. Taga sounds very tentative compared to Cam, whose eyes are wiiiiiiide open. Seal rewards Taga’s tentativeness by calling it “sensitivity to the song” and Joel agrees. Delta’s no outrider, so she sticks with majority rules. Keith prefaces his assessment with “this is an unusual pairing…” which he chose, right? So don’t excuse it as not being apples and apples if you deliberately put a lemon in there. After all this misdirection, Keith decides to make lemonade with the less experienced Taga. Cam’s kids will have to learn to live their dream some other way.
Facing off for Delta are Peta and Viktoria. They will tussle over Prince’s “Purple Rain”. Peta feels she might have an advantage, since she is both a huge Prince fan and she actually knows the song. Viktoria’s lifelong dedication as a fan of Delta’s might be a handicap… if Delta wasn’t going to be the one making the final decision. Their stage rehearsal sounds like a stand off between two alley cats. The actual performance starts with some really off-putting enunciation by Peta and then Viktoria has a crack and I really don’t care for this performance one teeny tiny bit. In fact, I think this is what it sounds like when Doves die. I hope Prince doesn’t catch any of this and cancel his tour in protest. Keith thought it was a good night for Peta. Well, well. Seal also gives it to Peta for owning the song. Joel invokes authenticity and gives it to Viktoria. Now what will our Delts do? Seek Darren’s counsel, of course, and then give it to… well, the inevitable Viktoria, but not until a planet in the outer solar system has time to orbit the sun whilst she agonises. Sheesh.
Seal’s contestants are Michael and Anthony who will sing “Living for the City”, chosen as Seal believes it will benefit both singers. Just as I’m thinking Anthony’s early rehearsal is a bit karaoke, Ricky-Lee suggests he copy even more of Stevie Wonder’s delivery. Seal reminds me that I’m missing the final episode of The Walking Dead as he shows Anthony how not to move on stage. Thank god for the IQ. There’s not a great deal of originality in the performance, which is not to say it’s bad. “Purple Rain” provided more than enough originality for one night. Joel leans towards Michael for the performance, but he thought it was splitting hairs. Delta struggled with Michael’s diction so goes with Anthony for his – I’m not kidding – FARNSY quality. Now that it’s “The Voice AND…”, Keith gives it to Michael. Like his colleagues, Seal praises both, but takes Michael forward.
Joel pits Nick against Lakyn and they will sing “Big Jet Plane” by Angus and Julia Stone. A&JS have the ability to send me to sleep even when I am highly caffeinated, so I hope the boys can inject some energy here. The “make it sound like you care” advice might work if the song wasn’t so who cares?. It’s a tough call to show you’re confident singing a semi-shoegazer song. Anyway, I have to give them credit for overcoming a dreary start to finish with a bit of energy. Let’s see what the professionals think. Delta just wanted to listen to Lakyn, and so did Keith. Seal makes it a clean sweep for people whose opinions don’t count. This should make Joel’s judgement easy, but he pads it out by name-checking Twilight for the screaming teens before adding Lakyn to his team.
What? We’re still going? I thought that Dare ad was a new show…
Delta is getting Danni and Sarah to sing Mariah Carey’s “Hero”. It’s going to be a battle of the divas and one of them might let the wall down and mix some metaphors confusingly, according to Delta. Sarah does a bit of random upstaging during one of Danni’s bits, waving her arms around as though she’s just found a cigarette lighter and her inner 1980s pub rocker. I’ve got to say, my threshold for watching the judges be so moved by the performances was reached a good while back. Keith struggles to pick a winner in the “diva derby”, but gives it to Danni by a “smidgeon of a margin”. Sarah’s “controlled aggression” gets the nod from Seal. Joel leans towards Sarah, but loves Danni’s “mystery”. What a surprise – Delta takes a time-out. But wait! We haven’t had the Miss Congeniality round and professions of commitment to world peace! How can we make a decision without hearing heartfelt speeches from our divas? Danni it is.
Keith pairs Jimmy and Glen and they will sing “Plans” by Birds of Tokyo. Jimmy feels that the song is more in Glen’s wheelhouse than his. Keith advises Jimmy not to overdo it, and points out to Glen that he needs to focus on continuity. Megan mentions the P word for the first time tonight – that’s right. Pitch. An old-fashioned concept, but it’s nice to know somebody’s paying attention. Seal fell in love with Glen’s voice… but then Jimmy came out! Joel makes it two out of two in favour of Jimmy. Because Jimmy’s performance wasn’t all about connecting with Delta, she goes for Glen. Keith takes a time-out to get some input from Megan. “Do you wanna build or crumble?” she asks, enigmatically. Jimmy gets the nod.
Surely the question should be “why did Australians switch away from Quaker oats?”, right?
Mali-Koa and Laura will sing “What’s Up” by Four Non Blondes for a chance to stay in Joel’s team. Benji and Joel show Mali-Koa what “trying” looks like. It’s a bit like aggressive constipation. “I’m a technically-trained theatre singer” sounds like something you might say as you race up to attend an on-stage emergency. That’s not what Laura finds herself in tonight as both singers do a creditable job of the song. Delta’s a big fan of Laura, but Keith goes with the rawness of Mali’s voice. Seal thinks Mali has grown more and gives her the nod, in a non-binding way. Joel doesn’t waste much time in making his decision, putting Laura through.
The final battle of the night is Chris versus Yshrael and they will be singing “Fireworks” by Katy Perry. Seal tells Yshrael that he has a nice voice but is not a great singer. Not exactly constructive, but… hey! It’s late, and tonight I’m not really feeling the “pep talk” segment like I was last night. Compared to some of Yshrael’s dodgy pitch, Chris sounds as though he has live auto-tune going on. Joel found the song a struggle for both singers, but gives it to Chris on a countback. Delta hated it, but goes with Chris. Keith found a tonal thing he liked in Chris’ voice, so throws a preference his way. As with the other judges, and this household, he didn’t enjoy the song. Chris goes through.
It’ll be interesting to see what happens once the live shows start. I’m assuming it’s all been singer’s-own-wardrobe so far, as the styling has verged on bizarre for some performers, and I’m hoping they will be getting some manner of professional style advice.
Oh, and in the most important match-up of the evening, I’m giving the nod to Oak. Not because I think it deals with Hungry-Thirsty better than Dare does, but because their ad is not eleventy-billion minutes long.