The Voice

Davina Leone nabs final steal during The Voice battle round


The Voice is an Emmy-winning TV show, but it certainly didn’t earn those honors by building battle round suspense.

Tuesday’s episode was yet another example. By the time the evening’s final duo took the stage, it was clear no one was going home.

After all, Adam had one steal left. He had to use it on someone.

Here’s my recap.


Team Gwen

Brandon Royal versus Davina Leone: Brandon is the singer who hails from the Virgin Islands and enjoyed some success releasing music with a friend as Them Island Boyz. But he had trouble jump-starting a solo career after moving to Orlando, Fla., so he works as an EMT. He turned two chairs in the blinds. Davina’s blind audition was montaged and Gwen was the only coach to turn around for her. But she’s released music as well and had one of her singles, “Up All Night,” featured in a Hallmark movie.

The battle: Gwen had them singing “In the Night” by The Weeknd. And, folks, from a performance standpoint, this was my favorite battle of the night, largely because of the on-stage chemistry between Davina and Brandon. Vocally, Brandon was particularly impressive, demonstrating great range. Not that there was anything wrong with Davina’s vocal; it’s just like she’s probably less unique on a show loaded with talented females.

The verdict: Gwen advanced Brandon. Tough to argue with that verdict. But Davina was stolen by Adam, which is one sure way to make sure your performance isn’t montaged a second time.


Team Alicia

Lauryn Judd versus Lilli Passero: Lilli is the young woman who’s waiting tables in Los Angeles while working for her big break in music or movies. She turned three chairs during the blind audition. So did Lauryn, who was just 16 when she auditioned and has been performing with a theater company called Utah COPA.

The battle: Both singers turned three chairs and have a love of vintage music, but Lilli has eight years of experience on Lauryn and it showed when Alicia asked them to tackle “Every Little Bit Hurts” by Brenda Holloway. Lilli grabbed viewers’ attention with that strong, confident opening. In contrast, Lauryn’s country twang was a bit jarring at first. Bottom line: Lilli never faltered and every coach seemed to agree she took the battle.

The verdict: This time, Alicia went for the more experienced performer rather than the youngster, declaring Lilli the winner. No one stole Lauryn, so she was eliminated.

Team Adam

Jesse Larson versus Taylor Alexander: These guys were both one-chair turns. That said, Taylor turned in one of the most successful covers of the blind auditions on iTunes with his country version of Cher’s “Believe.” He’s trying to crack the Nashville country scene. Jesse is the guy who gave up his full-time job at an auto parts store when Prince — yes, the late Prince — offered him a chance to work with Judith Hill. He also performs with a group called MPLS.

The battle: Adam has them perform “Shameless,” which has been recorded by Billy Joel and Garth Brooks. Given their performance, it’s tough to believe they both turned just one chair in the blind audition. Forced to share the stage, Taylor isn’t able to flip a song the way he could in the blinds, but he’s a solid country singer. Thing is, Jesse — who admits he isn’t used to being in the limelight — demonstrated tons of power in his vocal delivery, and he seemed to be doing it effortlessly.

The verdict: Adam advanced Jesse to the knockout round. Taylor wasn’t stolen, so he was eliminated from the show.

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