Elizabeth Evans and AZAN nabbed steals as The Voice battle round continued Monday night.
Also advancing to the knockouts were battle round winners Kaylee Shimizu, Taylor Deneen, Jenna Marquis, Alexa Wildish, RUDI, Ruby Leigh and Noah Spencer.
Here’s a recap of Monday’s show, minus two performances for which video / streaming isn’t available yet. As soon as it is, I’ll add those as well.
BEST OF THE NIGHT
The match: Kaylee Shimizu vs. Elizabeth Evans
The song: “Traitor” by Olivia Rodrigo
The background: Kaylee, 17, of Ewa Beach, Hawaii, turned four chairs in the blinds. Elizabeth, 22, of Arlington, Texas, turned two chairs.
The feedback: Reba called the performance “fantastic.” She gave the edge to Elizabeth. Niall called it the best cover of the song he’s heard. He called Kaylee “phenomenal,” but said he’d give the edge to Elizabeth as well. Gwen called them both “so gifted.” John Legend called the performance “stunning.”
The decision: John named Kaylee the winner. Reba stayed true to her feedback, jumping in to save Elizabeth from elimination.
My take: Wow, that opening line from Kaylee. She is a vocal dynamo. That said, Elizabeth was also very good. I get a quirky singer-songwriter vibe from her. But she can flat-out sing too. John made the right choice. Kaylee is one of those ultra-talented teens The Voice has trouble attracting to the show because American Idol, if a singer does well, is a much, much better showcase for young talent. But Elizabeth definitely deserved the save.
A TRAVESTY AVERTED
The match: Taylor Deneen vs. AZAN
The song: “Do It” by Chloe x Halle
The background: Taylor, 23, Midwest City, Okla., was one of the last singers to snag a spot on Season 24 and turned the only two available chairs. Azan turned two chairs as well.
The feedback: Reba said she was very entertained and flabergasted. She wouldn’t chose a winner. Niall thought it was spectacular and said he’s lean slightly toward AZAN. Gwen gave a slight edge to Taylor. John said both performers made him so proud.
The decision: John declared Taylor the winner, calling her a stunning vocalist. Niall and Reba both tried to steal AZAN. She opted to join Team Niall. Niall said it would have been a “travesty” for AZAN to be eliminated after that performance.
My take: Really nice fun performance from these two talented ladies. Both deserved to advance. But I would have given the edge to AZAN. She showed off a great combination of stage presence and vocal versatility. She’s the singer who grabbed my attention during that performance. That said, excellent vocal from Taylor. Hey, and since I’m going to bash them later, nice job by The Voice wardrobe team for these two singers.
THE COACHES GOT IT RIGHT
The match: Alexa Wildish vs. LYNDR
The song: “Everything I Wanted” by Billie Eilish
The background: LYNDR, 27, of Memphis, Tenn., turned two chairs in the blinds. Alexa, 34, of Orange County, Calif., turned four chairs.
The feedback: Niall Horan said both executed the performance “so well” and neither deserved to go home. John Legend and Reba McEntire gave the edge to Alexa. Gwen said she loved every second of the performance.
The decision: Niall declared Alexa the winner. LVNDR was eliminated.
My take: First off, I’m not a fan of this song for a battle on the Voice. Second, the wardrobe department should be sued for what LVNDR is wearing. Musically, LVNDR has a very interesting tone. But I loved the ache in Alexa’s voice and the way she was delivering the song’s message.
Special note: Only one steal remained during the taping session in which this battle was filmed
The match: RUDI vs. Joslynn Rose
The song: “My Immortal” by Evanescence
The background: RUDI, 28 of San Antonio, Texas, turned four chairs during the blinds. Joslynn, 16, of Lake Benton, Minn., turned three.
The feedback: John Legend called it a “lovely job.” Reba complimented them on displaying very powerful voices. Both gave the edge to RUDI. Niall called her performance “flawless.” Gwen said they did a great job with a difficult song to sing.
The decision: Gwen declared RUDI the winner, saying she’s more ready for the competition ahead. Joslynn was eliminated.
My take: You know how I said the wardrobe department should be sued over what LVNDR was wearing for her battle. Triple that lawsuit after this battle. I mean, I know this is airing on Halloween eve, but come on. Ah, but this isn’t a fashion review. Musically, I had a lot of trouble understanding the lyrics coming from Joslynn. Not so from RUDI, a veteran of a singing spin-off of The Bachelor, who delivered power, emotion and more vocal control.
The match: Ruby Leigh vs. Al Boogie
The song: “Jolene” by Dolly Parton
The background: Al, 37, o Mansfield, La., turned one chair in the blinds. Ruby, 16, of Foley, Missouri, turned four to kick off the season’s second episode.
The feedback: Niall called it “so good” and “so fun.” He also complimented (huh?) the song choice. John Legend called them both compelling. He poked fun (deserved) at the song choice. Reba called the performance wonderful and expressed her pride in both singers. Niall gave the edge to Ruby. So did Gwen, I think.
The decision: Reba awarded the win to Ruby. Al was eliminated.
My take: First off, what the heck was that song choice? Why is a dude even being asked to sing that song? Ridiculous. Absolutely, ridiculous. That said, Ruby Leigh’s voice cut through from the opening note, and she showed off an impressive cry whenever the vocals swelled. She could do very, very well in Season 24.
Special note: No steals remained when this battle was filmed.
The match: Noah Spencer vs. Reid Zingale
The song: “Lego House” by Ed Sheeran
The background: Reid, 27, of Nashville, Tenn., turned three chairs in the blinds. Noah, 20, of Richlands, Va., also turned three.
The feedback: Gwen called it “so cool.” She complimented Reid on his tone and said someone should sign Noah “tomorrow.” Reba said she loved the purity in Reid’s voice and the grit in Noah’s. John gave the edge to Noah; the other coaches didn’t express a preference.
The decision: Niall declared Noah the winners. Reid was eliminated.
My take: Really nice performance by both guys. I actually wish the song had featured more solo parts and less harmonizing so the outcome would have been easier to judge. I guess Noah deserved a slight edge based on his intensity and distinctive tone. But Reid was also very impressive. I wonder if he might have snared a steal had this battle been filmed earlier.
Special note: Only one steal remained during the taping session in which this battle was filmed.
The match: Jenna Marquis vs. Claire Heilig
The song: “Flowerrs” by Miley Cyrus
The background: Jenna, 19, of Simi Valey, Calif., turned three chairs in the blinds. Claire, 20, of Virginia Beach, Va., turned one chair during the blinds. Reba’s team was full when she auditioned.
The feedback: Gwen complimented Jenna for doing a great job at such a young age. We might have heard Gwen talk longer than we heard Jenna sing as the Voice cut this battle down to about 45 seconds of airtime.
The decision: Gwen named Jenna the winner; Claire was eliminated.
My take: Hey, The Voice, great way to disrespect the time artists spent preparing for these performances. Especially with another hour-long recap show set for 8 p.m. Tuesday. Just think, instead of rehashed filler, you could be serving up viewers full performances of the three battles you’ve montaged so far. But we all know The Voice production team is way too lazy and inconsiderate to do such a sensible thing. Heck, you can’t even be bothered to put the full performances on YouTube. Which should be incredibly easy since the cameras were rolling when the battle took place.