With a cast of 56 and 20 four-chair turns among them, The Voice began airing its pre-taped battle round Tuesday night.
In this round, two contestants from a team go head-to-head in a duet.
The winner advances to the knockout round. The loser heads home, unless stolen by another coach.
This year, coaches do not have saves in the battle round. Each coach does have two steals.
That means that when the battles end, each coach will have a team of nine, setting the stage for three-way knockout round matches.
That also means 20 contestants will be eliminated in the battles.
Editor’s Note: Follow the links below for more on each singer, including the music they’ve already released.
THE COACHES GOT IT WRONG
The match: Deejay Young vs. Ephraim Owens
The song: “Cry Me a River” by Justin Timberlake
The background: Deejay Young, 33, of Tampa, Fla., turned three chairs in the blinds. Ephraim, 36, of Indianapolis, Indiana, turned four.
The feedback: Reba loved the attitude Ephraim brought to the stage and gave him the edge. Niall loved Deejay’s vocal acrobatics and gave him the edge. John praised both singers.
The decision: John advanced Deejay. Ephraim was eliminated.
My take: Both singers showed off very nice stage presence and got to demonstrate their range. Ephraim seemed to show off more vocal versatility, so I would have given him the win. I also think he has the best long-term potential on the show. That said, Deejay hit a heck of a glory note, and that ending was really smooth on both singers’ part.
The match: Jackson Snelling vs. Jordan Rainer.
The song: “The Heart Won’t Lie” by Reba McEntire and Vince Gill
The background: Jackson, 21, from Austin, Indiana, turned two chairs in the blinds. Jordan, 33, from Nashville, Tenn., earned a four-chair turn.
The feedback: Niall called the performance “stunning.” John Legend called it a “wonderful” performance. He gave the edge to Jackson. Niall and Gwen said they want to see more of what Jordan can do. Reba said she was proud of both artists.
The decision: Reba declared Jordan the winner. Jackson was eliminated from the show.
My take: Smart move by Jordan to ditch the dark shades for an emotional performance. And she certainly did well at showing off her distinctive country vocals. But given the history of fan support for male country artists and the dearth of them on Season 24, I would give the win to Jackson. His rich, warm country vocals are sure to make him a fan favorite.
THE COACH GOT IT RIGHT
The match: Lennon Vanderdoes vs. Tanner Massey
The song: “She’s Always a Woman” by Billy Joel
The background: Lennon Vanderdoes, 27, from Wilmington, Del., was just featured on Monday’s audition episode and, in my mind, turned in the best performance of the night, turning three chairs. Tanner, 19, of Choctaw, Okla., also turned three chairs in the blinds.
The feedback: Gwen called it “so incedible.” She called Tanner “magical” and gave the edge to him. John Legend also gave the edge to Tanner. Niall praised the performance of both singers.
The decision: Niall awarded the win to Lennon, calling him a very, very dark horse. John and Gwen both tried to steal Tanner. John said he loved the way Tanner carried himself on stage. Gwen said she’s sure she can help Tanner with his stage presence. Tanner chose to join Team Gwen.
My take: The minute Lennon opened his voice, I decided he should be named the winner. He’s a unique vocalist and he delivers a song with such sincerity. What made it a tough decision is that Tanner was solid too. Plus he’s the type of young male heartthrob a show loves to attract.