The Voice

Young singers steal spotlight on The Voice


Two youngsters showed they might be forces to reckon with during Season 12 of The Voice as the knockout round continued Tuesday night.

Anatalia Villaranda, 16 when she auditioned, proved she can step out of her comfort zone and still look perfectly at ease while belting big notes with abandon.

And Brennley Brown, just 14 when she auditioned, delivered her best performance yet in her first time on stage as a member of Team Gwen.

Blake Shelton also used his only knockout round steal. That means there’s just one steal left — it belongs to Alicia — when the final seven knockouts air next Monday.

Here’s a recap of Tuesday’s show.


Team Gwen

Brennley Brown versus Aaliyah Rose: Gwen pits her two youngsters against one another. Aaliyah is a YouTube star who sang at the Radio Disney Music Awards a couple of years back. Gwen was the only coach to turn for her blind audition. Brennley was a member of Team Blake before being stolen by Gwen following a battle round loss to the more experienced Lauren Duski. Remember, both of these singers would have been too young to audition for any previous season of The Voice.

The knockout: Aaliyah will sing “Like I’m Gonna Love You” by Meghan Trainor. She stumbles badly through the first verse. Nerves perhaps. But she finds her footing when she hits the chorus. Aaliyah has a big voice, but that performance was bit shaky from start to finish. Brennley will sing Patti Griffin’s “Up to the Mountain.” Okay, I think Aaliyah might be in trouble. Brennley delivered a great opening and this just keeps getting better. In a previous performance, I remember Brennley seemed a bit shouty. Not tonight. She’s in control from start to finish, and her voice soars on an impressive ending. That was my favorite Brennley vocal yet.

The verdict: In spite of how much she wanted to work with a young pop girl (Aaliyah), Gwen wisely goes with Brennley. And here’s a bit of a stunner: Blake steals Aaliyah. Huh? There was at least one more worthy singer on Tuesday’s show alone. But that decision thrills girlfriend Gwen.


Team Alicia

Anatalia Villaranda versus Dawson Coyle: Anatalia is the young lady who just missed making the semifinals on the final season of American Idol. She turned four chairs in the blinds and was very impressive in a battle round win. Dawson, also still a teen, released a Christian album last year. He was stolen by Alicia after losing a Team Blake battle round match against Aliyah Moulden.

The knockout: Though she’s not a country singer, Anatalia opts to tackle Carrie Underwood’s “Two Black Cadillacs.” Great opening for Anatalia. This gal is ready! She did more than tackle that song; she slayed it. Another great performance by Anatalia. I love that growl in her voice. Wow, and does she have a big voice. If I’m Dawson, watching that performance, I might just throw out a white towel. Obviously, he won’t. He’s singing “Demons” by Imagine Dragons. And you know what? He’s turning in a very solid performance. I can see Dawson getting lots of votes from young female viewers. Shame he was pitted against Anatalia, because he also delivered a very nice glory note near the end of that performance.

The verdict: Alicia wisely decides to advance Anatalia. She’s got the talent to win this show. Dawson, unfortunately, is not stolen, so he’s eliminated.

Team Blake

Enid Ortiz versus TSoul: Enid surprised even herself by defeating four-chair turn recipient Valerie Ponzio in the battle round, but she did it with a very heartfelt vocal on RaeLynn’s “Love Triangle.” She’ll be the underdog again in this matchup; TSoul is one of the most distinctive soul singers on Season 12.

The knockout: TSoul will sing “These Arms Are Mine” by Otis Redding. He sounds out of tune on this opening. But he finds the pocket. And TSoul certainly has a unique on-stage presence. He ends strong, singing from his knees. Enid will sing “When We Were Young” by Adele. Hmm, she also covered Adele in her blind audition. And turned one chair. She delivers a pretty solid vocal, minus the one spot where her voice wavered pretty noticeably. But it also looked like her eyes were closed for most of the performance, limiting her emotional connection with the audience.

Verdict: Blake advances TSoul. No one steals Enid, so she’s eliminated. That was the right call. TSoul’s performance was definitely the most memorable of the two.

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