“The Voice: Season 10” Blinds end & the Battles begin!

Adam Levine The Voice

Who did Adam Levine pick to represent him in the Knockout Rounds? (Photo property of NBC & United Artists Media Group)

By: Jacob Elyachar, jakes-take.com

This is it, Voice fans!

Tonight, The Voice: Season Ten Blind Auditions came to a close, and the highly anticipated Battle Rounds began.

Before we get to the final Blinds of the night, here is where the teams stand:

Adam Levine: Caroline Burns, John Gilman, Katherine Ho, Laith Al-Saadi, Nate Butler, Mike Schiavo, Natalie Yacovazzi, Matt Tedder, Lily Green, Owen Danoff & Ryan Quinn

Blake Shelton: Adam Wakefield, Teresa Guidry, Angie Keilhauer, Brittany Kennell, Brittney Lawrence, Gina Castanzo, Peyton Parker, Paxton Ingram, Mary Sarah, Justin Whisnat & Trey O’Dell

Pharrell Williams: Abby Celso, Brian Nhira, Joe Vivona, Jessica Crossbie, Nick Hagelin, Caity Peters, Emily Keener, Hannah Huston, Maya Smith & Jonathan Bach

Christina Aguilera: Alisan Porter, Joe Maye, Shalyah Fearing, Kata Hay, Tamar Davis, Chelsea Gann, Lacy Mandigo, Malik Heard, Bryan Bautista, Kristen Marie & Daniel Passino

Who were the lucky artists that received the final spots on the coaches’ teams? Which teams started the Battle Rounds on a high note? Read on to find out…

Before the Blinds concluded, it was time for the coaches to perform their annual performance. Adam, Blake, Pharrell (on the drums) and Xtina covered Stevie Wonder’s “I Wish.” As usual, Xtina stole the show, and the performance gave me chills.  As the coaches took their seats, 22-year-old Jared Hunter from Joplin, MO hoped to get one of the final spots. He survived the Joplin tornado and put music on hold to rebuild his hometown. Jared decided to leave his job as an ice cream/coffee shop manager to chase his dream.  Jared tackled Kacey Musgraves’ “Merry Go Round” and he sang it better than Kacey. His superb voice is what country needs, and he earned the final spot on Blake’s team!

While Adam and Xtina teamed up on a prank on Blake, Moushumi made her Voice debut! She tackled “Wicked Game” and it gave me chills. Moushumi’s hypnotic voice reminded me so much of friend of the blog Emily West and Lana Del Ray. I hope that after the show, that she collaborated with another friend of the blog: Sons of Serendip.  However, I believe that she might want to work with Pharrell, who became her coach after beating Adam and Xtina in a bidding war.

23-year-old Katie Basden’s music career was put on hold to help her father recover from heart surgery.  As her father and mother watched from the sidelines with Carson, Katie tackled “Midnight Rider.” Her bombastic vocal performance of the Allman Brothers’ “Midnight Rider” caught the attention of all three coaches. With Blake out of the picture, it was time for the coaches to pick up a country singer. Blake tried to persuade Katie to pick either Pharrell or Christina, but Katie decided to enlist in Team Adam.  As Katie reunited with her parents, Adam declared that his team was full!

16-year-old Jonathan Hutchison overcame a hearing loss to pursue a career in music.  He had to impress either Pharrell and Christina to move on.  While I was wondering why he sang a One Direction song for his Blind Audition, his superb vocals caught the attention of Pharrell…who completed his team!

The final artist of the Season 10 Blind Auditions was Ayanna Jahnee! Her mother, who worked as a seamstress for musical theatre shows, inspired her to sing.  However, Ayanna’s guiding force passed away from cancer. Ayanna dedicated her Blind Audition performance of “Skyfall” to her mother. Her diction and vocal range gave me chills as she delivered an omnipotent cover of the Oscar-winning song. She could be a force to be reckoned with on Christina’s team. For the second time this season, Christina sang an impromptu song with her team member. While it was still an impromptu rap, it was still a memorable duet!

Up first, Team Adam’s Katie Basden versus Ryan Quinn! The duo tackled one of Adam’s all-time favorite songs:  Sir Paul McCartney’s “Maybe I’m Amazed.” He compared the pair to Fleetwood Mac’s Lindsey Buckingham and former Team Adam advisor Stevie Nicks. Team Adam advisor Tori Kelly was impressed by the duo and the Maroon 5 front man predicted that this would be a mighty battle. He was right! Both Ryan and Katie stepped up to the plate and gave superb vocal performances. While Blake leaned towards Katie, both Pharrell and Christina called this battle too close to call. Adam had to make a decision, and he chose to advance Ryan to the Knockout Rounds, and Katie was up for a steal from either Team Blake or Team Christina.  Her former coach advised her to go to Team Christina, Katie chose Team Blake!

To help prepare his team for battle, Blake called on two-time Voice coach and girlfriend Gwen Stefani to be his Battle Rounds advisor. Blake needed Gwen’s advice on handling his two non-country artists on his team: Brittney Lawrence and Paxton Ingram. The four-time winning coach chose them to sing Shawn Mendes & Camilla Cabello’s “I Know What You Did Last Summer.” While I have not heard the song, I believe that both Brittney and Paxton left it all on stage in this performance. While Brittany has a great voice, Paxton has “superstar” written all over him. The way Paxton commanded the stage showed that Britney Spears and Jennifer Lopez’s former backup dancer is ready for prime time. That’s why Blake chose to advance Paxton to the Knockout Rounds.

The final battle of the night belonged to Team Christina’s Bryan Bautista and Malik Heard. Their divalicious mentor assigned them to tackle James Brown’s classic “It’s A Man’s Man’s Man’s World,” a song that put Team CeeLo’s  Juliet Simms in the Season Two finale and gave us one of the best battle round performance of all-time in the form of Team Blake’s Biff Gore versus Sisaundra Lewis! Did they top Juliet, Biff or Sisaundra? In all honesty, the duo outsang Juliet, but could not hold a candle to their Voice elders. Yes, there was fire in the battle! But, neither guy was able hit the high notes that Sisaundra found four seasons ago.  While I knew that Xtina would choose Bryan, I was surprised that Adam, Blake and Pharrell wanted Malik. This was an Amanda Brown-like steal, but I believe that Malik does not have the talent to advance to the live rounds. Hopefully, Pharrell strengthens Malik as an artist.

Tomorrow night, the Battle Rounds continue!

I do not own any of the clips that are featured in the article. “The Voice” performances belong to NBC & United Artists Media Group. Meanwhile, Sons of Serendip’s “America’s Got Talent” performance belongs to NBC, SYCO Entertainment & FremantleMedia North America.

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Copyright 2020 Jacob Elyachar