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The Voice Review: Steal Away

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The Voice began its Battle Rounds on Monday, but this time there was a new twist that benefited a few contestants and certainly everyone watching.

One of the major problems with the Battles in the past was that it seemed they would purposefully pit two really talented contestants against each other in order to create an awesome performance that would make that specific episode more enjoyable for fans.

The problem ended up being that after that great moment, one of those two extremely talented singers was completely out of the competition (see: Anthony Evans). That wasn't good for the future of the season. Thanks to the new "steal" option after one coach picks his/her winner, that issue is moot.

In essence The Voice gets to have their moment of cake, and then eat it too as the rest of the season goes on. Let's see how much better that made this week's first episode of season three battles...

Terry McDermott vs. Casey Muessigmann

Team Blake - Casey Muessigmann vs. Terry McDermott - "Carry On Wayward Son"

The Battle: I'm not one to disagree with Michael Buble, but why would you want Casey to change out of his country style if that's who he is? Both of these guys did really well, but it seemed like Casey was singing the song, while Terry just WAS the song. Just because Terry seemed more comfortable with the song, that doesn't mean that it was more impressive. The difficult task the Casey was given was not something to take likely.
My Choice: Terry
Blake's Choice: Terry
Battle Grade: A-

Team Adam - Bryan Keith vs. Collin McLoughlin - "Santeria"

The Battle: I understand the enjoyment of imperfections in a performance, but I'm not sure I agree with Adam and Mary that having perfect pitch can be a bad thing. I don't think it was an imperfection in Bryan's voice that had me liking it much more than Collin. It was the grit and the realism in it that got me excited every time he came in on the vocal.  
My Choice: Bryan
Adam's Choice: Bryan
Battle Grade: B+
Steal: Blake and Cee Lo. It was a great point by Blake saying that Cee Lo had just said that Bryan did a better job, and Collin chose Blake for that.

Team Cee Lo - Diego Val vs. JR Aquino - "Jessie's Girl"

The Battle: It seems like it might be an uphill battle for Diego in this competition. He's not familiar with many of the songs he might have to sing, and English is his second language. However, if he gets as much time to practice as he did for this battle, Diego will be just fine. The entire performance seemed to lose some steam as it went on, but Diego's opening was fantastic. JR just seemed a little bland for me.
My Choice: Diego
Cee Lo's Choice: Diego
Battle Grade: B

Team Xtina - De'Borah vs. Nelly's Echo - "Message in a Bottle"

The Battle: Watching rehearsals makes this entire process much more interesting, because we get to see who has the advantage in the early going. Here, it definitely seemed like Nelly had the edge in knowing the song like the back of his hand. When we got to the actual performance it kind of seemed like a different story.  Nelly's straight tone sounded great, but he continued to go into a weird falsetto that didn't work at all. De'Borah didn't do a heck of a lot to easily take this battle, but she definitely sounded nice.
My Choice: De'Borah
Xtina's Choice: De'Borah
Battle Grade: C+

2 Steel Girls vs. Gracia Harrison

Team Blake - 2Steel Girls vs. Gracia Harrison - "Sin Wagon"

The Battle: Wait, there isn't any yodeling in this song. How is Gracia supposed to prove herself? That was an interesting dynamic, because the Steel daughter was probably my favorite single voice, but the Steel mama was my least favorite. So do you pick the act with the best voice, or the act without the least exciting voice?
My Choice: Gracia
Blake's Choice: Gracia
Battle Grade: A-

Team Cee Lo - Amanda Brown vs. Trevin Hunte - "Vision of Love"

The Battle: This felt like one of those battles from last year where it seemed like they put these two power houses together to create a memorable moment for the end of this episode, but didn't realize they would be losing someone really good. This season they did something about that by coming up with the "steal."  If The Voice lost either one of these two contestants after this round, it would have been a travesty.
My Choice: Amanda
Cee Lo's Choice: Trevin
Battle Grade: A
Steal: The judges were talking about stealing the loser of this battle from the jump, so it was no surprise that all three of them hit their buttons as soon as it was okay to do so. Amanda chooses Adam because she likes to go outside of the box.

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What did you all think of the first episode of the Battle Rounds? Which was your favorite battle? Who was your favorite contestant? Did the coaches get any decisions wrong?  And what did you think of the new "steal" aspect?

Review

Editor Rating: 4.5 / 5.0
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Dan Forcella is a TV Fanatic Staff Writer. Follow him on Twitter.

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I love the steal! It was frustrating last season to watch great singers get eliminated during the battle rounds because of a bad pairing. Amanda Brown is amazing and I'm so glad she's still in the competition. I agree with the person who said that she picked a bad song for her auditions. Her taste in music also fits better with Adam (than Christina or Blake), so it will be interesting to see what they do. I think Cee-Lo is the best coach for Trevin, so I'm glad he kept him. I was disappointed that no one stole Nelly's Echo, but Xtina made the right choice picking De-borah. I also enjoyed the duet with Gracia and the 2Steel Girls, but Gracia definitely had more stage charisma.

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Some pairings get up there and scream "Keep these 2 together as a duo" (Devon Barley and Rebecca Loebe with their version of Creep comes to mind). I would love to see them offer that as an options.

Terrie

Amanda and Trevin had the best perfomance of the night ..........hands down.

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Got cut off...Amanda chose a bad audition song which did nothing to showcase her voice. Cee-Lo was the only one who had even turned around for her. The steals are a great addition as Amanda deserves to continue and Collin was set up with a horrible song for him that played right into Bryan Keith's wheelhouse. I don't like when they pick the winner on "potential" though. I feel like if you get that far and you win the battle then you deserve to move on, otherwise it wasn't really a "battle round".

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I agree with the Buble comment. Casey was told not to sign the song in his way and then Blake says he picked Terry because Casey hadn't figured out who he is as a signer. Actually, he has....but he was specifically told not to sing like himself. Nelly's Echo asked about taking liberties with the song and was told by his coaches to go for it and then Christina makes a comment after her choice about him taking too many liberties with the song. Sucks for the losers of the battles when they get punished for the advice they are given by their own coaches. They tried to make De'Borah look like a big comeback for dramatic effect. She was the only one where they cut off the last rehearsal video before we saw her sing. I'm guessing she was close to her battle round performance and they wanted it to look like she just came back out of nowhere on that battle. Cee-Lo knew right away he was screwed with the Trevin-Amanda pairing but it's Amanda's fault. She chose a bad audition song which did nothing to showcase her voice. Cee-Lo was the only one who had even turned around for her. The steals are a great addition as Amanda deserves to continue and Collin was set up with a horrible song for him that played right into Bryan Keith's wheelhouse. I don't like when they pick the winner on "potential" though. I feel like if you get that far and you win the battle then you deserve to move on, otherwise it wasn't really a "battle round".

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i have to agree with your choice of words .... i really thought ceelo would have chosen amanda but to qoute adam "because he is a stupid idiot"lol love them both hahaha but. that was really funny ceelo really went with his gut feeling qnd yet amanda is still in the game so All is well you can see ceelo regreted that match up ... but that match up made the night of battle just more exciting leaves you anxious to see other contenders coming up

The Voice Quotes

I think they were fooled by flash and boobs.

Blake

Hailey: Y'all four turned around.
Blake: But I was first.

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