With such a blockbuster 1970s hit song like “Killing Me Softly With His Song,” this battle showdown on Monday’s “The Voice” had to be a great one. And it was as coach Alicia Keys pitted Autumn Turner vs. Vanessa Ferguson on the Grammy-winning song from Roberta Flack. A fierce coaching battle broke out after the duet when Gwen chose Vanessa, and then rival coach Adam Levine stole Autumn away from Gwen Stefani (watch the battle performance above).
Our writer John Benutty ranked this battle as one of his favorites on Monday. He says, “In their blind auditions both Autumn and Vanessa gave bold, high-energy performances so it’s interesting to see Alicia throw a slower jam at them for their battle. For this performance, the muted arrangement of the band allowed both of their voices to be in the forefront. On this particular track, the song definitely suited Vanessa’s tone more and for that reason I give her the edge, though the coaches seemed to think Autumn’s ‘surprise’ factor gives her a leg up. That may have been the tipping point for Alicia who chose Vanessa, expecting the steal to be used on Autumn. Both Adam and Gwen lobbied to steal Autumn, with Adam’s enthusiasm for her leading her to join his team.”
The NBC bio for Autumn: “Autumn was raised by a single mother with help from her mother’s friend and godfather – her big inspiration – before he passed away four years ago. She grew up singing in church and choir, even joining a local girl group called Bloom. At age three, Autumn enrolled in ice-skating, where she competed until she was 13 and eventually turned to coaching at 16. Autumn currently works as an English teacher at a local private school.”
The NBC bio for Vanessa: “Vanessa grew up singing with her family. Raised by her grandmother, she enrolled in piano lessons at age five and competed in her first competition in fifth grade. She moved in with her mother at age 13 and began taking songwriting seriously. After being diagnosed with endometriosis, she was hospitalized monthly and poured her heart into music. In 2011, she lived in Beijing, performing six nights a week at the LAN Club, and later toured the world on the Holland America cruise line for five months with the B.B. King’s Blues Club All-Star Band. For the past 11 years, Vanessa has made money strictly from gigging and touring.”