The second stage of the competition began on Monday’s episode of “The Voice” with the battle rounds. Coaches Blake Shelton, Jennifer Hudson, Adam Levine, and Miley Cyrus paired two of their own artists against each other and chose one to move on to the next round. The eliminated artists were immediately up for grabs from the other coaches, each of whom has two steals available to them over the course of the round. In their battle performances the artists duet on a single song with their competition in a test of their ability to stand out while also harmonizing with another singer.
After the blind auditions, we thought Team Miley was the strongest heading into this round. This week, not only does she stay at the front of the pack, but she also grabs one of Adam’s strongest artists with one of her steals. Check out my full power rankings of all Monday’s Night 1 battle performances below, sorted from best to worst.
1. Moriah Formica – “American Woman” (Team Miley; won battle)
After a stunning blind audition, Moriah was my frontrunner pick to win the season and far and away Miley’s best artist. That Miley chose her over Shilo, who I actually think performed better in the battle, suggests that Miley supports and understands her as an artist. Where Moriah is most impressive is behind her guitar because she’s still engaging to watch and the quality of her voice doesn’t suffer so I think that’s where she has a leg up on the rest of the competition.
2. Adam Pearce – “Stop Draggin’ My Heart Around” (Team Adam; won battle)
It’s still surprising that somehow the judges didn’t turn their chairs for Adam when he auditioned in season 12 because in his two performances so far this season he’s more than proven himself. This week he sounded lovely in the Tom Petty parts of the duet and never let the female vocals overshadow his. More than that, he’s the type of artist that this show loves and should have an easy time wooing the votes through the live round.
3. Brooke Simpson – “You’re a Big Girl Now” (Team Miley; won battle)
In her battle Brooke showed exactly why she’s one of the best on Miley’s team. With a small song she was able to show her range and the depth of her voice. She is a confident and able performer that I get the feeling is willing to take risks and be creative so it’ll be interesting to see how out of the box her and Miley are willing to go in the knockouts.
4. Whitney Fenimore – “Stop Draggin’ My Heart Around” (Team Adam; stolen by Miley)
The judges were definitely on board for Whitney this week and rightfully so. Adam had a ton of confidence in her following the rehearsals, but against the undeniable talent of Adam, he had to let her go. On Miley’s team I think Whitney will be pushed outside of her comfort zone to a place where she can be more expressive and lively than she has been so far. I’m excited to see what she does next.
5. Shilo Gold – “American Woman” (Team Miley; eliminated)
Shilo’s performance was legit star status for me and I still can’t believe she wasn’t picked up by one of the other coaches. What she achieved with her vocals was awesome, but her ability to move across the stage like she owned it and Moriah was just part of her band is what sold me.
6. Keisha Renee – “I’m So Lonesome I Could Cry” (Team Blake; won battle)
Keisha was in constant control of the song and I like that it was a version of the song not traditionally meant for a voice like hers, but she was still able to perform it as if it was. She has incredible range, but her success in the competition is dependent on the right song choice. Blake is usually pretty good at giving his artists the right songs so she should be in good shape for now.
7. Lucas Holliday – “My Prerogative” (Team Jennifer; won battle)
Jennifer stuck with Lucas because she finds him unique, but I can see a situation where he gets pigeon-holed into only singing soul music and eventually becomes a less exciting artist than he seems to be now. He’s got a great voice and in his battle he was willing to work the stage with sass and attitude that shows he can be not just a singer, but also a performer.
8. Chris Weaver – “Dangerous Woman” (Team Jennifer; won battle)
Chris won his battle against Kathrina easily even though the song and the arrangement of it was a total miss for me. Chris has a huge voice and once Jennifer finds the perfect song that allows him to give a more honest and controlled performance that he could become an undeniable force.
9. Sophia Bollman – “You’re a Big Girl Now” (Team Miley; eliminated)
Sophia had her work cut out for her the second Miley pitted her against Brooke, who I had already pegged as one of the strongest on Miley’s team. I have to give credit where credit is due because Sophia stepped up to the challenge, but at the end of the day Brooke brings the complete package and is ready to go whereas Sophia still has some growth to be made.
10. Noah Mac – “I’m So Lonesome I Could Cry” (Team Blake; stolen by Jennifer)
Noah and Keisha’s battle wasn’t one of my favorites so I’m surprised he was stolen. That being said, I think Jennifer will be a better coach for him than Blake was because where Blake forced him into a country lane with this battle, Jennifer sees Noah as a pop artist and so hopefully she creates an avenue where he can soar in that lane.
11. Meagan McNeal – “My Prerogative” (Team Jennifer; eliminated)
In her battle against Lucas, I thought Meagan was more consistent and authentic and deserved the win, but I can understand the flip side of it where she’s not as surprising as some of the artists in the competition. In that regard, Jennifer was probably right to eliminate her now because it’s not just about who has the best voice, but also about who is a more exciting performer.
12. Kathrina Feigh – “Dangerous Woman” (Team Jennifer; stolen by Blake)
Despite giving a powerhouse vocal, Kathrina was far from the top of her game in her battle. On the verses she seemed out of sync and on the choruses she overpowered the lyric. Going forward on Blake’s team I think they’ll need to find a way to tone down her habit of going full throttle and learning that big singers can be great even in their quieter moments.
You can start making winner and elimination predictions for “The Voice” in a few weeks. In the meantime, be sure to make your predictions for “Dancing with the Stars,” “Survivor” and more reality show to help set their racetrack odds. You can keep changing your predictions until just before the live shows air. You’ll compete to win bragging rights and a $100 Amazon gift certificate on any shows with live episodes. See our contest rules and sound off with other fans in our reality TV forum. Read more Gold Derby entertainment news.