Thoughts On The Voice: Sing-Off

May 10, 2011

For this round, the coaches pit their chosen singers against each other by having them sing battle duets. To quote Dane Cook’s character in Waiting, “Welcome To Thunderdome, bitches!” Two singers enter, one singer leaves.

  • Each coach picks the singers who will fight each other, arranges the song, and decides who moves on (though each coach gets to weigh in beforehand.) This allows for so much rigging of the competition.
  • I love that the stage is an actual ring. Yay for theatrics!
  • Also, Carson Daly is the most wooden ringside announcer I have ever heard. After a battle I want him to break from his typical “this will be a tough call for Blake Shelton,” act and say “Well this was easy,” before turning to a contestant and saying “You sucked.”

Team Xtina (guest coach Sia, who I know as the singer on Zero 7’s “Destiny”)

Frenchie Davis vs. Tarralyn Ramsey – “Single Ladies (Put A Ring On It)”

Christina works with the women in the “ring stage,” and she just loves getting to play the referee as the attitudes come out. I’m just glad we’re starting the battles with an uptempo song! Tarralyn has the greater stage presence and attitude, moving to the front of the stage early on and cutting off the sightline to Frenchie. However, she gets kind of screechy when she goes for the power moves. Frenchie responds with better overall singing and more control reflective of her years of experience. She’s cool and calm and doesn’t sound nearly as desperate.

Winner: Frenchie (Yay!)

Team Blake (guest coach Reba McEntire, about whom I know nothing apart from her country success and her TV show)

Patrick Thomas vs. Tyler Robinson – “Burning Love”

This seems pretty one sided, as Patrick is familiar with the material while this is new material toTyler. Patrick starts things off solidly, but he fails to go above and beyond his initial level.Tyler’s solo is way more dynamic and fun. When they get to the trade off ending, desperation sets inTylerand his attempt to go full power sends him off the rails. Patrick sticks to his range and doesn’t take any risks. The last few lines are really a trainwreck of attempted harmonization.

Winner: Patrick (Boo! In that my preference is for risk takers over the safe and boring. But I’m honestly not surprised Sheltonand I do not share this stance.)

Team Adam (guest coach Adam Blackstone, who is Maroon 5’s music director)

Tim “I Thought You Were A Chick” Mahoney vs. Casey “I Thought You Were A Cartoon Character” Weston – “Leather and Lace”

It’s the battle of the unusual voices! Things slow down for this number, which turns out to be a great fit for both singers’ voices. They both hold their own for the song, and harmonize like whoa at the ending. I feel like Casey was the more solid singer, but Tim had some good moments. Also, neither one came off as desperate, which might owe to the more intimate tone of the song. It’s a close one!

Winner: Casey (I’m OK with this!)

Team Cee-Lo (guest coach Monica, who I remember as dominating the TRL charts in the late 90s)

Vicci Martinez vs. Niki Dawson – “Fuckin’ Perfect”

I can’t tell if Cee-Lo is wearing pants or shorts. They’re “shants!” Both singers are good. Vicci has a scrappy growl that fits the rock vibe of the song whereas Niki employs more R&B moves and affectations which could play more to Cee-Lo’s genre experience. However, they do not at all sound good together. I totally disagree with the judge consensus that their duet was the best of the night.

Winner: Vicci (Put your rock signs up!)

This is turning out to be a strange show: one hour time limit, ring setting, singing battles, and lots of desperation! The over-the-top “what can we get from the props department” sets are oddly endearing, and the judges continue to be fun to watch. Replace Daly with an actual human made of flesh and blood, and this show would be straight-up fantastic. I genuinely hope this show is raking in the ratings.



  1. […] The battle rounds continue! Two singers enter, one singer leaves, and there is not much else to say that wasn’t said last week. […]

  2. […] We’re halfway through the battle rounds! Two singers enter, one singer leaves, and there is not much else to say that wasn’t said two weeks ago. […]

  3. […] the last battle round! Two singers enter, one singer leaves, and there is not much else to say that wasn’t said three weeks ago. After tonight, we’ll have the final 16 acts, give or take a few extras from the […]

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