'Battle' continues on 'The Voice'by jmaloni
Behind the Screens with Joshua Maloni
No matter the season, the coaches or the competitors, one thing remains constant on "The Voice": The "Battle Rounds" are super entertaining for the audience and completely awkward for the singers.
For fans of the show, the "Battle Rounds" are a prime opportunity to survey the field and find a singer or singers to cheer on and vote for in the live playoffs. But for the vocalists, paired up in a winner-advances-loser-goes-home format, the concept is artificial to what they find in real life. I mean, it's not as if two singers performing at a bar are told the manager's favorite gets paid while the other will be sent packing.
A prime example of the "Battle Rounds" unusual format took place last week in the duet-duel between Team Christina's Jacquie Lee and Briana Cuoco. Together, the singers complemented each other on "House of the Rising Sun," and could've passed as a full-time duo. But when the performance was over, only one could continue with Christina (Jacquie), while the other became a free agent (Bri landed with Team Blake).
"It was definitely a tricky combination, because one side is - you have to remember you're competing with them, but on the other hand, it's - you want to complement each other's voices and make the performance be the best performance, like, overall as a whole," Jacquie said in a phone interview. "So what me and Bri did was we had a discussion that when we found out we were paired as 'Battle' partners ... we said that we were going to help each other out, and our goal was to get one of us stolen so that we could both remain in the competition."
Though the "Battle" was difficult, Jacquie said she was pleased with the results.
"I think we achieved the goal, obviously, and we were just really happy about it," she said. "I mean, it's hard competing against your 'Battle' partner, because you spend so much time with them and you become their friend. So in me and Bri's scenario, we got really fortunate and I think our hard work paid off."
For the coaches on "The Voice," the "Battle Rounds" are a time to separate the good singers from the great ones.
Christina said, "I've seen so much growth in Jacquie," and called her apprentice a "lion in a kitty cat's body."
Jacquie said the second round provided an opportunity to learn from her coach, who is an iconic and successful pop singer. Christina has given Jacquie a new level of confidence.
"From the blinds to the 'Battles,' I got more comfortable with the stage, and (I sang) the beginning of my song a-capella, so I definitely took more risks. ... And I think it was just a risky choice and the whole thing was just pretty risky, so that's one way I improved, is just taking risks and sort of stylizing the song and making it my own," she said. "And Christina helped me with that by pretty much giving me amazing advice to just research the song and find out the core meaning of it and, you know, find out the story and, like, ways that you can relate to it. And that is what helped me the most. And she also did give me some pretty cool ideas of, you know, pretty cool risks, because she's the queen of that."
The "Battle Rounds" continue tonight at 8 p.m. and tomorrow at 9 p.m. on NBC. For more on "The Voice," visit NBC's official website at http://www.nbc.com/the-voice.