The Voice Recap: The Battles Send Five (!) More Singers Packing

They were dropping like flies on Monday’s episode of The Voice. As Season 25’s Battles continued, five — count ’em, five — contestants were told to drop the mic and hit the road. Did the coaches make the right calls? Debatable. Read on, and we’ll discuss.

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Team Reba: Josh Sanders (Grade: B) defeated Donny Van Slee (Grade: B+) on “When It Rains, It Pours” | Though Reba’s country boys were supremely well-matched on their Luke Combs cover, “Donny Denim” had the edge right from the start. Simply put, he’s able to do more interesting things with his voice than his teammate is. Add to that the extra dose of charm that he brought to the stage, and his victory was a no-brainer — in my mind, anyway. Reba altogether disagreed. (I knew Donny was doomed when she called his performance “cute as a button.”)

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Team Legend: Gene Taylor (Grade: B+) defeated Ronnie Wilson (Grade: B) on “When I Was Your Man” | For a Battle that started rough, this one sure ended smoothly. Along the way, Ronnie reminded us that he knew how to milk a diva moment for all it’s worth, and Gene made sure we hadn’t forgotten that when he lets loose, his voice is straight-up fire. In the end, the latter stood out more to me, owing to the combo platter of power and ache in his vocals. John preferred him, too, RSVPing yes to what he called the “inviting” quality of Gene’s tone.

Team Dan + Shay: Kyle Schuesler (Grade: B+) defeated Madison Curbelo (Grade: B) on “Lucky/Suerte” — Playoff Pass given to Madison | Paired on Jason Mraz and Ximena Sariñana’s hit, Madison and Kyle delivered one of the sweetest duets since Britton Buchanan and Jacklyn Lovey teamed up on “Thinking Out Loud” in Season 14. Madison’s vocal was perfectly lovely and her stage presence, radiant. But as far as I was concerned, there was just no beating the richness of Kyle’s tone or the confidence of his delivery.

Team Chance: Serenity Arce (Grade: A) defeated Bri Fletcher (Grade: B-) on “Someone You Loved” | Throughout Serenity and Bri’s Lewis Capaldi cover, I was struck over and over again by the fact that the latter wasn’t bad, the song just didn’t really suit her. (I wanted to hear Bri on Sarah McLachlan or Florence + the Machine.) On the flipside, the ballad was perfect for four-chair-turn Serenity, who showed off dynamic range and a stunning ability to reach through the TV and squeeze our hearts with her voice. “You lived in that song,” Shay told her when she was done.

Team Dan + Shay: Ducote Talmage (Grade: B+) defeated Ryan Coleman (Grade: A) on “Rock and a Hard Place” | I’d have expected myself to be more into Ducote’s performance than Ryan’s on D+S’s Battle of the Country Boys; I am notoriously a sucker for a snarl. But no two ways about it, Ryan out-sang his teammate, bringing to the stage just as much passion as Ducote and, on top that, greater control over his vocals. Like, if Ducote is a one-trick pony, Ryan is a seven-trick pony. I didn’t realize this, but Chance noted that on their harmonies, Ryan was also trying to help out Ducote.

Team Legend: Jackie Romeo (Grade: B) defeated Olivia Rubini (Grade: C) on “Edge of Seventeen” — Olivia stolen by Dan + Shay | The coaches went nuts for this rendition of Stevie Nicks’ classic; I… hated it. Or at least half of it. Jackie quickly won me over. She might not have ever heard the oldie before being assigned it, but she performed it like she knew it as well as an ex. Olivia, meanwhile… is it just me, or did it feel like was trying to vocally italicize, like, every line? And why all the yelling? Dan called this one of the most “together” Battles he’d seen, and all I could think was, “I’d like some of what’s in his cup, please.”

And, in an extremely truncated Battle, Dani Stacy defeated Corey Curtis to remain on Team Chance. Who was your favorite of the night? Vote in the poll below, then hit the comments with your reviews.

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