NBC’s ‘The Voice’ review: Bria Kelly, Josh Kaufman, and Dawn & Hawkes shine in battles

The Voice -The Voice” is back with some more battles … and more entertainment? We’re not going to sit here and rattle on about our disdain for this part of the season every week, mostly because there’s no point.

What we will say is that while most of the pairings were easy to telegraph from a mile away, at least a few people tried to step it up and make things a little more interesting. We always appreciate that.

Austin Ellis vs. Josh Kaufman, “Happy” (Adam Levine) – This is one of those no-brainer battles for us. Josh was one of the biggest standouts of the entire blind auditions, and despite getting stuck with a song that doesn’t really give you a ton of opportunities to shine vocally, he still really managed to bring it. Austin didn’t do a bad job, but was clearly outmatched. Adam picks Josh, with no steal.

Alaska & Madi vs. Audra McLaughlin, “When Will I Be Loved” (Blake Shelton) – We’re going to be made about this one for a while, and for a number of different reasons. For one, these three could all just go and be in a country group together, and we really wanted to see a steal because we really like duos, and they so rarely go far on this show. But alas, this was Audra and Audra alone’s night to advance. Blake picks Audra, with no steal.

Deja Hall vs. Music Box, “Eternal Flame” (Shakira) – The moment that we saw that this was the song Shakira gave them, we would’ve just got up and left the stage without explanation. Really? The song took away from the fact that this was a unique opportunity for two artists with very unique names. Obviously, the coaches are much more patient than we are, given that they stuck it out for the whole thing. Heck, there was even a steal! Shakira picks Deja, and Usher steals Music Box.

Madilyn Paige vs. Tanner James, “Everything Has Changed” (Usher) – For this performance, the entire goal seemed to be to make the entire viewing public go “aw” at the sight of them. It totally worked. This was a total sugary-sweet performance by two people who could go and light up YouTube immediately. Only one of them advanced, though, and it was the competition’s youngest performer. Usher picks Madilyn.

Dawn & Hawkes vs. Josh Murley, “Stuck in the Middle With You” (Adam Levine) – This felt like another easy pick for Adam. Josh is not a bad performer, but there’s not anything special about him as a performer. Meanwhile, the duo performed what Adam described as his favorite performance ever on the show. There’s no real point spending time on this one, except for the steal. Adam picks Dawn & Hawkes, and Shakira steals Josh.

Bria Kelly vs. Tess Boyer, “Piece of My Heart” (Usher) – We end with another forgone conclusion: Bria was going to win this. We don’t want to be harsh here, but this wasn’t really even that close from our vantage point. Tess stomped around and completely owned that tiny, cheesy stage. But, there was still good news for “former NFL cheerleader” (as she was frequently announced) Tess. Usher picks Bria, and Tess is stolen by Blake.

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Photo: NBC

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