‘The Voice’ UK review: Becky Hill, David Julien surprise in battle rounds

The battles are already done.

We are now already over with the Battle Rounds on “The Voice” UK, and we are already sending a thank-you letter to the folks at BBC One for making it happen. This is always the most tedious round of the American version of the show, so to have it blow by in two days before the live shows is really rather refreshing.

Cassius Henry d. David Faulkner (Jessie J) – We actually agreed with the vast majority of the decisions from Saturday, but we still weren’t sure about this one. Cassius seemed a bit behind on the vocal at times, but Jessie may have been picking here either based on experience, or on the fact that David’s confidence was not always there early on.

Leanne Mitchell d. Barbara Bryceland (Tom Jones) – Tom easily made the right choice here in choosing Leanne, but we admit overall that this was hardly an exciting duel by any means. Neither one of these contestants are very memorable, and we still have a hard time seeing Leanne not getting swallowed up during the live shows.

Frances Wood d. Kate Reed (will.i.am) – In many ways, this was Will’s version of what Tom just went through. We don’t really feel too invested in either one of these singers, and this was probably the weakest battle overall out of any one of this coach’s acts.

Aleks Josh d. Emmy J Mac (Danny O’Donaughue) – After two ho-hum performances, things got interesting again here. We actually think that children’s singer Emmy is the better performer of these two, but Danny had a rather interesting perspective on his role as a coach — to help people first and foremost. He felt that he could do more with Aleks over time, and this potential got him the win over the experienced singer.

Ruth-Anne St. Luce d. Ben Kelly (Jessie) – Jessie tried to make the same argument here with Ruth-Anne, but we have to admit that we were even more stunned by this decision. The other coaches were never particularly impressed by Ruth-Anne, but

Matt and Sueleen d. Lindsey Butler (Tom) – We learned through this performance that Danny really doesn’t know the meaning of “The Wild West,” since he somehow suggested that this was different than country. As for this actual performance, it was a bit of a convoluted mess. Even though Tom forced a folk duo to sing a classic rock song by Bruce Springsteen, Matt and Sueleen still managed to outshine Lindsey here.

Hannah Berney d. Murray Hockridge (Danny) – The theme of young people out against more seasoned contestants continued here, as cheerleader Hannah managed to topple out someone who was old enough to be her dad. Why was this choice made? We really didn’t think one was better than the other, but Danny may have been hoping that Hannah could be someone with more potential to sell records after the fact.

Becky Hill d. Indie and Pixie (Jessie) – First of all, we think that “Irreplaceable” is a pretty terrible song for a battle since it’s so emotional for an entirely different reason that singers fighting for their lives. We liked Indie and Pixie quite a bit during the blind auditions, but in between their discontent over the song and the actual performance, Becky really slayed them.

Adam Isaac d. Denise Morgan (Tom Jones) – We find it pretty entertaining that Tom Jones is assigning Kings of Leon to anyone, but these two actually ended up doing an okay job with it — at least at first, until there was some sort of howling noise that Adam made rather than hitting a big note.

 Sophie Griffin d. J Marie Cooper (will.i.am) – This was an interesting performance set to Katy Perry’s “Firework.” Why? They are both great singers, but we legitimately feel that based on style and performance ability alone, J Marie may actually have had the potential to win the whole thing. Do we think that Will made the wrong decision here? Definitely, but we did love seeing him completely put his heart on his sleeve in trying to choose between two people at different phases on their lives.

David Julien d. John James Newman (Danny) – In the final battle of the competition, we had a battle that certainly suited the “David vs. Goliath” theme that Danny gave it. It was also rather fantastic, and certainly suited being at the end of the episode. As for the decision, it was part of a theme for the entire 90 minutes — while the two performances were about the same in quality, Danny likely feels that he can do more with David moving forward.

Who were your favorites from the battle rounds, and who do you think has the best potential to actually go all the way in this competition now?

Photo: BBC One

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