The Voice – Episode 6 (Battle Rounds)

The Peckish Games

Oh sure, Steve gets to recap 9 of the more interesting battles and I’m stuck with odds and sods like The Party Clown vs The Lifeguard, The Edited Out Battle, and The Ascent of Mooleen. Faboolus. Anyway, last night, on Shout Tennis :


Feel the artistry.

Tonight : more shouting. There’s already a cavalcade of merchandise for this show (an Official Book? Already? REALLY?) but I can’t but think that patented The Voice Battle-Round Ear-Plugs would be a bestseller.

We’re back with our entirely Superfluous Hosts Reggie & Holly on the set of


Midget Tron, as ever. They explain how the show works : within each “Team” the coach selects two people to face off, pick a song that only one of them can sing, give that person a sob-story VT, give the other person a bitch-edit, then they pick the one they like best on the basis of how pretty and young they are. ALL ABOUT THE VOICE! First up?


The coaches of course. Let’s never forget who the most important people on this show are. Maybe Danny & Jessie can have a chart hit with “Moves Like Keith Richards” in which the whistling is replaced by the sound of vomiting and the song ends after 34 seconds. Incidentally, you will never convince me that Holly doesn’t say “SANTORUM JONES!” to introduce the leathery old Welsh Legend. Never. Also, a big round of applause for William who is

Hi William

35 today. And not looking a day over 30 might I add. And, apparently, as we shall discover, forever 17 in his head.

Battle #1?


We’re reminded that Cassius is here looking for a second chance to perform a Number 31 hit on Top Of The Pops. DARE TO DREAM CASSIUS, DARE TO DREAM. We’re reminded that he sang Usher at his audition, and also that Jessie J thinks his voice is really listenable. Which is why he’s on her team. This still doesn’t explain Indie & Pixie. David on the other hand, is a shy construction worker, who sings Stevie Wonder whilst having a poo. This apparently is “why Jessie J did this show”. More power to you, love.

In the BATTLE PENTHOUSE, Jessie J tells Cassius and David that she’s paired them up because she thinks they’ll bring the best out in one another. SPOILERS : Jessie J is wrong. She tells David that he can learn from Cassius’s tone, and Cassius can learn from David’s performance style. As long as he doesn’t follow through. David grumbles in interview that he thinks his tone is fine, but whatever, Jessie J is his coach, so he’ll go with it. Here to help Cassius unlock that poo-popping performance within?

Bonjour la class

It’s “Arna Matronic from The Scissor Sisters”, here being played by your secondary school French teacher. Ecoute et repete, la class.

David & Cassius are singing “Beat It” by Michael Jackson, although based on the first run-through


“Bad” would probably be more appropriate.


Jessie J tells the pair of them that she’s not getting any vibe or energy off them. You can tell when Jessie J’s getting vibe, because a tiny little dolphin leaps out of her tits and through both those hoops there. Keep an eye out. She tells them not to just stand there like lemons – really look like they WANT IT. Ana gets very animated and tells them both to FIGHT AND PUNCH ONE ANOTHER AND MAYBE GAY UP LIKE MAX AND BILL DID, PHWOAR. It’s not happening. Jessie J resorts to


the tactics they use to try to make the pandas fuck at Edinburgh Zoo. Not happening there either. Ana and Jessie J both have simul-huffs and tell Cassius and David to



David retreats to interview and says he thinks that Cassius was just holding back to try and find out what David can do, because he’s got a GAMEPLAN. Oh good, we’re on those are we? I’m now quite glad David left, even though Cassius doesn’t ever perform with energy above that of a lazy bum-pick, because by the live-shows he’d be accusing Vince and Toni of having a secret alliance that was trying to get rid of him and whining about how Ruth-Ann got the Pimp Slot. Cassius interviews that he thinks he’ll get better on the night when he really has to bring it.

Rehearsals suggest


not. Dungarees – making already downbeat women look even more depressed since the 1920s. Time for Jessie J to


LAY DOWN SOME ACTING LESSONS! God, she really is slightly in love with David’s whole “performing whilst having a poo” aesthetic isn’t she? That is some STRAIN going on there. She closes by saying that she really wants David and Cassius’ onstage fight to be full of real tension and bite, as opposed to the passive-aggressive dislike that Cassius and David are bringing to it so far. And their entire relationship, let’s be honest. It’s no Max & Bill, and it never will be.

True to form, the actual Battle itself is more


“Oh Piss Off” than “Beat It”. Cassius probably comes out of it better (although his licks are NOT CLEAN, I repeat, his licks are NOT CLEAN) although that might just be because he’s not come dressed as a rejected character from Balamory. I wonder what Michael Jackson himself would think?


Or at least, his representative on Earth.

Bubbles’ representative on the other hand?


So proud.

We start, as ever, with Reggie saying that he doesn’t envy Jessie’s decision at all. I do. I think it’d be fun. MAKE DAVID CRY! Ahem. He goes to Danny first, who says they’re both fantastic singers.


I know Reggie, I know. Anyway, Danny thinks that Cassius had the energy level right from the beginning (the energy level not being enough to run a potato-clock incidentally), but David grew into it, and he’d choose David. Yes, why spoil the Aryan Dance-Party that Danny is planning for the finals? William says he has to give a pound to his homegirl Jessie J for that battle.

Have a pound dear

Personally I would have gone about 39p for it, but I’m not a millionaire so I have to be a bit more frugal. He tells Cassius that his surname should be Clay, because he killed David. (*Muhammed Ali’s lawyers would just like to point out that Muhammed Ali has never killed, except at miniature golf*). Tom Jones is currently having a nap, so we go right to Jessie J for her decision. WHAT ARE THE VOICES TELLING YOU, MYSTIC MEG?



Tragically his celebration is muted somewhat by the fact that backstage someone has


stuck invisible forks in his mum’s eyes. Ouch. Cassius gives Jessie J a hug and jogs off backstage to party, and David is kind of mumbly and awkward and shrugs Jessie J off when she tells him to keep BELIEVING IN HIMSELF and ALWAYS KNOW THAT HE IS A GREAT ARTIST. Jessie J then has a


minor pity party. IT’S SO HARD BEING HER AND HAVING TO MAKE DECISIONS AND STUFF. Also, that wig don’t shine itself. Backstage David says that Cassius is a great human being and he couldn’t lost to anyone better. Either he’s lying his flat-cap off, or he’s really not made for television. Either way, this is probably for the best.



guess which team this is for. No, go on, guess. Not only do they both kind of look like Tom Jones, they also both kind of look like eachother. I’m hoping for an amazing “YOU AIN’T MY MUVVAH BARBARA!” “….YES I AM!” showdown mid-battle.

We’re reminded that Barbara is a grandmother who “used her 25 years of experience to get Tom’s attention”. Was it by putting a card up in a phone-box? Was she holding a feather-duster in a suggestive fashion? We’re also reminded that Leanne is LOUD and performs in holiday camps on the regular. Her duet of “Dead Ringer For Love” with Captain Croc is legendary.

At Battle-Camp, Tom tells them that he’s pairing them together because they’re loud (/have powerful voices) and he’s conducting a sound experiment to try to resurrect Shirley Bassey (what do you mean she’s not dead?). He tells them both that “he” has chosen a “Lady Gorgor” song for them called (*checks notes* *puts reading glasses on* *checks notes again*) “The Edge…Of…Whassat? The Edge Of Glory, apparently.” Barbara vibrates and says she’s very excited.


I would have preferred “Telephone” with Barbara as Gaga and Leanne as Beyonce and Danny as the diner that gets poisoned, but I’m not Evil Moira Ross, I don’t run this shit, sadly.

Anyway, guess who’s back? Yes it’s


CERYS MATTHEWS, looking as terrified as ever. Tom tells Barbara and Leanne that Cerys knows more about music(/is louder) than anybody else he knows. Which, as we’ve established, is every person who has ever lived, or who will ever live, especially if they’re a bit famous, so that’s saying something. She tells Barbara and Leanne that they both have the loudest voices she’s ever heard, then nips back down into her warren to hide. And interview with Tom that Barbara is big, bold, brassy, and experienced and knows and has seen it all, whereas Leanne


is so meek and shy and reserved. Hey, Leanne has seen a lot too you know. It’s just that that one knobbly-knees competition gave her PTSD and she doesn’t like to talk about it. Back in the room both Barabara and Leanne yell some more and Cerys’ face tells us that


her health insurance is not enough to cover this shit. Barbara says that she’s experienced, Leanne says that Barbara “has a big personality”, let’s get on with it. Tom Jones closes by saying that he thinks Lady Gaga would be scared to get in the ring with those two (she told him herself, when he was having tea with her, Jimi Hendrix and the Honey Nut Loops Bee the other day), and in fact he thinks he would be too.

Hello, babies

Oh Tom, you’re never scared to get in the ring with anyone. Or so I’ve heard.

Can I just say now that I think Barbara deserved to win solely because her


Walk To The Ring is much better than Leanne’s? It looks like she is about to CUT A BITCH. And she’s from Glasgow, so she probably has. Her closing promo? “I cannot WAIT to get a cat-fight going on that stage tonight. IT’S TIME TO TAKE HER OUT!”



Anyway, the battle? It’s not that bad actually, probably on the grounds that both of these women have “Shout As Loud As You Can” as their default setting anyway, so it’s not as though either of them is really pushing themselves. Barbara’s voice is probably stronger, Leanne’s is probably more interesting, I’m awarding to Barbara on the strength of the fact that she actually walks to


the edge, the edge, the edge, the edge, the edge, the edge, the edge, THE EDGE, when she sings about being on the edge, the edge, the edge, the edge, the edge, the edge, the edge, THE EDGE and starts flexing her knees like she might actually LEAP OFF. Now that’s stagecraft. All Leanne does is point a bit.

William’s face?


Like he just walked into a wind-tunnel. Then Barbara starts doing pelvic thrusts at him.


It all ends with Barbara and Leanne squaring off and Leanne almost


pissing herself laughing at Barbara’s shoulder-shrugging, boob-hufting, neck-jibbling fight actions. Amazing.

It gets a standing ovation from everyone, for services to loudness. Holly says she’s just going to check the roof is still on. Also that they haven’t broken any public health laws. Hang on, she’ll be back in a bit. Danny starts for the coaches, and says that that was amazing, but he’d go for Leanne, because she surprised him. If it were up to him, he’d “tip her over the top”.


I bet he would. Will still hasn’t


recovered from Barbara’s pelvic thrusts, and is not afraid to say so. Apparently he now has melted chocolate all over the edge of his seat.


Makes more sense as a relationship than him and Geri Halliwell anyway. Jessie J is too jealous to speak right now, so it’s up to Tom to make a decision.



Tom says this is because Leanne is more modern. William is devastated. I am devastated. I will miss you forever, Sweet Barbara. She’s goes out like a pro, and says she knows it was a hard decision and she still loves Tom to pieces. Jessie J then calls her a pub singer. What a jelus hatah. Danny and Tom then both have a bit of a perv over how hot Leanne is whilst Danny

Oh dear

learns a valuable lesson about finding your best light.

Battle #3?


Erm, William, you can’t pit someone against themselves, that’s cheating. We’re reminded that Frances is the one with the silly hat who sang “Where Is The Love?” and Kate is the one with the silly glasses who sang “True Colours” for her mum who thought she was fat.

William tells them that he’s paired them together because they remind him of when he “started dreaming”.


And then when he woke up he had to bundle up all his sheets and put them on a special wash without Mum.I.Am knowing about it. It’s either that or he’s talking about how he WAS a 17-year-old Zooey Deschanel wannabe. I think my explanation makes more sense. Marginally. Frances and Kate both giggle and say that they really love one another as friends, and this is going to be more of a duet than a battle. William says


fuck that noise, this aint the get-along-gang, CLAW ONE ANOTHER’S EYES OUT.

To further the violence, he’s brought along his friend, male porn star, Dante Santiago.

Don Tay

I refuse to believe with that name he’s anything else. “Music producer”? No. He tells Kate to stop mumbling everything like she’s whispering to her imaginary friend, and actually start projecting. Frances does her best to look humbled and appreciative in the presence of the star of “Extremely Loud And Incredibly Hung” but

Hmm, yes, tell me more

is kind of undermined by her wooly hat. As ever. In everything she does. Although frankly sometimes


she needs undermining. Then, for no other reason than because he can


William takes them both to his recording studio, just to show off. THERE ARE SEVENTEEN DIFFERENT TYPES OF COKE! All the towels have William’s face on! HE’S GOT A MIXING DESK! Both Kate and Frances take to the recording booth, and talk about how amazing the other one is, with a minor undercurrent of jealousy from Frances as to how much William likes Kate. NO GIRLS, FRIENDS FOREVER, JUST LIKE YOU SAID AT SUMMER CAMP!

Their duet? Is to Ironic by Alanis Morisette. To be honest, I can’t really hear it over everyone in the audience, both in the studio and in the UK, turning to one another and pointing out that the song lyrics are not in fact very ironic. This is definitely the first time any of them have noticed this. Needless to say I would have preferred “You Oughtta Know”. (Oh, by the way, Holly introduces Frances as being “the Wakefield Student with an urban edge”)

Guess what?


Jessie knows all the words. Anyway, as duets go, Frances sings the song to the tune it originally had, whereas Kate doesn’t, ever, at any point, so for me, it’s Frances.



They give one another a big hug at the end,


because they’re still besties until Frances accidentally says something about how she loves that Kate’s mum always serves really big portions and Kate asks her WHAT SHE’S TRYING TO SAY BY THAT and then Frances says NOTHING, OH MY GOD, STOP BEING SO SENSITIVE ABOUT YOUR FAT MUM SHE’S NOT EVEN THAT FAT, and then Kate tears up their daisy chain friendship band and doesn’t talk to her for a month.

Jessie J tells them both off for sounding too much like an actual duet that people might want to listen to rather than screaming over one another like drag queens doing a skit, then Tom and Danny are too busy off in the corner swapping pictures of Leanne, so William is left to choose, and he chooses…



Apparently she is a chameleon, whereas Kate sounds like the people William already loves, like Sade, Macy Gray, Morcheeba and The Sneaker Pimps. How nice for Kelli Taylor or…any of the women who floated through Morcheeba that they don’t warrant names. And yeah, I can totally hear Kate menacing out “Spin Spin Sugar” FO SHO. Frances runs backstage where her family go


Zombie Apocalypse on her, whilst Kate is left to tell Holly that, no, really, she is Jennifer Anniston levels of JUST FINE WITH THIS


/calls Holly an arsehole. William tells her that she definitely has his favourite type of voice, and they will hang on in the future. Just maybe not in his recording studio, because that shit’s expensive. She herself goes backstage, hugs her mum and confirms that

It's like She's All That

she looks much prettier without those glasses on. ALL ABOUT THE VOICE.

Battle #4?


Aleks really reminds me of someone who I spent most of primary school locked in a kind of “Death Becomes Her” co-dependent love-hate friendship with, which is quite impressive considering we were both about 8. Whoever said pre-teen boys couldn’t be complicated? Anyway, we’re reminded that he is a lifeguard and Emmy J is a party clown.


Although her make-up skills could have told us that without the voiceover doing it, frankly. Danny tells them both that they’re paired up because they both have very “current” voices. In that Aleks periodically sounds like he’s getting a mild electric shock, I would agree. Emmy interviews that she thinks that Aleks could get really nervous because he doesn’t have much live performance experience, NOT THAT’S BANKING ON THAT OR ANYTHING. Aleks then confirms this by interviewing that he’s never sung a duet before. DUH ALEKS, THIS ISN’T A DUET, THIS IS WAR.

Anyway, in rehearsal, Emmy J is much better than Aleks, and it leaves him feeling verklempt. Danny tells him not to worry – he’s supposed to sing out of tune and forget the words here, so long as he doesn’t do it on stage. And to be fair, even if he does do it there, because Danny never bothers to make it anything less than clear than that he is 100% Bumder For Aleks In A Manly Bromance Way. Emmy Jay gets frustrated than Aleks off-key honking and word-forgetting is making it hard for her to work out what she’s supposed to be doing, so Danny shoos her off so he can have some alone time with Aleks.

Danny's Special Time

To tell him he’s a very special person, and Danny really sees a lot of himself in Aleks (I’LL SAY), and Aleks could go all the way (I’LL SAY) and could he come and sit on Danny’s knee? Oooh, maybe if he rehearsed in his clothes from his day-job that would help him feel more comfortable right? Danny’s got these Speedos, just go behind the screen and try them on. Oh wait, there isn’t a screen. Never mind, he won’t look….

God only knows where Paloma is whilst all this is happening. Off being whimsical probably. Worst chaperone ever.

Rehearsal session over, the editors make sure to make Aleks look as vulnerable and adorable and boyish


as possible whilst showing Emmy Jay


looking like a Doctor Who monster and saying that she’s sick of carrying Aleks up to her standard. UNSUBTLE EDIT IS UNSUBTLE.

Seriously, this is Danny’s face when Aleks is introduced


And this is Danny’s face when Emmy Jay is introduced.


I am not making this up.

They’re singing “Broken Strings” a song I have never heard either James Morrison or Nelly Furtado sing live in tune so…good luck.


I’d say she’s much better at the bits where they’re singing alone, and he’s marginally better at the bits where they’re singing together, but that’s most of the number so…I’m giving it to Aleks, despite Danny going so far as to give him coaching AS HE PERFORMS, yelling “SMILE! SMILE!” at him and doing stuff like this


every time he goes for a big note. Such a fan-girl.

To the coaches now, and William tells Aleks that he seemed SHY and Emmy J that she seemed CONFIDENT (Monster). Not that we’re driving any sort of theme home here or anything. Jessie J starts gushing about how much chemistry they had and how she really wanted them to kiss at the end. Emmy J looks like

Yeah, no

she’d rather drink paint. Jessie J again tells them off for melding their voices together too much, and says she’d take Aleks through. Tom says it sounded like they were both holding back (by his standards of course. By his standards Pavarotti holds back), and in the end Danny goes for



What a shock. He tells Aleks that he still has a lot to show him (I’LL BET) whereas Emmy J isn’t really as mouldable (/groomable). And may Emmy J

never learn to control her stank-face. Danny hugs Aleks and tell him that that’s a big thing he did up there on stage just now. And it’ll be an even bigger thing he does backstage later. (I may have added that bit myself).

Battle #5 now


We’re reminded that Ben is a Youtube Sensation who auditioned with a peerless rendition of “Rocket Man” and Ruth-Ann honked he…




Wait…what? I mean, from the 5 picoseconds of duet that aired she was doing a bit better, probably because it was “I Wanna Dance With Somebody” which…appears not to be anywhere within Ben’s Cabaret Wheelhouse but…that was all a bit sudden. William and Danny both stand around wondering what the fuck just happened, as do I, and we move on to Battle #6


We are reminded that Matt & Sueleen (who I will be referring to via their mash-up name of “Mooleen” from here on out) are that dreadful wedding-singer couple from Four Weddings And A Funeral who tossed a coin to decide whether to go with Tom or Jessie, and that Lindsey has no real distinguishing features other than her great big West Brom accent, which means I am rooting for her all the way (MIDLANDS PRIDE!).

Lindsey tells us that it was a bit of a shock


being paired up against two people, and she’s scared because Mooleen have got two great individual voices that blend really well together. (They bloody don’t). Tom however says that Lindsey needn’t worry because her voice is very expressive and it could easily win out over the whiny bleating of the other two.


Personally I don’t fancy her chances myself. They’ll all be singing “Born To Run”, which is how I’m feeling as well at this point quite frankly. Mooleen lie that they totally feel intimidated by Lindsey’s voice as well, so Tom and Cerys hold them back after class for some extra advice.


They’re told to “be as natural as possible”, possibly because Matt’s hair is freaking Cerys out. Although I get the impression a lot freaks Cerys out, poor rabbit. She says to camera that Mooleen are really unique and different. Yes, it’s like Meatloaf formed a duo with Siouxie Sioux and decided to sing everything like a French & Saunders parody. Lindsey says that getting through to the live shows would just be “the ultimate” and “a real pat on the back”. Only in the Midlands would “the ultimate” be “a pat on the back”. We are humble folk, with humble values.

Out to the stage and


the music strikes up, and poor Lindsey never stood a chance did she? She sings the absolute arse off the pair of them, utilising that most classic of Midlands-Style voices – the bizarre mix of country, Bonnie Tyler, Brummie-Burr and constant unnecessary vibrato (it’s like she’s singing whilst actually on a motorcycle! SO AUTHENTIC! SO REAL!) and still it makes no difference because we apparently have to have a duo in the live shows just to show we can. Look


William knows what’s coming. He agrees with me.

Over to the coaches, and he tells Mooleen that their voices together sound like one person but…so does Lindsey’s! It’s a difficult decision, but he thinks she snipped it. Is that why Mooleen sounded…like that? Jessie says Tom’s got a really difficult choice on his hands, but compliments Lindsey on holding her own against two people. William is off sulking with me in the corner, so it’s time for Tom to choose.



If I have my way, there’ll be rioting in the Potteries tonight. Watch out Tom,


Lindsey’s coming for you. After Mooleen run riot backstage, Reggie asks Lindsey to tell Tom Jones what he means to her and she says that he’s an absolute…legend. And so easy to be around. And run over in the car-park later. MIDLANDS PRIDE! Jessie J confirms she’s not insane, and makes sure it is got on tape that she would have chosen Lindsey. Quite right too.

Battle #7 now


Who? She’s the perky cheerleader who womp-womped her way through “You And I” and he is…no it’s gone. Even if you played Guess Who? and listed all his distinguishing features you’d still be left with a The Voice flip-board of about 5 people. He wears a hat, he’s getting on a bit, he thinks he’s a soul singer, IT’S MURRAY! They’ll be singing “Kids” by Robbie Williams & Kylie Minogue because…well why not?

In the rehearsal room, Danny says that he thinks Murray will look at Hannah and be intimidated by her youth, and that Hannah will look at Murray and be intimidated by his experience. If Hannah had been paying any attention to the duets so far, she’d probably…be a little less intimated, given how that match-up has gone time after time. Indeed, Hannah says that Murray


“is a lovely guy, but he’s as old as my dad” with the air of someone who’s just been set up on a bad blind date. She says she will use her youthful energy to her advantage. Also her GIANT HOOP EAR-RINGS. Paloma briefly emerges from

*cackles like a witch*

chasing squirrels around the park to ask Hannah what her “thing” is. Apparently Hannah’s “thing” is that she goes to Exeter University, and is also a cheerleader. I’m thinking one of those two things might be more marketable than the other… Anyway, Murray says he’s a singer, not a dancer, and is going to focus more on feeling the rhythms and nuances of the music than “shaking his booty”. Well quite.

In rehearsals, this is so much a foregone conclusion that Danny spends his time

Captain Burk

envisioning himself as Captain Of The Starship Enterprise rather than actually coaching. His five year mission? To boldly go where no man has gone before. Hi Aleks. Once they’re done he tells them that this stage is all about performance, because we already know they can both sing. Erm…I don’t – you skipped Murray’s audition for, I don’t know, Tom Jones talking about the time he and Joni Mitchell played rat-a-tat-ginger at Yoko Ono’s house.



Well this isn’t awkward at all! I guess there’s a kind of goonish humour in watching a soul singer trying to pour themselves into Robbie Williams’…style, but it isn’t anything you’d watch for pleasure.


Hannah has the much easier job of mimicking Kylie with some quirks on top and that, combined with Murray’s rather lumbering dad-dancing means that I’d gift this one to him, with a side-eye at Danny for the song choice. The height difference can’t really help either, given that to duet(/BATTLE) with her he basically has to hunch over like Nosferatu to get to her eye-level. Maybe if he’d done the entire performance shuffling round on his knees?

Anyway, to the coaches, and Jessie J gives them congratulations for giving it their all despite the mystifying song choice. William and Tom are off on their own at the side doing the rap, so it’s up to Danny to make the decision right away.



I have to say, Reggie is much better at the whole arm-raising business than Holly. And given that that’s their sole roles as hosts pretty much, she might want to consider her job options.

Battle #8 now


and we’re reminded that Becky is a stroppy teenager, and the Midlands’ last best hope in this competition and nobody really knows why the Indie-Pixies are here, but they’re quite happy to imply they might be a bit lezzy sometimes if it will help them get through.

Into the Battle-Gym and Jessie J lines them up and tells them that she’s paired them up because they’re all massive pains in the arse (/have very strong personalities). And she’s quite keen on getting them all over with in one session, even if it means having to send one of them through to the live shows to hog the bathroom for an hour and leave half their extensions down the drain. Also the producers would quite like for them to cat-fight for the ratings. Becky interviews that she’s worried that her personality might be overwhelmed by The Indie-Pixies on stage, and the Indie-Pixies brag about how confident they are and how people are intimidated just by them walking into a room.


Yes girls, you’re terrifying.

The mentoring session for “Irreplaceable” goes pretty much exactly as you’d expect, ie Jessie J is screaming


“WHY? WHY? WHY? WHY?” at The Indie Pixies within about 5 seconds. Then The Indie-Pixies complain in interview that Becky’s getting all the big moments of the song, and they’re getting all the easier bits because they’ll be able to harmonise on them (yes…THAT’S why you’re getting the easier bits) and THEN whine that they feel like they’re Becky’s Backing Singers and


throw shady faces at her. Surely two other women being relegated to the role of background singers is the very nature of a Beyonce song? It’s just the way of the world girls, let it be what it is. Anyway, they take these concerns to Jessie J and


M. Matronic is not impressed girls. Now tell her, OU EST LA PISCINE? Becky admirably holds back a rage-fit by


anxiously picking her teeth and rolling her eyes like a pro. You can totally tell that she wants to RAGE-SMASH the pair of them though. Such a journey of personal growth she’s going on.

Jessie J tells the Indie Pixies that just because they’re not getting BIG moments doesn’t mean they’re not getting moments at all, honest, now shut up and be fodder please.

We’re then treated to a brief montage that goes something like this.


LOL. So subtle.

Jessie J says that she’s happy for there to be tension going on in the room as long as it translates into a great performance or somebody Ablisas somebody. Becky says she really wants to show everyone that this is what she loves doing. The Indie Pixies say they really want to remind Jessie J why she chose them (because she pressed her button by accident?), I think we all know how this is going to go…


Yup, Becky totally makes the Indie-Pixies her backing singers, if by backing you mean “van backing up”. The blonde one is flat as a pancake and the brunette is actively vomiting up the words and the faces

My god
The horror

my God, the faces. Becky tops it all off with an ULTIMATE EYE-ROLL of derision. Jessie J is


so proud.

Once the noises have stopped, it’s to the coaches, where Danny cusses the Indie-Pixies out for not showing more individuality and tells Becky that she smashed them. William tells the Indie-Pixies that they were a million, billion, madeupillion times better than they were at auditions, but they were up against Becky The Vampire Slayer, and she slayed them. Did William just imply that the Indie-Pixies were unnatural bloodsucking hell-demons with a thirst for human flesh?


Awesome. He lies that he would have put the Indie-Pixies through though, because they improved so much. OK WILLIAM. Fortunately for all our ears, it’s Jessie J choosing and



Jessie J even phrases it “the person I’m putting through is”, lest we get spooked before it’s announced. She praises Becky for her power and passion, and then Becky

You fuckers

buries her head betwixt the Indie Pixies so she can say all the swears that she held back in that training session. She runs backstage to celebrate,


whilst The Indie-Pixies thank Jessie J and tell her that everything that came out of her mouth was something they could really learn from. Up to and including when she lost it and spat at them and M. Matronic had to hold her back from headbutting them. Jessie J tells them that it’s up to them how they move forwards in the music industry, but if they like they can be her stylists.

Sounds about right.

William and Jessie J have a brief chat about how effing annoying The Indie Pixies were and then we’re on to Battle #9, to round out Team Tom.


Hmm, Eye-Candy rock male vs midget ginger mother who we’ve never seen before. The foregone conclusions just keep on piling up don’t they? From the sounds of Denise’s audition I’m not disappointed it wasn’t highlighted, let’s just put it that way.

In the BATTLE-GYM, Adam tells Cerys that he’s feeling pretty nervous. I’m guessing


not as nervous as she feels right now. Tom hand-waves this off with a standard issue “believe in yourself”. Sterling coaching there Tom. He also tells Denise to really use her child as inspiration when she’s singing the song. Which is “Use Somebody”. Which is about shagging groupies. OK THEN TOM. I’m thinking we shouldn’t let the old man loose with the Now tapes from this decade for the live shows, otherwise things could get uncomfortable. In summary Tom tells them both to use their life experiences, and then muses as to which one will shine on the live stage and which will crumble.


SPOILERS : they both crumble. Denise sings in the club style and Adam sounds like he’s doing an offensive impersonation of a deaf person. This is one of those duets that they have truncated for the sakes of our ears and our sanity and God bless them for that.

We start with Danny praising Adam for overcoming his NERVTH and really coming out and owning the stage, and then Jessie and William are too busy STILL talking about how annoying the Indie-Pixies were, so we cut right to



Bless Holly, she totally forgot what she was supposed to be doing there.

Battle #10 is the one to round off Team William


We’re reminded that J.Marie sang behind Holly Valance once and that Becky is just a sweet young girl from Norn Iron who gigs in pubs and clubs. So this means that J.Marie has years of experience and is already at professional standards, and Sophie’s a sweet young thing who is a little over-awed by the occasion. Gotcha. (*prepares self to have lost all of his favourites in the space of one episode*)

In the BATTLE-GYM, William reveals that he has paired Sophie up against J.Marie in the hope that she views J.Marie as an impossible challenge, and then rises to the challenge and surpasses her. And then when this doesn’t happen, pretend it has, and put her through anyway. That being very much the way this show seems to work. Anyway J.Marie


very much looks like she’s ready to kick off as it is, so why not push her over the edge?

Into the rehearsal room, and Sophie’s already shaking and saying that she can’t compete with J.Marie, and generally


pushing the Bashful Schoolgirl thing to the maximum. Nice deployment of the Dungarees Of Vulnerability there as well. Clearly she has learnt from the best (/Jessie J). Oh and the song they’re singing is “Firework” by Katy Perry so…don’t go taking those “The Voice” brand earplugs out just yet.


There’s still going to be PLENTY OF VOLUME going on. They stand bellowing at eachother forever and then J.Marie says that she was surprised with how well Sophie sang the song, especially given that she’s only 17. William says that he also thinks that Sophie is in with a chance.

International Porn-Star Dante Santiago asks Sophie what her motivation is, and she says that she just doesn’t want to go home. William’s all “tell me about it, that’s the only reason I’m doing this two-bit show, I promised Fergie I’d listen to one of her demo tapes about how she’s so Fergimazing and Fergitastic and Fergiefied and Fergieflav and lots of other words beginning with Fergie, and now I’m afraid to go back in the house”. J.Marie says she’d hate to lose to Sophie, because she really wants to move to the next level. I know J.Marie it’s hard, but look at it this way – if you’d chosen Tom you could have gone out to effing’ Mooleen.

William sums up the battle by saying that J Marie is going to intimidate “poor Sophie” by being a better singer and singing on-key and other mean tricks like that that experiences singers use to gain an unfair advantage over photogenic young Irish girls with pupp-dog eyes, the BASTARDS. Sophie mews into camera that she comes from such a tiny little place.


Ah well Sophie, better than your mum being a bucket-fanny. What? That’s not what she me…ok. J.Marie just talks on about how she really NEEDS this, and tilts her head back like a vampire some more.



What a bloody racket. The song starts by asking “do you ever feel like a plastic bag?” and quite frankly by this point in BATTLE WEEKEND, I wouldn’t object to one over my head (DON’T DO IT KIDS!). It’s neither of their finest hours (J. Marie in particular does some body-popping which is quite frankly…ill-advised) but to my ear it’s Sophie’s tuneless honky shouting that is more tuneless and honky, and it also kind of looks like she forgets the worse twice and has to leap on the back of J.Marie again, but given all the unnecessary pauses and changes of phrasing that everybody’s been throwing into these songs, it may well be on purpose.

Ahem. Holly tells William that she’s going to leave him be for the moment, because he clearly needs a moment to collect his thoughts/

Boo hoo

burst into tears for no reason. Oh William. Jessie starts by saying that she knows how hard that song is to sing (/listen to), you know, especially the bit where you just yell “HERP DERP THE SMURFS! BIRTH SCURF THE MURPHS!”. She brings up again that Sophie is 17, and says that she would take her through entirely on that basis.


Tom is next, and says that he would put J.Marie through, on the basis that she was louder. Well, he doesn’t say it, but you can tell he’s thinking it. Look


he’s even checking his eardrums to see which one just accrued more permanent damage. Danny says he’d also go with J.Marie, leaving William to make his choice. He says that this is a very difficult one for him, because he was 27 (LIKE J.MARIE) when he met Fergie, and 17 when he first started the Black Eyed Peas, and on that basis



I really don’t think it’s fair to hold what Fergie’s done against J.Marie there William. William blubs that he wouldn’t be where he is today if it weren’t for the person he was at 17. You know William, there’s only so many times to can openly identify with 17 year olds girls in the space of one episode before people are going to get to talking… Anyway, Holly sends Sophie off for a hug, and Danny chooses to do some


extra-bonus strength mugging that sadly will go unaired. Don’t worry Danny, I noticed.

Holly asks J-Marie if she’d thought 6 weeks that she’d have worked with William and got all the benefits that that entailed. Of course, she’s not 17, so she didn’t get helicoptered off to his recording studio but still…J.Marie says that she tries not to think too far ahead, because random meaningless shocks can always come along and blow you of course, like what just happened now. LOL, so bitter. Channel it J.Marie, channel it. Come back to Strictly and scream through another Team Ka$ha Bisexual Madness showcase. You’ll always have a home there.

Once J.Marie’s gone off to stick pins into a little blue pleather doll, Danny, Tom and Jessie all discuss what William just did. Tom and Danny believe he’s crazy, but Jessie J says she agrees with him, because Sophie can only grow and grow, whereas J.Marie is as good as she’s ever going to get. SHE’S ONLY 27 YOU CRAZY AGEIST BINT. Ahem.

Time now for our last battle, the last battle of Team Danny and Battle #11


We’re reminded that David is a humble young man from the provinces who only has a few gigs under his belt, and gave up his job to chase his dream at the blind auditions, whereas John James is a leathery old THIRTY THREE year old PROFESSIONAL SINGER with ties to a BBC programme and the music industry, and truly this is a battle of David and Goliath and I’m sorry



They sing The Stereophonics song that you’re allowed to like, and at least this time David is actually arguably better than John James, and the song isn’t a full-frontal assault on my ears, and Jessie J does some quality mum dancing, and Tom drops a quality anecdote about how he knows Kelly Jones and also was told he’d never make it in the music industry because he had curly hair, but repetitive stuff like this is why I don’t recap X Factor, and I recap audition shows generally even less.

So that’s it, Battle Rounds are over, and everyone has the 5 they’re taking through to live shows. Just in case you’ve lost track, our teams for the live shows are :

Team William : Joelle “X Factor” Moses, Tyler “Foolish” James, Jaz “Duke” Ellington, Frances “Urban Edge” Wood, Sophie “Edge Of Seventeen” Griffin

Team Jessie : Toni “Headscarf Of Power” Ward, Vince “Womp Womp” Kidd, Cassius “Number 31” Henry, Ruth-Ann “Who?” St. Luce, Becky “SMASH!” Hill

Team Tom : Samuel “Biscuit Base” Buttery, Leanne “Loud” Mitchell, Ruth “Louder” Brown, Mooleen, Adam “Pretty Boy” Isaac

Team Danny : Max “The Hat” Milner, Bo “ba Fett” Bruce, Aleks “Danny’s Special Friend” Josh, Hannah “Rah Rah Sis Boom Bah” Berney, David “Cardle” Julien

Quite the line-up isn’t it?


27 thoughts on “The Voice – Episode 6 (Battle Rounds)

  1. JillyBoyd

    At one point.. I don’t remember who it was about… Danny actually said “she looks quite pretty too” to Tom. So we’ve established that this is basically X Factor but with spinning chairs.

    Apart from Bo (ba), I have no idea who anyone on Team Danny is. I’m assuming they’re all a part of his special army of Beigeness.

    Lindsey was superior to Mooleen. I will miss her.

    1. stevenperkins

      Danny was doing that right from the word go. I lost count of the number of times in the audition he made some comment along the lines “now I’ve seen you, I wish I’d pressed my button”.

      1. JillyBoyd

        And wasn’t he the one who’s been most vocal about it being all about “THE VOICE” from the start?

    2. monkseal Post author

      It was about Leanne, from what I remember.

      To be fair “X Factor with spinning chairs” sounds fine to me.

      1. JillyBoyd

        Jesus, I can’t even remember that….

        Yes, I’ll settle for that. Now if they’d only install ejector seats on SCD…

  2. Kerry McCormack (@KerryMc1978)

    Jessie J’s constant singing along annoyed the cr*p out of me.

    Still can’t believe that Will chose Sophie over J Marie. If it hadn’t been for his faces of awesomeness (<3) during Tom's acts then I wouldn't have forgiven hem yet.

  3. Carl

    Who were the people from the show who were on Twitter complaining about bad edits?

    It seems to me that the show has very little to do with finding stars, or focusing on talent who have not been given enough of a chance – it seems like they almost downplay talent in order to showcase the judges. This is what they do in the US version, where few remember any of the contestants, or the winner, because they’re supposed to be enthralled by Blake Shelton and his wife yelling at people on Twitter, or Blake Shelton and Christina Aguiliera bickering. The ratings have fallen on that show and I think that is a reason why.

    I had no idea J Marie was the woman who was on Strictly. Her version of Rolling in the Deep was the definitive!

    Aleks looks like a Czech porn star in the title photo but in the other shots he looks like Stan Laurel as Spencer Moon.

    I wonder if Mooleen got through just to pay you back for your Billy Connelly jokes.

    Ixie Pixie look like a Hollyoaks comedy plot where Summer and Steph crash The Voice auditions.

    Armatronic – wasn’t that a one hit wonder group in the ’80s? She looks a little like Meg Foster. Or Linda Thorson.

    1. monkseal Post author

      By my last count (for the top of my head), Emmy J, J.Marie, Ben Kelly, The Indie-Pixies and Becky have all complained about the editing and how they were treated. I’m sure more of them have thought it. Oh well, that’s reality tv I guess.

      Also I never made any Billy Conolly jokes, because there is no way he related in any way to any show that I’ve recapped, so you’re wrong. I mean I thought he was Anita Dobson’s husband for a bit, but apparently I was wrong.

  4. Jenny Simpson

    Thank you to you and Steve for the pain & anguish endured from listening to 4 hours+ of caterwauling, banshee wails and shouting, These battle rounds were godawful.

    Blonde Indie Pixie looks like Zoe from Hollyoaks, it’s taken me ages to work that out

    J Marie is having a right old grumble on Twitter, can’t say I blame her, it was getting a bit blatant that the oldies were getting sent off. And jeeez, 27 is now old 😦

    The only one with star quality from this show is World’s Most Awful Teenager According to Her Parents – Becky. Her and Precious/Ruth, Max in the Hat and Jaz look like the frontrunners. Aleks is cute, but can’t cope.

    1. Alli

      Eek! What was I listening to/watching? I hated Becky’s voice, she sounded like she was singing through a chest full of phlegm! Max in the hat – arrogant and annoying, Ruth I liked but she needs to learn to control her voice and fast, but she’ll be there for a few weeks yet, I think.

      And Jaz not all that Jazzy actually looks like the front runner that they’ll quite happily throw under the bus for the ratings/shock of it all.

      As long as Bo doesn’t last all that long I’ll be happy.

      And I’m going to kidnap will and make him live in the cupboard under the stairs because he’s just so sodding adorable/cute/hilarious.

      Monkseal I wub you, that was comedy genius although I do think you should have given us the battle poll option of “no idea, they shattered my eardrums”, but I think that option might have won virtually every poll.

      1. monkseal Post author

        Jaz has got “people on the Internet lecture us all on the evils of racism” boot written ALL OVER HIM. Ruth’s style I think is going to alienate those people who love to bang on about how much they hate Mariah Carey/Celine Dion ad nauseam. Everyone’s decide Bo’s annoying because she’s posh, and Becky’s annoying because the show’s told us she’s annoying (and then they act like they decided this all on their own). I thought Max might be in with a chance, but they’ve said STAGE SCHOOL enough times now that it’ll probably stick. My money’s on David Julien at the moment, but I’m sure things will change.

        I think they’ve now cut most of the people whose voices I liked. I’m basically left with Vince “Womp Womp” Kidd and maybe Max (but then I remember how much I didn’t like his first performance). I like Ruth when she decides to trick out her voice, but she defaults to shouting too much to me. I don’t hate Bo, but it’s not very subtle, and it’s kind of one-note. I think I could like Cassius if he were a bit…better? Everybody else is kind of just…there, although I can maybe get behind Tyler James as my stoner-looking woobie.

  5. Ruth Newman (@RooNew)

    Was it just me, or was Frances Wood (the one with the bobble hat) pulling some real Nikki Grahame expressions during the judges’ loft apartment bit? I sense a Nikki-style toddler tantrum may be on the cards.

    Bo “ba Fett” Bruce – brilliant nickname.

    Was mostly bemused by the way was pulling some amazing “wtf” faces during the other judges’ singers’ performances, but then when he critiqued them he told them they were good. I can only imagine he’s bluffing in the hope that it will confuse the others into picking the wrong act to take through or something…

    Only watching this shows because of your recaps, you realise. I hope you’re proud of yourselves.

    1. monkseal Post author

      I’m so confused. At first I thought he might genuinely just have not much of an ear, but then he told Jessie he would have put The Indie-Pixies through, and NOBODY is that deaf surely?

  6. Lizzy

    Thanks so much for another brilliant recap. Hilarious as usual! :o)

    While watching the show, I noticed William had a book with him during the “battle rounds”………and in one of the screen caps above (during Aleks v Emmy) he has been caught so enthralled in it, he can’t even be bothered to watch the “battle” before him! I suppose you can’t blame him! LOL!

    1. monkseal Post author

      I saw that Danny was making notes at one point during one of his duets. Bless him, he’s fastidious. I’d be surprised if Tom was awake through any of his.

  7. Carl

    I forgot to say thanks.

    I also forgot to say that those not overly flattering intro photos made Hannah look like Morgan (or whatever his name was) with a wig on. It really does look like the same person in that photo.

    I wish Russell T Davies would cast Barbara as a comedy villain on one of his shows. I want to see her on TV again.

  8. PadsterMo

    Does William have a clothing line that those jackets are part of? Surely that has to be the reason for them?

    My ‘Top Trumps’ assessment of Saturday’s show also applied to Sunday’s episode. My family were amazed when I called J Marie Cooper’s elimination – they were sure she was going through but they didn’t know that Anyone trumps Slightly Older (But Not TOO Old – Hi Miriam Reilly!) Female With A Connection To Strictly Come Dancing. Which bodes well for Alesha when Michelle Keegan replaces Amanda next year on BGT.

    On that subject, I think J Marie’s part in The Bisexual Adele Rampage Hour may have granted her a level of goodwill from me that is unwarranted. I tried watching it with my back to the screen and whilst I felt the did spin my chair around, it had absolutely nothing to do with her singing.

    And whilst I feel a certain level of sympathy for those who had their battles brutally edited, surely a bit of perspective is required? It’s one thing to edit something out of the live shows when it might actually affect the result, but when it’s a pre-recorded outcome does it really matter that much? (Coincidentally, I’ve made this same point to my co-watchers with regard to various Apprenti who have been conspicuous by their absence in recent episodes.)

    Love how Paloma decided she didn’t give a fuck and disappeared almost quicker than she appeared. She probably went and sat in one of the thrones in Jessie’s Rehearsal Room and twisted her hair around some more.

    1. monkseal Post author

      I think the short length of the series (compared to X Factor) means you need to make an impact right from your audition, and if you’re edited out it’s really going to hamper you. Does anyone really think there’s any point in Ruth-Ann turning up weekend after next, unless it’s for Jessie J to lolariously save her for no reason. Adam Isaac’s got to be pissed on missing out on the coveted “Pretty Boy Rock Voice” market as well. (TBF he could have sung better).

  9. Poppy

    I have a slight problem in that I can’t remember who any of these people are. I suppose I’ll get used to them as the show goes on, and they’ll be whittling down every week to make it even easier to remember the remainder. Rather worryingly, Mooleen did stay in my memory. Maybe that’s their USP, being so unutterably ghastly that at least people remember them.

    I truly don’t understand the point of Battle Weekend. Well, I know the point is to end up with half the people you started with, but couldn’t they have saved our eardrums a lot of grief and just sat down quietly and told the rejects that they were off home? I’m certain that all the coaches had already decided before they pulled those tortuous “Oh This Is The Hardest Decision I’ve Ever Had To Make” faces. Those songs were all just awful screeching matches, which did nothing for my liking of the show. I ended up thinking that none of them deserved to be there at all, although I did quite like Bo, but I think that was mainly because her voice was one of the *quietest*, which made such a pleasant change from the shriekfest.

    Great recaps, Steve and Monkseal. Thank you, as ever, you make my week that little bit better.

    1. monkseal Post author

      I quite liked it for the camp value of the performances where the singers actually played up the fact that there were two of them on stage. Sadly I think that happened about three times, over the space of two episodes, and even then it was a miracle if they stayed in tune.

  10. pam

    i only watch it for the judges interactions (i do like the really honest bits when they were out of the chairs during set ups) the face pulling and the recaps – can barely remember the acts tbh Even when one catches my attention i have forgotten them by the time the judges start talking Missed wills gnome faces of glee and mischief tho
    thanks for the edification – SANTORUM pml i like tom in that weird way we love doddery familiar reminders of our youth but yup it fits him to a t on this show
    ” somebody Ablisas somebody” – made much more sense when i googled it lmao And becky would have won a round of that that 2 to 1 – the poxie twins taking the stupidity section and becky hitting it out of the park in the punch up and Sorry Who Are Ya sections – Maybe you could pitch the idea of an Ablisas round or show to Moira – am sure she would jump at it (pml @ cheryl’s genteel shock at someone actually punching someone -as if she had never seen it before – even with ya make over cheryl you aint that genteel)
    brilliant and funny recap monkseal – i finally got the peckish games ref when i went back to check SANTORUM again -doh

    1. monkseal Post author

      Santorum, Ablisa, and The Hunger Games – don’t ever say this blog isn’t an education (in ephemera).


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