The Voice 2 : Episode 8 (Battle Rounds 2)

Sing some Tom Jones to me! NOW! YOUR LIFE DEPENDS ON IT!

Previously on The Battle Rounds :

Jamie Bruce still looked kind of demonic, no? Once the dust had settled, he and Adam and Adam’s psychotic fiancee made up the foundation of Team Tom. William had the self-branded GEEK Jordan-Lee Davies and Cleopatra, still clutching one of Brantano’s shins in her teeth. Danny had Andrea and her hard-won wisdom, and Jessie was being kept company by Supermodel Of The World Sarah Cassidy, “Larger Than Life” Ash Morgan, and that bloke from off of The Lion King. I just thought I’d help you remember who was on which team there, because it’s not as though the show is going to help you out much over the next hour or so. Never has a show needed more spreadsheets to keep track of what the heck is going on than this one.

To help you focus your mind

Holly has put the twins to bed. It really is business time. Without further ado (sorry, I’m not recapping Danny jumping and down on his chair bragging about how he’s about to create a superstar, I’m just not) let’s get to the first fight on our docket, in Team William.

I think I knew Carla & Barbara were doomed some time around the point they didn’t even bother to create a stupid Team Name for them. I mean, they’ll always be the Opera Hags in my heart but… sigh. Anyway, we are reminded by Holly that Leanne used to be in a Girls Aloud tribute act and then wasn’t and now sleeps in a bed with her mum BUT NOT LIKE THAT. She also unaccountably chose to be Team William, despite being 24 and a female, when those are BOTH THE AGE AND GENDER THAT JESSIE J (chooses to tell the world that she) IS. And The Opera Hags are…well…The Opera Hags.

In training, William tells us

still wearing his original wrapping to avoid collecting dust that, as Leanne is a “power singer” and Carla & Barbara are “angelic sopranos”, he’s going to have them duel via “popera”. What a brilliant compromise that I’m sure we can all get behind. Who doesn’t love Katherine Jenkins wailing the hits of U2 right down her nose, seven octaves higher than they were written to be sung? He announces to Leanne and The Opera Hags that they will be singing “Hero” by Mariah Carey.

The Opera Hags are already so over this. Leanne basically honks

“LOL, BYE HAGS” right in their faces. William looks at The Opera Hags fearsome fizzogs and muses “do you know it?”. I think they do William. I think that might be the problem.

Fortunately International Porn Star Dante Santiago is here to lend a hand, translating the pop sensibilities of “Hero” to an operatic sensi…oh, no, wait, he’s just going to do what all the other mentors do (except Cerys, bless her demented face), which is hang around at the back, like he’s just arrived to give William a lift home, but he’s gonna stand inside for a bit because it’s raining. Anyway, William tries to persuade The Opera Hags that singing Mariah Carey in the manner of a drunken Lesley Garrett constitutes “cultural exchange”. Once the singing actually starts, The Opera Hags stare at the transcript glowering

“what the fuck is this fuckery?” and it turns out it’s a “cultural exchange” on a par with that German exchange student who tried to touch your mum up. Barbara in particular is clearly just screaming noises until she gets to go home.

Leanne interviews that basically the rehearsal was entirely pointless for her, other than standing on the sidelines watching Carla & Barbara break down on national television.

Awkward. In the end, William has to send Carla & Barbara home so that they can learn the words and the tune and stuff. I bet they didn’t. I bet they sat and ate chips and seethed.

Fortunately, according to Reggie, things “began to hot up” in studio rehearsals. Not because of Carla & Barbara, oh no, they’re still producing random honky notes that seem to be shattering even

their own ear-drums, but because William has added a big stupid high note for Leanne to shriek out at the end of the song.

Like she’s Kirby or Rogue or whatever, and has absorbed The Opera Hags soprano powers. Barbara interviews that she is so proud that Leanne has now rendered her presence on this show utterly irrelevant by nicking her gimmick, so she’s off to dip-dye HER hair pink and sleep with her mum. I mean…ok, she doesn’t. But the inference is there. Williams claims that this is Leanne raising her game to match that of the “Two Headed Opera Dragon” (see? Wouldn’t that for a much better name than “Carla & Barbara”. “Two Headed Opera Dragon”. I know it sound a bit like a Panic! At The Disco song, but still) like The Opera Hags’ “game” in this episode has been so significant and imposing.


So yeah, Leanne sings “Hero” straight out of Butlins, just like you’d expect her to

all earnest hand flaps and saying “choooo” instead of “yooou” and she’s periodically interrupted by Carla & Barbara making opera noises whilst all of the judges pull

“LOL OPERA!” faces. Meanwhile everyone in the audience just stands there swaying and clapping their hands, completely out of sync with one another and everything going on on stage. I had dreams that the wonderful journey of The Opera Hags might not end like this, but I clearly over-estimated what William is capable of. I mean, I’ve heard people slagging them off for not really being willing to “step outside their comfort zone” but what were they supposed to do? Throw a freestyle rap in it? They’re singing a song that’s billed as “Mariah Carey & Pavarotti” for god’s sake. Pavarotti is a TENOR and there is ONE OF HIM. That’s pretty out of the comfort zone of a couple of sopranos. Carla seems kind of at peace with it, going on autopilot and giggling throughout but you can see Barbara getting pretty

righteous in her parts.

Anyway, Leanne does her big dumb high note at the end to prove that she can do big dumb high notes like Carla & Barbara can, and that officially makes her better, even though she does it with all the grace and ease of the Atlas Stones from World’s Strongest Man.

Once they’re done, Jessie wants both of them to know that she loves them as people and as artists and as females, but

she bloody hates that song. It’s karaoke, and she thinks everyone involved is so much better than that song allowed them to be. Meanwhile Jessie J has her artists sing such nuanced modern classics as “Bummed By A Martian” by Katy Perry. Danny too, says he has a problem. He’s always a big fan of getting different styles and bringing them together in one song. Say, by doing a crappy white-boy rap over the top of some sub The Fray emo-indie chug. But he just doesn’t like opera, cause it’s all in foreign and stuff.

William, as AN AMERICAN HIP-HOP ARTIST AND BLACK EYED PEA AND ALSO WILLIAM is left in the unusual position of railing against snobbery against singing in Latin, and protests that opera has fans all over the world who don’t care about what language a song is in. Seriously, I bet Danny’s the sort of person who won’t watch a film with subtitles, because he DOESN’T GO TO THE CINEMA TO READ! Of course then William brings “Gangnam Style” into it so…ok.

We close with Tom Jones telling The Opera Hags that they scare the shit out of him which…so say all of us.

Time now for William to make his decision, and of course whilst he would happily listen to The Opera Hags all day and really really really wants to record original material with them…

this show doesn’t have a clue what to do with them, so he’s forced to go with Leanne. Needless to say, nobody steals, and The Opera Hags go back to their biker rally empty handed. Can’t wait for that original material. After they’re gone, Jessie and Danny talk smack about Mariah Carey some more, when she’s a judge on a reality show that this series has produced this, whereas they are judges on a reality that this series has produced…well…narrow it down a bit.

Time for Battle Number 2

Holly reminds us that Elise is Josie from Fresh Meat, and Cherelle is a single mum of two who sang a Cheryl Cole song with a voice more shredded than cheap coleslaw, but unaccountably got chosen by Tom anyway. Because he “heard her passion”. And, you know, her volume. Tom tells them both that they’ll be singing “All About Tonight” by Pixie Lott.

[*insert Sheila Hancock here*]

Tom reminds us at this point that his Battle Round advisor is Cerys Matthews and she is

off her face on something. They’ve known one another for so long, and they really respect one anothers judgement. Which is why, I presume, he’s letting that hat slide. The sort of hat that looks like it should be being worn by a donkey chewing at somebody’s azelias at a vicar’s tea party in a 1950s sitcom. Cerys loons to camera that it really helps when you’re “in battle formation” to try to find your own voice. I guess that’s why you’d sing a song by Pixie Lott, because let’s face it, you’re never exactly going to be dwarfed by the strong aural personality of the original.

Anyway, they canter through the song easily, and the editors are kind of stuck for stuff to do, so let’s just talk about Tom Jones for a bit shall we? Cherelle mugs that she’s never had voice lessons before, so it turns out that her very first vocal coach in life was SIR TOM JONES! Elise then

pulls a bunch of faces and talks about how star-struck she is, not at all to suck up or anything. Of course she then reaps the whirlwind, as Cerys grabs her by the wrists like a scary marketplace gypsy and yells in her face to

SING SOME TOM JONES TO TOM JONES BECAUSE HE IS CLEARLY YOUR IDOL! SING TOM JONES! SING TOM JONES! SING ITTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTT! Elise then sings “Green Green Grass Of Home”, and sounds like ass. Cherelle chortles in interview that she was really scared of Cerys yelling at her to sing some Tom Jones because…you know…Cerys, and also because she doesn’t know any Tom Jones songs. Apart from “Sex Bomb”. She then sings “Sex Bomb”. “Sex Bomb”. Cherelle is my new favourite (/only person I can remember who I don’t only remember because they’re vaguely fit) and chides herself for not doing her homework, like usual.

Elise weeps to camera about how ruining “The Green Green Grass Of Home” in front of Tom Jones was the proudest moment of her life but

I dunno, I think Cerys might have had her tied up or something.

Both girls are announced on to stage, and give one another a sisterly rabbit-scrunch-nose of solidarity. So nice that they made friends through the adversity of Cerys Matthews loon-face.

Cherelle is a lot more tuneful this time, which makes me wonder what she might be capable of doing with a song that doesn’t defame humanity by its very existence, and she’s certainly a lot more effortless with her stage mannerisms that Elise who

I think is just a bit too “valleys” for this song. Seriously, there’s more to “joyful sexual abandon” than just curling up your lip and occasionally doing kitty-cat hands. Vocally I’d give the edge to Elise for most of the song, but there’s moments where she goes so low in her register that she sounds like Charlotte Church doing one of those funny voices Charlotte Church does when she’s trying to be funny, and Cherelle really blows it out with some passion towards the end so… I don’t know. I’d probably give it to Elise on the grounds of her audition performance not making Toni Warne sound like Marcella Detroit, but that’s just me.

Incidentally, Jessie spends the whole song yelling “COME ON! MORE!” when she’s neither their mentor nor still in possession of a steal but…I guess she just cares That. Much about artistry and stuff. Also incidentally, when the performance is finished you can see some teen girl in the front row turn to her friend, point at one of the two contestants and honk “THAT ONE!” which is frankly how all reality show victors should be chosen. Imagine Dermot at final two of X Factor going “AND THE WINNER IS…………………………..THAT ONE! *points*”

Danny is first to give his opinion, and says that Elise was better on the high notes, but Cherelle had a certain “grit and gravel” to her voice that he found really soothing. Ah yes, that soothing grit. William says that he doesn’t know who he’d choose in Tom’s situation, and Jessie sighs that it’s really “TFT”, which apparently means “Tough For Tom”. It my house it stood for “Time For a Top-Up”. These episodes are thirsty work.

Tom for his part exhales like an orgasming polar bear and then picks

Cherelle. I am surprised, although not as shocked as Jessie J whose brain just exploded.

What, you mean Tom and his fellow countrymen don’t have an unbreakable psychic bond that cannot be shattered? Everything this show ever told me was A LIE! She turns to Tom and snorts “really?!” which…you chose Ruth Ann St Luce TWICE Jessie J, so you can sit down. Cherelle weeps away happily, and Elise gives a genuinely appreciative woop of support to her as she stumbles off, whilst her family and friends

all compete to look as bitter as possible. I wish we’d seen what Katie Benbow’s wheelchairbound nan with an oxygen tank looked like after she got turned down. I bet she turned the air blue. Anyway, nobody steals Elise, ah well. Back to drilling through your friends cheeks with a dentist’s drill and having ill-advised sex with Jack Whitehall. Once she’s gone, Danny smug-faces that he doesn’t know what Tom was thinking, because he would have absolutely gone with Elise, hands down, all day long.

I bet you would.

Battle 3 now

Reggie reminds us that De’Vide are one of the many many duos this series that I have become randomly attached to, even though they all suck and I reject the idea of duos competing on this show anyway (HINT : IT’S NOT CALLED THE VOICES) and that Derby County sits in his room wanking and eating Pot Noodles and occasionally remembering to sing and is probably this year’s Aleks Josh. Jessie tells us that she’s paired them together because they are her two “quirkiest” artists, which is a sorry state of affairs given the effing nutters that populated her category last year. It is revealed that they will be sing-rapping “Best I Ever Had” by Drake, and then the soundtrack IMMEDIATELY starts playing “Best Thing I Never Had” by Beyonce just to confuse me.

Letitia Grant-Brown approves.

We’re reminded that helping Jessie choose is Moonface from The Magic Faraway Tree.

He’s written songs for Hot Chelle Rae, Miranda Cosgrove AND Corbin Bleu, as well as an original song for the tv show Glee. SHOW SOME DAMN RESPECT FOR MOONFACE! In rehearsal, it turns out that De isn’t entirely ready for the rap elements of the song, as they’re at slightly too slow a tempo for him. Moonface then goes full

“last 30 seconds of Majora’s Mask” on De, telling him that you should NEVER EVER come into a rehearsal space not 100% ready to perform. I would have loved to have seen what Moonface made of Carla & Barbara’s showing earlier. De continues to not really get it, and then Jessie J wags her finger at him and tells him that she’s the only mentor here giving rappers a chance in this competition (God only knows why, we’re airing on Saturday night on BBC 1, they’re not going to win).

Yeah, rappers who look like the result of a bastard genetic experiment combining all four of the main cast members of The Big Bang Theory. Plus a little bit of Amy Farrah Fowler. Jessie then points out that De screwing up all over the place is leaving Derby County feeling

pretty bloody smug, as you probably would. De sighs, and says he feels like he’s an extra small hand trying to fit into a really big gaping flappy glove. Does Jessie J identify with that situation? Sadly we are cut off before Jessie gives him his answer/slaps him upside the head for implying that she’s got a wizard’s sleeve.

Tim next for live studio rehearsals, in which De’vide do a lot better, but unfortunately for them all that sterling effort is undone in one fell swoop as Jessie reveals that De’Vide are not in fact called De & Vide, but instead “Lex and Barney”. I mean…she goes on about how nervous Derby County is, but there’s just no coming back from that one is there?

To the stage now, where it quickly becomes apparent that this battle is more one between

novelty hats than between vocal powerhouses duelling it out in a battle of lyrical supremacy. De’Vide whirl around one another like they’re playing a variation of Twister which only uses the legs, whilst Danny County just kind of…sways on the spot? And doesn’t really get much singing to do, and when he does it’s just the same line over and over again. Let’s see how the other mentors are regretting not Giving Rap A Chance :

Yeah, they’re kicking themselves. I mean… Drake’s raps are often pretty flaccid anyway, but this is quite something. It’s pretty much entirely the other end of the spectrum from Leanne honking out a “Hero”. Barney sounds alright though, although he’s trying to play the ladies man a little too hard.

Once they’re done, Reggie openly makes fun of Danny’s dancing, and I don’t think he even notices that he’s doing it, bless him. William starts for the judges by telling Danny that he really thinks that we’re in the very early stages of seeing a global megastar here.

Like, the REALLY early stages. Like when Angus Deayton used to present those shows with clips of Keira Knightley titting around in a Robinson’s advert aged 8. Danny (judge) also goes on about what a special and unique talent Jessie has found in Danny (contestant), whilst De’Vide

openly seethe. Jessie blahs on some about how both acts have really come a long way since the Blind Auditions, and tries to make the outcome not entirely obvious but yes

another duo are being fed into the mincer. Sadly we don’t get to hear Tom’s opinion on all that rap. I’m sure it was apropos. Nobody saved De’Vide but William does tell them that he doesn’t think that The Black Eyed Peas would have won The Voice if they’d been contestants but it turns out that they’ve

won the world. Ah well, better them than UKIP. He tells De’Vide that there is a space for them in the world to do something truly magnificent. Like, painting and decorating or something, I dunno.


Holly reminds us that Leah is a fashion student who sings like a Furby with a melting battery and was one of those mean girls who spent that one episode not picking Jessie J because they all hated her, and CJ is a chugger who William chose because he literally had no other option, having trolled the audience for a grand total of 2 months and 17 days of opera singers, jazz-funk scatters and the entire 1978 lineup of Brotherhood Of Man.

Anyway, William pulls Leah and CJ out of the line-up and pretty much full on tells CJ that he doesn’t really like him, but hey, they’re got four whole episodes of Battle Rounds to fill, so at least try to put up a fight against Muffy von Squeaksalot here. He lays out “The Way You Make Me Feel” by Michael Jackson on the piano, and just lets them get on with it. Even International Porn Star Dante Santiago, whose purpose as a mentor is to muddy the waters and make the battle more exciting just says

“Leah’s got undeiable world-class talent but erm…I think when it comes to Battle time, CJ’s really going to be ready to go”. They edit out the “back to pushing back copies of The Prisoners Friend through people’s letterboxes”.

When they’ve finished their run-through, William tells them that he’s really pleased for both of them, and he was particularly surprised by CJ being basically competent all of a sudden. Leah’s all

“oh no, I totally might not win this in a cakewalk despite all indications that William only picked CJ for a joke definitely I’m so scared”. Leah incidentally appears to have turned up ready to go straight to pottery class as soon as this particular Battle Round is finished. Nice to have a hobby I guess.

Fortunately for Leah, William asks CJ to stay behind after class, for extra undermining sessions, in which he tells CJ that he only picked him because Evil Moira Ross MADE him to keep the teams balanced and to avoid the unedifying sight of a Battle Round that was just Leah scratching around in a circle cawing like Foghorn Leghorn, on her own. He found his clapping amateurish and embarrassing, and he’s DAMNED sure the public have no interest in him whatsoever.

TAH DAH! Fortunately CJ takes this dressing down in the spirit of hilarity in which it’s intended.

In live rehearsals, we get the following scene :

CJ : *signs* Hey pretty baby, with your high heels on!
Leah : *checks Clarks shoes being worn ironically for signs of heels*

*finds none*
William : *check watch for time, so interested in this battle is he*

CJ says rather desperately in interview that he thinks that he might have an angle at which he can beat Leah! It’s his stage presence! Especially in a Michael Jackson song, as Michael Jackson was all about showmanship. Leah interviews that she basically agrees, and thinks that CJ has a more endearing stage presence than her. I mean…Leah’s a lovely girl, and genuinely I think one of the more talented singers in this year’s crop, but her stage presence is about as comforting as having a hornet’s nest thrown in your face so…it’s not exactly saying much.

William closes by saying :

“Leah’s a lion, but CJ could be a dragon dressed up as a gazelle and barbeque the lion”.


Oddly enough, when their battle gets going, it’s probably my favourite of the first two episodes. I know, I didn’t see it coming either, but they just have a nice energy together. He still can’t hit any of the big notes, and she still adds far too many unnecessary chirps and affectations but

they seem to bounce off one another which, for all it’s fun to watch Cleopatra steamroller annoying people, makes for much more pleasant viewing than the usual screeching theatrics. It doesn’t feel like either one of them is trying to outdo the other (except when CJ

starts doing some breakdance lite), and as a result I think the better of both of them.

Midway through the performance, CJ lobs his cap at Jessie J and

turns her into Sexy Rasputin.

Or a Yeo Valley advert.

Once they’re done being surprisingly tolerable, Jessie preens around in her new headgear, and says the obvious – that Leah’s vocals were strong but also that CJ rolling around doing callisthenics and playing DJ Skat Kat to her Paula Abdul was super fun to watch. She then tries to throw his hat back to him, and winds up hitting Kazakhstan. Turns out she can everying like a bruddah except hat-throwing. Tom is briefly woken from his slumber to say that of the two he would pick CJ, because he’s the stronger performer, suddenly abandoning his outpost as the one judge who values the voice above all else. I guess he just finds the way Leah styles herself THAT offensive. You’d never see Eartha Kitt knocked up like that.

William : Leah, CJ may have controlled the stage, but you still did your thizzing
Tom :

What the bloody hell iss a thizzing?
Jessie : I dunno, s’black talk innit *shrug*
William : Yes, it’s a hood thing. I am from the hood. Of someone’s car, because I am a human dashboard ornament.

Anyway, Leah wins, because duh, and then nobody steals CJ because nobody really wanted him in the first place, and William tries to troll everybody into picking him anyway because William is just like that these days, and CJ pulls a sad face the whole time, like full on

“I’ve just got told I’ve got colon cancer in a CRUK advert” face and Holly looks

Satanic and I don’t know if I like The Steal or not. I think it takes the brutality of rejection one strained step further than it will go. Next series they’ll probably have a giant hat backstage, which a loved one of the rejected contestant has to wear and underneath it there might be a WILD CARD for Super Speshul Secret Judge Carrie Grant from Fame Academy.

Moved by CJ’s plight, Jessie rushes the stage to give him a hug.

(/nick that hat back).

Seconds out, Battle 5.

Reggie reminds us that Lovelle is the singing waitress who taught Jessie how to love a female again, and that Nate James is…you know…Nate James? From The Nate James Show and The Nate James Arena Tour Spectacular? No? Oh suit yourself. He was totally a big deal once though.

Well he was the filler guest on an episode of Jools Holland once. But that’s still A THING.

In interview, Nate grumbles that Lovelle can sing higher than he can, is younger than he is, and is prettier than he is.

Lovelle for her part says that Nate has released albums and toured countries before (backpacking holiday was it?) but she doesn’t feel scared about it. Mostly because she’s probably realised that success on this show can be plotted on a graph with an inverse relationship with previous success in the music industry. Jessie tells them that they will be singing “No Air” by Chris Brown & Jordin Sparks. Woo. On the upside, it is at least an actual duet, which should help in making this episode overall less of an aural abomination than the last one.

Into the rehearsal room they trot, and Jessie J tells us that this will be a very different type of Battle Round, because it’s a love song. Unlike, you know “Best I Ever Had” or “The Way You Make Me Feel” or “I Won’t Let You Go” or “Finally”. Anyway, Nate and Lovelle get down to it but

Jessie’s not feeling it. Nate isn’t giving the true emotional commitment of the original, and she asks Moonface to help get Nate connect.

“I’m gonna be brutal Nate, she’s carrying you right now. Emotionally. Maybe try choking the bitch out? Slam her head in a car door a few times? I dunno”.

Lovelle preens that she doesn’t mean to be horrible, but she thinks she’s much better than Nate James and that he should maybe try feeding off her energy to come up to her level. You know. In a nice way. Not a horrible way.

She says it with love. Nate James meanwhile kind of glazes over a little and gets a bit of a flop sweat now that things aren’t going his way. He nervously interviews to camera that he thinks he’s still carrying some baggage from his failed career, and he needs to put that behind him. Based on his post-show interviews…not so much.

In live rehearsals, Jessie J’s still not feeling the emotional connection, so she gets all Jessica Cornish jazz-hands “let’s do a THEATRE EXERCISE!” and demands that Nate and Lovelle sing the song back to back.

IT’S A PALPABLE HIT! Jessie says it’s the first time she’s ever really understood the emotion of that song, and she’s got goosebumps all up and down her arms. Lovelle bursts into floods of tears. Nate James appears humbled by the occasion. Let’s hope that Evil Moira Ross will let two people sing a song whilst just standing still and concentrating on getting all the emotion funnelled into their vocals.

LOL OF COURSE SHE WON’T, THEY’VE TURNED AROUND WITHIN ABOUT 10 SECONDS OF IT STARTING! Also she appears to be wearing a Magic Eye dress. If you squint, she looks like she’s pregnant. Also if you don’t squint she looks like she’s pregnant. MAGIC! Anyway, this is the complete opposite of the last duet, in that she is clearly trying to outdo on every level possible, and whilst occasionally she’s shorting her voice out and wandering off the rhythm of the song doing so, I’m kind of inclined to give her the nod just because he’s offering up no resistance.

Jessie is clearly

not feeling him at all. Maybe they should have tried a different theatre exercise. Probably not the one where he falls back and she has to catch him because…I sense fractured skulls like that way.


Once they’re done, Reggie asks Jessie if this battle was everything she wanted it to be, and she replies that

“LOL NO, of course it wasn’t Reggie, it was basically watching Lovelle stomp all over Nate like a specialist porn movie”. Part of me hopes that Jessie actually set this performance up as some sort of feminist revenge fantasy against Chris Brown, but I doubt it. William says that he’d pick Nate over Lovelle, because the song was written in a key that fits her voice better, so he expected her to do better, and she did but erm…William sense her true innate evil or something, so he picks Nate. Danny says it was close, but he thinks Nate had better rhythm and innate sense of music, so he’d pick him.

Jessie carries on that she always says that none of the decisions she makes on the show are tough decisions (yeah, that’s how I remember it, Jessie never ever saying anything is a tough decision ever) because it’s such an honour to be able to showcase so much great talent blah blah blah. She says she wants to make it very clear that she’s just basing this decision on who she feels she could coach better.

What a meaningless distinction. I mean…what even is the point of having a Battle Round? What’s your advice to your singers Jessie? “Please sing in a manner such that I believe that I will be best placed to be able to coach you! Really tease out those niggling errors that I won’t be able to resist straightening out! Appeal to my inner pedant! Say “fing” a lot, because apparently that really pushes my buttons”. Great.

Nate of course does not get stolen, because he’s already had his chance. GO HOME NATE!

Last battle up :

Look! They’re so in love, Jones is even trying to edge out of their Battle Round picture, and breaking the “Ant n Dec” rule in doing so! Holly reminds us that Smith & Jones are a force of raw folky sexuality who kind of palpably hate one another, and Conor is the ginger Irish teenage busker with one feisty mother and a HELL OF A LOT OF SISTERS. Danny interviews

in his “geek chic” that both of these acts play the guitar, and they’re both young. Wow, yeah, that’d make you stand out on Team Danny. He promises a rip-roaring battle for supremacy between two titans (and Smith). In that spirit of excitement and drama, here’s Dulldo.

“Given that music is such a personal thing, I’m really confused by why you’d make it a competition but…whatever, it gets me back on the telly I guess”. She also tells us all the Conor is really loud and stuff. Wow, her insight is PIERCING.

In fact Conor is so loud, that in rehearsal, Smith is worried about Conor overshadowing the vocals of herself and her gentleman partner. Jones meanwhile

could not give less of a shit about anything she has to say. He is just staring off into the horizon, thinking about penis. Or, you know, another lady’s vagina. Or cupcakes. Whatever. Danny tells everyone that when they’re all singing at the same time, that they should try to blend together and not to have a lead in the song that they’re doing, which is “Some Nights” by The Fun Dots. I think maybe some of the other coaches maybe should have taken this on board as well. Maybe.

Conor sadly interviews that his mother is always telling him not to be so loud as well. Poor Conor.

Mercifully it’s Smith who gets it in the neck next, as Danny starts dribbling about the prospect of two men

PLAYING GUITAR ON STAGE AT THE SAME TIME! TWEEDLE DEE TWEEDLE DEE TWANG! As Danny whirls around in raptures, Smith sadly shuffles her feet, and whines “what about meeeeeeee? What will IIIIIIIIIIII be doing so people will look at meeeeeeeee?”. Maybe affect a Zooey Deschannel style twee fay personality? That seems to allow her to stand out amidst the ranks of shabb…oh no, wait, you already did it, never mind.

Conor interviews that Smith & Jones are “proper wee lovebirds”.

Conor has a lot to learn about love. We then get the most patronising conversation I have ever seen on this show (THIS show!) and I hope to God that the pair of them are at least play-acting a little bit during this exchange :

Jones : “No offence to you, but me and Conor are musicians, so it’s cool that…”
Smith : “I’m a musician!”
Jones : “Yeah, but like, I play guitar, and he plays guitar but…you’re a musician as well, don’t worry *pats knee* (!)”
Smith : “*glares*
Jones : “WHAT?!”
Smith : “You just said that I’m not a musician!”
Jones : “I didn’t say that you weren’t a musician, it’s just that we play GUITAR!”
Smith : “I play the ukulele!”


Conor beams that he hopes that Smith & Jones break up so that he can go through by default. I really really doubt that breaking up is going to stop Smith hauling Jones’ bony arse on stage to fulfil her dreams of ukulele stardom.

At the live rehearsal, Danny waffles some waffle about how Conor is far more “unashamed” as an artist, because he’s used to being on his own. If by “on your own” you mean “with your mammy interrupting your performance every 3 minutes to make sure you’re properly wrapped up”. Meanwhile


Holly introduces the final battle of the night by yelling “IT’S THE BATTLE OF THE BUSKERS!”. Plus ca change, plus c’est la meme chose.

Here are some of the baffled faces produced by the battle of Smith & Jones (& Conor).

Personally I don’t think it’s *that* bad, but it’s fairly clear that as singers Smith & Jones have a range, and that a lot of this song is not so much in it. There’s one moment in particular where they both try for the same string of notes and they both miss it, and they both kind of just stare at one another like two miniature poodles with their coats in a tangle. I’d give this one to Conor, yelping and all. Also

so would Smith, at points.

Once they’re done, Holly points out to Jones that he has lipstick all over his face from where Smith has been kissing him. Well…where “Smith” has been kissing him. Hem.

William starts for the judges by saying that it was cool, and that he had a jolly good time. He then suggests that Conor, Smith & Jones join together, form a trio, and write an album, and call it “Jolly”. Jones is clearly 5 seconds away from spitting

“I’M NOT JOLLY, I’M A FUCKING ARTIST!”. Tom is next, and says it didn’t really feel like a battle to him, because they weren’t deliberately shouting over one another or trying to passively aggressively barge one another off the side of the stage. Yes, what a crying shame.

Danny says that he’s got a very hard decision to make

and then takes the obvious choice. He cries all over the place and tells the judges to please steal his bestest friends in the whole world, Smith & Jones. They, of course, don’t.

On their way out, Jones says that he and Smith have had a really good time, and he really thinks that this has helped make them stronger. Smith thinks

“bitch, we would have kicked his ass if you’d let me use my ukulele”.


Yup, Will’s still trolling.


8 thoughts on “The Voice 2 : Episode 8 (Battle Rounds 2)

  1. Soph (@dexychik)

    Ferocious Hag reminded me of FerociousNess in the Family Ness…
    I really thought that CJ would be this year’s bloke-William-picked-last-last year. I can’t remember his name, he had a pregnant girlfriend and nobody else in the country liked him. That one. I WAS MISTAKEN.

  2. FuTeffla

    If I had to sing a Tom Jones song at Tom Jones, I would sing What’s New Pussycat? in the style of my grandpa (i.e. sing the first line, realise you don’t know any of the rest of it, sing the first line again, add more whoa-whoa-whoas. Clearly, my grandpa could be The Voice. I mean, he’s dead but I still think he would have had the edge on Brantano).

  3. diane

    it is truly a shame that Smith and Jones were not on the same team as the Opera hags, we could have had the Opera Hags in the next round and perhaps Danny could have been treated to them singing in German.
    Have I mentioned I am so over Danny and his bingo wings.


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