It's the all important Battle Rounds stage right now as the fourty remaining contestants battle it out to get through to the live shows stage. So far, a lot of the acts have been great but my picks for the top at the minute are Max Milner, Joelle Moses, Toni Warne, Ruth Brown, Bo Bruce and Sophie Griffin. There are many more I could name but that's who stands out so far. I suppose we'll have to wait and see how the decisions and performances pan out.

Recap and videos after the JUMP ...


Joelle Moses vs Jenny Jones - 'I'm Every Woman' (Chaka Khan)
I'm a tiny bit disappointed that Will has chosen this song, it's not particularly contemporary and for me, it stereotypes both acts as typical divas when neither are, Jenny is perhaps more of a diva than Joelle but both have different layers to their voice and are more than just wannabe Beyoncé's or Whitney's in the making. The rehearsals aren't filling me with confidence, at the minute, it feels like they're trying to oversing each other and trying to outdo each other powerwise. I think Joelle is the act with more restraint but I hope it doesn't turn into who can shout the loudest. Joelle is starting it off well, she's singing it really well but surprisingly, isn't falling into the trap of oversinging. Jenny is a little bit more powerful but I feel like she lacks the tone for the song that Joelle has. I'm not keen on the bits that they sing together, they're turning into shout-offs a little bit but individually, they're both very good. Right, hands down, Joelle is singing the song better, Jenny lacks vocal control, Joelle on the other hand knows when to reign in her vocals.With that said, I think Jenny did a great job all the same. A good battle? Yes. Closely fought? Yes. However, for me, if Will wants Joelle to go far, which I believe she can, he needs to allow her to show the many layers of her voice like those she displayed in her Blind Audition.
I choose: Joelle
Will chooses: Joelle

Heshima Thompson vs Tyler James - 'Yeah 3X' (Chris Brown)
Did Heshima give a death stare to Will? Maybe he didn't but his attitude seems very strange, Tyler whose voice I didn't love in his audition is actually seemingly quite willing to take advice on board rather than being defensive like Heshima is being. However, putting that aside, whilst I don't love Heshima's vocals, I feel like they're much better than Tyler's are on the song. The song choice isn't a good choice in my humble opinion, that isn't to say that I hate it but I feel like giving these two a song that is naturally an urban dance song is quite an odd idea. Tyler's songs from his previous career were amazing but based on what I've seen of him during the show, I really don't know whether he has the potential to go far in the show, he's okay but if he gets through, I think that he'll have to seriously step it up.
I choose: Heshima
Will chooses: Tyler

Jay Norton vs Jaz Ellington - 'Heard It Through The Grapevine' (Marvin Gaye)
I like these two although I felt like Jaz was a little bit overrated in the auditions and Jay made a few mistakes in his song during the auditions. This song is one of my favourites so they're going to have to do seriously well to live up to the standards of Marvin Gaye. Okay, this is surprisingly good, Jay has stepped it up since the auditions and is doing a nice job of performing the song in the rehearsals, Jaz is also good and appears to be connecting with the emotion of the song. When they perform it on the bog stage, it also comes across well, Jaz is most definitely outperforming Jay although Jay is definitely making an effort to keep up with Jaz and has made a definite improvement from his first performance, a tricky choice to make as both did well but Jaz definitely has a more polished voice even if he has made less progression.
I choose: Jaz
Will chooses: Jaz

Frances Wood vs Kate Read - 'Ironic' (Alanis Morissette)
I wasn't sure of either of the two quirky girls at their Blind Auditions but it makes sense to pair them together as they cover a similar spectrum in terms of the demographic who are likely to vote for them. Frances and Kate are really good friends and they're reuluctant to actually give it their all not wanting the other one to go. However, Will encourages them to see it as what it is, a battle and to therefore give it all they have to try and give the best performance that they possibly can. This is shaping up pretty well actually, it's nothing on the original and their harmonies aren't exactly what I'd call perfect but all the same, a very enjoyable performance. Frances has an edgier voice than Kate who seems to be much more intense as a performer but has a soothing voice similar to the likes of Emiliana Torrini, with that said, on the basis that this has to be about the voice, Frances undoubtedly has a much stronger tone to her voice and therefore I believe she could sing a wider variety of songs.
I choose: Frances
Will chooses: Frances   

J Marie Cooper vs Sophie Griffin - 'Firework' (Katy Perry)
J Marie is undoubtedly one of the most memorable of all the successful auditionees from the Blind Auditions whilst Sophie delivered a solid audition but is probably not just as well remembered. However, going into the Battle Rounds, things seem to have changed a little bit, J Marie is definitely confident whereas whilst Sophie is noticeably a little bit nervous, she is clearly taking everything that Will tells her on board. To be honest, I'm feeling like Momma Knows Best was a bit of a party trick for J Marie based on what I have heard so far in the rehearsals, it's not bad but it feels very screechy whereas Sophie is singing a lot more subtly and doing it well. When it comes to the actual battle, whilst J Marie is good and sings it better than she had been performing the song whilst rehearsing, Sophie has a really lovely tone which fits the song perfectly. Together they're great, overall I'm really enjoying this performance but I think it's Sophie who is clinching this for me anyway. Will's comments make sense, whilst Sophie is 10 years less experienced than her opponent, she can live up to her vocals despite J Marie being a professional singer suggesting that she has more room to grow and to progress.
I choose: Sophie
Will chooses: Sophie


Bill Downs vs Max Milner - 'Beggin' (Madcon)
These two are amongst my favourites in the competition so it's a bittersweet feeling to see the two of them paired together, on one side, it'll mean a surely fantastic battle between two of the best males in the competition but on the other hand, one of them will have to head home which is something I'm not looking forward to seeing. This is a pretty good song choice, I do like the song although I was hoping that they might do an urban rock take on a quirkier song like Max did by tackling his mash-up in the Blind Auditions. Oh and Paloma is here, she's a fantastic singer and should be a real asset to Danny during the Battle Rounds. Both of them appear to be psyching themselves up as if this is a boxing match which is quite surreal. Together, they sound pretty good, obviously what is important is for them to each try and stand out from the other one in order to be picked by their coach so they're focusing more on their solo parts as opposed to the lines shared by both of them. There really is no need for Danny to be basically doing the whole routine from his chair however, it's extremely irritating especially his urban arm flailing technique which is obviously to big up his street cred. The choreography is pretty good even if they do look like they're about to swing for each other. Hmm, I'm not sure which one I prefer, I liked both of them, Max had more quirky runs and added in little ad-libs, his voice is also quite raspy in quality whereas the natural quality of Bill's voice is more high-pitched and his falsetto is absolutely fantastic. I think the vocal tricks aside, Bill's voice was just slightly better although I loved both individual vocals. Danny made a good choice with the song and I understand why he put them together as they could end up splitting votes.
I choose: Bill
Danny chooses: Max

Bo Bruce vs Vince Freeman - 'With Or Without You' (U2)
Two indie rockers going up against each other isn't a big surprise. Bo was one of the unexpected hits of the audition whereas Vince delivered a really impressive vocal. I'm a bit confused however as to why Danny is telling Vince to reign in his vocals, it's about showing off your own voice, not trying to help the other to show their voice off and even though I love Bo, if she can't compete with Vince then that is up to her. Anyway, I have no idea why he has said it anyway, Bo has an amazingly distinct voice and it stands out from the crowd, I think she can compete with Vince fairly anyway as he does have a good voice but it's not unbeatable. This is my favourite battle so far actually, their voices blend almost effortlessly and even though Vince has a stronger voice than Bo, their tones are really beautiful together, only that it would make the show sound like 'The X Factor' and we can't be having that (see numerous newspaper articles about the judges criticizing The X Factor), they would work really well as a duo actually, better than the two duos who have auditioned actually. Alas, one act has to leave, again, I don't really know how you could decide this, it's such a tricky decision but I suppose based on who has the most potential to progress in the competition, I'd be siding towards Bo.
I choose: Bo
Danny chooses: Bo

Emmy J Mac vs Aleks Josh - 'Broken Strings' (James Morrison feat. Nelly Furtado)
Emmy J didn't really make a massive impression on me, I did quite like her audition but she sort of surpassed me when I was thinking of my stand out acts at the end of the audition. Aleks on the other hand did stick out for me but not for the right reasons, his audition in particular stood out to me as being overrated, I really hated his voice. When it comes to the rehearsals, there appears to be no chemistry between these two, Aleks feels a bit lifeless as she struggles with his nerves whilst Emmy J gets on with it. I just wish that Danny would actually attempt to make them interact more with each other during the rehearsals for the performance because they aren't making any attempt to interact with each other as they sing and as a result, it comes across really poorly in the performance. The stage performance is even worse as they both look like they're about to fall asleep. Aleks starts off badly, really badly and doesn't get much better but isn't quite as bad in the last part of the song whereas Emmy J is pretty average but has a few bum notes. With that said, Emmy J easily outsings her opponent so this is an easy decision for me. And weirdly, Danny basically says he's putting Aleks through because Emmy J was better. What was that about?
I choose: Emmy J
Danny chooses: Aleks

Hannah Berney vs Murray Hockridge - 'Kids' (Robbie Williams feat. Kylie Minogue)
I liked Hannah and Murray in their auditions but Murray in particular hasn't stood out due to being montaged in the auditions instead of having his audition featured for the normal time. This is a really quite lazy song choice from Danny, it doesn't stretch either of the two acts and I fundamentally don't really like the song for their voices, they're way above it and they definitely should have been performing something a bit more contemporary. Hannah definitely outperforms Murray although he puts up a good fight, with that said, it seems clear who has the most potential in the competition, I would send Hannah through.
I choose: Hannah
Danny chooses: Hannah

David Julien vs John James Newman - 'Dakota' (Stereophonics)
David and John James are two others who have unfortunately flew under the radar in my books. They both have nice enough voices though I would argue that John James wasn't quite good enough for my liking but others have definitely overshadowed them in the competition. All the same, I'm looking forward to seeing how they perform this song, it's unique and quirky and it will definitely allow them to show their individuality. I have to admit that although I can't say I'm a massive fan of either of these two, this is a very good performance, both of them are coming across very well and I'm really enjoying the pace of the song especially as they harmonize surprisingly well throughout the song. With that said, there is only one clear winner for me so David is the right person to go through.
I choose: David
Danny chooses: David


Aundrea Nyle vs Samuel Buttery - 'A Little Less Conversation' (Elvis Presley)
I wasn't a massive fan of Aundrea or Samuel's Blind Auditions but put it down to their song choices more than their level of talent. This song by Tom is surely nothing to do with the fact that he met Elvis Presley (did you know that he met Elvis? I didn't). I don't know if it's neccessarily the best match for either of their voices, I'd prefer something a bit more soulful or that requires a bit more vocal power because this song might end up sounding a bit oversung. Okay, it's started, Aundrea and her purple hair versus Samuel and his comedy quiff, if this show is called The Voice (I think it's to do with what the show is about?), then this particular battle is definitely called The Hair. Okay, I'm not keen on this performance at all, the song is a very poor choice, a song by The M People would have perfect. However, Aundrea delivers an overall better vocal and has more moments where her voice comes through well.
I choose: Aundrea
Tom chooses: Samuel

Deniece Pearson vs Ruth Brown - 'No One' (Alicia Keys)
Deniece is probably best known for being in Five Star and although her rendition of 'Fighter' was ever so slightly disappointing, I still enjoyed it quite a lot. Ruth on the other hand, the young girl with a voice way beyond her years was definitely one of the most memorable of her auditions show. The song they're singing is very emotional for Ruth as she reminds her of her father and she does break down a few times during the rehearsal stage. To Deniece's credit, she is clearly supporting her and being really good to the young girl. I'm loving this performance, it's certainly one of the most emotional of the night and without a doubt, the most polished so far, they fuse their voices beautifully and they each sing with passion emotion, and most importantly, soul. This is quite the performance, Deniece sings it very well and definitely does the memory of her father proud but I think that Ruth absolutely smashed it, to coin a cliché. That was a performance and a half, really well done to both of these girls, they ought to be proud of themselves but in the end, the right decision was made.
I choose: Ruth
Tom chooses: Ruth

Barbara Bryceland vs Leanne Mitchell - 'Edge Of Glory' (Lady Gaga)
I really liked Leanne in the auditions but I wasn't quite as keen on Barbara even if she did perform pretty well during the Blind Auditions. To be perfectly honest, I don't really like the song choice, Lady Gaga is a pop singer and Barbara and Leanne have belting voices so they oughtn't to be singing these sort of songs. I really want to like this but in rehearsals, it feels like they're simply trying to sing louder than each other rather than blending their voices beautifully as I was originally hoping for them to do. It's slightly better but only slightly better in the actual performance, Barbara is still shouting ever so slightly but Leanne has toned it down a little bit thankfully and she does do a good job to be fair to her. I think it's clear who has the most versatility, is most current and in my opinion is the best singer, I would send Leanne through although fair play to Barbara.
I choose: Leanne
Tom chooses: Leanne

Lindsay Butler vs Matt and Sueleen - 'Born To Run' (Bruce Springsteen)
Matt and Sueleen come across as a nice couple even if the coin flip decision annoyed me a bit, I mean it's like Sir Alan Sugar deciding who to fire with Eeeny Meeny Miney Mo on 'The Apprentice'. With that said, Lindsay for me stood out more in auditions so I look forward to this battle to see if they can change things around. Tom has picked a really nice song for them, I do like Bruce Springsteen so I can't wait to see how this translates into a battle. It's taking a while for it to gain momentum in auditions, both are singing it rather well but as of yet, it hasn't felt like a battle. When they get out on stage, things pick up definitely, it feels much more like the two acts are battling and they're all doing incredibly well even if I feel like the couple still need to work on their harmonies as they're nothing remarkable as of yet. Lindsay is doing well but I think she at times feels lost in the song compared to her battle opponents. With that said, her solo is divine so I think that I would be tempted to edge it towards her to win this battle.
I choose: Lindsay
Tom chooses: Matt and Sueleen

Denise Morgan vs Adam Isaac - 'Use Somebody' (Kings Of Leon)
Not much to say about this one, neither stood out at Auditions but Denise was pretty poor with her take on the Sara Bareilles song 'Love Song'. This is randomly cut short (see Ben/Ruth-Ann) but what I see of it is okay, again nothing amazing, I'd say although Denise has made a fantastic come back and has really improved that Adam was better so he is the one I would send through.
I choose: Adam
Tom chooses: Adam  


Toni Warne vs Kirsten Joy - 'Think/Freedom' (Aretha Franklin)
Toni had one of the more emotional first auditions as she spoke of her struggles with alopecia. On the flip side, Kirsten was barely shown at all in the Blind Auditions when she was montaged despite delivering an impressively soulful rendition of 'Heaven' by Emeli Sandé. It seems obvious before they have started singing who will have the advantage here but I don't know, I'd like to think that Jessie is fair and is approaching the Battle Rounds with an open mind. Wow, this is extremely impressive, I really love both of their voices, it feels like a battle as the two sing the 'Think' notes continuously at the start. Kirsten bursts into a rather impressive falsetto during her solo part whereas Toni's voice is somewhat lower but reminds me at times of her coach Jessie J's voice to be honest. They've clearly bonded as there's a direct connection between them during the song and their vocals are quite frankly, both on fire, they reach notes that I didn't think were possible and I have no idea how Jessie is going to possibly decide this, there's nothing between them.
I choose: Toni
Jessie chooses: Toni

Jessica Hammond vs Vince Kidd - 'We Found Love' (Rihanna feat. Calvin Harris)
Jessica and Vince are undoubtedly two of the most memorable auditionees from the Blind Auditions. Both, as Jessie says, put a different spin on an already existent song in their Blind Audition. Jessica's was an acoustic take on Jessie's 'Price Tag' and Vince did a really quirky rendition of the iconic Madonna song 'Like A Virgin'. I was a little bit unsure of the song choice because it's quite an odd choice for these two or so it seems but the whole arrangement of the song seems to be allowing them to let themselves loose a bit and just really allowing them to put a twist on what should be a perfectly normal song choice with a conventional style. The beginning is spectacular, both of them have killer voices with fantastic tones and I'm loving the style of the song. However, I feel like both waver ever so slightly as the pace of the song increases, not a major issue but all the same, slightly disappointing compared to the first part of the song. I don't know how Jessie is going to possibly choose between her two acts, I think Jessica performed better but Vince has the prospects of really exciting everyone with a fantastic and original arrangement of a popular song during the Live Shows.
I choose: Vince
Jessie chooses: Vince

Cassius Henry vs David Faulkner - 'Beat It' (Michael Jackson)
Cassius was definitely one of my favourites of all the guys who auditioned, his soulful rendition of a song which is in reality, a really tricky song to sing really impressed me. David has, to be honest, kind of surpassed me, yes he's talented but I don't remember him all that vividly so I can't say that I'm all that hyped for this Battle, I feel like it will be quite one-sided. It's probably just me but this seems all a bit lifeless during the rehearsals, Jessie doesn't seem to be as passionate about the Battle as she has for the other battles between her acts. Hmm, their voices are okay but they need to feel like they want it more when they're actually performing live. Okay, and now the real battle, okay, this feels like it's taking a while to start. Cassius is, in my opinion at least, a tiny bit too high at the start of the song, his falsetto is pretty brilliant but I feel like he starts off on a key which is higher than the song requires. David on the other hand feels pretty pitchy to be honest, it's not awful but I don't know, I feel like his vocals aren't right for the song, there's no connection between these two, they feel like they've just been told to get on stage and sing the same song, a bit disappointing compared to the other performances so far.
I choose: Cassius
Jessie chooses: Cassius

Ben Kelly vs Ruth-Ann St. Luce - 'I Wanna Dance With Somebody' (Whitney Houston)
This is such an odd pairing and a really weird song choice for Ben at least, I'm not sure what Jessie was aiming for with this particular song. And why is the clip so short? We barely see anything of the performance and only one judges' comments are shown which once again mention Ruth-Ann in a negative light after her controversial first audition. Vocally, this isn't so much a negative against Ben but because of the song being slightly poorly aimed towards this act, he feels a lot less assured during the performance and his vocals are really disappointing to be honest. Ruth-Ann isn't perfect, she still warbles a little bit vocally but she feels much improved on the song choice, maybe because it's more within her range and feels more like the sort of song she would sing as let's face it, whilst Whitney is a big singer to live up to, Leona's vocals on Run were a much more ambitious thing for her to live up to. In short, although I liked Ben's audition a lot and thought it was miles ahead of Ruth-Ann's, this is a poor moment for him so I would go Ruth-Ann.
I choose: Ruth-Ann
Jessie chooses: Ruth-Ann

Becky Hill vs Indie & Pixie - 'Irreplaceable' (Beyoncé)
I wasn't an Indie & Pixie fan at all during the Blind Auditions, I felt like their voices left a lot to be desired and the coaches really overrated them. Becky was good but her voice was just about able to make up for the fact that she came across slightly poorly personality wise. Putting the two together isn't seeming like a great idea now as there already appears to be personality clashes with Indie & Pixie speaking about how they feel like Jessie is sidelining them for Becky. No offence, but if they were to really work on their harmonies, there is no reason why they couldn't stand out so I don't see why they need to really moan about not getting the parts of the song they were hoping for. With that said, if Twitter is to be believed, the editing had a lot to do with the way these two were portrayed so I have to cut them a certain amount of slack. Becky on the other hand seems to be knuckling down more and really concentrating on perfecting her voice, the song, let's face it, it's outrageously ambitious and neither of the acts have voices to match Miss Knowles. Vocally, this is evident in the actual performance, Becky sings it quite well although I don't know if it quite lives up to the standards of her previous performance. Indie & Pixie's vocals aren't much better than the last time, individually they aren't amazing nor poor but together, they seem to completely stick out for the wrong reasons, the other duo of Matt and Sueleen are far from perfect harmony wise but they're a sight better than these harmonies. An easy choice.
I choose: Becky
Jessie chooses: Becky

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