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The Voice 2013, battles rounds 1 and 2, review

With the blind auditions over it was time for the singers of The Voice 2013 to sharpen their knives for the long awaited battle rounds. In this second series the sing-off phase has been expanded to four episodes, spread over two weekends and there is also a new twist: the judges are now able to snatch up the defeated singers of their rivals, before they get booted out of the show.

In part one Team Tom's Jamie Bruce and LB Robinson warmed up the stage duetting on 'When Love Comes to Town'. Despite the coaches' opinions, Tom preferred Jamie's powerful voice and smooth singer LB was sent home. Second round saw Matt Henry and Jordan Lee Davies taking on Stevie Wonder's 'Do I Do'. Sticking to his controversial persona, Will.I.am felt to save eccentric Jordan, leaving Jessie J and Tom vying with each other for Matt, who eventually chose Jessie.

After hearing Andrea Begley and Alice Barlow singing 'People Help the People' by Birdy, Danny O'Donoghue chose the angelic, yet powerful voice of Andrea and the former Hollyoaks actress was sent home. In the case of Sarah Cassidy and Katie Benbow was a battle of high notes and screams, which sounded from time to time a bit off pitch. Jessie chose Sarah, as younger Katie could benefit from more time to improve her talent.

When Cleo Higgins took on Nu-tarna we all knew what the outcome was going to be as they faced off. But one thing we all wanted to do and, quite hilariously, Jessie J actually did, was plugging up our ears when the duo started to shout Ce Ce Peninston's 'Finally'. Luckily Will.I.am felt the same and Cleo was kept in his team.

Class acts Ash Morgan and Adam Barron absolutely delivered the best performance of the night by singing 'I Won't Let You Go' by James Morrison. Ash could easily bag himself a contract, thanks to this flawless singing and Jessie J didn't waste any time to secure him in her team. Talented Adam got rightly contended by the other coaches and decided to join Team Tom.

Part two kicked off with Leanne and duet Carla & Barbara giving their own unique rendition of Mariah's 'Hero'. Despite their undisputed talent, C & B opera's taking of the song sounded more like a back-singing chorus and Leanne's amazing performance got awarded by Will.I.am. Tom Jones chose to keep Cherelle Basquine over Elise Evans, after listening to their version of Pixie Lott's 'Tonight'; whilst Jessie preferred Danny County's version of 'Best I Ever Had' by Drake sending duo De'Vide home.

Same destiny for CJ Edwards, whose interpretation of 'The Way You Make Me Feel' by Michael Jackson was no contest to the incredible voice of Leah McFall, who was kept in Team Will.I.am. It was sad, though fair to see soul singer Nate James leave the competition, but his version of 'No Air' seemed rather flat compared to Lovelle Hill's. James didn't waste time to lash out at mentor Jessie in the media, declaring: 'In all honesty I should have probably chosen a different mentor.'

The final battle round of the weekend was played by loved-up couple Smith & Jones and young busker Conor Scott. The positive attitude towards each other during the face-off caused Will.I.am to crack a joke about them releasing an album together with the title 'Jolly', but despite their love affair for country music, the one that really shined on stage was Conor. Danny thought the same and made him go through.

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