EW Community TV Show Episode Guides and Recaps from EW's Community

The first week of awkward duets begins on ‘The Voice’

Season 7 | Episode 7 | “The Battles Premiere” | Aired Oct 13, 2014

Last week: Blinds wrapped up with candy-cane sword fights between Pharrell and Gwen. Blake called his final team member “Blake’s boo” via a t-shirt, and Adam utilized tough love to win over artists. Now let’s see what’s in store for us on The Voice as we enter the first week of battles (what I like to call “awkward duets”).

A veritable cornucopia
We have a wide variety of advisers to assist the coaches this season during battles. Pharrell has brought Alicia Keys to the table (and she’s looking as radiant as ever). Gwen is keeping it in the family with her husband (and Bush frontman) Gavin Rossdale. Blake is more comfortable in large groups (because large groups make it feel more like a bar), so he’s invited Little Big Town. Most exciting, Adam has American Horror Story muse and all-around rock star Stevie Nicks. As you can see, this makes Adam a little giddy.

The Voice - Season 7

Is the steal button broken?
Our first battle of the night is via Team Pharrell as he pairs 18-year-old whirlwind Elyjuh Rene with 36-year-old wedding singer Maiya Sykes on his adviser’s hit, “If I Ain’t Got You.” Both contestants are outstanding in different ways. Elyjuh is like an R&B puppy, energetic and hilarious with loads of potential, while Maiya is more seasoned with a voice capable of punching the listener right in the gut. They’re equally fantastic on the soulful duet, but Elyjuh’s vocal dexterity and improvement impresses Pharrell enough to give the round to Elyjuh.


In the most WTF moment of the night, no one attempts to steal Maiya (one of the best voices this season). This is INSANE. Now I know there may be perfectly good reasons the coaches don’t push their buttons, but all I can think of is the subtle ageism constantly at work under the surface of this show. And it gives me a sad.

Jawline vs. jawline
Next up is the battle of pretty jawlines brought to us by Team Adam’s 20-year-old triplet Chris Jamison and 22-year-old Cracker Barrel enthusiast Jonathan Wyndham. Their “Young Girls” isn’t the most exciting battle of the night. But it’s a solid performance as the more outgoing Jonathan works on projecting less, and the quieter Chris works on projecting more. Jonathan’s performance is charismatic, but Chris’s pliable vocal cuts through and gives him an edge, winning Chris the battle and sending Jonathan home. Here’s hoping Jonathan ends up recovering with some biscuits at his nearest Cracker Barrel.

The Voice - Season 7

Most luxurious hair
When Gwen pits 29-year-old twinsie Jean Kelley against 24-year-old Sugar “Best Stage Name” Joans, all I can think is, “This battle will boast the most glossy hair ever!” And it does. Their hair is shiny, and their “Survivor” is intense. Jean amps up her confidence (at the suggestion of Gwen and Gavin), owning the stage from the first beat. While Sugar’s distinctive tone and vocal abandon are more expressive, ultimately winning her the battle, Jean still gets a happy ending thanks to a steal from Team Pharrell. I love happy endings!

The Voice - Season 7

I just want to dress you up
Blake gives us our first country battle of the season with 33-year-old Craig Wayne Boyd (who inspired Blake to say “Let’s make The Voice a honky tonk!”) versus 34-year-old James David Carter (whose blind audition was effortless). Their “Wave On Wave” is low-key but strong, showcasing James’s gorgeous, textured voice and Craig’s Southern rock style.


In the end, Blake gives the win to James, but Gwen surprises everyone by stealing Craig at the last minute. Her reason? “I just want to dress you up. I want to do different hairdos. Can we do that together?” Yes, Gwen. You can!

Gwen pushing button

Best song, because DOLLY PARTON
My favorite song choice of the night is “Jolene,” because Dolly Parton is awesome, and this song is one of her very best. The lucky contestants assigned this duet are Team Gwen’s 29-year-old graphic designer Amanda Lee Pees and 23-year-old dog hotel staffer Taylor John Williams. Both contestants seem to struggle a bit with the song (especially during the acapella opener). Amanda gives a raw, passionate delivery that seems more appropriate for the fast-paced arrangement, but it’s Taylor’s muted but lovely vocals that persuade Gwen to give him the win (well that and Dolly Parton, because Dolly is magic).

The Voice - Season 7

Maybe I’m amazed by you both?
Our final battle comes via Team Pharrell’s pairing of 23-year-old Michael Buble aficionado Griffin with 31-year-old revelation Luke Wade (who surprised everyone and his sweater with a gravelly, lived-in voice during blinds). Their “Maybe I’m Amazed” starts off a little stiff in rehearsals, but in a stroke of brilliance, adviser Alicia Keys recommends they do a more “Aretha” style version. This sets the stage for the best battle of the night, showcasing Luke’s classic but current voice and raspy tone and Griffin’s out-of-left-field runs and screaming falsetto. It’s crazy good and makes for a difficult decision on Pharrell’s part. However, he gives it to Luke, and Griffin stays in the competition thanks to a steal from Team Blake (I don’t know about you, but I’m satisfied with this end result).

Odds and Ends:

  •  Can we talk about Gwen’s hair tonight? First she’s got a crazy ponytail during rehearsals. Then she has black tips. Then she’s sporting a soft vintage ‘do during battles. Her hair is making all sorts of power moves.
  • Back in the day, a steal happened at a reasonable interval after the winner was named. Now we have contestants practically off the stage before a button is pushed. That’s great TV but a very stressful walk-off for every losing contestant.
  • I’m so happy that Nissan is driving the contestants a few feet to their destination pre-battle. This is very important footage.

Who were your favorites tonight? Do you agree or disagree with the decisions? Leave your thoughts in the comments, and I’ll see you back here after the next episode of The Voice.

Blake & Pharrell cheers

The Voice airs Mondays and Tuesdays at 8/7C on NBC.

TV Families | EW.com
Mark Harris
February 23, 1990 AT 05:00 AM EST

The Bradys are back, with a passel of 90’s hassles. Do they represent the typical American Family? Did they ever? Who does? Stare and compare!

Kind Of Family
TheBradyBunch 1969-74: Blended
The Bradys 1990-: Enormous
Married…With Children 1987-: Postnuclear
Thirtysomething 1987-: Extended
The Flintstones 1960-66: Modern Stone Age

Family Pet
The Brady Bunch: Tiger
The Bradys: Alice
Married…With Children: Buck
Thirtysomething: Grendel
The Flintstones: Dino

Typical Guest Star
The Brady Bunch: Davey Jones
The Bradys: There’s no room
Married…With Children: Sam Kinison
Thirtysomething: Carly Simon
The Flintstones: Ann Margrock

Expression Of Joy
The Brady Bunch: Groovy!
The Bradys: Ritual hugging
Married…With Children: ”Oh, great.”
Thirtysomething: ”Of course I’m happy for you. Really. But what about me? Why does it always have to be about you?
The Flintstones: ”Yabba-dabba doo

Expression Of Rage

The Brady Bunch: ”Hmmm…”
The Bradys: ”If you back away from something you really want, then you’re a quitter!” (the angriest any Brady has ever been)
Married…With Children: ”Aaagh, God, take me from this miserable life!”
Thirtysomething: ”I’m not angry, OK?”
The Flintstones: ”Willllmaaaa!”

Typical Problem
The Brady Bunch: Marcia and her rival both want to be the prom queen.
The Bradys: Bobby gets paralyzed.
Married…With Children: Al doesn’t buy his family Christmas presents.
Thirtysomething: Nancy gets cancer.
The Flintstones: Fred and Barney are staying out too late.

Typical Solution
The Brady Bunch: The prom committee decides to have two queens.
The Bradys: Bobby gets married.
Married…With Children: They hate him.
Thirtysomething: If only we knew…
The Flintstones: Wilma and Betty decide to follow them.

House Style
The Brady Bunch: Conservative but mod, circa ’69
The Bradys: Conservative but mod, circa ’90
Married…With Children: Roach motel
Thirtysomething: Enviable
The Flintstones: Suburban cave

Clothing Style
The Brady Bunch: Early Osmonds
The Bradys: Made in the USA
Married…With Children: Flammable fabrics
Thirtysomething: Eclectic earth tones; nice ties
The Flintstones: One-piece

Most Annoying Character
The Brady Bunch: Alice’s cousin Emma, the substitute housekeeper (too strict)
The Bradys: Marcia’s husband, Wally (chronically unemployable)
Married…With Children: Steve (supercilious)
Thirtysomething: Ellyn (goes through Hope’s drawers, babbles, changes hairstyle every other week, generally mistreats her friends)
The Flintstones: Mr. Slate (bossy)

Attitude Toward Sex
The Brady Bunch: Never heard of it
The Bradys: Omigod — even Cindy does it!
Married…With Children: Peg: Yes. Al: No.
Thirtysomething: They didn’t get all those kids by accident.
The Flintstones: Prehistoric

How Spouses Fight
The Brady Bunch: They don’t.
The Bradys: Infrequently, but it happens
Married…With Children: Tooth and nail
Thirtysomething: They stop talking
The Flintstones: Fred and Barney go bowling while Wilma and Betty max out their charge cards.

How Kids Get Into Trouble
The Brady Bunch: Greg takes a puff of a cigarette.
The Bradys: Carol’s grandson steals her business cards and sticks them in the spokes of Bobby’s wheelchair.
Married…With Children: By committing felonies
Thirtysomething: Ethan plays with a forbidden toy rocket.
The Flintstones: They don’t.

How They’re Punished

The Brady Bunch: ”It’s not what you did, honey — it’s that you couldn’t come to us.”
The Bradys ”Next time, ask.”
Married…With Children: By the authorities
Thirtysomething: It blows up in his face.
The Flintstones: They’re not.

What Family Does For Fun
The Brady Bunch: Takes special three-part vacations to Hawaii and the Grand Canyon
The Bradys: Has flashbacks
Married…With Children: Exchanges insults
Thirtysomething: Talks
The Flintstones: Attends showings of The Monster at the Bedrock Drive-In

Unsolved Mysteries
The Brady Bunch: How exactly did Carol’s first husband and Mike’s first wife die?
The Bradys: What’s with Marcia’s new face and Bobby’s blonde hair
Married…With Children: What kind of hair spray does Peg use?
Thirtysomething: Why did Nancy take Elliot back? What do Gary and Susanna see in each other?
The Flintstones: How does Barney’s shirt stay on if he has no shoulders? Where do Fred and Wilma plug in their TV?

Worst Behavior
The Brady Bunch: The Brady children once made Alice feel under-appreciated.

The Bradys: Marcia’s son Mickey watches Bobby’s car-crash tape for fun.
Married…With Children: The Bundy’s kill their neighbor’s dog.
Thirtysomething: Elliot has an affair and talks about it.
The Flintstones: Characters don’t wear under-clothes.

Best Reason To Watch
The Brady Bunch: This is what life should be.
The Bradys: They’re all grown-ups now!
Married…With Children: Terry Rakolta hates it.
Thirtysomething (Tie) This is your life. This isn’t your life.
The Flintstones: This is what life might have been.

Best Reason Not To Watch
The Brady Bunch: Blurred vision from rerun overdoses.
The Bradys: You’re all grown-ups now.
Married…With Children: She has a point.
Thirtysomething: After a while, you think it’s real.
The Flintstones: The Simpsons

You May Like