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Blake doesn’t know who Ellie Goulding is on Monday’s ‘The Voice’

Season 7 | Episode 9 | “The Battles, Part 3” | Aired Oct 20, 2014

Last week: We started battle rounds on NBC’s The Voice. It got a little violent when I threw a shoe at my TV in reaction to Maiya Sykes’ untimely exit and again when Gwen sweetly threatened to put two contestants in a blender (what is this, Saw?). Adviser Alicia Keys demonstrated a deft hand for re-arranging battle songs, and Pharrell comforted one of Adam’s losing contestants (winning him “Best Human” of the week). Now let’s talk about the latest episode of The Voice.

Just to make sure we’re all on the same page: Pharrell has used both of his steals, Gwen and Blake have used one, and Adam has yet to use a steal.

We open on Blake regaling Pharrell and Gwen with all the reasons why he loves to beat Adam, after which he casually saunters up to the Starbucks counter to ask for his special drink. Next time I’m at Starbucks, I’m going to order “Blake’s special latte” and just see what happens. I’ll keep you updated.


Taking us back to the ’60s
Our first battle of the week is Team Adam’s 35-year-old TSA agent Damien versus 31-year-old single mother Kelli Douglas. Adam assigns the duo “Knock on Wood,” a song I was first exposed to via a throwback 80s workout cassette tape I became obsessed with in my tweens (Have you ever worked out using a cassette tape? Yeah, it’s tricky). Kelli holds her own, giving a performance that’s leaps and bounds better than her blind audition, but Damien bursts onto the stage and makes it clear he’s the star of this show, nailing the vocal and the energy of the song. While both embody the 60s aesthetic wonderfully (per Pharrell), Adam gives Damien the win, sending the lovely Kelli home.

Ellie Goulding? Gewldlng? Gooling?

Next up are Team Gwen’s 18-year-old Jessie Pitts (this season’s quirky, indie female voice) and boy-band-in-training/twin to my Malibu Ken 21-year-old Ryan Sill. Gwen’s song choice (“I Need Your Love”) appears to be more geared towards Jessie’s breathy vocal style, but Ryan dominates the performance, delivering a precise, pop vocal that fits the song surprisingly well. Jessie also sounds great but appears to struggle with breath control and tempo throughout.


Both Blake and Pharrell mention that this song is more suited to Ryan’s voice, but Adam corrects them, pointing out that Ellie Goulding’s voice is more similar to Jessie’s, so it was actually more of a challenge for Ryan. (Am I agreeing with Adam here? Yes, yes I am) After much agonizing, Gwen chooses Ryan for the win, and Jessie also stays thanks to a steal from Blake, who solemnly swears to learn who Ellie Goulding is, all while butchering her name (and bringing back unwelcome flashbacks of Gwen butchering Stephen Colbert’s name at the Emmys. Eek!).


Poor song judgment
In one of the more ill-fitting battles tonight, Pharrell pairs 25-year-old Blessing Offor (The Voice’s first blind contestant and one of the most interesting stories this season) against 15-year-old Katriz Trinidad (one of the youngest remaining singers on the show) on the Stevie Wonder tune “Do I Do.” The song choice seems pandering for obvious reasons (a puzzling misstep by Pharrell). Blessing’s voice is warm, full and lived-in, while Katriz’s is more about vocal precision, range and pliability, and the two don’t necessarily meet in the middle. Pharrell names Katriz the winner, and Blessing is snapped up by Team Adam, giving everyone their happy ending.

The Voice - Season 7

Side Note: I don’t understand this “Peter Pan Live” commercial. I also can’t compute anything that includes both Allison Williams from Girls and Christopher Walken. Why? What? Why?

A quiet battle
Our quietest battle of the night arrives courtesy of Team Adam’s 25-year-old preacher’s son Ethan Butler and 23-year-old guitar teacher Matt McAndrew. Their “Yellow” isn’t one of the best duets this season, but it has its moments (especially when they harmonize towards the end of the song). Ethan tends to over-sing a bit, and Matt’s voice is often emotive (but can sometimes lose its target when he over-emotes). While Ethan makes a strong effort, Adam gives the win to the more “compassionate” singer, Matt.

The Voice - Season 7

Questionable pairings via Blake
The most off-putting pairing of the night occurs when Blake pits 24-year-old torch singer Bree Fondacaro against 21-year-old vintage country lover Taylor Brashears on “You’re No Good.” This pairing doesn’t work in any way, shape, or form. The two have their own individual strengths but sound so wrong together it’s distracting. Bree seems to struggle with the lower notes, and both seem to struggle with pitch. However, Taylor’s confident self-assurance is a better fit for the song, earning her the win and sending Bree home.

Slaying the dragon

Our final (and best) battle is courtesy of Team Pharrell’s 25-year-old stay-at-home-mom Danica Shirey and 29-year-old wedding/club singer Toia Jones. Pharrell assigns them “Halo,” a perfect fit for their combined talents and huge voices. Both ladies connect the song to their late fathers (is there dust in my eye? No, that’s just tears), and that comes through in their performance, which is touching and fairly flawless. Adam describes it best when he says, “Doing a Beyonce song is like trying to slay a dragon, and you guys slayed the dragon and then slapped it in the face to make sure it knew it was dead.” Word, Adam. Pharrell names Danica the winner, and to no one’s surprise, Adam steals Toia for his team.


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


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

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