The Battles - Sunday 6.30pm RTE One
The second Battle show is over and we have had to say goodbye to some incredibly talented vocalists, the show was emotional, dramatic and heart-warming as we witnessed a love story unfold, friendships being formed and tears of joy and sadness being shed.
Brian was feeling patriotic this week as he chose Irish classic "Dirty Old Town" by the Pogues for Brendan Keeley and Neil McGrath. Despite his reservations about the song, Brendan Keeley's experienced show man persona shone in the rehearsals. Neil was praised by Bressie for his "modern day trad vocal" but Kian angered Brian when he slated the choice of song. In the end it was Brendan who Brian chose to take to the next stage. Brian set the bar extremely high when he chose Sinead O'Connor's "Nothing Compares to You" for Angela Shanny and Claire O'Loughlin to perform. Tensions were high between the two big singers when Claire felt that Angela was taking some of her lines. Pint sized Angela impressed Sharon in the battle "The power in your voice is huge" she said "You're both knock out singers" she added. But it was Claire's deep tone that won Brians vote.
Kian kicked off the show with a "Clash of the Titans" between big voiced diva's Sharon Gaynor and Siobhan Magennis, he chose Elton's classic "Don't Let the Sun Go Down on Me" for the girls. Mutually respecting each others vocal talents the girls felt nervous facing their battle but the powerful performance received a well deserved standing ovation from their mentor Kian who said he regretted pairing the two girls "this could be the final" he said. Priscilla thought the performance was outstanding saying "I want to thank you because I feel honoured to be here". Brian was sympathetic with Kian's tough decision "I wouldn't be able to choose between you", but Kian decided that it was Sharon's time and gave her the chance to shine again in the Live Shows. Lucy O'Byrne and Kyle Kennedy were given a difficult task when Kian chose Westlife hit "When You Tell Me That You Love Me" for them to perform - talk about pressure! After Kian telling him that he questioned his defeatist attitude US native Kyle really upped his game in the Battle and Kian went completely against how he thought he would feel and chose Kyle over Lucy to progress.
Sharon told Kevin Keeley that at his Blind Audition she jotted down "Need You Now" by Lady Antebellum straight away, and that was the song that she chose for Kevin and Ingrid Madsen for their battle. Kevin and Ingrid felt a little bit strange singing a love song to each other because of the large age gap but Don and Sharon urged shy Kevin to look Ingrid in the eye and connect emotionally with the song. Unfortunately Brian was not convinced on the night "I just didn't believe that performance" he said. Sharon decided it was Kevin who won the battle and chose him over Ingrid. Ailbhe Hession and Kim Hayden also had a few difficulties in rehearsals when lead singer Kim found the harmonies and backing vocals difficult to get used to. But the pair worked together and pulled off an incredibly energetic rendition of Pinks "Sober" - "I felt an awful lot of passion" Kian said. Sharon said she was completely torn but went with her gut feeling - Kim.
When Bressie paired Dervla Magennis and Gari Deegan he didn't know that he was starting a little love story - during the rehearsals both Ruth Anne and Bressie noted that there was a romance brewing as the pair practiced The Noisettes' "Don't Upset the Rhythm". Bressie praised the soul in Gari's vocal "he makes it sound so sexy" and remarked that the song may be too easy for Dervla. On stage the chemistry was undeniable and it made for an incredible battle. "You have to do stuff together after this" Sharon told them to which Gari replied that they had already made a pact. Brian was blown away by 19 year old Dervla's confidence and Ruth Anne requested that the pair go on a date "they make me happy" she gushed. Bressie chose Gari Deegan to progress further. When Bressie put Kate Gilmore and Jessica Pritzel together he requested that the girls feel the emotion of Evanescence's "My Immortal" and that's exactly what they delivered. "Absolutely Stunning... you gave me goosebumps and you made me want to cry...it was breathtaking" Sharon said and Bressie agreed "I made a massive mistake putting both of you together" he told them "If anyone didn't feel that they should check their pulse", after the incredibly emotive performance Bressie felt he couldn't choose between them and had to remember back to their Blind Auditions to make his decision. Eventually it was Jessica he took through to the Live shows but didn't let an upset Kate leave without a hug and encouraged her to continue on.
Tune in to RTÉ ONE next Sunday at 6.30pm to see who else makes it to the Live shows in the last of The Battles Shows on The Voice Of Ireland.
Team Brian in bold
Angela Shanny vs Claire O'Loughlin
Neil McGrath vs Brendan Keeley