Penulultimate battle excites

Boys savedAfter pairing up some fantastic talent against each other this past Sunday, "The Voice SA" coaches Karen Zoid, Bobby van Jaarsveld, Lira and Kahn Morbee again had to make some tough decisions on the show's fiercer than ever Battle round.

As the rules of the competition prescribe, the coach who has prepped the talent for these sing-offs, also faces the often impossible task of picking a winner to proceed to the next round. This week, however, one coach's loss became another one's gain – twice!

Karen choked up when powerhouse singer Thembeka Mnguni (33) from Durban battled Blaque Harmony (pictured hugging) - the inspiring duo of Karabo Makwela (24) and Botlhale Phora (20) - with the U2 anthem "With Or Without You". The teary-eyed and very proud Karen said that she was watching and listening to true artists giving her hope for music in South Africa and made her decision based on the fact that she believed that she could take the winner of the Battle all the way to the top. When Thembeka heard that she was the one, coach Lira immediately snatched up the two guys from Ga-Rankuwa with her one and only available Steal.

This means that Blaque Harmony will now compete as part of #TeamLira in the live shows, during which the voting public will also have a say.

In the second Steal of the evening, coach Bobby zapped one of #TeamLira's members when she experienced a similar conundrum. Seasoned performer and family man Jeremy Olivier (40) from Cape Town, who quickly discovered that he still has a lot to learn, was up against the barely-out-of-school 20-year-old Durban student Austin Lurring when they battled with "Just The Way You Are" by Bruno Mars. They both delivered mesmerising performances, prompting Lira to consult with her co-coach Nianell. They then went with Jeremy, giving Bobby the gap to steal Austin. "I fought for him from Day One," he grinned. "And you didn't choose me!" he reminded Austin. "But you're on Team Bobby now."

For her next Battle of the evening, Lira paired the successful Bloemfontein singer-songwriter William Wolf (33) against 21-year-old Zoë Modiga from Pietermaritzburg – who won a SAMRO music scholarship in 2015 to study anywhere in the world, but decided to enter "The Voice SA" instead. Their Battle of the Bryan Adams hit "Heaven" gave her "nightmares", Lira said, and she had to consult co-coach Nianell again. Lira admitted that she would love to work with William as a songwriter, "but I almost sense that what you have to offer might be swallowed up in this competition," she told him, "so it makes sense to put Zoë through."

Even though he only had one clash in this episode, Bobby complained of "always getting the difficult ones". Kim Collins, the 37-year-old single mom and hairdresser and the spunky 24-year-old Chris Werge, both from Cape Town, brought their A-game with Sam Smith's "Stay With Me". Co-coach Toya Delazy was called in and after some consideration, Bobby opted to give Kim the opportunity to move forward in the competition.