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Updates for 26th February 2012

The Voice Ireland - The Battles Show -
Sunday 26th Feb 6.30pm RTÉ ONE

The final in the Battle stage is now over and over the 3 weeks we have witnessed passion, determination and talent. We have seen the tears, felt the disappointment and shouted at the TV and this week was no different...

Sharon kicked off the Battle by pairing Nollaig O'Connor and Alan Lawlor. Sharon picked the beautiful "Wild Horses" by The Rolling Stones for the two but requested that they sing with each other "Don't necessarily compete...sing from your heart". Nollaig struggled once again with her confidence but Sharon pushed her forward "You need to remember - you are capable". But it was Alan who helped Nollaig out the most and viewers could see him giving her boosts of confidence through out their rehearsals, Don Mescal commented "He wasn't up there battling for himself, he was battling for her... a gentleman". After their performance it was clear that the coaches were blown away "That song has been made famous by Susan Boyle recently but... I prefer your version" Kian praised, "That was my favourite battle so far" Brian added. When it came down to it Sharon turned to Don for his opinion "You're world-class" he said which didn't help Sharon in her predicament at all. Eventually she made her decision "My instinct is with Nollaig - I'm so sorry Alan".

When Sharon put Fauve Chapman and Onya Gray together she was unaware of the history between the two girls but the tension quickly rose to Sharon's attention in the rehearsals. It was revealed that the two girls had actually been in a battle against each other before in Your A Star. While Onya felt comfortable with the song choice - Lady Gaga's 'Born This Way' - Fauve said "I'm out of my comfort zone". Despite the tension the two girls pulled together for their battle when Sharon asked them to "have each others backs", Kian was unimpressed with the performance "it was average" he critiqued and when Sharon was put under pressure to make her decision she said "I apologise Onya, I have to choose Fauve - she had a better performance".

The two youngest contestants Elliott Canavan Doyle and Christina Foran were put together by their mentor Kian to sing Radiohead's "Creep" in their battle. But it quickly became apparent to Kian that the two lacked confidence and Christina in particular was falling into a comfort zone. Kian turned on the tough love and Christina left rehearsals in tears but came back the next day with a new found drive. Unfortunately their final battle performance was not as good as their rehearsals and Kian admitted he was disapointed "I think the seriousness of this has been lost on you" he said. Despite a sore throat it was Elliott who got a second chance.

Singing "I Can't Make You Love Me" Lorna Jordan and Jim Devine showed that they were a serious team - "I really enjoyed the combination of you both" Brian said. Lorna was praised by her mentor Kian for her endearing personality but he chose Jim to progress based on the performance.

Pairing Ryan O'Shaughnessy and Colin Hand Brian asked them to sing U2's classic 'One' but their mentor warned them to sing it well or else it would sound like a bad karaoke version, "there's nothing I hate more" he added. Ryan went into the battle looking to impress not only Brian but another coach - Bressie - who had doubted Ryan's ability in the Blind Auditions. When the battle came to a close Bressie was the first to pipe up "I was so wrong about your voice" he admitted and despite his respect for Colin's talent he advised Brian "If I was making a record and I wanted to sell it I'd have to choose Ryan", Brian agreed with his colleague and brought Ryan through to the Live shows.

Brian presented Conor J Ryan and Richie Hayes with the tough task of battling to Van Morrisons "Crazy Love". Despite his extensive stage experience Richie still felt nervous "It's very intimidating singing a song Brian has previously recorded" but the pair made their mentor proud with their rendition to which he gave a standing ovation to. Bressie complemented Conor's vocal "you sound like Brian Kennedy" and Brian praised them both "Either of you I'd be happy to be The Voice of Ireland". But it was Richie who Brian thought had the edge over Conor and chose him to progress to the next stage.

Bressie paired self-proclaimed "weirdo's" Conor Quinn and Nikita O'Rowe and gave them the task of performing The Fray's "How to Save a Life" - an emotional and sensitive song about suicide. The two worked incredibly well together and Ruth-Anne noted their "natural chemistry". The two good friends went into the battle ring fighting for a place in the Live shows but also rooting for the other to do well. Brian caused a bit of controversy when he referred to Conor as "The Hunchback of Notredame" but the gusty lad quickly replied "I'd say more Golum from Lord of the Rings". Kian was impressed with the performance but said that Nikita was "overshadowed by Conor's uniqueness" and Bressie agreed saying that it was something he couldn't look past, and brought Conor through to the live shows. The final match saw Kiera Byrne and CarolAnn Haskins battle it out to The Gossip's "Standing in the Way of Control". The diva and the rock-chick gave the coaches and the audience energy, passion and excitement -"That's what you call a Battle!" Brian raved. CarolAnn was praised for her attitude and her vocal but it was Kiera who won because of her versatility and her previous audition.

Team Brian: Colin Hand vs Ryan O’Shaghnessy
Team Brian Conor J Ryan vs Richie Hayes