Photo: CR: NBC Toneisha Harris, Arei Moon and Megan Danielle made it to Knockouts in "The Voice"
Photo: CR: NBC Toneisha Harris, Arei Moon and Megan Danielle made it to Knockouts in "The Voice"

Three Atlantans make it past ‘The Voice” season 18 battle rounds

Three metro Atlanta women made the final 28  on “The Voice” after the Battle Rounds and competed in the Knockout Rounds starting Monday.

The three women are Arei Moon (Team Nick Jonas), Megan Danielle (Team Kelly Clarkson) and Toneisha Harris (Team Blake Shelton).  

Megan’s Knockout Round was featured Monday night and she made it to the top 20 in what is supposed to be the live rounds. 

All these episodes were pre-taped before the pandemic. It’s unclear how “The Voice” will grapple with the live portion.

Arei Moon

Age: 28

Current residence: Atlanta

Her vocal style: R&B

Background: Played in a cover band for years, so she knows how to quickly learn songs. 
Why she moved to Atlanta: “I wanted to pursue mainstream music and meet producers. Atlanta is the right place to be.”

Chair-turn audition song: “Miss Independent” Kelly Clarkson

Team: Nick Jonas (He blocked Clarkson.)

Battle round song: John Waite’s “Missing You” vs. Samuel Wilco in an R&B style. “When I first listened to the song, I was like, ‘What is this?’ It took me awhile. It was out of my field.” She ultimately learned to love it. “Being in a competition getting something that is new is scary. You really don’t want to mess it up.”

Mentored by the Jonas Brothers:  “I grew up listening to the Jonas Brothers. I never imagined when I’m an adult, I’d be hanging out with them, and we’d be cool and be friends. They were so humble and gave us actual feedback.”

How she and Samuel made the song their own: “We turned it into a fun song. It’s not a song meant to be fun. It gave it a new vibe and let our personalities shine through.”
In the end, Nick chose Arei over Samuel. 

How she’s dealing with the pandemic: She is temporarily staying with family in Tampa, Florida. “It’s better to be with family,” she said, and her husband, who is in sales, can work from home. She plans to get back to Atlanta in June. 

Megan Danielle

Age: 18

Residence: Douglasville

Team: Kelly Clarkson
Her vocal style: Raspy and emotive beyond her years

Her non-music plans: Before “The Voice,” she was thinking of going to college and get into law enforcement or the medical field.

How “The Voice” has helped her: “I come from a really small town. I keep my circle small. I’m usually just with my siblings and immediate family. This has taught me to come out of my shell to be around these great contestants. Working on a stage is not natural to me. I always see myself as an awkward person. When I sing a song, I just stand there focused on my voice. I wasn’t thinking about moving around... I barely know anything. I wish I did. But I’m learning so much.” 

Her chair-turn song: Adele’s “Remedy”

Why that song: “It helps me tell my siblings as a reminder that I’ll always be the remedy for them. My parents got a divorce when I was seven years old. My father left. I didn’t grow up with an easy childhood.”

Loving Kelly: “I really wanted Kelly. I absolutely love her. Her personality, her music, it’s so amazing. She understands me and makes me a better artist.”

Her battle round: “Top of the World” the Dixie Chicks against Samantha Howell (who ended up getting saved)

How it went: “I love country music. It made me open up more. It showed me what I’m capable of and showed my range.” 

Her Battle Round song: “Piece by Piece” by Kelly Clarkson

Why that song: Her grandfather became her surrogate father and filled the void left by her dad. This song is all about Clarkson’s daddy issues and the savior in her husband. (In Megan’s place, it’s her grandfather.)

Her Knockout Round opponent: Camm Wess, whose take on the song “Say Something” was extra special. “A tour de force,” said his former coach John Legend. (Kelly stole him during the Battles.) 

Judge comments: Blake chose Camm over Megan. Nick isn’t sure who to pick. But Kelly, who cried over both performances, had to pick someone and chose Megan, the person she chose first. “Megan is special to me. There’s something about her pain and how she conveys it. Her genuine self is so different from everyone else.” (After Kelly chose Megan, John and Nick both wanted to steal him. Camm chose to go back with John. )

Toneisha Harris

Age: 44

Residence: Roswell the past 10 years

Her vocal style: Joyful and commanding 

Background: She grew up singing gospel in a group. She was going to try out for “The Voice” as a mainstream solo singer in 2011, but her son came down with leukemia. She had to postpone her dreams to be a professional singer, but nine years later, she is trying again now that her son is healthy and cheering her on. And she said she isn’t just a gospel singer. She has done musical theater and has taken vocal classes in opera and jazz.

Her chair turn song: “I Want to Know What Love Is” by Foreigner, a 1985 No. 1 rock ballad with a spiritual bent and a choir.

Why that song: “I was able to inject myself into the song to convey my own message. It speaks to my personal journey.”

Results: A four-chair turn! She surprisingly chose Blake Shelton as a coach. “I actually felt he was a better fit,” Toneisha said. “I have a love and affinity for country music. His pitch was sincere.”

Working with Blake: “He’s very approachable. He’s very open, very honest. He’s funny. He knows how to break the ice. He feels very comfortable in that moment, in that space.”

Her Battle Round song: “Good as Hell” by Lizzo vs. Jacob Daniel Murphy. “I was shocked. It’s a challenge. That song is mostly rap, and we had to kind of take it and find our own take on it. It was amazing. Jacob was a sweet artist, an amazing singer. He was a formidable opponent. I didn’t feel like it was a battle. It was more like a duet with the little brother I never had.”

Judges feedback: John Legend said they did well despite having Blake as a coach. Nick loved Toneisha’s voice. Blake said Jacob was a firecracker and held his own against Toneisha. “The vibe of both you, playing off of each other, being sarcastic and funny,” Kelly said. “It was one of my favorite battles.” Blake: “The connection you two had made it a great musical moment.” In the end, he stuck with Toneisha. 

How she’s spending pandemic time: “I’ve spending a lot of family time and creating and writing music, just coming up with a lot of things I can put out for my fans.”

On TV

“The Voice,” 8 p.m. NBC Mondays

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About the Author

Rodney Ho
Rodney Ho
Rodney Ho covers radio and television for the Atlanta Journal-Constitution.
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