The two top picks of the 2023 Battle of the Bands Draft met very different fates in their opening round matchups. In a stunning upset, Metallica’s Master of Puppets won what could only be describing as a “thrilling” battle over Michael Jackson’s Thriller. Meanwhile Prince and the Revolution’s Purple Rain crushed Madonna’s Like a Virgin. Both Metallica and Prince advance to the Sweet Sixteen.
Michael Jackson’s Thriller album, the top seed in John McTavish’s bracket and first overall pick fell behind early on against Metallica’s Master of Puppets. Votes then came in for Thriller forcing a dead heat between MJ and Metallica. While Thriller held a single vote lead heading to the final hours, Master of Puppets had a late surge to win the battle with 52.5% of the vote.
It’s the first time a #1 seed has been eliminated in the first round of Battle of the Bands.
Meanwhile, it wasn’t even close between Prince’s Purple Rain and Madonna’s Like a Virgin on Hector Alfonso’s bracket. Prince jumped out to an early lead and never looked back. It’s the second crushing defeat for Madonna, who lost to Miles Davis two years ago 87.5-12.5% in the 2021 tournament. This time Madonna did not fare better as Prince’s Purple Rain got 85.7% of the vote.
These two opening round matchups were some of the highest vote numbers in the history of the tournament.
On John’s bracket, Metallica’s Master of Puppets will face the winner of the 4-5 matchup between Public Enemy’s It Takes a Nation of Millions to Hold Us Back and Bon Jovi’s Slippery When Wet. Meanwhile on Hector’s bracket, Prince’s Purple Rain faces the winner of the 4-5 matchup between Tears For Fears’ Songs from the Big Chair and Rush’s Moving Pictures.
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