The bloody Battle Rounds of The Voice
season 4 come to an end tonight as six more pairs compete, while Usher
is the only coach with a Steal left. The war to claim the Red Spinning
Throne is on and summer is coming.
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We have Shakira, the Mother of Dragons from a faraway land whose ferocity should make the men shake in their boots as she procured some of the most impressive steals, building her unsullied army. Then there' Blake Shelton, a battle-tested warrior with a single-minded focus on country singers, fueled by the love his red priestess, Melisandre Lambert.
Adam Levine is the King in the North, with a beloved team of great singers, though it's mostly due to the memory of how great House Levine was in season 1. Then there's Usher, the flashy and impetuous young newbie whose best soldier, Jessica "The Hound" Childress, fled, leaving him vulnerable.
Is this extended Game of Thrones
metaphor a bit of a stretch? Maybe. Is comparing Usher to Joffrey just plain mean? Probably. But is The Voice
more exciting if you think, at any moment, Shakira will yell "Dracarys!" and a dragon will set Carson Daly (or better yet, Christina Milian) on fire? Absolutely.
Let the final battle live blog begin!Team Shakira: Brandon Roush vs. Shawna P. ("Piece of My Heart" by Janis Joplin)
Shawna is a wild, crazy older lady with plenty of Joplin-style rasp. Brandon fears his opponent has the edge, and he (and his stupid Shaun White hair) are right. Get a haircut, hippie! He also wears a stupid red bowler hat, which makes me like him even less. This is bad quirky.The Performance
: I'm kind of in love with this weird performance. It's very dirty and nasty, which is odd since she's an older lady and he's 19. But somehow it works. I like Shawna's rasp and Brandon does a pretty solid job. I'm not sure if either of them can win, but they're both pretty solid.The Decision
: Adam makes fun of Blake's hair. Shakira is torn between youth and eagerness vs. experience and maturity. Shawna P. is the winner
. Huzzah! Usher does not steal him.
Team Adam: Duncan Kamakana vs. Sarah Simmons ("Wanted You More" by Lady Antebellum)
Yikes, Duncan barely got any screentime during the blind auditions and only got Adam to turn around while Sarah scored all four chairs. This is gonna be a slaughter and Duncan's only hope is to sing to Usher and pray for a steal. Duncan is a cute guy with a guitar, but Sarah's voice makes me feel emotional after just a few notes in rehearsals. This girl has what it takes to go the distance, because voters will fall in love with her like they did with Cassadee Pope's best emotional performances.The Performance
: This is a tough one. Duncan has a rich, very, VERY commercial voice. Like, I could easily imagine him as a successful artist. But Sarah just me straight in the heart. One note, one look from her and I feel what she feels. The duet isn't that great since they're such different artists, but they both have many great selling points.The Decision
: The coaches agree that Sarah's voice is something special. Sarah Simmons is the winner. Adam needs to get off the Judith Hill bandwagon and rely on Sarah as his frontrunner. Usher is a total idiot for not stealing Duncan. Add him to the list of talented people who could've gone far, but were wrongfully cut during the Battle Rounds. The Steal doesn't work if it's not used properly. The fact that Christian Porter, Jessica Childress, Patrick Dodd and now Duncan are all gone while mediocrity like Taylor Beckham and C. Perkins were stolen is a travesty.
Now it's time for a quick recap of three more battles.Team Usher: Michelle Chamuel vs. Chelsea M.Michelle Chamuel is the winner
. Hooray for the quirky girl!Team Adam: Amy Whitcomb vs. Agina AlvarezAmy Whitcomb is the winner
. I think we can all agree she's the weakest member of Team Adam by a large, large margin and will lose to anyone else in the Knockout Rounds.Team Blake: Justin Rivers vs. The Morgan TwinsJustin Rivers is the winner
. Thus completes Blake's track record of picking country singers as the winners in ALL SIX of this battles. He's putting all of his eggs in the country basket, odd since his two previous winners weren't country.
After this Usher says he doesn't know who he's going to steal. I do, because there's only ONE battle left, so obviously he has to use it for whoever Shakira doesn't pick.Team Shakira: Cathia vs. Mary Miranda ("Antes de las Seis" by Shakira)
This is a total Latina battle, especially since the song is in Spanish. Much like the Republicans after the 2012 election, Shakira knows the value of the Hispanic vote. It's definitely odd to sing a song by the coach. Cathia is prepared during auditions, but Mary isn't.The Performance
: It's coin flip time. The performance is beautiful, even if I don't understand a single word. But really, these two are the same person. I honestly have absolutely no preference either way.The Decision
: Carson gets a great dig in about how this was out of Blake's territory because "you barely speak English." ZING! Mary Miranda is the winner
Then Carson tells the coaches that Cathia is available to steal. Um, either the editing is out of order or this is all fake because this is the final battle and Usher still has his Steal left. He waits until she's walking away, which just seems cruel. Usher steals Cathia
. Stop acting like this is surprising, Carson.
Now it's on to the Knockout Rounds. Next week the show expands to two hours on Monday and Tuesday as the coaches pit their eight team members against each other, and only four from each team will survive. It's not going to be easy, because Adam has seven great singers while other coaches (like Shakira and Usher) have, well, less than four great singers.
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(Image courtesy of NBC)