'The Voice' Recap: Let the Battles Begin
'The Voice' Recap: Let the Battles Begin
John Kubicek
John Kubicek
Senior Writer, BuddyTV
It's Battle time on The Voice! The ridiculous boxing ring set is back as two contestants from one team go head-to-head for a chance to survive.

This season there's a new twist, the Steal. Each coach can steal two singers that lose the Battle of a rival coach. If more than one coach wants to steal, then the choice goes to the singer.

I'll be here for the full two hours with my thoughts.


Team Blake: Casey Muessigmann vs. Terry McDermott ("Carry On Wayward Son" by Kansas)

It's the fat country dude vs. the Scotch dad. As a Supernatural fan, I love this song because it's been frequently used over the show's season finale montages. The fact that Terry looks like a baby in a giant wig is disconcerting. Casey thinks he has a chance to win this whole thing. He's a lot more confident about his chances than I am. Blake Shelton thinks Casey has grown more, which is a coded way of saying he was worse at the start.

The Performance: Casey is perfectly mediocre. Terry kills it, with great inflections and rock star screams. This one is a no-brainer.

The Winner Is...TERRY MCDERMOTT!

The Steal: The loser gets to say a few final words, but no one steals Casey. Smart move on all sides.



Team Adam: Bryan Keith vs. Collin McLoughlin ("Santeria" by Sublime)

Bryan is my pick to win on Team Adam and Collin quit grad school to be on the show. Poor Collin is clearly a sacrificial lamb in this battle, like Glass Joe in Mike Tyson's Punch-Out. This just doesn't seem like a very strong song for this show, and both singers have some issues during rehearsals. I'm finding it hard to get excited about this one, except for the hilarious height disparity(Collin looks about a foot taller than Bryan).

The Performance: This is just a sub-par disaster, a song that doesn't fit either singer. Collin tries way too hard to appear energetic while Bryan just lays back and lets his voice do its thing without trying to conform with the song. Much like Alien vs. Predator, no matter who wins, we lost for having had to listen to it. Blake thinks Collin won, which makes me think he's trying to sabotage Adam's team or gunning to steal Bryan for himself. Xtina and Cee Lo both give it to Bryan.

The Winner Is...BRYAN KEITH!

The Steal: Blake Shelton and Cee Lo Green hit their buttons! It's our first steal of the season! Blake explains that he said he would've given the win to Collin while Cee Lo thinks the song didn't do him justice. Collin joins Team Blake. There are still 23 other battles for Blake to choose from, so it feels foolish to use it so soon..



Team Cee Lo: Diego Val vs. J.R. Aquino ("Jessie's Girl" by Rick Springfield)

It's the Peruvian vs. the YouTube star. Diego doesn't know the song and he has confidence problems, but you couldn't tell based on the amount of chest hair he's showing off or his giant, Cee Lo-esque white glasses.This is another lopsided battle with Diego forgetting lyrics and J.R. only lacking a little dirtiness that Cee Lo wants from him.

The Performance: Diego is going for style over substance with a deep V, a chunky scarf, Capri pants and the Gary Oldman in The Fifth Element haircut. J.R. seems like a total square by comparison, but I think he has the superior voice. Adam Levine and Blake Shelton give us another classic exchange:

Adam: "Just cuz it's not country doesn't mean it's not awesome."
Blake: "Yeah it does."

The Winner Is...DIEGO VAL!

The Steal: Cee Lo definitely went for the flashier singer. No one steals J.R. Oh well, J.R. still has YouTube.



Team Xtina: De'borah vs. Nelly's Echo ("Message in a Bottle" by The Police)

Um, what? These are two of Xtina's strongest singers and I put both of them on my list of best auditions (and they were both at the top of my picks for Xtina's ultimate winner). Putting these two against each other right away is just plain stupid. De'borah freaks out over meeting the guy from Green Day (and seems to think his name is Green Day) which only makes me love her more. They're both strong in the rehearsals and Billie Joe Armstrong even loves the mistakes they make. De'borah has troubles learning the song and is the underdog heading into the ring.

The Performance: They both kill it and rock out in their own styles. De'borah has lots of soul but Nelly's Echo shows off his full range, although it has some problems when he goes too high. Adam sings the praises of De'borah as a human being and all the coaches agree she really fought hard and raised her game as the song progressed.

The Winner Is...DE'BORAH!

The Steal: No one steals Nelly's Echo. What? That was a huge misstep from all the other coaches, because he definitely could've done  some great things. I think he just tried too hard and put too many tricks into his performance.



Team Blake: 2Steel Girls vs. Gracia Harrison ("Sin Wagon" by Dixie Chicks)

It's a mother/daughter duo vs. a country yodeler. Two against one is unfair, but I'm not sure who it's a disadvantage for. Mama Steel admits she's the weak link on her team while Gracia is a bit too shy and timid.

The Performance: I think this wagon lost its wheel. This was just a mess. Baby Steel looked like she wanted to kill someone while Mama Steel just wandered around the ring aimlessly. Gracia was a lot more enjoyable.

The Winner Is...GRACIA HARRISON!

The Steal: No one steals 2Steel Girls. Adam Levin was clearly pissed because he wanted to steal Gracia.



Team Cee Lo: Trevin Hunte vs. Amanda Brown ("Vision of Love" by Mariah Carey)

Trevin was one of the best and most memorable auditions of the season while Cee Lo was the only coach to push his button for Amanda. So this is lopsided, right? Wrong. From the first moments of the rehearsal, it becomes clear Amanda is about a million times better than her audition led us to believe. Even Cee Lo Green admits he thought Trevin was the obvious winner going into this battle, but his edge quickly disappears as Cee Lo regrets pairing these two together.

The Performance: There are no words to describe how great this battle is. They both destroy each and every moment, delivering the two best vocals of the entire season as far as I'm concerned. They play off each other perfectly. Amanda does something amazing, then Trevin tops her, then Amanda tops that, and so on. Thank God the Steal exists. Adam stands on his chair and announces his intention to steal whoever Cee Lo doesn't pick. Blake is attracted to both of them. Xtina already starts to campaign.

The Winner Is... TREVIN HUNTE!

The Steal: Adam Levine, Christina Aguilera and Blake Shelton all hit their buttons. As soon as Carson Daly says she's available, they all push their buttons as quickly as possible. They all know she's a huge get who can potentially win this competition. Amanda joins Team Adam. Xtina is furious, beating her chair with her fan then using it to cover her face. Trevin may have won the battle, but Amanda Brown won the war.



(Image courtesy of NBC)