'The Voice' Week 3 Recap: Battle Round One Full of 'Burnin' Love'
'The Voice' Week 3 Recap: Battle Round One Full of 'Burnin' Love'
Meghan Carlson
Meghan Carlson
Senior Writer, BuddyTV
I've got to hand it to The Voice: That was one efficient hour of television! That may not sound like a selling point they'll want to pitch in their commercials, but it's not unnoticed or unappreciated by those of us who are used to multi-night, multi-hour reality shows. Especially viewers who are used to the three hours a week of mostly non-song airtime on that other televised singing competition. Tonight, in just one hour, we watched as eight performers got paired up, sang duets, received their critiques, and half were sent home. Not a dull moment! Unless you count some of Carson Daly's voiceovers.

A little refresher on how The Voice works: Last week marked the end of the Blind Auditions, and each of the four coaches rounded out their teams of 8. Now, the coaches pair up two of their own team members, coach them on a duet (which is also a duel, and so should OBVIOUSLY be called a "duelet," and that is what I will call them even if The Voice isn't smart enough to do it themselves) that they then perform in the Vocal Boxing Ring in front of all the judges and their famous advisers. The coach chooses who stays and who goes.
By my math, we should have four weeks of Battle Rounds, because the next round is the Live Episodes, when each coach's remaining four contestants will compete, and we'll get to begin voting. Here's the recap of tonight's battles! But first, meet the teams again (I named them -- you're welcome, NBC!):

Adam Levine: Adam It Feels Good to be a Gangsta
Blake Shelton: Frosted Blakes
Christina Aguilera: Xtinage Mutant Ninja Turtles
Cee Lo Green: I Cee London, I Cee France

Xtina Battle One: Battle of the Soulful Powerhouse Ladies
Frenchie Davis vs. Tarralyn Ramsay, singing Beyonce's "Single Ladies (Put a Ring On It)."

Frenchie busts up laughing when she hears what they'll be singing. Tarralyn is intimidated: "I went to see [Frenchie] when she was on Broadway in Rent, I was such a fan." Now she has to get up in the ring and evict her Rent idol, as it were. (Or as it weren't, because that was a terrible metaphor, sorry.)

Christina and her eccentric, adorable adviser Sia coach Frenchie and Tarralyn on how to "punch" and "attack" the vocals. Frenchie thinks Tarralyn might have an advantage, because Frenchie is more "focused on tone, pitch and face." After coaching with the piano, Xtina and Sia sit down with each girl, and Sia tells Frenchie she has a tendency to sing sharp. "That's the first time I've heard that!" says Frenchie, and then says, "I'm going to work on that," instead of what she's actually thinking: "OH HELL NAH."

During rehearsals, Xtina is stunned by all the "tension" between her dueling dueters and tells them not to suck out the fun of the number just because one of them will be immediately eliminated at the end of the song. "Have fun with the moment!" Tarralyn is feisty, but Frenchie would clearly win in a physical battle. Who will come out victorious in the duelet of the soulful female vocalists?

I'm rooting for:
Frenchie. She's a powerhouse, and I can't help but hope for some Idol redemption.

Mr. Carson announces each woman like it's a literal boxing match. This is intense! The unique thing about these duets is that each singer has to work together but also try to outshine the other. Tarralyn's first solo is a bit bizarre and off pitch. Frenchie plays it safer with hers, but her vocals are consistent and strong. The song doesn't seem as suited to Tarralyn's voice, but she holds her own toward the end, especially in the "Oh oh oh!" part and the big final note.

The judges' critiques: Cee Lo and Adam say they admire how much fun that was. Blake says he felt like he was watching Rocky. (Frenchie was Apollo Creed, but Tarralyn got some solid Rocky punches in at the end.)

Xtina's Decision: Frenchie wins! Tarralyn took some risks, but at times it seemed she was trying to shout over Frenchie, and it just didn't work out in her favor.

NUP_144359_0971.JPGBlake Battle One: Battle of the Young, Confident Fellas
Patrick Thomas Vs. Tyler Robinson. They're singing "Burnin' Love" by Elvis.

Oh my goodness, it's my favorite from the Blind Auditions, Tyler Robinson! And speaking of favorites: Blake's "secret weapon" adviser is the timeless, iconic, living legend REBA. During coaching, Patrick knows the song but Tyler doesn't. Blake tells Tyler to "reel it in" and not be a show-off, whereas Patrick may need to show off a little bit more. Blake gives a dramatic inspirational speech: "One of the two of you are going to need to make me believe that ... you really are ... a hunka ... HUNKA ... burning love."

I'm rooting for:
Tyler. Patrick's great, but I'm still attached to Tyler after his adorable audition.

Patrick's voice is well suited for Elvis, and he has a natural, consistent charisma in his voice and stage presence. Then Tyler busts in and brings the soul. He shows off his range without showboating too much. These guys are a little better than the ladies at not singing over each other, but they do stand in front of each other during the "hunka, hunka" part. It's honestly hard to say who won that duelet, but Tyler's still shacking up in my soft spot.

Judges' critiques: Xtina says they both stepped up and took charge.  Cee Lo admires that they are both "surgerically, technical great singers," but he thinks Tyler is a better "SANGer." Reba says "you rocked everything about it" and she's glad she's not Blake right now.

Blake's Decision: He's happy that Tyler took his advice and didn't get a bad case of the runs, and Patrick is consistently great. But he has to pick a winner, and the winner is: Patrick.

WHAT! That is a shock to me, even though Patrick is solid. Tyler just made me smile. Aww. Bye, Tyler! :( I should have known my favorite would get cut so soon. Time to find a new one, I guess.

NUP_144359_1072.JPGAdam Battle One: Battle of the Sexes (and Ages)
Casey Weston Vs. Tim Mahoney. They're singing "Leather and Lace" by Don Henley. Our first co-ed duet!

This match is definitely stacked in Tim's favor: He's been on the music scene for decades, while Casey is just a teenager starting on the scene. Tim also knows the song already, and Casey has to learn it during their coaching session with Adam and his advisor, Adam Blackstone. But anything could happen, and Adam is enamored of Casey's potential, and it almost looks like Tim will resist Adam's advice to go falsetto.

I'm rooting for:
I can't decide! I liked them both in auditions. Like Adam, I'm going into it with a clear head.

Carson introduces Casey as a "second-chance artist," while Tim is the self-proclaimed "King of Almost." Not exactly the most optimistic way to introduce either of them. Casey's up first, and her voice is soulful beyond her years, but Tim steals the show for me, though he still quakes a bit on the highest notes. Tim just seems to feel the song more, and it shows through in the urgency of the way he sings. But Casey's voice is gorgeous, and she's clearly more moldable. Plus, she looks gorgeous. Now that this show is no longer blind, let's not pretend that doesn't play a part in the decisions.

Judges' critiques: Blake says Casey's voice is "addicting," and he would go with her because he sees potential development. Xtina thinks their voices blended well together, and it was beautiful. Cee Lo says Casey reminds him of a young Stevie Nicks, but he's more partial to Tim because he's so unique.

Adam's Decision: Tim "brought it," but Casey held her own, too. The winner is: Casey Weston. Adam wants young blood.

Man, I am one for three in my predictions for who "won" these battles! The judges are keeping me guessing. At least I wasn't attached enough to any of these people to be angry to see them go.

NUP_144359_1587.JPGCee Lo Battle One: Battle of the Rhyming Named Ladies
Vicci Martinez Vs. Niki Dawson. They're singing Pink's (Cee Lo's good friend, remember?) "Perfect." I wonder if he picked this song because, like his own hit, the original version includes the F-word in the title.

Cee Lo is joined by the lovely Monica, who says Vicci's self-assurance against Niki's sultriness will make for quite a showdown. Cee Lo, dressed completely in red from his cherry sunglasses down to his shants and ruby slippers, is already torn before the performance even happens. "This arrangement... eeeuuugggh. I love you girls!" It's going to be so hard for Cee Lo to say goodbye to one of his lady-loves.

I'm rooting for: Vicci.
It's not really fair to Niki, because we didn't get to see her audition, but Vicci left it all on the stage in her blind audition, and it stuck with me. Plus, she's from Seattle. Hometown love!

In the battle, the girls are pretty well-matched. Vicci owns her solo with her sexy, husky voice, but Niki has one hell of a glory note toward the end. I don't know who is going to win, and the duet just builds and builds, making their refrains of "pretty, pretty please!" seem even more awesome -- and sad! It sounds like a tie to me. They earn a standing O from the audience.

Judges' critiques: Adam says that was "by far" the best duet of the night. Blake tells a little tale about how when Cee Lo is old, he's going to reflect on his life and regret pairing these two together, because they're just too close to call. Xtina says, "this is a hard one." (Virtual high-five if you "that's what she said"-ed her.)

Cee Lo's Decision: Niki is "exceptional" and he calls her his sister, but he's really in love with Vicci's "gut-wrenching" vocals and "war dance." The winner is: Vicci.

Wow. And that's the end of the episode. One hour, four eliminations. That was exciting, wasn't it?

Do you agree with the coaches' decisions to keep Frenchie, Patrick, Casey and Vicci? I'm still pretty bummed about Tyler's early exit, but we have so many more showdowns to watch, I'll try not to let it get to me.

Next Week: Nakia and Tje will battle from Cee Lo's team, and we'll finally get to see how Blake's couple, Elenowen, compete as a pair against a third singer. That's one duelet that could turn into a big mess.

(Images courtesy of NBC)

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