Tonight, the battle rounds begin on The Voice. Each coach will need to slim their teams of 12 down to 6 to represent them in the live shows. Head to head, contestants from the same teams will be paired against one another. One song, one winner the coaches will choose which one of their own to let go.
With battles comes celebrity advisors. Each team has two celeb helpers to give their team members pointers before hitting the big stage. Kelly Clarkson, Ne-Yo, Miranda Lambert, Alanis Morissette, Jewel, Lionel Richie, Kenneth "Babyface" Edmonds, and Robin Thicke are all in attendance!
Advisors: Alanis Morissette & Robin Thicke
1st Battle: Tony Lucca vs. Chris Cauley
Song: "Beautiful Day" by U2
In rehearsals, Tony is definitely "working too hard." "Pulling back is good," says Alanis. She also suggests "belting it." Um... Alanis, I love you, but in this situation less is definitely more. Chris strolls in and sings for Robin. Basically, he sounds great he just has to convey the emotions behind the lyrics. It's time for the showdown, boys!
The former Mickey Mouse Clubber Tony starts things off. I want to root for the guy because of his roots, but he's working way too hard and that face. He makes it look like singing literally hurts! Chris is so silky smooth. Plus, how can you not give your vote to the guy in the red pants and leather jacket?
Blake drops a bomb on Tony, saying he "expected more with that kind of background." Christina and Cee Lo give their votes for Tony. None of this matters, though. The final decision is Adam's.
Winner: Tony Lucca
Comments: I would be scared to disappoint Xtina's killer cleavage, too.
Advisors: Miranda Lambert & Kelly Clarkson
1st Battle: RaeLynn vs.Adley Stump
Song: "Free Fallin'" by Tom Petty
"You're real!" exclaims RaeLynn as she grabs Miranda's head just like a normal fanatic would. Now for the singing. "I think RaeLynn needs to focus on RaeLynn," words of wisdom from a Grammy winner. Adley is shaking with nerves as she sings for Kelly the next day. "Why are you nervous?" Kelly tells her to just "nail it."
Adley's voice isn't the only powerhouse in the ring, her big bushy hair is out of this world. Perhaps it's intimidating RaeLynn's performance. Adley is taking over both in vocals and stage presence, but I wouldn't say she's better. I don't know, I think it was a tough round on both sides of the ring.
Christina and Cee Lo side with the power of the cheerleader in Adley while Adam likes the "more unique performance" RaeLynn gave. It all comes down to Blake.
Comments: Blake is such a nice guy; he just couldn't break that 17 year old baby's heart.
Advisors: Jewel & Lionel Ritchie
1st Battle: Chris Mann vs. Monique Benabou
Song: "The Power of Love" by Celine Dion
What can Lionel possibly do to better Chris' classically trained vocals? "You can trip yourself out, but don't." Thank you, sir. I'm sure he will strive not to. Standing next to Christina, she and Jewel resemble a retro female folk duo. Anyways, Monique may not have any formal training, but Jewel says she "may have the advantage." It's all about bringing emotion, people.
Christina, the proud mama, grins looking on as Monique sets the pace, slow and steady. Chris brings in a strong complement. Both vocals are pretty much on point. I don't know who did better! Argggh! (That was my best Charlie Brown frustration impersonation, by the way.)
Both Chris and Monique are getting great comments from the coaches. Adam and Cee Lo favor Chris while Blake sticks with Monique. Christina will send one home, though.
Winner: Chris Mann
Comments: Seriously, should have seen that one coming. The Opera house rules, what can you do?
Team Cee Lo
Advisors: Kenneth "Babyface" Edmonds & Ne-Yo
1st Battle: Cheesa vs. Angie Johnson
Song: "Total Eclipse of the Heart" by Bonnie Tyler
It's about to be a girlfight! Cheesa raises key a half step, so then Angie wants to raise it a whole step. When Cheesa sings for Babyface, "it would be great if you could hold that note," he says. Well, if she can't even reach it, holding it may be another story. Angie sings for Ne-Yo and this one doesn't go too well either. Ne-Yo tells her not to mess it up onstage. "Get your finger off the trigger until you're ready to shoot," she fires back. Being in the military is no excuse for having attitude.
Starting this battle, both women sort of sounded alike, as if one voice was singing the whole song. Without a doubt, though, Cheesa pulled ahead of Angie. Those growls and digging down deep for the emotional pull tops Angie's nail on the head pitch points.
Adam has a hard time, dropping some words NBC would rather censor before finally choosing Cheesa. Blake and Christina prefer Angie's performance. It's all up to Cee Lo, though.
Comments: Bad attitudes get you NOWHERE!!
2nd Battle: Jordis Unga vs. Brian Fuente
Song: "Ironic" by Alanis Morrisette
"Ironic" has to be a great road trip song, but apparently it's proving to be a lot harder to do on a professional level. "As a singer, you have to commit or it's gonna sound shakey," Kelly tells Brian. Jordis has a lot to work with, but the thing stopping her is "her head." She even has to step aside and sit down for a warm cup of Starbucks coffee with Blake and the wife.
So yes, Jordis has good pipes and she sounds good singing this song. Her take on the song is more predictable even when she gets emotional. It's not really my thing. Brian is definitely more unique. He took his 2nd verse and put a serious rocker spin on things.
Christina says Jordis takes it. Cee Lo likes Brian. Adam agrees with Christina. "I don't think either did the best they could really do," says Blake. Uh oh.
Winner: Jordis Unga
Comments: So you picked her just because she started crying on stage during her performance? Lame.
2nd Battle: Anthony Evans vs. Jessie Campbell
Song: "If I Ain't Got You" by Alicia Keys
Jessie is playing the game like he's on, what his coach calls, a "high note." Let's hope Lionel can knock him off his self-made pedestal. "Don't try to outdo," he says. "Don't let a single note come out that you don't mean," is what Anthony receives from Jewel. It's not all about technicalities, as we've already heard over and over again tonight.
From the very beginning, anyone can tell that Jessie's stage presence lacks true heart. He sounds good, sure, but it's all for show. He's showing out while Anthony is singing from deep down within. There's no question, though, that these men just took the building to church!
"I would hate to be Christina right now," says Adam. I totally agree. Cee Lo didn't even name a favorite. Adam and Blake both pick Jessie. Christina has to pick one to send home.
Comments: You let me down, Christina, you let me down.
Next time on The Voice, the battles continue. Tune in one week from tonight when the competition gets even better!
(Image courtesy of NBC)