The battle rounds of The Voice
season 4 got off to an auspicious start Monday night
(though not for ratings as it was the show's most-watched episode since
the second night of battles of season 2 more than a year ago).
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Usher and Shakira's battles were weak to say the least, Adam Levine was promoting himself so much I confused him for Don King, and Blake Shelton got rid of the best singer on his entire team (Christian Porter) and stole the worst singer of the night (Taylor Beckham). Let's hope Tuesday's hour-long battle episode runs smoother, and with a lot less filler. Seriously, in a two-hour show, there were literally less than 14 minutes of actual battle singing on Monday.
Anyway, it's time for Carson Daly to overenthusiastically introduce everyone and let the battles begin (again) on tonight's Voice
live blog.Team Adam: Michael Austin vs. Warren Stone ("My Kinda Party" by Jason Aldean)
The Big Country Sheriff is definitely being set up to lose, since Adam made such a huge deal about stealing Warren from Blake. They're also a cop and a firefighter, so there's a bit of a rivalry beyond being two country dudes (Michael hilariously calls Warren a "hose dragger"). Warren struggles, but Michael just had a tumor removed from his sinus. Whatever happens, the fact that Adam already has Amber Carrington in the next round means he's taking two country artists to the Knockout Rounds.The Performance
: They're both pretty good, but at the end of the day, Warren is just a million times more commercially viable because, well, he's a good-looking dude. It's not fair, but it's true, and maybe if Michael was considerably better than Warren it would be different, but he's not. It's a toss-up, and on reality TV, the tie goes to the hottie.The Decision
: The winner is Warren Stone
. It's kind of obscene how stacked Adam's team is getting. I hope they add one Steal for each coach in the Knockout Rounds, because it's gonna be a brutal bloodbath on Team Adam. No one steals Michael Austin. It might've been different if Blake didn't already waste his first steal on Taylor.
Team Usher: Jeff Lewis vs. Josiah Hawley ("Roxanne" by The Police)
I barely remember Jeff, but Josiah is the male model. As I said in the last battle, the hottie always wins. It's hard for me to focus, because this song makes me want to watch the Community
episode with the alternate timelines, where Jeff Winger prevents Britta from singing the song every time she starts. Usher scolds Jeff for laughing during rehearsals and not taking it seriously. Then Usher plays "Two Guys, One Mic" by forcing them to fight over the microphone. I'm not sure how helpful all of Usher's little mentoring games are.The Performance
: First, I love that Carson introduces Josiah as "the model with the smooth voice." It's a solid performance, a million times better than the last Usher battle. I don't know if it's Josiah's v-neck, but I think he's better.The Decision
: Shakira and Adam were not impressed. I don't think it's all that bad. Usher once again seems indifferent about his choices. The winner is Josiah Hawley
. Score two for the hotties! He's definitely this year's Dez Duron. No one steals Jeff Lewis.
Team Blake: Grace Askew vs. Trevor Davis
Now it's time to quickly gloss over three battles. I'd say these don't matter, but season 3 winner Cassadee Pope got one of these quickie segments in the Battle Rounds last year. The winner is Grace Askew
. So that's THREE country singers for Team Blake.Team Usher: Audrey Karrasch vs. Jamila ThompsonThe winner is Audrey Karrasch
. It doesn't matter, she's just gonna lose in the Knockout Rounds. Well, maybe not, because Usher's team is pretty weak.Team Shakira Tawnya Reynolds vs. Mark AndrewThe winner is Tawnya Reynolds
. So Blake has three country singers, Adam has two and now Shakira has one. And we're not even halfway through the Battle Rounds The Voice
is really pushing country this season.
Team Blake: Caroline Glaser vs. Danielle Bradbery ("Put Your Records On" by Corinne Bailey Rae)
These are two teenagers, and since Danielle is a country singer, she's obviously going to win. But mentor Sheryl Crow loves Caroline's unique flavor, and the rehearsal segment makes her the underdog, which is usually a good thing. The Performance
: This is simply amazing. Both of these girls are so young, bur they sound so mature and gorgeous. These voices should not be coming out of these girls, they should be coming out of women in their mid-20s who've been doing this for a long time. Danielle is so good, but Caroline has a really cool tone that gives her the slight edge in my book.The Decision
: Shakira compares them to tangerine ice cream, which everyone agrees sounds delicious (not me, I hate fruity sherbet, and it's NOT ice cream). Adam calls Caroline's voice "ethereal" and "magical." The winner is Danielle Bradbery
. Of course it is, because Blake wants an all-country team. And his best bet, Savannah Berry, is yet to come.
All hope is not lost as Adam and Usher both want to steal Caroline. Usher gets angry that he doesn't get to talk first since he pushed his button first. Adam claims he wants to help her go far. Um, his team is already so stacked with talent that going to his team is going to make it very hard to move forward. Adam Levine steals Caroline Glaser
. Oh well, it's a smart steal, but there's no place on his team for her. On Team Usher, she could've been the number one singer, not struggling in the middle of the pack.
So now we have four more country artists moving on the Battle Rounds with Blake Shelton amassing his all-country team and Adam Levine using a Steal to make his team even stronger, which I didn't think was possible. And Usher still has both his Steals, so he could run in to some good luck in the later battles.
Next week the Battle Rounds come to an end and NBC teases that one coach will do something so unbelievable that it challenges the rules of the Steal itself. I can't tell if it's Usher getting on stage or Shakira trying to vacate one of her earlier Steals for a new one. Or maybe, in a crazy twist, a coach only wants to steal ONE member of a duo (splitting up The Morgan Twins would be hilarious).
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(Image courtesy of NBC)