Another Tuesday night, another round of battles on The Voice
. And so far, I'm loving this stage of the competition, especially for how cut-and-dry it makes the whole "weeding out" process that can take months on those other
singing shows. Comparing two singers with different styles singing different songs can feel like "apples and oranges," as they say, but pitting the voices directly against each other at the exact same time has a way of bringing the winner to the surface a lot more easily.
Granted, tonight the judges made some tough calls, but I don't think any of their decisions were tearing them apart inside. In these duelets, it's pretty tough to end the song on equal ground.
Here's the recap of tonight's battles with more mindblowingly insightful commentary (I'm so sure) from me, your trusty recapper:
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Trying to remember who these people are? Check out the teams (named by yours truly):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
Cee Lo Battle Two: Battle of the Adorable R&B Boys
Nakia and Tje Austin will be singing Ne-Yo's "Closer," and Nakia is worried that the song is "tailor-made" for Tje's voice.
During coaching with Cee Lo and Monica, Nakia keeps wearing his sunglasses indoors, just like his coach! Is this another "imitation is the sincerest form of flattery" thing? He sang "Forget You" in auditions, after all. It's tough to know who's the underdog in this one, but Nakia might have the edge if Cee Lo doesn't get turned off by how hard he's trying.THE BATTLE:I'm rooting for: Tje.
I loved Nakia in auditions, but Tje is just so cute
Tje kicks off the song, and he is cute and smooth as before. Nakia's voice is naturally more in-your-face, and he goes for power. The song really is more tailored to Tje's style, and I could totally see him going on to rock some super sexy R&B songs. But Cee Lo likes when people go out on a limb, and Nakia lays it all out there, really selling the song and his strengths as a vocalist without sacrificing pitch.The judges' critiques:
Adam says he'd be crushed to let either of them go, but he'd go with Nakia if he had to. Blake likes that they each held on to their personalities, and he'd choose Nakia also. Xtina thinks Nakia "sold it" and she loves Tje's "whole package." (WINK!) Monica likes Tje's voice more (she too likes it smooooth
) but it's Cee Lo's call, and he chooses... Cee Lo's Decision: Nakia!
A valid choice and I can't wait to see what Nakia brings to the live episodes, though I'm sad to see Tje go. First Tyler Robinson, and now this! Beware, cute ones: I like you, and you keep losing. Not to be self-centered, but those facts must be related.Blake Battle Two: Battle of the Awkward Three-Way
Elenowen are going up against Jared Blake. It's a triple duelet! They're singing "Ain't No Mountain High Enough."
It seems like Elenowen have the edge: Duets are their thing, and Jared is a hardcore rocker, not a harmony and soul guy. Plus, it's two voices against one. During rehearsals, Reba advises Jared to try to keep as much attention on himself as he can. During rehearsals, Blake says their styles just are not blending well together (uh, ya think?) so they better work on "coming to the middle" in the final performance.THE BATTLE:I'm rooting for: Jared.
I like underdogs, and I still think it's weird that this married couple are called "Elenowen" when their names are not Ellen and Owen. I can't help blaming them for my confusion. Plus, how pissed would we all be if TWO voices won THE Voice?
That's just not right.
Jared thinks it's a good idea to wear a head bandanna when he's singing Marvin Gaye. I mean, sure, keep your personal style, Jared, but tailoring your look to the song just a bit might help show Blake that you're more versatile. And THE Voice
needs to be versatile!
Jared brings his own flavor to the song right from the start. He somehow makes growl-y work with the song, which is impressive. But it's instantly weird once Elenowen bring their double flavor into the mix as well... because, well, their flavor is weak. Nicole in particular seems to struggle with the song, and her parts don't stand out. Honestly, I think Jared brings just as much sound and power as Elenowen do together, maybe even more, and for that, he should win. But we'll see what the judges think.The judges' critiques:
Xtina says Jared sold it better. Cee Lo loves the married duo together, but Jared did a great job. Adam knew the song was wrong for Jared, but he worked well with it anyway. Reba says Josh and Nicole weren't comfortable enough with the song. It's up to Blake now:Blake's Decision: Jared wins!
Yay! Justice prevails! Sorry Elenowen fans, but they should have outshined Jared times two, and instead it was the other way around.
Adam Battle Two: Battle of David and Goliath
Javier Colon and Angela Wolff are going to duet-duke it out with "Stand By Me."
Javier is the heavyweight in this one ("Javier is incredible, and Angelia is... great." - Adam), which is why Adam chose this song, which he thinks plays to Angela's strengths more.
During coaching, the Adams advise Javier to "sing less" -- showboating is a dangerous strategy in these battles, and they tell him to stay true to the original song. I sort of love Adam Blackstone, I'm not sure why. Maybe it's how he whispers his input into Adam Levine's ear. So mysterious!THE BATTLE: I'm rooting for: Javier.
He blew away everyone in auditions, including me. But I have a soft spot for Angela, especially after she's subjected to Mr. Carson's torturous introduction: "She's just a small town girl with big city dreams." GAH.
Angela holds her own in the battle, but it's painfully obvious that this is The Javier Show. She is the Kiki Dee to his Elton, standing by and supporting him, never to be heard from again. He's got the voice of a sexy, baseball hat wearing angel. What matters is whether the Adams will deem Javier's singing as over-singing. I think he toed the line just right.The judges' critiques:
Blake says he was all about Javier, even with a beautiful girl on stage. Xtina thinks Angela is sweet, but she loves Javier's swagger. Cee Lo is with the tide in Javier's favor, duh.Adam's Decision: Javier wins.
It's a total K.O.! Or is it ... ?
Sidenote: What do you guys think of these tweets showing up on screen in the middle of the show? Annoying or interesting? I'm typing too much to really notice them but I could see why you might be bothered. Xtina Battle Two: Battle of Beverly and the Guy Who Looks Like Blake Shelton's Banker
Singing The Who's "Baba O'Riley" is Beverly McClellan going up against Justin Grennan, whom we did not meet during auditions, which does not bode well for his chances in this battle. Also not boding well: Beverly says Justin is in trouble, and she LOVES The Who. (But the who doesn't?!)
Beverly goes into coaching confident and comfortable as all get-out, and Justin doesn't know the lyrics, but he's bringing his own gritty flavor, though I'm worried it might get a little screechy. Xtina takes her decision here seriously, because let's remember, it's all about the coaches: "I'll be damned if the boys beat me!"THE BATTLE:I'm rooting for: Beverly.
I just love her! It's not really fair to Justin, since we didn't really meet him during auditions. But Beverly's big personality and non-cookie cutter style are irresistible. She keeps things interesting.
In the battle, it's sort of a fun gender-bending dynamic when it comes to their voices: Justin's got the higher, sweeter notes while Beverly brings it with her loud, gritty, rock and roll range. They work really well together, but I think Beverly had the slight edge. They have great energy together and get a standing O.The judges' Critiques:
Cee Lo says Beverly "stole it, owned it and sold it." Adam says Justin did an amazing job and killed it as well. Blake says Adam looks like "the guy who works at my bank," but he's got the rock inside of himself. Xtina's Decision:
She feels lucky and proud for both of them, but the winner is... Beverly.
What do you think of the judges' decisions to keep Nakia, Jared, Javier and Beverly? Anyone you wish hadn't been sent home tonight?Next Week:
More Battle Rounds, including another triple duelet on Cee Lo's team between Kelsey Rey, his "oh no I'm too hot to be taken seriously" contestant, and Tori and Taylor, the 17 and 19-year-old sisters from the pig farm. GIRL FIGHT!(Images courtesy of NBC)