Last week on The Voice, the battles began. Our celebrity coaches kicked things off with 12 artists per team and now they must shave off the numbers by half. That’s right, only 6 members in every group will be moving on to the live shows. The stakes are high and the pressure has been turned up as each team is given a chance at head-to-head competitions.
Each coach has the power to assign the battle round songs, pair the singers against one another and give the artists some last minute rehearsal time with well known advisers. Team Christina has invited Lionel Ritchie and Jewel, Team Blake welcomes wife Miranda Lambert and Kelly Clarkson, Team Adam hangs out with Alanis Morrisette and Robin Thicke and, lastly, Cee Lo has Kenneth “Babyface” Edmonds and Ne-Yo.
Let night two of the battle rounds begin!
Advisers: Lionel Ritchie and Jewel
3rd Battle: Geoff McBride vs. Sera Hill
Song: “Chain of Fools” by Aretha Franklin
Both Geoff and Sera have some incredible, church whalin’ voices, so the joint rehearsals impress Christina like crazy. When Geoff enters his personal rehearsal with Lionel Ritchie, he steps up to the plate without even having a microphone. “He’s got to give us the personality” is all Lionel can give. Jewel roots Sera on with, “If you can bring more emotion that Geoff is, you can win. Volume can only go so far.” So once again, emotions are the key!
This is like a match made in heaven! Sera and Geoff work so well together, feeding off one another as though they were an actual couple, linked off a chain of fools. Okay, so that was lame, but it’s true! It’s as if they’re a paid duo that do this regularly.
Cee Lo believes Geoff “kept more control vocally.” Blake is convinced that he and Adam were turned on by the performance. Adam picks Geoff while Blake sticks with Sera. Who will Christina pick?
Winner: Sera Hill
Comments: YAY!!! I love her voice and attitude.
Advisers: Kelly Clarkson & Miranda Lambert
2nd Battle: Charlotte Sometimes vs. Lex Land
Song: “Pumped Up Kicks” by Foster the People
Not only is this a strange selection for the two girls, but Charlotte is making this a very awkward situation. Her humor isn’t for the introverted Lex. “I’m not as talented as you,” she says, “and your boobs are better.” I found it funny, but poor Lex just sort of shrugged it off. Kelly Clarkson doesn’t want Charlotte to get “too crazy” though with her unique voice. Miranda believes “there’s a mystery” to Lex. I personally think she just doesn’t sound as good. We’ll see.
No pressure, Lex, but Charlotte hits the confessional saying she wants to “destroy her.” This could get ugly!
This may not come as much of a surprise to anyone, but Charlotte is putting on more of a show. She’s spunky and feeling the lyrics more, I think. Lex is definitely more soft-spoken and may be trying too hard to be sexy. The second half of the song is definitely better than the first. Lex’s “breathy and airy tones,” as Christina calls it, really stand out.
Christina seems to prefer Lex. Charlotte is Cee Lo’s pick. Adam agrees with me, saying that Lex got better as the song progressed. None of this matters, though; it’s all on Blake.
Winner: Charlotte Sometimes
Comments: I should’ve placed a bet on this show tonight. I’m two for two!
Team Cee Lo
Advisers: Kenneth “Babyface” Edmonds & Ne-Yo
2nd Battle: Sarah Golden vs. Juliet Simms
Song: “Stay With Me” by Rod Stewart
You all may know from my previous recaps that Juliet holds a special place in my heart, and her soulful, gritty voice is perfect for this Rod Stewart selection. Yet Sarah shows some confident, good vocals that could still hold her own against Juliet. Cee Lo gives Sarah some good feedback, basically telling her to really believe in herself and commit to the song. She sounds impressive in her rehearsal with Babyface. Ne-Yo’s advice for Juliet is to simply “do this,” he says as his hand makes a slanted ascent towards the ceiling. Let’s hope Juliet is a visual learner.
Juliet starts things off in her rock and roll bluesy, gritty, heartfelt fashion, clad in leather and a gold headband. She seriously looks the part. Sarah’s cute business attire matches the softness in her voice. I like Sarah, I really do, but Cee Lo’s choice of song just marries so well with Juliet’s vocals.
Adam is “biased” and goes for Juliet. Blake calls Sarah “versatile.” Christina isn’t sure the song did her voice justice so it’s a “no brainer, Juliet wins.” What will Cee Lo say?
Winner: Juliet Simms
Comments: Hooray!!!! She won before the battle even began.
Advisers: Alanis Morisette & Robin Thicke
2nd Battle: Whitney Myer vs. Kim Yarbrough
Song: “No More Drama” by Mary J. Blige
This is going to be a tough one. Kim is around 25 years older than her competition and they both have to find a way to relate to the song and make it work for them separately. For Whitney, Alanis says she should “pull” some of the words out instead of “cutting them off.” Singing, feeling, pulling and not cutting things off, whew! That’s a lot to keep up with in front of lights and cameras. Better her than me! During Kim’s rehearsal, Mr. Thicke, whose hair looks extra tall and fluffy tonight for some reason, requests “just a little bit of that tension.” Another “I need more feelings” speech.
I feel sorry for Whitney. I mean, I’m intimidated by Kim just sitting at home on my couch. Her vocals are impressive and bring in an element of lightness as she hops and dances around. One cannot turn away from the experienced voice of Kim’s, though. She has the feeling and the presence that, hopefully, Whitney will achieve some day.
Blake feels like he was watching “one of those diva concerts.” He can’t make a choice so he picks Carson! Christina and Cee Lo easily choose Kim.
Winner: Kim Yarbrough
Comments: Chaka Khan, KHAN! I mean, way to go, Kim!
4th Battle: Lindsey Pavao vs. Lee Koch
Song: “Heart Shaped Box” by Nirvana
Uh oh! Lindsey already has a leg up on Lee with this song; Lee isn’t as familiar as she is. She still needs to remember not to overdo anything, though. “You really need to sell these lyrics to me,” shoots Jewel to a scared-looking Lee who isn’t even pronouncing his words enough. Lionel tells Lindsey to “make an awareness factor,” meaning she should connect with those around her. Why not just say “Hey, connect to the audience”?
Does anyone else get a creepy, cool, freak show performance-like feel from this battle? I like both Lee and Lindsey; their names even sound like a duo. It’s like a demented dream I once had in which I woke up from and wished I hadn’t. I don’t know who did better.
Cee Lo says Lee “looked like Jesus a couple times” because of lighting, so I guess that’s his pick. Adam gives Lee a second vote. Blake confesses he’s never heard this song before (blasphemy) and chooses Lindsey. Mama Xtina speaks…
Winner: Lindsey Pavao
Comments: That falsetto was her ticket to the next round. Katy Perry, Jr. moves on!
Team Cee Lo
3rd Battle: Jamar Rogers vs. Jamie Lono
Song: “I Want To Know What Love Is” by Foreigner
Nerves are running wild in the joint rehearsals. Jamie is obviously struggling and his voice cracks … badly. Jamar, on the other hand, sounds fantastic. Hopefully, things go better for Jamie with Babyface listening in. Nope — still cracking. “You just have to make us believe it” sounds easy enough for Babyface, so anyone should be able to do it, right? Sure. Ne-Yo is quite the animated character. “There’s a lot of ARRR! in your voice,” he says to Jamar. Let’s see him bring his “ARRR!” to the battle ring.
They’re friends outside of the ring but fighting for that spot on Team Cee Lo onstage. Jamar kills it the moment his mouth opens. Jamie tries but just cannot compete with such an emotion-filled voice. It was his shining moment and Jamie was simply backup.
Adam calls Jamar “ridiculously good.” Blake loves Jamie’s vibe. Christina knows the song wasn’t “fit” for his style and she picks Jamar. The man with the fluffy white cat will have the last word.
Winner: Jamar Rogers
Comments: Enough said. He absolutely killed this performance.
Let’s bring everyone up to speed on where the teams stand.
Team Cee Lo
Next week on The Voice, the battles will continue. Sure we’ve seen some pretty impressive match-ups, but apparently we haven’t seen anything yet. Two rivals will grace the stage next coming Monday to put on a first for The Voice. What will make Adam say, “That was weird!” Tune in to NBC at 8pm for another two hour episode.
(Image courtesy of NBC)