Missy Elliott, Selena Gomez, John Fogerty and Brad Paisley are on The Voice to continue assisting Team Pharrell, Team Gwen, Team Adam and Team Blake for the third night of the Battle Rounds. We’re about halfway through the roster of 48 artists, and by the end of the night there will only be 12 artists left to compete for the remaining seven spots in the Knockout Rounds.
At the top of the episode, each coach has one steal remaining to use on an artist they can’t bear to see leave the competition so soon. By the end of night, three artists are stolen and only one coach will have the final steal in reserve. Let’s get this party started.
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Blaine Mitchell and Blind Joe Perform “Old Time Rock and Roll”
With almost no preamble, the first duel of the evening begins with Team Blake’s ex-athlete Blaine Mitchell and sightless-from-birth Blind Joe duking it out over Bob Seger’s “Old Time Rock and Roll.” Blind Joe confirms that it’s okay for ‘Fat Blake’ to actually call him ‘Blind’ Joe. It’s cute. Blind Joe admits that Blaine has a broader range and can do the higher verses well. Blaine is wowed by Blind Joe’s performing ability.
Blind Joe is all about beating the odds and needs this win so he can leave behind the bar gigs and create a life for his new wife and their future children. Blaine is just plain cute … and able to connect with the estrogen fest in the audience. However, Blind Joe, when not singing, has a wonderful stage presence and rapport with the judges. What he needs is a signature pair of sexy sunglasses like Stevie Wonder, Ray Charles and Ronnie Milsap. I think Blind Joe would look sharp in some Tom Fords or Ray-Bans.
The performance is rousing. All things being equal, Blind Joe has a more interesting voice, the kind that could sell millions. Hopefully, Blake feels the same way. He says they achieved their objective with this performance since we were all transported to a gritty bar with dim lights and peanuts and popcorn on the sticky floor.
Result: Blake chooses Blind Joe
Adam Delivers the First Steal of the Night
After Blake makes the correct choice, Adam hits his buzzer and invites Blaine to join him in the Knockout Rounds.
Cassandra Robertson and Viktor Kiraly Perform “Nobody Knows It But Me”
Equally soulful Cassandra and Viktor meet Adam and John Fogerty to practice their performance song. Though Cassandra turned only one chair in the Blinds and Viktor turned all four, these two are matched in their desire to win. Viktor has a lot more finesse, but Cassandra has more life experience and can hold her own.
I don’t know what modulation means, but John Fogerty tells the team to deep six the modulation when they perform. Whatever they do based on his advice works out extremely well based upon John and Adam’s reactions the second time around. Have you ever seen two better heads of hair or two more perfect faces than those possessed by Cassandra and Viktor? These two would make beautiful babies.
John says the duet is scary good. The performance is executed faultlessly and their chemistry is great. Viktor’s ability to keep up with Cassandra is impressive, says Blake. Pharrell votes for Cassandra’s magical vocals. Gwen is blown away by both performers. Adam makes the wrong choice, going for what he calls the uniqueness of his vocalist.
Result: Adam chooses Viktor
Chase Kerby and Korin Bukowski Perform “Samson”
Selena Gomez and Gwen give us a glimpse of their mutual admiration for each other as we wait for the artists. Chase wants to leave his mom’s candy store behind for a career on stage. Korin put pre-med on hold to pursue her music career. Gwen chooses an emotional Regina Spektor song for the duo and it’s a hot mess The two practice and their voices sound very light and too high for their ranges. Gwen says Korin’s voice is tender … which is a nice way of saying, “I think this is going to suck, but we’re in it too far to make a change.”
Selena and Gwen get ‘double rainbow shivers’ up and down their legs during the final practice. What looks like a possibly weak performance becomes something that I can’t wait to hear. Gwen tells the two artists to their faces that the previous day she thought Chase was going to be the winner, but today she feels it will be Korin. When they perform, it seems like Gwen may have sunk both of these with a poor song choice. Neither of them has the opportunity to show their strengths.
When it comes to the evaluations, Gwen confesses that she feels completely pissed off when any of the other coaches make less than stellar comments. That’s just her guilt over the completely failed song choice. Gwen makes her choice and we’re glad that’s over with.
Result: Gwen chooses Korin
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Evan McKeel and Riley Biederer Perform “Higher Ground”
Missy Elliott and Pharrell’s first battle of the evening is between Evan McKeel and Riley Biederer. This early in the game, I don’t always remember every Blind Audition. The fact that not all the full auditions make it to the screen makes it even harder. I remember Evan because he was the artist that Pharrell asked to sing a couple of verses of Stevie Wonder’s “Overjoyed,” which the young artist totally rocked. Does anyone remember YouTube sensation Riley’s audition? I’m at a loss.
Pharrell chooses a Stevie Wonder song, giving Evan the advantage over Riley, but Riley’s runs are fantastic. Missy says Riley is dope; she has the “stank,” which means she’s confident as hell. Missy says this battle will be as much about performance and consistency as it is about vocal prowess. Riley brings personality. Evan brings familiarity with the song. Who knows who will win this battle?
Riley is excellent during the performance, but she doesn’t have a chance against Evan, who Pharrell has already said is unique and special. Unique and special is Pharrell’s specialty. Everyone fawns over Evan for his unique sound.
Result: Pharrell predictably chooses Evan
Gwen Uses Her Final Steal
Right before Riley steps off the stage with her beautifully talented tail between her legs, she’s stolen by a very excited Gwen Stefani. And justice is served.
Braiden Sunshine and Lyndsey Elm Perform “No One Else to Blame”
Baby-faced Braiden joined a band when he was 9. Lyndsey, fresh from completing her college degree, came to The Voice and won a four-chair turn. Lyndsey is overjoyed to see Selena Gomez waiting to advise her as she has a video from 2009 when Selena recorded a greeting to her. Gwen is blown over by Braiden’s voice because he’s so young. Both artists seem pretty average during the rehearsals. Braiden is shy and nervous. Why did they choose this battle to air in its entirety over some of the others? Braiden and Lyndsey are not a strong duo. Perhaps the magic of their voices are being saved for the actual performance?
The performance is technically equal and uninteresting. Almost too clean. Lyndsey is more marketable, but Braiden is more unique. You can tell by the coach comments that … blah, blah, blah. I wish I could fast forward, but I’m watching in real time. WTH is Gwen going to do? Whatever. Gwen cries when she has to choose.
Result: Gwen chooses Braiden
Andi & Alex Perform “Wherever You Will Go” with Chance Pena
Adam’s final battle of the evening is between identical twins Andi & Alex and solitary Chance Pena. Andi and Alex’s audition was out of this world. Chance on stage was vocally powerful. As the son of gym owners, he has some rocking biceps but the face of a child, and it’s a little disconcerting. Once his face catches up with his upper body, he’s going to be Hugh Jackman, though. You’re welcome, ladies. Andi & Alex may be heading off in different directions after their shot at the title on The Voice, so this may be their swan song. Chance wants to move away from the small venues he’s been performing in.
Adam advises Chance not to let his lower register get drowned out by Andi & Alex’s high register harmony. In the final practice rehearsal, Adam has some final nit-picky comments that make a ginormous difference in their final delivery.
It has to be said. Male viewers across America are watching this performance and tripping on their fantasies about threesomes. The women are magic, as Gwen says, “Candy in my ears.” Gwen says Chance is so dishy, she’s battling a little crush on him all on her own. Adam says the three should form a group and go on tour together. For a reason I can’t put my finger on, I want Chance to win.
Result: Adam chooses Andi & Alex
Blake Delivers the Third Steal of the Night
As I hold my breath and try to figure out what the hell just happened, Blake hits his button and steals Chance away from Adam. Thank you, Blake. You are a good man.
Final Results of the Battles Rounds Night 3
As the final curtain falls, six artists have emerged as victors over their battle partners, and three of the overthrown artists have been saved by rival coaches. Adam kept Viktor Kiraly and the twin duo of Andi & Alex, and stole Blaine Mitchell from Blake. Gwen kept Korin Bukowski and Braiden Sunshine, and stole Riley Biederer from Pharrell. Blake kept Blind Joe and stole Chance Pena from Adam. Finally, Pharrell kept Evan McKeel and is the only coach with a steal in reserve. Six more teams of two will duke it out in the final night of battles. See you then.
The Voice airs Mondays at 8pm and Tuesdays at 9pm on NBC.
(Image courtesy of NBC)