This is the final night of the Battle Rounds, and 12 performers are left. 6 teams will battle it out, with only 6 people surviving to go on to the live shows. The coaches will weigh in with their opinions, but only the team’s coach will get the final say.
First up is Team Cee Lo, with James Massone and Wade. Cee Lo selects Cyndi Lauper’s True Colors for them to perform. James isn’t familiar with the song, and is mentored by Ne-Yo. Ne-Yo tells James that he has to get out from under his nerves. (Someone needs to tell him to lose the hairband). Babyface mentors Wade, and tells him to feel the song. During rehearsal, Cee Lo was so touched by the song, he cried. He told them to live it, love it, and be in the moment.
Wade has a fuller voice, and sang with a lot of feeling. James appeared to be confident and smooth, but his voice was much thinner, verging on nasally. Adam said that James’ voice grabbed his attention. Blake thought they both had good voices, but went with James. Xtina said that Wade had pitchy moments, and preferred James’ inflections. Cee Lo said that James was cocky and confident, which came as a pleasant surprise. He thought that Wade’s nerves really showed.
Winner: James. (Nope. I preferred Wade’s voice).
Team Adam put country pianist Nicolle Galyon against Mathai. Adam chose Sara Bareilles’ Love Song. He wanted the focus on singing, not the piano. Robin Thicke mentored Nicolle, and he thought her voice was beautiful and thought that she should embody more of the sweetness of the song into her body language. Alanis Morissette mentored Mathai, and advised her to stretch her notes out, and not to take the song for granted. Adam removed the piano completely after the rehearsal. Poor Nicolle.
Maybe Alanis should have also emphasized enunciation. Mathai has a strange vibrato, and her voice is certainly unique. Nicole was a bit pitchy, and seemed lost without her piano. I guess she really needs her security piano. Blake said that it came down to breathing, and that Mathai can sing out a phrase. He thought the lack of breath affected Nicolle, and went with Mathai. Xtina thought Mathai brought energy. Cee Lo thought Nicolle had a cut-and-dried apparoach to her singing, and that it was lacking. Adam wasn’t happy with their performance in general, and thought it had sounded better in rehearsal. He conceded that it was a big thing for Nicolle to step away from her piano, but said it was about voices.
Winner: Mathai. (I guess. Both underwhelmed me).
Team Christina had Moses Stone take on The Line. We had only seen a snippet of Moses during the Blind Audition, but were told that he was hip hop. The Line is clearly country. Moses was paired with Lionel Richie, who told him that he had his own voice. Jewel mentored The Line, and advised them that she doesn’t want them to come across as a wedding band. She suggested they use the angst and dynamic of their own relationship, and to stop overthinking.
The Line was thinking “What are we doing here with Moses?”, and so was I. Moses worked the stage, and showed that he could do more than hip hop. The male part of The Line had a great, strong voice, but the female looked uncomfortable and stiff. Cee Lo thought the performance was great and cool. He said Moses worked the stage like a natural. He thought The Line was good individually, but went with Moses. Adam thought that Moses was entertaining, but that The Line had the voice. Blake thought the whole thing was pretty weird, though both sides were good. He went with The Line. Xtina went off on a lecture about how the “voice” doesn’t have to be specific, but needs to be versatile.
Winner: Moses (OK, he showed versatility, but can he actually SING well enough to survive?) And The Line refused to do a post-interview (she was all upset).
Back to Team Adam, with Karla Davis up against Orlando Napier. Again, we only saw a snippet of Karla during the Blind Audition, so this is out first full encounter with her. Adam selected Hall & Oates’ Rich Girl, but quickly saw the song wasn’t working. He changed it to Easy Like Sunday Morning by The Commodores. Karla was paired with Alanis Morissette, who thought she found something in her, and Adam dubbed her big voice “Bertha.” Orlando worked with Robin Thicke, who said that his unique style made him special. That and something about him being a painter.
Orlando stuck to doing his bluesy thing, while Karla tried to sing WITH him. Blake didn’t think that either ran away with it, and liked the tone of Karla’s voice. He went with Orlando. Xtina found the whole thing to be lackluster, but found Karla to be more entertaining. Cee Lo liked Orlando’s cool. Adam thought that Orlando has a specific vibe, and that Karla started to blossom.
Winner: Karla (I didn’t really care).
Team Blake came next with Jordan Rager against Naia Kete, singing I’m Yours by Jason Mraz. Jordan was mentored by Blake’s wife Miranda Lambert. Miranda worked with him on harmonies. Naia was matched up with Kelly Clarkson, who felt that the song choice was in her niche, which could be both good and bad. Blake wanted her to save her vocal tricks for the end, and advised she not lose herself.
Naia was extremely pitchy, and lost the melody when she went into her reggae groove. Jordan has a really nice voice. Xtina remarked that Blake seemed like a nervous, proud papa (he wanted to throw up), and thought Jordan had a solid performance. She thought Naia strayed off, but chose her anyway. Cee Lo thought Jordan had a strong voice, but lacked confidence. He chose Naia. Adam remarked that Jordan was outside his comfort zone, and that his nerves showed. Another vote for Naia. Blake was surprised that Naia was nervous, and that she had missed notes. He thought that Jordan had stepped up, though he had pitch issues, especially during the harmonies. He thought it was an even performance.
Winner: Naia (she had more experience)(I liked Jordan, didn’t care).
Closing out the show was Team Cee Lo, with Broadway’s Tony Vincent up against musician Justin Hopkins. They battled it out over Journey’s Faithfully. Good song choice for both of them, given their musical careers. Babyface realized that Tony just needed feedback on how to improve. Ne-Yo thought that Justin had a lot of natural emotion in his voice, and that the song’s emotion was also its power. Their rehearsal made Cee Lo cry. Again.
Broadway Tony was very theatrical, and I thought, a tad creepy. Maybe it was the guyliner. Justin’s performance was heartfelt. Adam liked the dirtiness in Justin’s tone, and said he was equally energetic. He went with Justin. Blake thought Tony was more versatile, but that Justin gave a more solid performance. Another nod to Justin. Xtina commented on the strong tone in Justin’s voice, but gave the nod to Tony’s versatility. Cee Lo thought they brought the song to life, and that Tony was adaptable and enigmatic. He thought Justin was natural and convicted. It was the toughest choice yet for him to make.
Winner: Tony (I DISAGREE! Justin was robbed).
Next Week: On to the Live Shows, where America’s votes will decide. Tune in Monday AND Tuesday.