‘The Voice’ recap: The battle rounds conclude
At last, it was the final night of battles on “The Voice” on Tuesday night. And with only one steal left (Christina Aguilera had apparently saved hers) and no quickie rounds to gloss through, the emphasis was squarely on the talent.
There were three solid rounds:
Pairing: Brooklyn waitress Adriana Louise vs. former Disney kid Jordan Pruitt
Song: “Hot N Cold”
Thoughts going in: Aguilera asked each of these singers, at different points in rehearsals, to show more aggression. She also said they were “pretty much neck and neck.” But given Pruitt’s experience and Disney-kid background, which she shares with Aguilera, you had to figure Pruitt had an advantage.
The performances: The singers were remarkably evenly matched. Louise hit some powerful high notes, but a really interesting quality in Pruitt’s voice came through as well.
The response: CeeLo Green called it “one of the best battles we’ve had,” compared it to the Olympics, and dubbed Louise the winner. Adam Levine marveled that the singers were “both equally good at exactly the same thing,” but chose Pruitt. Blake Shelton admired the break in Pruitt’s voice and said he’d pick her. Aguilera, who had the final call, complimented Pruitt on her willingness to take risks and acknowledged their Disney bond. Louise’s power high notes, though, ultimately won her over. “I connected with you from go,” she later told her.
Winner: Adriana Louise
Steal? No. None of the coaches who were eligible to steal Pruitt had any steals left. Shelton was particularly disappointed to see the singer go, saying he was looking forward to her making an album, so he could buy it. Very sweet.
Pairing: 15-year-old country hopeful Kelly Crapa vs. 16-year-old punk girl Michaela Paige
Song: “I Hate Myself for Loving You”
Thoughts going in: Paige exuded confidence -- Crapa, not so much. So when Shelton said he was likely to choose the teen singer who looks more seasoned onstage, it didn’t bode well for Crapa.
The performances: Crapa clearly gave it her all, but her all wasn’t enough to distract much from Paige, who burned up the stage and made her competitor look colorless and wan.
The response: Aguilera compared it to a “fistfight or a brawl,” Levine to a “musical pillow fight,” and Green wondered if the song choice did country singer Crapa any favors. Shelton defended his song choice and then made his selection, telling the teens that, at their age, “a year can make a huge difference.” Given that, “Michaela had just a little bit more of an edge,” he said, “so I’m gonna go with Michaela.”
Winner: Michaela Paige
Steal? No, Aguilera’s all about pop this year, so she passed on country girl Crapa.
Pairing: Dancer turned singing prodigy Avery Wilson vs. Lady Gaga backup singer Chevonne
Thoughts going in: Both singers are fiercely talented and loved by the coaches and wanted it bad. This was going to be good.
The performances: Chevonne worked hard and delivered, but it was nearly impossible to peel your eyes away from Wilson, whose rich, buttery voice was complemented by a few choice stage moves.
The response: Levine and Shelton credited Chevonne’s passion and drive, but believed Wilson took the battle “hands down.” Aguilera told Chevonne her stage presence and high notes were “amazing.” The decision was Green’s and he preferred Wilson’s “stage package.”
Winner: Avery Wilson
Steal? Yes! Aguilera thrilled Chevonne by nabbing her for her team. “I didn’t lose, I won,” gushed Chevonne, a major Aguilera fan, “because now I’m on Team Xtina.”
And so, with each coach’s team of 10 now complete, we move on next week to the new knockout rounds, which sound a lot like the battle rounds only with no steals and the singers picking their own songs. By the time the live shows roll around, during election week, only five singers on each team will remain, making a total of 20 competitors. The show promises a few upsets. We’ll see how that plays out.
Who are you hoping to see make it through to the live shows?
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