The Battle Round is wrapping up already? But Usher still has a steal! “I’m patiently waiting for the right moment to press my button,” Usher says, perhaps hinting at the moment that has been built up to be the Steal To End All Steals on The Voice! What could it be? How will Blake Shelton, Adam Levine and Shakira react to it? Will NBC manage to fit in a cross promotion moment with Revolution and have Usher’s final steal turn off all of the power on the stage? The city? THE WORLD?
Prepare to be grossly let down on that front (and you’re welcome for another awesome marketing idea, NBC). What won’t disappoint, however, are the final battles that determine the teams going into the Knockout Round.
Team Adam: Duncan Kamakana vs. Sarah Simmons
Where has The Voice been hiding Duncan Kamakana all season? The Hawaii native is a total stud, but his performance of Michael Buble‘s “Home” didn’t quite make the televised Blind Auditions. Putting him up against Sarah Simmons, who killed it with Joan Osborne‘s “One of Us,” runs a dangerous risk of cutting us losing someone so attractive early in the season.
Adam selects Lady Antebellum‘s “Wanted You More” for the two. There’s nothing quite as nerve wracking as performing a song in front of the original singer, as both Duncan and Sarah learn performing the song in front of their team mentor, Hillary Scott. Luckily, the Lady Antebellum front woman is impressed by both. “Duncan has a really great voice,” she says, “He’s kind of a crooner.”
At final run-throughs, however, there is no semblance of harmony between the two contestants. They clearly both rehearsed…just separately. “The potential of this duet is big,” says Adam. “You just have to do your homework.”
Point definitely taken, and homework completed by the time of the Battle. Their performance is phenomenal, their harmonies flawless and their stage presence sweet and sexy. Their onstage chemistry is so good it seems as though Brandon and Sarah might have even fit in a brief romance during rehearsals.
Sarah clearly has the better voice, but Duncan joins in the celebratory embrace after the performance. Maybe they can have a long distance relationship when Duncan goes back to Hawaii.
“You’re one of my favorite singers I’ve heard in my life,” Blake tells Sarah.
“Duncan, you have a confidence that drives women crazy,” Usher says.
“I’m so proud of you guys,” Adam tells them, before he quickly selects Sarah. As sad as it is to see a Team Adam stud leave the building, Sarah deserves to go far this season.
Team Shakira: Brandon Roush vs. Shawna P.
Shakira pairs carrot top Brandon Roush against former MuzicMafia country singer, 45-year-old Shawna P. She assigns the two of them Janis Joplin‘s “Piece Of My Heart,” and even attempts to show what a Joplin-esque wail should sound like (luckily, they filter out that specific advice). The song is a better fit for Shawna’s style, but both contestants shine during the rehearsals.
The performance, however, is better suited for the Blind Auditions. The voices are amazing; the visuals are…not. On top of their extremely questionable fashion choices (suffice it to say, velour, a vest and a red hat are involved), there are some even
more questionable dance moves. If you have yet to see the performance, it’s better enjoyed by closing your eyes and imagining that the two are not awkwardly attempting to dance seductively, age difference be damned.
After insulting Brandon’s hair a little, Adam says, “Shawna’s got a badass voice, and now we know Brandon does too.”
“Shawna, you’ve got an incredible voice. It’s like fine wine,” says Usher
“Brandon, you gave me your 150%. I don’t think I’ve ever heard a man sing a Janis Joplin song so well,” says their coach. “Shawna, your pitch is perfect, your voice is perfect.”
Shakira chooses Shawna’s experienced voice to advance, and giggles when Brandon says, “I hope we can stay in touch.” Ouch.
Team Shakira: Cathia vs. Mary Miranda
Shakira saves her two Spanish-singing contestants, Cathia and Mary Miranda, for last, and assigns them one of her own songs, “Antes De Las Seis.” Explaining why she put the two highly competitive teen girls together, Shakira says, “They’re both young
Latinas and this song is in Spanish.” This leads one to imagine how wonderfully painful it would have been if she had assigned the song to two non-bilingual contestants.
Mary, unfortunately, has never heard the song — a fact she is a little to0 vocal about, considering its songstress is three feet away from her. She struggles with the basic melody, whereas Cathia knows it well enough to add exceptional embellishments from the start. “Mary does not know her parts. You can’t go up to Shakira and not sing her song well,” Cathia muses gleefully.
Cathia speaks a little too soon, though because Mary is good to go in time for the final run through. She knows the song so well, in fact, that she sings Cathia’s parts in addition to her own. “I’m sorry,” she says, smiling sweetly and not meaning it when Cathia points it out. Fight, fight, fight!
Cathia’s pitch is all off, and she tries to explain it to Shakira by tossing Mary under an oncoming bus, “I’m just thrown off a little, just because she doesn’t know where to sing.” Oh honey: sabotage is a dish best served passive-aggressively. You’ll learn.
Mutual hatred aside, they both deliver in the battle performance (and Mary keeps to her assigned sections). They are pitch perfect, emotionally driven and make it impossible for Shakira to choose.
“I felt all of it,” says Adam. “You’re both amazing singers. If I were to choose, though, I think I would go with Mary.”
“I’m pretty sure you were singing about me and how much you love me,” Blake says, showcasing his translation skills. “Cathia blew me away the most.”
Shakira struggles with her decision, but ultimately keeps Mary, citing her signature vibrato.
Usher jumps in with a completely non-controversial steal (we’ll get to that in a moment), and adds Cathia to his team. “You sold me at the end of the performance,” he says.
Look for them in the Knockout Round:
We have a schedule to maintain, people! You can’t all make the cut and expect The Voice to maintain it’s heavy dose of “completely unscripted” coach banter!
Here’s the skinny on the untelevised front: Team Usher advances Michelle Chamuel and sends Chelsea M. home. Team Adam keeps Amy Whitcomb and says goodbye to Agina Alvarez. Blake unceremoniously ditches the grown-up sisters who still dress the same (The Morgan Twins) and sends Justin Rivers to the Knockout Round.
So wa-wa-wa-wait. All the to do about the unprecedented use of the steal that had coaches up in arms was…what? Usher pressing his button as a contestant walked offstage? Really, NBC? What about the Revolution idea — you love cross promotions! Or someone trying to use their own steal? Or Shakira boxing Blake and stealing his steal? Or Cee Lo coming back and stealing contestants with the help of his menagerie of animals? What is so hard about any of those options? Are you not getting my notes in the suggestion box?
Now that the coaches have narrowed down their teams, who do you think has the best chance going into the Knockout Round?
You might also like