Tuesday night brought more glory and heartbreak to The Voice contestants. Night two of the Battles (which NBC literally called, “Part 2 of The Battles Premiere,” ignoring that half of the battles are the premiere in this scenario) brought twelve more contestants – albeit half of them untelevised.
Christina Aguilera, Cee Lo, Adam Levine and Blake Shelton continued to whittle down their teams. Here’s who made it through.
Team Christina: Jacob Poole vs. Matthew Schuler
Jacob Poole and Matthew Schuler are up first for Team Xtina. “Both of them have a lot of rock inspiration,” Christina says of the two preacher’s sons. It’s an uneven battle to start, as Matthew earned the fastest four-chair turn in Voice history, and Jacob just earned one spin during his audition. It’s got all the makings of a weed-out battle.
The pair sing Fall Out Boy’s “My Songs Know What You Did In The Dark (Light It Up),” which FOB performed last season on The Voice. Despite any early Matthew advantage, the two are evenly matched during the performance. They keep the challenging rhythm without losing their breath, and hit the strong high notes seamlessly.
“That was like a musical ass-whooping,” says Adam. “No one got their ass whooped on the stage, but we got our asses whooped out here.”
“I’m more impressed by what Jacob did up there,” Blake says of Jacob’s improvement.
“I thank you for taking in everything I had to give,” Christina says, crediting herself for their musical glory. Christina chooses Matthew, because you don’t go with a one-chair turn over a four-chair turn ever.
Team Cee Lo: Kat Robichaud vs. R. Anthony
“They’re total opposites,” Cee Lo says of dueling singers Kat Robichaud and R. Anthony. He assigns the pair Aerosmith’s “Don’t Want To Miss A Thing,” and insists they draw a strong emotional connection to the ballad. Yes, the two must truly connect with a song known best as the score to Ben Affleck and Liv Tyler’s “animal crackers” scene from Armageddon. Dig deep, for it, Kat and R.
Miguel coaches them through, mitigating the imminent disaster as well as he can. “I expect you to run every other line. Picking and choosing is going to make it interesting,” he says to R.
On stage, it’s a pretty shrill performance on Kat’s part and an unremarkable one on R’s. Kat does a lot of lunges, and has some fancy footwork that just makes it worse. In fairness, it is a tough song to sing earnestly. The coaches, as always, are impressed.
“I just love your intensity and how you commit,” Adam tells Kat.
“R. you have crazy vocal control,” Christina says.
“I think you both did an exceptional job,” Cee Lo says, noting that R. has intense precision and Kat has a dynamic stage presence.
It’s team Cee Lo, so obviously dynamic weirdness and Kat reign victorious. Now erase that performance from your memory before it does any long term damage.
Team Blake: Monika Leigh vs. Ray Boudreaux
“You both have that blues thing that I wish that I had,” Blake tells the night’s final performers, Monika Leigh and Ray Boudreaux. He assigns them the upbeat hit “Some Kind Of Wonderful” by The Drifters and gets to coaching with the help of some sass from Cher.
“You sing it different every time,” Cher says with exasperation when Monika asks for specific examples on how to improve. Then Cher gives the young performer a death stare, indicating that if Monika ever talks to the legend again, Cher will crush her with a Grammy. Monika is just lucky that the death stare’s intensity was softened by Botox.
Ray is the clear stand-out of the big performance, and the only thing that stands out in Monika’s gravely performance is the unfortunate set of cornrows that she’s sporting.
“Ray, it just kind of felt you were digging a little bit deeper,” Christina says. “It felt more consistent to me.”
“There’s a difference between singing and sanging. And You can sang, Ray,” Cee Lo says of Ray’s bluesy inflections.
“Ray you’re capable of so much that I didn’t see in that Blind Audition,” Adam says.
Blake praises both of his contestants, but admits, “Trying to get [Monika] to do the same thing twice is like herding cats.”
Ray’s adorable daughter yells, “Pick Ray!” from the crowd, and Blake can’t argue with that. Despite stating that he “wanted to build his team around this girl” in the Blind Auditions, Blake drops Monika for the more consistent singer.
In a surprising move, Cee Lo steals Monika. “Come on, we can do this!” he says.
Six other performers competed, according to a rapid-fire, un-televised recap. On Team Cee Lo, Cole Vosbury defeated Lupe Carroll. Voice over artist E.G. Daily triumphed over Sam Cerniglia for Team Blake (yay Tommy Pickles). Ashley Dubose knocked out Justin Blake on Team Adam. See (half of) you in the Knockout Round!
Week two of the Battle Round, or as The Voice will likely call it “The Two-Part Battle Round Finale” continues on Monday!
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