Slowly but surely, Shakira, Blake Shelton, Usher and Adam Levine’s teams on The Voice are getting whittled down to the playoff worthy few. And while all of this is very important…can we take a second to acknowledge WTF is going on with Usher’s head accessory?
Usher is (still) wearing a full-on Davy Crockett raccoon hat with a tail, like it ain’t no thang. The headpiece even makes Pharrell’s hat look incredibly conservative. Yet…the other coaches have barely acknowledged its dominant presence. Sure, this would be a status quo wardrobe item for Cee Lo (though it would throw up some red flags in terms of how his menagerie of animals are doing), but it’s a bit out of the ordinary for Ursh. No? Are raccoon caps the new statement scarf? Should this just be accepted and looked past? Will Pharrell try to one-up this and the Arby’s hat when he appears on the show?
Anyway, raccoon on the loose or not, the show continued like everything was normal on Tuesday (April 1). Here’s who made it through the Battle Round.
Team Blake: Biff Gore vs. Sisaundra Lewis
Get ready to watch some dancing, because it’s time for another performance by Biff Gore. Biff, the high kicking soul singer who was stolen from Team Usher in the first Battle Round, is up against Celine Dion’s former tour director, Sisaundra Lewis. The two agree on James Brown’s “It’s A Man’s Man’s Man’s World,” and walk into their rehearsals holding hands. Mentor Chris Martin is so impressed by their rehearsal performance, that his feedback is simply, “Please, can you do it again just for the fun?”
Biff has his work cut out for him during the battle, as Sisaundra’s range is seemingly endless. Against many other contestants, Biff could have coasted through, but it proves impossible to stand out next to her out-of-this-world voice.
“Having performed the song myself, I understand how difficult it is to pull it off,” says Usher. “At the end, that high note, where did you find that?” he asks Sisaundra.
“Biff, your voice is timeless. The way you work the stage, you’re so real,” Shakira gushes. “Sisaundra, you’re register is sick. Sick, sick, sick.”
“I’m 80% sure that you’re not from planet earth,” Adam tells Sisaundra.
“You guys solidify why The Voice is the best singing show on television,” says their coach, but ultimately favors the potential alien. “I can’t miss out on the opportunity to work with a one in a trillion vocalist like Sisaundra,” he says, advancing her to the next round. No steal for Biff .
Team Shakira: Ddendyl vs. Deja Hall
D.C. lounge singer Ddendyl (no last name needed) goes up against teen powerhouse Deja Hall in Shakira’s Tuesday night battle. The two select A Great Big World and Christina Aguilera’s “Say Something,” but can they live up to the original performance from last season?
No. No they cannot. Ddendyl’s tone is sweet, but it verges on baby talk. Deja is pitch perfect, but doesn’t demonstrate anything new. One half expects Xtina to emerge from a trap door in the floor and show the two how to slay. Unfortunately, she doesn’t, and there are no real wow moments on either singer’s part.
“I can’t imagine two more different singers,” says Adam. “Deja, you’re just so young. For being that age, there’s just so much maturity.”
“Ddendyl you’re just so artistic, it’s crazy,” says Blake. “Deja, there’s something so innocent and so honest about your performance.”
“Both of you did really great,” says Usher, adding, “I just feel like there’s so much yet to be discovered in your voice, Deja.”
“Your voice is so special. It’s probably the most unique voice that there is in The Voice right now,” coach Shakira tells Ddendyl. “Deja, your voice is both so earthly, and so heavenly.”
Shakira struggles with her decision, but advances Deja based on her overall improvement.
Team Usher: Morgan Wallen vs. Stevie Jo
When given the option between The Script’s “Hall of Fame,” Collective Soul’s “Shine,” and One Direction’s “Story of My Life,” rocker Morgan Wallen and soul singer Stevie Joe naturally choose 1D. Because why not bro out with a modern boy band duet, right? The two BFFs approach the song with completely different tones, and Morgan rasps his way through the number. Surprisingly, each adds runs that were not included in rehearsals, which gets an eye raise out of Usher.
“I didn’t know that Morgan, you had that raspy tone in your voice,” says Shakira. “Stevie, I really enjoyed your runs and your trills.”
“That was a song originally sung by boys, sung by a couple of men up there on stage,” says Adam.
“Morgan, I’m impressed by how far you’ve come,” says Blake. “Having said that, Stevie, your technique, I love it. You never miss.”
Usher praises Morgan’s experimentation with falsetto, but favors his soulful partner. “Stevie, you once again showed everybody here that you have a soulful essence.” He advances Stevie Joe, but it all works out in the end for Morgan when Adam turns a farewell fist bump into a surprising steal.
Just one performance didn’t make the fully televised cut of the evening. On Team Shakira, Kristen Merlin went up against Emily B., and Shakira advanced the Boston-based singer/song writer, Kristen, to the Playoffs.
Speaking of the Playoffs: they kick off next week… but not until next Tuesday. There is still one more night of Battle Round Part Two to get through on Monday to finalize the top 20 that will compete! One can only guess what will adorn Usher’s head as the season progresses to the Playoffs…
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