Here we are in week three of the battle rounds. It’s been so long since we were initially introduced to these contestants, it’s hard to remember much about them. I guess that is Carson’s function—narrate to keep jogging our memories. Oh, yeah, and developing sad back-stories for the voting rounds. America clearly has issues judging talent on call-in shows, so Carson’s got to give us something else.

Round One

Christina squares Raquel Castro off against Julia Eason with the song “Only Girl (In The World)” by Rihanna. Christina wants the young girls to bring a youthful energy to the song. We’re reminded that Julia was the soccer player turned singer and Raquel is the youngest contestant, being only 16. After rehearsal, Sia advises Julia to relax her vocal cords a bit more and Christina advises her not too pee her pants. Raquel asks how to incorporate her dance training in to the competition, but Sia advises against it. The battle begins and they both sounded better in rehearsal. I’m not liking either performance but it doesn’t help that I flat-out hate the song. Cee Lo loves “lil’ momma” Raquel and so does Adam. Christina has a tough time—Raquel really moved well on stage and Julia’s ad libs were cleaner. In the end, she picks Raquel, finally putting a girl with hair on her team.

Round Two

Blake picks Dia Frampton to go up against Serabee with “You Can’t Hurry Love” by The Supremes (and later butchered by Phil Collins). Dia is described as a shy folksinger; she’s the one who writes children’s books. Serabee is the southern chick who did a version of “Son of a Preacher Man” would have killed Dusty Springfield if she weren’t already dead. During consultation, Dia asks for advice from Reba and Blake about stage fright, as she seems more timid than everyone else. Blake advises Serabee not to over-sing because she tends to blow the roof out in a very bad way. The battle begins and Serabee is barefoot, wearing a long skirt, a floppy top, and a fedora. Dia, meanwhile, wears a sane person white dress. She starts the song quiet but really gets into it. Serabee sounds like a bad Reba imitator, which is weird since Reba is sitting right there. Dia begins singing more confidently while Serabee craps ad libs all over her. Adam likes Serabee’s crazy style and Cee Lo hits the nail on the head—this was the weirdest pairing ever but Dia’s voice is solid. Blake tells Serabee that just because she can sing all those notes, she doesn’t have to and gets why Dia looked uncomfortable. He picks Dia and my faith in this show is restored.

Round Three

Next up, Adam chooses Rebecca Loebe to sing with Devon Barley on “Creep” by Radiohead; he picks this dark, moody song because Rebecca and Devon are anything if not dark and moody. Devon was the would-be medical student and Rebecca is the traveling folk singer living out of her car. Rebecca loves the song but Devon is unfamiliar with song. Adam encourages him to come out of his safe zone. During rehearsals, Adam makes them sing the song just like he wants without letting them figure it out. I really feel bad for Adam’s team; they’re talented kids but he’s a bit of an ass. The performance starts with Devon singing circling Rebecca, then she does the same to him. They hit the chorus together and, as weird the past combo was, these two actually work really well together, despite their different styles. It’s a tough call, but I lean toward Rebecca. Blake doesn’t want the pair separated, Christina harbors resentment toward Rebecca for not picking her and would go with Devon. Cee Lo also would go with Devon. Adam is torn, tries to isolate the performance on its own, and ends up going with Devon proving yet again I’ll never agree with Adam.

Round Four

For the final round, Cee Lo puts sisters Tori & Taylor Thompson (whom I’ve dubbed T3) against Kelsey Ray with Natasha Bedingfield’s “Unwritten”. Kelsey is apparently an on-line sensation and is the girl who cried she was too pretty and T3 are the pig pageant girls. They all take to the stage to rehearse the singing and choreography. The battle begins with the singers saying prayers; if I were these girls I’d be praying I don’t break an ankle in the heels they’re wearing. Kelsey starts, sounding a little weak but T3 come out stronger. Rising to the challenge, Kelsey brings more power. Really, they should just form a three girl act where all three girls can actually sing without autotune. Adam says it’s all too cute to pick a winner, Blake would pick Kelsey because she is more seasoned, and Christina would go with T3 after their performance tonight. Monica advises the sisters have a great act but Kelsey has more stage polish. After some hand-wringing, Cee Lo picks T3. Pig farmers of the world will unite to vote for them week after week.

Next week is the last week of the judges having a say, and then it’s on to the live shows. Get your phones charged and your dialing fingers ready.