Mixing Old Fashioneds
The Voice 5/17 Recap: Battle The Second
Here we are in the second week of battle rounds. Last week each team had one person move on to the live shows and one person eliminated. This week it’s lather, rinse, repeat.
First up to enter the battle is Cee Lo’s team. He has Tje Austin square off with Nakia with Ne-Yo’s “Closer”, which is worlds away from the Nine Inch Nails song. Nakia thinks the song tailor made for Tje while Tje sees Nakia as big white guy who does R&B. They practice a bit with Cee Lo and Monica, his advisor, and it all goes along pretty un-dramatically. Once they get on to the stage to battle, Tje starts a little nervous but gets stronger as the song goes on. Nakia throws a Meatloaf vibe, really over-singing in my opinion. Adam would go with Nakia amongst all the hair on stage. Both Blake and Christina favor Nakia as well, though Christina likes Tje’s whole package. Wink, wink, nudge, nudge. Monica advises to go with Tje because of his unique voice. Cee Lo ultimately goes with Nakia, proving yet again I have no idea what I’m talking about here. However, it will make recapping easier because Tje becomes “The” with spell-check on.
Two versus one
In the next round, Blake pairs up the duet team of Elenowen with Jared Blake to sing “Ain’t No Mountain High Enough”. Jared got on with a second chance audition and a sob story about having a half-dozen children. Elenowen, the husband and wife duo, also had the sob story of living in her parents’ basement. We all know these back-stories are going to be milked for all they’re worth once the voting rounds start. They rehearse with Blake’s advisor Reba McEntire; Reba coaches Jared to keep some attention on him while the duo is singing. When they practice on the stage, Blake isn’t happy with the mix because they’re all trying to out-sing each other. I’m not happy with Jared’s use of the Brett Michaels bandana yet he’s openly bald. The battle performance comes and I’m going to go with Jared, even though I think he’s only okay, because Elenowen disturb me. They should just get a room already. Christina would go with Jared because he really sold her on the song; Cee Lo is also inclined to go with Jared. Adam is on the fence. Reba thought Elenowen was less comfortable on stage than Jared. Blake now has to make a decision, and though he fought for Elenowen to be on his team, he goes with Jared.
Taking the song literally
Adam pits Javier Colon and Angela Wolff against each other to sing “Stand By Me”. Angela has distractingly large eyebrows and a weird headband around her forehead. Javier has a problem keeping his hat on in the right direction, off ever so slightly, like some desperate hipster. They rehearse with Adam and Adam Blackstone, Maroon 5’s musical director. They advise Javier not to over-sing, as it is a simple, classic song. The battle round starts and they both look like they’re having a good time and sound pretty good, but I think Javier has a bit of an edge over Angela. When Angela sings, she stands right by Javier, but he doesn’t do the same. Blake, keeping in the veiled homophobic toned comments of singing competitions, makes some comment about being distracted not by the pretty girl on stage but Javier. Christina likes Angela’s sweet presence, but loves Javier’s voice. Cee Lo is pleased at how well the two worked together in a collaboration. Adam, after a moment’s pause, goes with Javier.
Christina sets Beverly McClellan against Justin Grennan to sing “Baba O’Riley” by The Who. She pairs them because Justin has a high tenor and Beverly has a gritty lower-range voice. Justin audition wasn’t shown on the second episode—we were only told he was on Christina’s team—so it’s pretty obvious he’s going to have a short life on this show. Christina and her advisor, Sia, meet them for rehearsal. Beverly is really into it, as she knows the song. Justin has never sung the song and Christina says he can make it more soulful if that makes him comfortable. They get a chance to practice on the stage and Christina cautions Beverly to be more conscious about her stage movements and Justin to not go for the high notes just because they’re easier. Justin goes on first and riles up the crowd, getting them on their feet. Beverly certainly attacks the song, like Christina asked her team to do. They even point out the guitar solo (which just seems weird on a show about voices) and the song finally comes to an end. Cee Lo says Bev is his girl—she stole it, owned it, and sold it. Adam is impressed Justin could keep up with Beverly. Blake was impressed with the rocker that came out of Justin. Christina compliments them both, Beverly is such a strong performer and Justin came such a long way. But, in the end, she goes with Beverly, which was the obvious choice.
Next week, round three of the battle continues!
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