After some rather uneven battles last week, the question coming into Monday night was whether The Voice could amp up the drama with some better competition. The result? Pretty much more of the same.
The first battle featured Pip vs. Nathan Parrett for Team Adam. Can someone please tell Pip that if you’re going to try to be all hip by going with a single name, that name has to be cool? Alanis Morissette tells Pip to show some restraint in practice, while Nathan shows off his nervous ticks. Would Nathan be fearless on stage? If by fearless you mean stiff and awkward, then yes. The battle comes off more like a school play audition, but Pip brings just a little more to the table as both singers cause Amy Winehouse to roll over in her grave. Winner: Pip
In the weirdest pairing of the night, Cee Lo puts Erin Martin up against Wayne’s World (The Shields Brothers). Babyface tells Wayne’s World they need to pull back and show some vulnerability because chicks dig it. Ne-Yo isn’t impressed by Erin’s cuteness and implores her to be sexier. Erin gets all “how could they?” and then comes out on stage looking like Madonna in shoulder pads. Even though Erin is a far more interesting singer, she comes off as disconnected to the song What’s Love Got to Do With It and her baby noises don’t really work here. Somehow the Shields Brothers seem to be winning this. But Erin’s far hotter and this is Cee Lo after all. Winner: Erin
Team Cleavage picks Ashley De La Rosa to square off with the only person who does have a cool enough single name: Jonathas. The song is No Air by Jordin Sparks and Chris Brown. Christina works on getting Jonathas to woo her…but will he be able to stay in character? Ashley has problems being extroverted and this is shaping up to be the closest battle of the night. Both were really smooth but Ashley showed true star potential here, taking more risks and really showing off her voice. She’s a dark horse in this competition and someone to keep an eye on. Winner: Ashley
Next up is Team Blake. Blake picks Alux against back up singer Jermaine with some terrible Billy Ocean song. Blake wants to see who’s going to have the most fun on stage. Miranda tells Alux that sometimes you just have to be a jackass. Alux never really goes full jackass and fails to cut loose in the battle. Jermaine makes the song his own and is clearly one of the overall favorites to win this year. Winner: Jermaine.
In the best battle of the night, Adam pairs Angel Taylor against Katrina Parker. The Voice reminds us to care because Angel had a rough childhood and Katrina couldn’t sing for a few years. Angel needs to be more genuine with her emotion and Katrina needs to shake off her nerves. It’s a great battle over Bleeding Love but Katrina’s perfect pitch puts her over the top. This is one of those case where it’s really not fair that someone has to go home. Winner: Katrina in the best performance of the evening.
We end the night with a difficult situation for Team Blake as Erin Willett finds out her father only has 24 hours left to live. The whole time I was thinking: why can’t they just push her battle back as this isn’t a live show? Oh yeah, because they want to milk this. Erin faces off against country voice Gwen Sebastian to sing We Belong. These are two very different voices and it was the second real toss up of the night. Winner: Blake goes with Erin’s power voice over Gwen’s raspy twang.
Next week: the final battle rounds and I for one am glad. Here’s hoping they get better. Right now, it appears that Christina has the strongest team by far with Adam having perhaps the weakest. Grade: B-