The battles are seriously underway on The Voice, with ever fewer spots remaining for the contestants in the live shows. So far, Adam has a pair of experienced artists, Blake has a mix of unique singers, Cee Lo’s picked some big voices and Christina’s team has been all about diversity. Last night, 12 more artists faced off, leading to triumph, tribulation, and the weirdest take on Tina Turner reality television has ever seen.
Team Adam: Pip vs. Nathan Parrett
Nathan would have rather battled anyone other than Pip, whose audition had all four judges turning their chairs. This was possibly the first time we really paid attention to Nathan, who hasn’t spoken to his father since he came out to him. He was only selected by Adam, so it was a bit of an uneven match, although Adam pointed out Nathan is much improved since his audition. They took on “You Know I’m No Good” by Amy Winehouse, with Alanis coaching Pip on restraint while Robin tells Nathan to be fearless. Unfortunately, the fear creeps in when both hit the live stage, where Pip’s years of stage experience won him the battle (and probably the hearts of many — he’s been rocking a very Blaine Anderson from Glee style).
Team Cee Lo: Erin Martin vs. The Shields Brothers
Cee Lo takes two of the more out-the-box contestants and hands them Tina Turner’s “What’s Love Got To Do With It.” We’re reminded how the Shields Brothers are attempting to punch the world in the face with rock and roll, while former-model Erin, in her perpetual weirdness, is perfectly suited to spend time with Cee Lo forever and ever. (And when Cee Lo praises one of the Sheilds Brother’s voice over Erin’s, you can see her strange little heart breaking for a moment.) Cee Lo tells her he thinks she’s beautiful, but he wants her to be sexy, not just cute. The brothers term the battle “Erin vs. Rock And Roll”, and Carson amps up the drama with the spot-on ringmaster impersonation he’s been channeling all night. Erin enters in a Gaga castoff costume that makes Christina’s headpiece look bland. Absolutely nothing about this performance made sense. Erin’s version of “What’s Love Got To Do With It” was almost indiscernible, as the Brothers seemed to sing another song entirely — a song suited for a dive bar right around last call. Adam has no idea what to say, Blake blatantly hits on Erin, and Christina loved it, and Cee Lo feels like he has the most prospects with Erin’s strangeness. You can’t let the scantily dressed crazy girl walk away before the live shows! Good choice, Cee Lo.
Team Christina: Ashley De La Rosa vs. Jonathas
Inspired by their youthful energy, Christina gives them “No Air” by Chris Brown and Jordin Sparks. Ashley’s lack of experience is making her nervous, while Jonathas feels natural and confident with the song. But his comfort is ultimately his downfall, as he ends up sounding too much like Brown and not enough like himself. Ashley pulls ahead by a fraction and wins Christina’s vote.
Team Blake: AlyX vs. Jermaine Paul
Blake picks a song so they won’t take themselves seriously, and so he picks Billy Ocean’s “Get Out Of My Dreams, Get Into My Car.” Blake worries that AlyX doesn’t have enough fun and is too serious. The pair manage to take a goofy song and actually class it up with their vocals, still keeping it fun. Jermaine takes the battle, but uber-determined AlyX isn’t going to give up easily on her dreams.
Team Adam: Angel Taylor vs. Katrina Parker
Angel and Katrina go head to head on Leona Lewis’ “Bleeding Love.” Angel shined on Adele originally, turning the three boys’ chairs, and Katrina came to The Voice as a second chance at singing after two years waylaid by illness. Adam points out that he wants them to be vulnerable on the song, not embellished, and points out that Angel gets pitchy when she goes too big in the chorus, while Katrina needs to embrace her nerves and turn them into confidence. That generated confidence shows in Katrina’s poise on stage during the battle, while Angels seems stiffer although great vocally. It’s the most equally matched showdown of the night, and Adam hides under his sweater and swears to avoid making a decision, but ultimately taps Katrina for the live show spot.
Team Blake: Gwen Sebastain vs. Erin Willett
The Voice saved all the drama for the end of the episode, with Erin’s family medical crisis taking center stage. The two take on Pat Benetar’s “We Belong.” Gwen’s country voice couldn’t be further from Erin’s, and the pair meet to figure out their parts. Blake says the song is about emotion and drama and that will decide the winner. After her mentoring session with Kelly Clarkson, Erin gets word that her father doesn’t have much time left, but has told her to stay and perform. While Gwen has classic country phrasing, Erin’s power suits the song more, and she wins the battle and the spot in the live shows. The show lets us know with a touching “in memory of” graphic that Erin’s father passed between the taping and now.