It’s week 2 of the Battle Rounds on the Voice. I’ll be live blogging the action right here.
Another week, another battle round! Once again, the winners in each battle seemed picked from the get go. The Shields brothers vs Erin Willet battle was ludicrous. It was like Waynes World meets Twilight. The goofy rock brothers vs. Vampira. Erin won that ridiculous battle, but she’s going to be voted out fast once the live shows begin. Her singing was awful. Cee Lo was definitely thinking below the waist on that one.
My favorite singer tonight was mold victim and insurance worker, Katrina Parker who beat out ringer and ex major label recording artist, Angel Taylor. Katrina vocals have both power and nuance. I’m looking forward to seeing what else she can do.
Kelly Clarkson won both her battle rounds tonight. Go Kelly. At one point she said that she wished that “other show” she competed on had battle rounds when she was on it. Uhm. NO.
One more week of Battle Rounds, and then it’s on to the live shows.
Pip vs Nathan Parrett – “You Know I’m No Good” by Amy Winehouse – Only one chair turned around for Nathan. Yep. He’s cannon fodder vs. Pip who had 4 judges turn around. Nathan’s father rejected him after he learned Nathan was gay. Adam says Pip hasn’t hit a sour note. Nathan feels like the underdog, but Adam compliments him for improving over his blind audition. Alanis Morissette is Pip’s mentor. She tells him not to over sing. Nathan meets Robin Thicke. He helps Nathan work through his nervous tics. Adam compliments Nathan after his final audition and tells him he’s no longer the underdog. Now Pip is nervous.
A much as I hate to admit this, because I find Pip insufferably affected, but he kinda stomped all over Nathan, who seemed really nervous. Pip not only has a big voice, but also an amazing range and knows how to use it. The battle was set up to make it seem close so there would be some suspense–with Adam assuring Nathan that he had improved, and the other coaches giving him compliments, but Pip’s victory was one more foregone conclusion in yet another uneven matchup. Blake: Nathan big strong clear voice, but Pip can do everything. I lean towards Pip. Christina: She notes his Broadway leanings. More confident. But she liked Nathan’s voice. Cee Lo: Thought Nathan stole it. Adam didn’t expect it to be so close. He chooses Pip.
Battle Winner: Pip
Team Cee Lo
Erin Martin vs Shields Brothers – “What’s Love Got to Do With It” by Tina Turner. – What? These power poppers are expected to battle Erin singing Tina? Erin’s got a weird voice, but I still think she has an advantage. Babyface mentors The Shields Brothers. He tries to get the Brothers to pull back and show vulnerability. Ne-Yo mentors Erin. Cee Lo didn’t like her interpretation. He and Ne-Yo felt her performance lacked depth. Erin, the model, couldn’t believe they were criticizing her.
OMG. This Erin chick is affected. What the hell are those cat-in-heat yelps? Completely inappropriate for the song. Erin can’t be bothered with interpreting lyrics. Her vocals are bizarre and unpleasant. The Sheilds are totally out of their element and all wrong, but they are fun and are at least half-way paying attention to what the song’s about. Nobody is singing together, they’re all caterwauling in their own special way. THIS IS SUCH A TRAINWRECK. Everybody sucks. But Erin annoys the snot out of me, so I’m rooting for Wayne and Garth (tm Babyface) Adam: That was so WEIRD. Thought Erin’s approach was odd. The Sheilds were having fun. Blake: Likes her outfit! He picks Erin. Christina: Thought it was entertaining. She goes with the Sheilds brothers because they were fun. Thought it was the wrong song for Erin. Cee Lo chooses Erin.
Battle Winner: Erin Martin
Ashley De La Rosa vs Jonathas – “No Air” by Jordin Sparks and Chris Brown – Well, this is a much better matchup. They’re both R&B singers, at least, and will be singing an actual duet. Jonathas thinks he’s got the edge, because he has more experience. Lionel Richie advises Jonathas. Christina reminds him not to be karaoke and to act the song–engage Ashley. Play your character! He sings with Christina and is a little intimidated. Jewel advises the young and inexperienced Ashley, who is afraid of being overpowered. Jewel thinks Ashley’s uniqueness can be her advantage. Christina tells Jonathas not to mouth the words when he isn’t singing.
These two are pretty evenly matched. But Ashley is a shining star, her performance has range and dynamics plus a great tone. She’s better than I remember in her blind audition. Jonathas has a beautiful, smooth tone, but his voice isn’t as big or his phrasing as varied. Nice to see the performance work as a duet. Ashley has the edge, but I wish they could both advance. There were some off-pitch moments, however. Cee Lo: He picks Ashley for her range Adam: Liked their chemistry. He picks Ashley. Likes her big voice. Blake: He thinks Ashley had more dynamics. Christina likes their youthful, fun energy. Christina chooses Ashley
Battle Winner: Ashley De La Rosa
Jermaine Paul vs AlyX – ‘Out of My Dreams” by Billy Ocean – 19 year old AlyX says youth is power, so she has the edge. O rly? Jermaine was Alicia Keys background vocalist. Miranda Lambert mentors AlyX. Miranda thinks Alyx is guarded. She wants to let go, but struggles. Blake sings with her. Miranda thinks sometimes you have to “own being a jackass” in order to be an engaging performer. They advise AlyX to be flirty and sassy. Kelly Clarkson mentors Jermaine. Kelly says she wished Idol had done battle rounds when she was on it. NO. NO. NO. Kelly invites Jermaine to sing backgrounds with her. He’s like “been there done that. Ha.” Jermaine is afraid AlyX will be a loose cannon.
There was no chemistry whatsoever between these two, and there were many pitchy spots from both. But Jermaine had a lot more confidence and the stronger vocals. AlyX held her own, though, against a formidable opponent. Christina: Jermaine, you made that song your own. Cee Lo: Got to give it to Jermaine: Adam: Jermaine, you took this song and kicked it’s ass. Blake thought both showed they could have fun, but Jermaine was fierce and having fun at the same time. So Jermaine wins the battle.
Battle Winner: Jermaine Paul
Angel Taylor vs. Katrina Parker – “Bleeding Love” by Leona Lewis – Both have had experience in the music industry before. Katrina had to take time off to recover from a mold allergy. Angel had an abusive dad. Adam reminds them that it’s not a vocal aerobics competition. Robin Thicke advises Angel. Adam gives her pointers on staying on pitch. Robin tells her to feel the passion in the words. He thinks she can win the whole thing. Alanis Morissette mentors Katrina. Alanis gives her tips on keeping the nerves down or using them to her advantage. Alanis thinks she’s really smart.
Angel has an interesting tone, but Katrina stomped all over that song. In a good way. She had confidence, charisma, range, beautiful phrasing, soul. She was the entire package. Blake: Likes the break in Angels voice, but thinks Katrina flat out won the round. Christina: Maybe not the best song for Angel. Compared Katrina to Adele. She won. Cee Lo: Liked Katrina’s confidence. Adam doesn’t think it’s clear cut. Likes Katrina’s power, but appreciates Angel’s uniqueness. Adam chooses Katrina.
Battle Winner: Katrina Parker
Erin Willett vs Gwen Sebastian – “We Belong” by Pat Benatar – Gwen is a country singer from North Dakota. Gwen’s dad was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer. Erin is nervous that she’s all big voice, but Gwen is more nuanced. And we know what kind of voice Blake prefers. Gwen is a afraid she’ll over sing. Miranda Lambert advises Gwen. Erin realizes that the singer who tells the best story will win, so she’s not afraid of being overpowered. Kelly Clarkson mentors Erin. Kelly suggests that Erin use her upper register instead of relying on belting. Erin just found out her dad, who has pancreatic cancer, isn’t doing well. But he wants her to stay in LA to follow her dream.
They both sang pretty well. It’s hard to compare the two because they are so different. Gwen has the kind of vocal Blake typically prefers, but Erin’s “dying dad” backstory is hard to deny, to be honest. Christina: I enjoyed that. You both have very different voices. I gravitated more towards Erin. Cee Lo: He liked Gwen’s interpretation. Adam: Liked the richness and warmth of Erin’s voice, but liked both. Blake thinks his team was amazing. Their styles are different. Gwen took some chances. Erin’s voice is so powerful, but she played it safe. The winner is Erin.
Battle Winner: Erin Willett