Team Christina: Geoff McBride vs. Sera Hill
Xtina pits shades-loving Geoff against soulful hotel receptionist Sera by tasking them with Queen Of Soul Aretha Franklin’s “Chain Of Fools”. There’s no question that 51-year-old Geoff has a voice that could quite literally blow Sera out of the water. But dang — he needs to reel that instrument in now and then, otherwise it all just comes off like screaming. Geoff’s adviser Lionel Richie suggests that (gasp) the vocal powerhouse remove his shades for the battle so the audience can connect with him more. (He opts for clear frames instead). In the end, young Sera doesn’t quite have the chops to truly beat Geoff in a vocal battle. Yet she does, as Christina chooses to keep her.
Team Blake: Charlotte Sometimes vs. Lex Land
Wow. Charlotte Sometimes, named after a song by The Cure, is annoying, both vocally and personality-wise. The loud and proud Jersey girl is paired with introspective Lex from Texas. Adviser Kelly Clarkson twirls in just long enough to praise Charlotte’s voice (really?), but steers clear of her Jersey ‘tude (we keep mentioning Jersey because Charlotte keeps mentioning Jersey). Blake assigns wife Miranda Lambert to give some guidance the shy Lex. But this is TV, folks, and TV shows need a villain. “I want to win,” Charlotte proclaims. “I want her to lose.” And so Lex does. Hooray for the Jersey Devil.
Team Cee Lo: Sarah Golden vs. Juliet Simms
We love Cee Lo’s white cat! In fact, this whole paragraph would be about that kitty and Green’s affection for it if there wasn’t this business of discussing the singers to be done. Anyway, smoky-voiced (and overly confident) Juliet may have talent, but does she really need to state that she’s “prettier” than Sarah before they take to the stage? Can we please have the somehow-less-annoying Charlotte Sometimes come back, instead? Sigh. Folky yodeler Sarah doesn’t really seem to be a match for wild-haired, tattooed hater Juliet, especially when they’re given Rod Stewart’s old jam “Stay With Me” to belt out. And we’re right. It’s so-long time for Sarah. Key to staying in this competition: bitchy attitude.
Team Adam: Kim Yarbrough vs. Whitney Myers
Stop — diva time! Adam Levine cruelly puts 25-year-old Whitney up against the more experienced and mature and Chaka Khan-esque Kim. And they’re given Mary J. Blige’s “No More Drama” to sing, a tune that requires some life experience and a fair amount of acquired pain to truly connect with. No competition here, really. Adam and adviser Alanis Morissette can’t seem to get Whitney to focus on her own singing, rather than how much better a singer Kim is. Meanwhile, Kim is delighted to meet her own vocal guide, Robin Thicke (or, as she calls him “Thicket”). So, yeah, Kim eats Whitney alive on stage and wins.
Team Christina: Lindsey Pavao vs. Lee Koch
These two quirky singers on Xtina’s team are saddled with Nirvana’s “Heart-Shaped Box”. Lindsey seems at ease to take the song and reinterpret it and make it her own, but Lee admits that he hasn’t heard the alt rock classic in at least a decade. (Translation: he’d doomed.) Adviser Jewel isn’t impressed with Lee, and tells him that he really needs to think about Kurt Cobain’s words and try to connect with them. And as for Lionel Richie, who is in the advice-giving chair for Lindsey, we’re just wondering if his ears have ever met with a Nirvana song. In fact, can we just have Lionel go up on stage and sing “Heart-Shaped Box”? While stroking Cee Lo’s cat? That would be sexy. Lee manages to pull it together, and Cee Lo tells him he felt like, with the lighting, he was watching Jesus a few times. Adam calls it a “delightfully creepy performance”. Blake admits he’s never heard the song before, causing Cee Lo to quip, “You’ve got to get out of Oklahoma every once in a while!” And Christina axes Lee and keeps Lindsey. Just call this Ladies’ Night.
Team Cee Lo: Jamar Rogers vs. Jamie Lono
Okay, don’t call this Ladies’ Night. Cee Lo’s cat whispers in the “F*** You” crooner’s ear and tells him to put these two besties together. Evil kitty! Even worse, they’re given Foreigner’s ’80s lighter-waving anthem “I Want To Know What Love Is”, a song clearly out of Jamie’s vocal range, to sing. The crazy-haired hopeful’s voice continues to crack during rehearsal, and Cee Lo and adviser Babyface seem to downplay the matter by telling him he’s too nervous. No, guys — he just can’t hit the notes. Jamar, on the other hand, tackles the song like a pro, and when it’s all over, Jamie is out the door and on the market for a new best friend.