‘The Voice’: Caitlin Michele & Melanie Martinez Rock The Battle Rounds
Sure the Tuesday installment of The Voice each week is only half the length of Monday’s, but never fear: there are still plenty of performances, outlandish outfits, bouts of rejection and triumph that can be fit into an hour. Spoiler alert: there’s even a Lady Bird appearance!
Christina Aguilera, Cee Lo Green, Adam Levine and Blake Shelton continue to whittle down their teams with the help of mentors Bille Joe Armstrong, Rob Thomas, Mary J. Blige and Michael Buble. The head-to-head single elimination battles wind up ruining the joy half the contestants felt just weeks ago when they made their respective teams during the Blind Auditions.
Team Cee Lo, Bout 2: Domo vs Cody Belew
You all remember D-to-the-O-to-the-M-to-the-O: Domo (let me hear you say), Domo, (what?), Domo!, right? If you don’t, she helpfully reminds everyone that she has the voice of Mariah Carey and Aretha Franklin (again), to go with her sweet moves and pop star looks. The only thing that dwarves her neon earrings is her ego.
Cee Lo pits her against soulful rodeo rancher Cody Belew — an odd couple, indeed — and they prepare to perform Lady Gaga and Beyonce’s “Telephone.” Domo has the obvious genre advantage, and, as Cody says, the “curves for miles” appeal. Receiving only minimal guidance from Cee Lo and Rob Thomas, Cody will need all the “bam bam” he can muster to compete in this round.
Domo wears a flashy Sgt. Pepper’s/Michael Jackson/Spice getup, but her performance is pitchy and predictably choreography-based. Though Cody is slightly better, he is just as pitchy and doesn’t do much to impress. Cee Lo decides to go with who he gets a kick out of and who makes him “feel really good,” causing Domo to break out in a knowing smile. Cee Lo of course selects Do…whaaaaa? C-to-the-O-to-the-D-to-the-Y makes Cee-to-the-Lo feel really good? And Lady Bird agrees? A shocking start to the night as Domo and her ego are sent packing.
Team Christina, Bout 3: Aquile and Nathalie Hernandez
Fifteen-year old Nathalie Hernandez matches up against soulful Aquile in Christina’s first round of the night. Together with mentor Billie Joe Armstrong, Christina prepares the two to perform “You Give Me Something.” Aquile is jazzed to be coached by the Green Day frontman, who Nathalie may or may not have heard of, having been born well after Dookie was released. Wearing a Tony bandanZa in her hair during practice, Christina tries to amp up Nathalie’s confidence with a Taylor Swift-ism she might understand: “Be fearless.”
Unfortunately, the James Morrison tune couldn’t be a blander pick for the two artists, though they do their best to work it. Nathalie keeps it on the safe and sweet side, and is outperformed by Aquile, who adds some vocal dynamics to the song. The judges chalk it up to Nathalie’s youth, and no one goes in for the steal.
What did stand out during this performance is that Christina appeared to turn more and more orange each time the camera cut to her. The only plausible explanation is that she’s been bit by a Willie Wonka variety of vampire and will continue to evolve into an Oompa Loompa as the show progresses. We’ll keep tabs on that.
The Un-Televised/Who Cares? Bouts: Christina’s Celica Westbrook vs. Lisa Scinta, and Blake’s Rudy Parris vs. Charlie Rey
In the un-televised segment of the evening, Celica Westbrook, who we didn’t see in Blind Auditions, beats Lisa Scinta, who we also didn’t see in Blind Auditions. Unless there is a secret all-star hiding in Celica, she’s got an uphill battle in winning the votes in the next round from an audience who has yet to see her perform.
Blake’s Meat Loaf impersonator, aka Rudy Parris, beats out super-attractive Charlie Rey (the guy who inhales smog so his dad doesn’t have to). Maybe producers knew the fallout that would come from this decision, because that battle was not aired either.
Team Adam, Bout 3: Caitlin Michele vs. Melanie Martinez
The performance of the night belongs to Team Adam. Levine pairs indie singers Caitlin Michele and Melanie Martinez. These are the girls we would have loved to sit the prom out with in favor of catching a concert in high school, and they couldn’t be a better fit as duet partners.
The pair seem to phone it in during practice, which Adam calls out. He adopts Blake’s 200% equation, and wants each of them to give that impossible percentage every day. Mary J. Blige gives feedback on how to specifically alter the melody to work with each singer’s voice, and the two prepare for battle.
Melanie wears her signature Minnie Mouse bow to top off her two-toned hair, and Caitlin slips into all-black to perform “Lights” by Ellie Goulding. It’s soulful, haunting and filled with angst. Adam struggles with the choice, but goes with Melanie, who is overwhelmed with EMO-tion when she makes it to the next round.
Cee Lo and Blake both go in for the steal, and Caitlin picks Cee Lo. This will make for the second time the goth princess has rejected Blake: a true realization of every misfit’s high school dream.
Yet another week down and more contestants out on The Voice. We look forward to more vocal duels, steals, heartbreaks and pumpkin-toned skin conditions next week when the Battle Round continues.