Hold up: The Voice Battle Round is already halfway over? If only all reality competition shows could be this efficient! (Yeah, that’s right American Idol, I said it.) One by one, the field is being cut to (just about) half, with the coaches using those four steals when they just aren’t ready to say goodbye.
The contestants not being ready to say goodbye? Less of a priority. Tuesday’s episode (March 18) saw five such performers get knocked out, and one deserving contestant was saved with a steal. It certainly got fiery up there on stage. Here’s who made it through the blaze.
Team Shakira: Clarissa Serna vs. Jeremy Briggs
Team Shakira’s rockers, Clarissa Serna and Jeremy Briggs kick off the night. Clarissa earned a #4chairs with her performance of “Zombie,” and wants to inspire the girls she mentors with a big win. Government employee Jeremy is seeking a win because he really, really does not want to return to work at the unemployment office. Fair enough.
The two sing Foreigner’s “Cold as Ice” and struggle with harmonies during rehearsals. Shakira says it all with her “make it stop” face, and Miranda Lambert adds, “If you don’t make it a performance together, you end up both looking bad.” Thankfully, Clarissa and Jeremy figure out their chemistry and harmonies before the actual Battle, which is pretty hot for being “Cold As Ice.” Their evenly matched performances are capped off with impressive high notes from both.
“The end of it was the best part,” says Adam Levine, who gives it to Clarissa.
“Jeremy was singing that song in the same key as Clarissa,” Blake Shelton marvels. Nonetheless, he declares Clarissa, who he calls a “powerhouse,” the winner.
“Jeremy, you came in here with unwavering confidence and you 100% attacked it,” says Usher.
“Your voices complemented one another,” says Shakira, though she notes that Jeremy fell out of the pocket at times. Shakira selects Clarissa because she thinks she can do a lot more moving forward.
Team Adam: Caleb Elder vs. Delvin Choice
In the match that shall be known as Breakfast Bowl, Adam pairs donut shop employee Caleb Elder against Starbucks barista Delvin Choice. Adam assigns mentor Aloe Blacc’s “The Man,” to the pair, who awkwardly sing it in front of the man himself, Aloe Blacc.
“Caleb, I always wish I had your voice,” Aloe tells him. Advantage: Caleb.
Despite a demonstration from the original performer, both Caleb and Delvin struggle with the rhythm of the challenging song during additions. “That wasn’t good,” says a disappointed Adam. He gives them an Ushersize-inspired exercise, and has them rap the lyrics to get the rhythm down. The Ushersize works, and the two deliver a really fun performance that stays in the pocket. Delvin is clearly the stronger singer, whereas Caleb suffers from nerves on stage.
“You can tell that you all were having fun up there,” says Blake, though he notes, “Caleb had a lot more problems.”
“Delvin, when you got to the higher notes, I felt like you kind of took me to church,” says Usher.
“I gravitate toward voices that are a little bit more deep, and that’s why I would pick Delvin,” says Shakira.
Adam praises their progress, telling them, “I am beyond proud, and I think that you’ve both shown me major improvements.” Ultimately, though, coffee wins over donuts, so Delvin advances to the Knockouts.
Team Usher: Brittnee Camelle vs. Melissa Jiménez
Usher closes out the night with a powerhouse performance between Brittnee Camelle and Melissa Jiménez. He assigns them Melanie Fiona’s “Give It To Me Right,” hoping it will show the aggressor in both of them. It absolutely works, and there are very few vocal notes from Usher or Jill Scott, his team mentor. Scott, however, does warn Brittnee to drop the attitude and connect with her audience instead, which helps her performance a great deal.
The resulting battle is beyond sultry! Both singers evoke desperation and longing with their powerful vocal performances, making it the most entertaining outing in the Battles thus far. The two are so evenly matched, though Melissa closes it with an unbelievable note that has the judges thrilled.
“It was just smoking hot,” says Shakira.
“The only thing you didn’t do was punch each other in the face with boxing gloves,” Adam jokes. “Even though Melissa hit that big note at the end that was astonishing, I think Brittnee actually had the stronger voice.”
Blake tells Melissa, “The note you hit, that wasn’t falsetto, that wasn’t weak, that was straight up desperation. Just knowing you could hit that, that wins the battle.”
“You both had highlights, and I actually do regret putting you two on the stage together because I want to keep both of you,” says Usher.
Decisions must be made, though, so Usher advances Melissa. After such a phenomenal performance, it’s no surprise that both Adam and Shakira jump in for the steal.
“When you sang, it was powerful,” says Adam. “I think that there’s a lot that’s going to happen with you.”
“You, Brittnee, have an impressive voice,” says Shakira. “You can also move on stage. I’m your girl.”
Despite Blake’s reminder that Shakira tried to pick Brittnee up in the Blind Auditions as well, Brittnee goes with the past track record of success and joins Team Adam.
And the Montage…
The Voice would never be able to fit in two seasons every year without the magic of montages! These battles weren’t televised, but they still served to eliminate a few contestants. On team Blake, Megan Rüger reigned supreme over Ria Eaton, and America missed out on an Avril Lavigne cover.
Shakira advanced lounge singer Ddendyl and sent previously (and forever) untelevised Lindsay Pagano home.
On team Usher, one of the two duos of the season is sent home, as Morgan Wallen triumphs over the Brothers Walker, sending the twins on their way.
Next week, the oft forgotten Carson Daly promises, “The coaches pull out moves they’ll never see coming,” begging the questions: What possible moves? Dance moves? Do they need to leave their chairs for these moves? Who’s never seen them coming? The contestants? The other coaches? How many moves can really be pulled using only a red button? What does it all mean!?
Carson Daly better be prepared to deliver on his promise on Monday, because he’s really put America on the edge of its (spinning) seat.
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