‘The Voice’: Manny Cabo & Several Other Four-Chair Turners Reach The End Of The Line
It could just be a result of the strategically un-televised Battles, but this season’s crop of contestants on The Voice actually seem quite promising. There have been no real stinkers, cringe-inducers, lyric flubs, voice cracks or terribly off-tune performances in the Battles, which, by round 2 Voice standards, is as close to a Grammy as it’s going to get.
The only ones who are kind of blowing it are the coaches. On Tuesday night, Gwen Stefani, Blake Shelton, Adam Levine and Pharrell all missed opportunities to improve their teams with some surprising eliminations. While they were stingy with their steals in some cases, though, they were a bit too generous in others. That’s going to hurt in the Knockouts.
Before we can get there, though, here’s who triumphed in the Battles:
Team Adam: Keith Semple vs. Manny Cabo
Irish dad-rocker Keith Semple goes up against fashion-photographer-slash-four-chair-turner Manny Cabo for Team Adam. The two sing The Who’s “Baba O’Riley” – not the first and certainly not the last time this happens on The Voice stage. The two bro out and ham it up to the coaches, all while delivering a wildly impressive vocal performance.
“You went above and beyond my expectation,” Pharrell tells Keith, adding, “Manny, your voice is just stratospheric.”
Adam struggles with a decision. “It was like a tennis match! I couldn’t tell who to bounce back and forth between,” he says. “The presence was that felt.”
Adam ultimately chooses Keith, and despite being praised as one of the best Battles ever on The Voice by Blake, no one steals Manny. Down goes a four-chair turner.
Team Blake: Chris Crump vs. Krista Hughes
There are probably a lot of fun facts about Chris Crump, but let’s just stick with the fact that he skipped his wedding reception to try out for reality show The Voice. He now faces classic country singer Krista Hughes, who, like Chris, earned a four-chair turn in the Blind Auditions. Mentor Brad Paisley tries to help Krista by reworking “When I Get Where I’m Going” – a tune he originally sang with Dolly Parton – to better fit her voice, but it doesn’t prevent Krista from hitting some flat notes.
“Krista, you lost control of the range a little bit,” says Adam. “Otherwise, you guys were exceptional.”
“You did a great job of taking a country song and turning it into what you do,” Blake tells Chris. “That bridge, that’s still haunting us, but you did an incredible job of taking a male song and finding places to make your voice work,” he tells Krista.
Blake chooses Chris – yet again reinforcing his decision to ditch his wedding – and no one jumps in to steal the talented Krista. At least she can add “four-chair turner” to her resume.
Team Pharrell: Ivonne Acero vs Siahna Im
Returning singer-slash-cantaloupe-farmer Ivonne Acero goes up against soulful teenager Siahna Im in the last Battle of the short night. Pharrell’s choice of “You Keep Me Hanging On” by The Supremes proves to be a little beyond anything either can connect with, despite all best efforts. The vocals are fine, but the performance lacks any excitement or emotion.
“On both sides there were some things that needed to be worked on vocally,” says Adam, after telling Siahna that she looks like something invented by Pixar. (Thanks?)
Blake marvels at Siahna’s age in a way that comes across as passive aggressive. “You’re 15. She is the worst she’s ever going to be. She’s only going to get that much better, and she’s already awesome,” says Blake. (Thanks again?)
“There is just so much potential on the stage right now,” says Pharrell.
Pharrell chooses Siahna, and both Gwen and Blake jump in to steal Ivonne.
“You were always meant to be on my team,” says Gwen. “I know what you want to do. I was you. I lived your dream already.”
Blake just tries to draw weak comparisons between he and Ivonne. “We were both on this show last year. And we’re both on it this year. Every year, I plant five acres of cantaloupes at my place in Oklahoma.” Okayyyyyy…
Blake’s lack of effort and coherence works, and Ivonne inexplicably joins his team.
Sorry, kids: we’d never get through a hundred seasons each year if we showed all of your Battles. You get it. Better luck getting on air next time to: Team Pharrell’s Maddie Davis, who defeated Sydney Rhame; Team Gwen’s Kota Wade, who defeated Sleeper Agent’s Alex Kandel; Team Gwen’s Jeffrey Austin, who defeated Noah Jackson.
One week of the Battles down! As Bon Jovi and dad-rocking contestant Keith Semple would say, “We’re halfway there,” and as Daughtry and just about half the contestants would say, “I’m going home.”
More bags will be packed when the Battles continue on Monday!