‘The Voice’: Adam Levine Is Bald, Celeste Betton & Mark Hood Bring Missy Elliott To Tears
If you close your eyes and wish hard enough, you can almost forget that bald Adam Levine happened. No, not short-haired Adam Levine or even half-shaved Adam Levine: actual cue-ball bald Adam Levine of July 2015.
Be that as it may, you’d have to sit with your back to the TV to avoid reliving this shiny-headed look during The Voice Battle Round last night…and for the weeks until the Live Rounds, when ideally this long national nightmare is fully grown out. As a wise person once said, “This is how we remember our past. This is how we safeguard our future.” And by wise person, I mean how the capitol justified The Hunger Games.
Katniss aside, it’s time for Adam, Blake Shelton, Gwen Stefani and Pharrell to whittle down the batch of Voice hopefuls they so recently promised glory with the help of mentors John Fogerty, Brad Paisley, Selena Gomez and Missy Elliott.
Here’s who actually still stands a chance:
Team Adam: Jordan Smith vs. Regina Love
Adam puts two favorites – the high-voiced hopeful Jordan Smith and soulful powerhouse Regina Love – face to face in the first Battle. It is, predictably, a terrible decision. The pair take on Sam Smith’s “Like I Can,” and bring the house down effortlessly. Adam is left with a tough decision, and another coach is left with an obvious steal.
“It’s just shocking to me that ability that you both have,” Gwen says. “Obviously you were meant to do what you do,” she tells Regina.
“You were both able to be these incredible singers without stepping on each other’s toes,” says Adam. “I think you both deserve to be in this competition.”
Adam thinks Jordan deserves it more, though, so he passes him through to the Knockouts. Gwen jumps in with the first Steal of the season, and adds Regina to her team.
Team Blake: Tyler vs. Zach Seabaugh
In a considerably less-tight match, Blake puts the tearful Tyler Dickerson against 16-year-old phenom Zach Seabaugh. They sing Travis Tritt’s “I’m Gonna Be Somebody,” which Zach dominates with his classic country voice.
“It was really refreshing to hear you sing in a higher register for the first time,” Pharrell tells Zach. “Tyler, what I loved about your performance was you looked like you’ve been singing for 15 or 20 years on stage”
“When you go for some of those higher notes and your voice starts to shred a little bit, it’s badass,” Blake tells Zach. He has less flattering words for Tyler, who he wished had played it less casual. “Quit singing this like you sing it a thousand times. Put some passion back into it.”
Blake advances Zach, sending tearful Tyler home.
Team Gwen: Ellie Lawrence vs. Tim Atlas
Indie-pop singer Ellie Lawrence goes against the previously un-televised Tim Atlas in Gwen’s first battle. Selena Gomez embraces their rehearsal errors, telling Tim, “In the mistakes, there’s the opportunity to find something.” Deep and true.
There are few mistakes in Ellie and Tim’s performance of The Neighbourhood’s “Sweater Weather,” but Ellie has the more commanding stage presence.
“You know how to, like, hypnotize people,” says Pharrell. “Tim, I think you bit into the moment instantly.”
“You were unbelievable tonight,” Gwen tells Tim, but adds to Ellie. “I feel like these two guys on the end are just telling me to pick Tim because they want to steal you.”
Gwen doesn’t fall for it, and picks a stunned Ellie. Pharrell steals Tim, and everyone leaves the stage with big smiles.
Team Pharrell: Celeste Betton vs. Mark Hood
Gospel singer Celeste Betton and big personality Mark Hood are true naturals in their Battle. Not only do they leave Pharrell at a complete loss for criticism or advice, but they also move mentor Missy Elliott to actual tears! Their performance of Marvin Gaye and Tammi Terrell’s “Ain’t No Mountain High Enough” is a notable standout of a heavily covered song.
“That was my favorite battle that I’ve ever seen,” says Gwen.
“Your choice of notes is like listening to vocal Cirque du Soliel,” Pharrell tells Celeste.
“Who can move that much, and sing and do the things that you do?” he marvels to Mark.
Pharrell, after much struggle, chooses Mark. It’s downright shocking when no one steals Celeste, and she sings her emotional goodbye to Pharrell.
Team Adam: Dustin Monk Vs. James Dupré
Four-chair turner country-singer-slash-Blake-clone James Dupré goes up against rocker Dustin Monk in the I’ll Show You Pressure battle of the night. The pair is tasked to sing Creedence Clearwater Revival’s “Fortunate Son” in front of mentor John Fogerty – AKA the song’s writer and performer, and Hall Of Famer. No big deal. Though James needs to work on his case of stage awkwards, his voice is undeniable.
“I think James, overall, was the most consistent singer,” says Blake. “Dustin may have hit one or two strange notes, but Dustin took a lot more risk.”
“I was so taken by what you do. There was a willingness to go for it,” Adam tells Dustin. “You are very composed, and your voice fills the room effortlessly,” he tells James.
Blake feigns tough decision, but ultimately advances the obvious winner, James.
Team Blake: Barrett Baber vs. Dustin Christensen
Two four-chair turners duke it out to end the night. Rockers Barrett Baber and Dustin Christensen sing Marc Cohn’s “Walking In Memphis,” and it’s yet another performance that can only lead to a steal. Both guys hit impressive falsettos, and harmonize perfectly throughout.
“From the moment you stepped on stage for the Blinds I was for sure that you were a professional singer,” Gwen tells Barrett.
“He’s like a linebacker. He’s just ready to lay somebody out. Then you just follow it up with just incredible vocals,” Blake tells Barrett. “You also destroy these performances, and your voice is so special,” he tells Dustin.
Knowing that they’ll both somehow make it to the Knockouts, Blake picks Barrett. Both Adam and Gwen fight to steal Dustin.
“I’m hoping that I can compel you to come to my team because I can’t have my heart broken twice by you,” says Adam, who lost Dustin in the Blind Auditions.
“I worship your voice. That Neil Diamond thing, I’m such a fan of it. I’m just thinking of what duet we’re going to do together,” says Gwen.
Quite a promise from Miss Stefani, but Dustin joins Team Adam. Though Adam may still be suffering from that hairdo, at least he doesn’t have a broken heart.
The Battle Round and slow but steady hair growth continue tonight!