‘The Voice’: Brittney Kennell & Trey O’Dell Battle With Fleetwood Mac’s “The Chain”
As the Battle Round of The Voice wraps up, it’s nice to look back on how quickly dreams were dashed. Coaches Blake Shelton, Christina Aguilera, Adam Levine and Pharrell Williams all offered such wonderful praise to their contestants when trying to add them to their teams, and then just obliterated their hopes one round later.
Observe: Adam jumped on stage to sing a duet with Mike Schiavo, and raved, “You’re a natural! We can win!” Nope! Eliminated the very next round.
“There’s probably going to be a relationship that goes on long after this show,” Blake told Justin Whisnant. Apparently, he wanted to get a jumpstart on that relationship, so he eliminated Justin in the Battles.
“You are my dream come true!” Christina declared of Ayanna Jahneé who (spoiler alert) is not just eliminated, but eliminated in an un-televised performance. What a nightmare.
The love ’em and leave ’em approach gives these contestants an honest intro to showbiz, at the very least. And there’s always America’s Got Talent, right?
Here are the dreams that got dashed, and the ones who survived another elimination, on the last night of the Battle Round.
Team Adam: Laith Al-Saadi vs. Matt Tedder
It’s always nice to assign some meaning to the arbitrary Battle Round pairings, so Adam declares the Laith Al-Saadi and Matt Tedder performance the Battle Of The Bluesy Guitar Dudes. Really, it could have been called “battle of guitar players who sort of also sing,” but that has less of a ring to it. Laith and Matt’s bluesy performance of “Honky Tonk Woman” by the Rolling Stones is vocally fine, but the guitar playing certainly stood out more than the voices. On the plus side, these guys would definitely kill it on the Voice spinoff, The Guitar.
“So much respect for both of you for the guitar playing,” says Blake, who then tells Laith, “Your voice takes over the whole room.”
“You growl with no strain,” Pharrell tells Laith. “You’re for sure a star,” he tells Matt.
“Laith comes out here and just rattles the room with his voice,” says Adam, before advancing the seasoned performer to the Knockout Round. Maybe Matt can get his resume in for The Voice house band before he leaves!
Team Pharrell: Joe Vivona vs. Caity Peters
Arguably the most important part of Caity Peters and Joe Vivona’s Battle Round is when Sean Diddy Combs cures Joe’s stage fright by generously transferring his own energy to Joe via hug. Who even knew that energy could be transferred in such a way? Diddy, that’s who. The energy hug works even better than actual science or medicine to help Joe get over his nerves. If Diddy could have given both of them a pitch hug, though, that might have been better. Caity and Joe’s rendition of Billy Joel’s “Honesty” is pretty brutal and un-harmonious.
“You guys have really distinct tones to your voice.” Says Adam, who adds, “It seemed like there was a little bit of a lack of control.”
“Maybe I got too sucked into the fact that I could tell that it was a struggle,” says Christina. “Probably Caity seemed a little less strained.” That praise doesn’t even warm up to tepid, which is part of what makes Christina such a legend.
“It was a little bit of a struggle just because of where your tone is and where you are naturally,” Pharrell tells Caity. To Joe, he says, “You are battling one of the most severe cases of nerves I’ve ever seen. To go from that to what everyone here saw tonight, and you belted it out with no fear.”
Miraculous nerve recovery is not enough for Joe, though. Pharrell advances Caity to the next round.
Team Blake: Brittany Kennell vs. Trey O’Dell
Closing out the night are Team Blake’s Brittany Kennell (the one who has the vibrato that everyone keeps comparing to Gwen Stefani’s) and Trey O’Dell (who was not televised in the Blind Auditions, so doesn’t have any known interesting characteristics). It’s pretty stakes-free, as Christina’s last steal is just going to pick whoever loses before dropping them in the Knockout Round next week (you know it’s true).
Brittany and Trey sing Fleetwood Mac’s “The Chain,” and Brittany’s voice stands out by way of being strange.
“I love your falsetto. You were very accurate,” Christina tells Trey. She gives Brittany the highest compliment – a comparison to herself – telling her, “If Gwen Stefani and Christina had a baby, it would be you. A vocal baby.”
“Your voice is weird and wonderful and I really liked that,” Adam tells Brittany. Blake notes Trey’s improvement from the Blind Auditions, telling him, “It’s cool to see you sound great all the way through.” To Brittany, he says, “I loved hearing talk about your vibrato because that is what attracted me to your voice.”
Blake advances the sort of Gwen-like Brittany, and Christina uses her steal on Trey.
“I totally loved the energy, and I think that you really deserve to stand on your own and have a second shot.”
This crazy train is barreling toward the Knockouts, and there’s no time to fit all of you on air. With minimal fanfare and even less face time, Team Blake’s Peyton Parker advances over Gina Castanzo, Team Christina’s Joe Maye totally upsets Ayanna Jahneé, and Team Adam’s Owen Danoff beats John Gillman.
Speaking of crazy train, Miley Cyrus joins the party next week as the Knockout Round key advisor! Please, Voice gods, let us have the excitement of uninhibited Instagram Miley. Don’t edit her into prime time network television Miley! Censor what you gotta censor, but let her freak flag fly!