Episode Recap: Season 3 Battle Rounds, Part 6

There’s one last night of battles on The Voice, and just one steal left, which belongs to Christina Aguilera. This is crunch time…for this phase of the top-rated singing competition, anyway. So let’s get right to it, shall we?

Tuesday night begins with Christina’s team, specifically Adriana Louise and Jordan Pruitt, who get handed Katy Perry’s “Hot and Cold.” Jordan confides that she’s surprised to see advisor Billie Joe Armstrong because he’s so different from Christina. Billie Joe instantly picks up on Jordan’s “professional” side, while Christina thinks Adriana is “holding back” a little, and doesn’t want either of them to emulate Katy Perry.

In their final rehearsal, not only are the two singers meshing, but they’ve also somewhat color-coordinated their outfits. Christina wants them both to be a little more aggressive, and in teaching them, reminds us that she herself still has the lungs to belt insane notes. After rehearsal, she thinks that the duel could go either way.

It’s the battle of the experienced pop singer versus the inexperienced pop singer on a huge pop song: this one should be straight down the middle, and it pretty much is. There are no surprises, just good, quality performances. Both ladies clearly have pipes and they’ve found that aggressiveness that Christina was looking for; they actually sound remarkably similar at points, and they both sing their hearts out. If I didn’t know their backstories beforehand, I wouldn’t have been able to tell which of these two was the professional. (I’m amused that they let Jordan say ‘bitch’ when Tony Lucca didn’t get to last season…granted, ’99 Problems’ has the word in there a lot more than once.)

The coaches weigh in with their feedback: Cee Lo compares the battle to Olympic gymnastics, and picks Adriana. Adam remarks on how comparable the two artists are and selects Jordan. Blake says he’s never heard anything like the break in Jordan’s voice, is upset that he doesn’t have a steal left to use, and says he, too, would pick Jordan. It’s decision time for Christina, who crowns Adriana the winner of the battle, and says she’s “a force to be reckoned with.”

Christina then hurries up on stage to hug an emotional Jordan, says that she wishes they had steals left so someone could save her. It’s a sniffle-worthy moment, and it’s downright painful to hear Jordan apologize backstage because she has nothing to apologize for.

Team Blake is next to sing, with Kelly Crapa pitted against Michaela Paige, and Blake has given them Joan Jett’s “I Hate Myself for Loving You,” which he thinks is a good middle ground between Kelly’s country and Michaela’s rock. Advisor Michael Buble says the two teenagers make him feel old, and calls Michaela “a 60-year-old black woman trapped in the body of a punk girl,” which may be the best quote ever uttered in a rehearsal.

Michaela and Kelly get to their final practice session with Blake, who says “Kelly has an answer” for everything Michaela does. His last note is a hilarious one: he quips that while they’re performing, they should think about “how much you hate Adam Levine.” Oh, snap. (Call it a comeback for the moment when Adam jokingly referred to himself as the best coach ever.)

The battle is on, and Michaela wastes no time in getting right up into Kelly’s face as she starts the duet, showing that toughness the song calls for. Kelly makes an effort to respond in kind, though she doesn’t have quite as much edge or stage presence. Ultimately, the track selection seems to favor Michaela, who comes across with much more maturity than her age.

Christina comments that she thought a fistfight might erupt but likes Michaela, and Cee Lo isn’t sure the song was right for Kelly, but calls the battle even. Adam refers to it as “a musical pillow fight,” which I’m not sure was what Blake was going for, and apologizes for giving generally unhelpful feedback. Blake says that when you’re in your mid-teens, “a year can make a huge difference” and on that, and her “little bit more of an edge,” names Michaela the winner. Unfortunately, Christina doesn’t push her button for Kelly, so her journey ends tonight.

We move on to Team Cee Lo, specifically Chevonne and Avery Wilson, and Cee Lo has picked “Titanium” by David Guetta featuring Sia for the two of them. In rehearsal, Avery is surprised by Chevonne’s ability to belt, and that also garners her a compliment from advisor Rob Thomas. Cee Lo tells a hesitant Avery that he’s got to let himself go, and by the next rehearsal he’s more relaxed, leading his coach to call him “much improved.” Meanwhile, Chevonne admits that she can lose her control when she’s nervous – so will it be her nerves, not his, that get in the way?

No. Nerves are nobody’s problem in this power battle, which includes some insane notes being held by both parties, although they seem to be two great individual singers as opposed to a pair. There’s also a fair share of over-performing by the both of them, particularly Chevonne, but too much is better than not enough.

Who would the coaches select? Adam calls it “spectacular, extremely engaging” and says Avery “took it hands down.” Blake also favors Avery. Christina calls Chevonne’s stage presence “amazing” and doesn’t explicitly award her the win, but she might as well have. It’s Cee Lo’s time to make his selection, and after saying both artists impressed him at different times, he chooses Avery as the winner of the battle. But don’t weep for Chevonne: she’s the recipient of Christina’s final save, which causes her to (understandably) freak out as the first song she ever sang was a Christina Aguilera song. “I didn’t lose, I won,” she reflects backstage.

The final tally: Jordan and Kelly left the competition, while Chevonne got Christina’s final steal and joined her team. With that, we’re done with the battle rounds, and The Voice is on a whirlwind timetable. Here’s how it goes down: next Monday begins the new ‘knockout rounds’ – which will only last two episodes (albeit two two-hour long episodes) and cut the teams in half!

Live shows then start in two weeks, on Monday, November 5; due to Election Day on November 6, they will be pushed back a day to continue on Wednesday, November 7 and Thursday, November 8. The live portion of Season 3 is rumored to end the week of December 17.

Essentially, this cycle of The Voice is at the halfway point – and the show is full speed ahead from here on out.

For more from Brittany Frederick on The Voice, visit Big Red Chairs and follow me on Twitter (@bigredchairs).  

(c)2012 Brittany Frederick/Big Red Chairs. Appears at Starpulse, Examiner & Fanbolt with permission. All rights reserved. No reproduction permitted.

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