The Voice recap: Let Your Hair Down

A night of low-energy battle rounds is saved by a low-key song
Ep. 08 | Aired Apr 16, 2013

SING ME YOUR FAVORITE SONG Caroline Glaser crooned through Corinne Bailey Rae after a night of too-much-trying.

Trae Patton/NBC

This was a surprise: Not only did two of Blake’s contestants give the best performance of the night, they also did it from underneath the show’s relentless label machine. Caroline, see, is a coffee shop singer-songwriter. Danielle is very, very young. So young. She giggles when she’s nervous! That’s part of the reason Blake put them against each other.

But it’s clear early on that both are ready to perform, and that their coach is going to do them the favor of picking a song that is performable, Corinne Bailey Rae’s “Put Your Records On.” At their first meeting, Blake (with Sheryl alongside) tells Danielle that she’s an awesome singer with great pitch, and he tells Caroline that she shouldn’t let the specificity of her sound restrict the notes she tries to hit. Sheryl breaks the adviser code of silence by telling the camera that Caroline’s unique voice is useful currency in this competition. She ain’t wrong.

At the pre-performance performance, Caroline’s sound has opened up a lot, but Danielle’s face is flatter than ever, even with Blake on accompanying guitar and offering ra-ra aphorisms. Both, it’s clear, are a bit tentative. “Sometimes…I kind of feel like an actual coach,” Blake says, meaning an actual sports coach. Before heading on stage, Caroline says that the battle round is 50/50, but that she isn’t ready to go back to the coffee shops. Danielle is still “the youngest artist in this competition.” My roommate: “She’s still wearing those cowboy boots.” (Packaging!)

Danielle’s voice is clear and strong as soon as the song starts, while Caroline’s has a lovely sort of warmth and hush. It’s Norah Jones-esque, though even Norah Jones’ sound is kind of post-Norah Jones now, right? They harmonize and then harmonize some more. Adam’s eyes crinkle. Danielle’s eyes are still dead-dead-dead and Caroline isn’t the best at hiding her nerves. But then she smiles and it could be better but it could be much, much worse. Shakira nails it: “Girls, your performance was as refreshing as tangerine ice cream.” Adam goes further, falling over himself to apologize for not turning around for Caroline the first time (remember this!). Danielle had the more “perfect” vocal, though, which Blake drives home with a synergistic piece of pitter-patter, saying that “knowing what I want to do going forward,” Danielle is the clear choice. She’s robbed of her victory spotlight because Adam and Usher both try to steal Caroline — Usher the faster spinner by a hair. But don’t you remember all that falling Adam did, all over himself? Caroline picks him, even over Usher’s objection that he, too, is a singer-songwriter. We all are! Later, Usher turns a shoulder and walks away from her big brown eyes, getting colder by the episode.

Random Thoughts from Melissa and Adam’s Emails: Was the redheaded Taylor really worth Blake’s steal last night, or is another game afoot? And was the Judith/Karina mash-up the best of the week so far? Melissa and I split on this; I’m Sasha/Amber all the way.

Did tonight’s episode feel lackluster? Is it obsessive to note my jealousy of Adam’s blazer-and-polo combo? Are you happy that our recap formatting is ever-so-slowly merging? And, like, could those teases for next week’s possibly rule-changing steal be any more (gasp!) ridiculous?

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