Image credit: NBC
COUNTRY STRONG Coach Blake tries to break his country singers, Austin Jenckes and Brian Pounds, with a Bee Gees song. Yee Harmony!
In these battle rounds, the contestants must show that they have an emotional connection to their songs| Published Oct 22, 2013
What's talent got to do with it? Monday night's battles were all about feelings. The coaches stressed the importance of connecting with the audience while performing emotionally charged songs. Automatons and the reserved need not apply. Singers who couldn't make their lyrics come alive got the boot. Only Adam has yet to use his steal, but he makes up for it by saving two female singers in this six-battle episode.
Favorite moment: I can't get enough of Christina's singing demonstrations. In urging her two diva students, Destinee and Lina, to match the intensity of a Dixie Chicks song, Christina takes the mic and delivers the best performance of the night, even though it lasted barely a verse. "I just wanted to leave you with that note," she says. Right. That you will never sound as good as this.
And the battles go on...
TEAM CHRISTINA: JOSH LOGAN VS. MICHAEL LYNCH
Song: "Harder to Breathe" by Maroon 5
Mentor: Ed Sheeran
Battle: Coach Christina pits the Latin culture-loving Michael Lynch against single dad Josh Logan (Ugh, it pains me every time I have to reduce three-dimensional human beings into a jingle!) Christina picks a Maroon 5 song that is probably more suited for Adam-sound-a-like Josh. During rehearsal, both guys struggle with the wordy lyrics and stage movement. We see a sassier Christina, who has to goad the guys into injecting some life into their performances. "You need to kick its ass a little bit!" she says. Indeed, Josh and Michael did seem a little tired. Earlier, Josh had said something that made my ears pop: "I've never been a super strong performance guy." Which boggles my mind as to why he would even try out for this show! During the battle, I thought Michael's voice soared, while Josh's voice stayed kind of flat, as if his Adam Levine similarity just did most of the work for him.
Verdict: CeeLo and Blake lauded Josh's vocal kinship to Adam's voice and both couldn't help Christina decide. Adam enjoyed their rendition, acknowledging that "it's really easy to screw it up," but thought that Josh overpowered Michael. Coach Christina chooses Josh. No steals for Michael. This was a middling battle for me, and while I wasn't impressed by Josh, I didn't think Michael deserved a second chance either.
TEAM CEELO: GEORGE HORGA JR. VS. JUHI
Song: "Best I Ever Had" by Gavin DeGraw
Battle: This was an interesting pairing in terms of difference of style and ambition. George is a Romanian heartthrob with an edgier boy band voice, while Juhi is a grunge-loving Duffy-type. George is currently not in school and Juhi, a 4.0-high schooler, aspires to major in aerospace engineering or computer science in college. Pre-battle, she even takes a dig at George, reasoning that George might have an advantage because he's "more focused on music -- he's not going to college." During rehearsal, everyone is blown away by Juhi's idiosyncratic style. George struggles with the high notes and showing personality. In battle, I thought George's voice actually sounded more pleasant than Juhi's intriguing inflections.
Verdict: Adam calls George out on his bad note. The rest of the judges applaud Juhi's creativity, "I like how you threw certain lines away," said Christina. Coach Ceelo prefaces by saying he wants someone "who wants to solely do this as if there's no plan B," and immediately we know the winner is George, though he technically had the worse performance. Adam steals Juhi. "You're 16, you're already so good, I just kind of won the lottery by grabbing you for my team."
NEXT: It's just emotions taking me over...