Just like that, the second round of battles has ended, and since we’re teased throughout the entire episode that Blake Shelton has one last steal, that delightful bit of news looms ominously over the evening’s proceedings. At the end of Monday's episode, we finally—FINALLY—have a Top 20, and they're finally—FINALLY—ready to compete for your... wait, never mind. No, they're not ready to compete for your vote yet. We've still got to weed out some of the lesser talents. There's still another two weeks before they're ready. Sigh. Oh well. Here were Monday's battles anyway:
Clarissa Serna vs. Dani Moz
Without being informed with an onscreen visual, I couldn’t for the life of me tell you what “Clarissa” did prior to this battle. Dani Moz, on the other hand, I remember well. The one they apparently call “Clarissa” immediately kicks us off by commenting on the pairing, “I can’t say I was super surprised—we both have really strong vocals.” I’m sorry, dear, but that is not for you to say. That is the reality show equivalent of taking a selfie. Clarissa's humility aside, Dani’s talking head appears much kinder and complimentary, and so I’m already rooting for Dani going into rehearsal.
The two girls have to decide between Pink’s “Perfect,” Lady Gaga’s “The Edge of Glory,” and Kelly Clarkson’s “Catch My Breath,” making it very clear that Shakira has basically one type of song in mind for them (which is totally fair, but doesn’t leave them too much Room de Wiggle). They pick “Perfect,” which is easily the best song on the list—and hey, what kind of post-2010 TV singing competition would it be without someone singing Pink?
During the battle, I’m sorry to say that Clarissa is impressing me more than Dani, although I’m thrilled when the former has a pitchy run (Pitch Perfect 2: Pitchy Run) leaving abundant room for Dani to swoop in. During the judging, Clarissa’s dead eyes and Dany’s District 2 blazer are all I can focus on, but everyone sounds like they’re throwing their support behind Dani. Shakira praises Clarissa’s poise (red flag!), so it’s clear she picks Dani to move on these alleged “playoffs.”
Does Blake Steal?: No.
Dawn & Hawkes vs. Kat Perkins
Oh, I loooove me some Dawn & Hawkes. While I remember Kat's battle involving a swell “Whenever I Call You Friend” with that awful Zach Galifianakis fellow, Dawn & Hawkes are an adorable little pair who remind me of barista friends I wish I had. Plus, they're the only duo left in the competition to root for, so if you're pining for the days of buddy cop comedies or Mary-Kate and Ashley's classic sitcom Two of a Kind, this pair is for you..
During the battle, I can’t help but laugh when Kat starts skulking around the stage with her hands raised and clawed like Sylvester the Cat trying to pounce on Tweety. It's during Kat's awkward tribal dance that Dawn and Hawkes stay put and really, I need Kat to stop singing so I can just focus on them. Hilariously, the duo barely acknowledges her, making Kat look like the absolute third wheel here, which can’t do her any favors in Adam’s eyes.
But as is always the case, I'm the fool here. To my surprise, Blake and Usher both inexplicably lean towards Kat, and I absolutely GASP when Adam chooses to keep her instead of D&H. I suppose Adam sees some potential in keeping Kat's particular mash-up of Kristen Wiig and Katy Perry.
Does Blake Steal?: No.
Melissa Jimenez vs. Music Box
Well, well, well, Music Box. We meet again. Oh boy, where do I even begin with this battle? First off, I’m thrilled to see Music Box again, because I know that with the presence of Ms. Box it’s almost a guarantee that there will be skeptic glares, beautiful riffs, and judges uncomfortably attempting to say “Music Box” like it's a normal name and they have to pretend they’re okay with it.
With Melissa, I didn’t immediately remember her making much of an impression, but I quickly grew fond of her. She had style, she had flair, she was there! That’s how she became the nanny a standout. You could tell that Ms. Box is looking at MJ like she wants to punch her in the face, though, because they represent two completely different sides of the coin. Maybe MJ is a little too Tia-Carrere-meets-Kim-Kardashian-meets-Morticia-Addams for Ms. Box's taste, and I'm right there with her.
In teasing the battle, Usher says this will be a moment we’ll all remember in season six. So, does that mean it’s the Red Wedding of The Voice? Or the Ozymandias? Or the Quarterback, even? Likely this battle is actually not that memorable, and this will just be another mildly noticeable battle that blends into the background like Carmen San Diego at a Nordstrom Rack.
During deliberation, Usher stalls to make his decision, prompting Blake to make a September 2013 reference to “What Does The Fox Say?” which is inexplicably the third time this song has been referenced on the show (and it’s not even Throwback Thursday).
In a happy turn of events, Usher picks Melissa, who has a little marketability to her (if only to be the spokeswoman for Lids). Thus, we bid farewell to good ol’ Box. You were fun while you lasted, and I'm sure we'll see you again in life, Music Box, most likely as you sit somewhere in a dark corner in a dusty attic or spooky castle waiting to chime a creepy circus lullaby as Vera Farmiga picks you up and investigates you.
Does Blake Steal?: No.
NEXT: The light at the end of the tunnel! Three more battles conclude the night