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The Voice, Oct. 21 – Real Battles

Unlike the previous week’s battles, these really are battles and not duets. Not that duets are bad, it just makes it really hard to choose one or see one of them go home. Tonight it’s not as difficult.

Battle: Josh Logan, 33, Manchester, NH vs. Michael Lynch, 27, Chicago, IL. Team Christina and Ed Sheeran. They both have a lot of soul, leaving Christina to think this song is perfect for them to explore and “bring their own energy to the table.” Christina encourages them to make it their own instead of following the Maroon 5 original. She would also like them to move around and play with the audience instead of just standing in one place to sing. The secondary goal to winning is to impress Adam since he wrote it.

Song: Harder to Breathe

Me: Josh is just so much more natural with this song. Michael does admirably, but it’s just not in his wheelhouse.
Cee Lo: He enjoyed the confidence and effortlessness of both performances, but Josh almost sounded identical to Adam, and that’s a compliment. He didn’t even see Michael coming.
Blake: He was into it and recognizes Josh’s likeness to Adam as well. He knows it’s easy to get wrapped up in Josh being overpowering, but they both gave 110%.
Adam: It’s really easy to screw up this song, but it was a lot of fun, and these two guys did amazing. Josh did overpower Michael, yet there isn’t anything he could say negative about either one.
Christina: The song was written in a way where rhythm is crucial. She adores Michael, and he’s so talented. Josh is amazing, and it’s no joke the way he put his own spin on ad libs and soul.
Winner: Josh

Battle: George Horga Jr., 19, Portland, OR vs. Juhi, 16, Franklin, TN. Team Cee Lo and advisor Miguel. Cee Lo likes the song choice because it’s young and fresh, and that’s what he’s expecting from these two singers. George reminds Miguel of a Bruno Mars type with the grit in his voice. There are a lot of times where Juhi is putting in her own personality to the song, and George needs to do that too.

Song: The Best I’ve Ever Had

Me: His voice cracks a little, taking away from a very solid performance. This one just comes down to a matter of preference in style.
Adam: George had a bad note, but sang well after that. Juhi has a great voice, but he worries she’d be backed into a corner because she’s so specific.
Blake: The good thing is he isn’t George’s coach, as he was too aught up in the bad note. There’s something that really jumps out at him with Juhi. He would go with her.
Christina: Both brought something interesting to the song. Juhi has character in her vocal that makes her stand out, and George stood out as well, just differently.
Cee Lo: Juhi is just 16, but very brilliant. George came out after being here for three years to pursue a passion. He wants to bring someone who wants to pursue this and doesn’t even consider a plan B.
Winner: George
Steal: Adam steals Juhi, not believing that Cee Lo is letting her go.

Battle: Austin Jenckes, 25, Duvall, WA vs. Brian Pounds, 24, Austin, TX. Team Blake and his advisor Cher. He paired Austin and Brian together because they’re both edgy but can also be vulnerable. He’s thinking of the Hank Williams Jr. version of the song for these two country singers. Cher wants Austin to think about not showing all his cards in the beginning. Brian needs to find a way to connect to the song. Austin is used to playing smaller venues without a mic and needs to adjust his performance. Brian decides to lose his guitar for the performance and just sing.

Song: Love Somebody

Me: Like the first battle tonight, they’re both fantastic, but Austin is just far too natural. He has a ready-to-record voice.
Christina: On a more emotional level, she connected more with Austin and would go with him.
Cee Lo: Brian’s voice is strong, but a few moments needed to connect more. Austin’s approach is more effortless.
Adam: What Austin did with the song gave him the advantage, but that’s not to say Brian’s voice isn’t equally strong. Yet, he gives it to Austin.
Blake: The way Austin loses himself in a song, he leaves his heart laying on the stage. They’re dead even as far as their vocals.
Winner: Austin

Battle: James Irwin, 31, St. Louis, MO vs. Matt Cermanski, 20, Phoenixville, PA. Team Adam and advisor Ryan Tedder. They’re paired together because both of them have auditioned for the show before but didn’t make it. Whoever moves him the most will get his vote. This is a Ryan Tedder song. He explains it’s about his struggles to pursue music when he married young and was supporting someone else. James needs to not draw the words out. Matt requests a key change and loses the request but finds what he thought he couldn’t.

Song: Counting Stars

Me: Matt starts out shaky but picks it up after the first few lines finding his voice. But James still seems to be more of a natural.
Blake: He heard the same strengths and weaknesses in their voices, but it was cool to watch James perform, while Matt has a voice that reminds him of Adam’s. He’d go with James.
Christina: Matt did a better job on his first falsetto. James started strong, but Matt ended strongest.
Cee Lo: He agrees with Blake and not Christina. Matt has a fuller voice as compared to James’ chest vocal, but it cut through clearer for Cee Lo.
Adam: He believes in them both and thinks they both have work to do.
Winner: James

Battle: Destinee Quinn, 20, Surprise, AZ vs. Lina Gaudenzi, 23, Miami, FL. Team Christina and Ed Sheeran. They were paired together for their ability to bring a soft sensibility to a song. Christina chose this song to make each other step outside their comfort zones. Christina can’t get them into the emotion of the song. She wants them to be “mad as hell” like what they’re singing. This is probably one battle that doesn’t seem near ready for “primetime.”

Song: Not Ready to Make Nice

Me: While the coaches all seem really impressed, I’m still not finding the emotions in this. It seems more faked with body movements.
Cee Lo: Lina has a strong, definitive voice, but he watched Destinee really live that song out loud.
Adam: He saw no issues with emoting, but heard some technical problems. He’d choose Lina.
Blake: He’d choose Destinee because of her connection with the song and the way she was almost about to cry. As for execution, though, it has to go to Lina.
Christina: Destinee won it for her emotion, yet Lina won it for her range and pushing to other places.
Winner: Destinee
Steal: Adam steals Lina because of her potential.

Battle: James Wulpert, 22, Lancaster, PA vs. Will Champlin, 30, Receda, CA. Team Adam and advisor Ryan Tedder. They are paired together not because they both wear glasses but because he wants to take them both out of their comfort zone. They’re cut from the same cloth musically, making it’s redundant to have them both move forward, so he needs to see who’s stronger. Will has soul, but doesn’t have the range and great pitch that James has. While James is technically perfect, he needs to tap into that emotion.

Song: Radioactive

Me: Both of these guys can rock it out way more than you would think by looking at them. And both worked on the things they were told to.
Blake: James was a surprise since he doesn’t look the part, And Will looks the part and is a badass musically. He’d go with James.
Christina: There’s no question. She’d go with Will because he had the more solid performance. She was surprised that James pushed a little too hard.
Cee Lo: He likes James’ style because it’s so unassuming. For his own intrigue and amusement, he’d go with him.
Adam: James had the least to prove and did an incredible job. Will stepped it up in rehearsals.
Winner: James
Steal: Christina steals Will just when you think he’s out of it.

There’s just one steal left, and that belongs to Cee Lo. Just like in the Blinds, he was the only coach who had a spot left on his team. For anyone who is already on his team and hasn’t battled yet, it’s not a good thing. They know if he doesn’t pick them, they’re out, as no one else can steam them.