Monday night (April 22) saw the start of week two of battle rounds in Season 4 of “The Voice,” and that meant it was time once again for coaches Adam Levine, Blake Shelton, Usher and Shakira to pair up two of their artists only to cruelly kill the dreams of one of them later. Let’s take a look back at all the crushed hopes, shall we?
Team Usher: Jessica Childress vs. Vedo
Song: Bruno Mars‘ “Locked Out Of Heaven”
The Performance: Vedo is smooth as can be, with a falsetto that gave me the shivers, but there’s just something so darn likable about Jessica. This battle was incredible, but I’ve got such a penchant for a strong diva. When it comes down to personal preference, which it almost has to when both artists are this good, I’ve got to give it to Jessica. Also, her offer to “bro down” with Adam? The best.
Winner: Vedo. Exsqueeze me? “I think that Vedo has what it takes to represent my team well and also make it all the way to the end,” the coach explains. Well, I hope so, Ursher.
Steal: No one gobbles Jessica up because all their brains momentarily fell out of their heads, I guess.
Team Shakira: Luke Edgemon vs. Monique Abbadie
Song: Lady Gaga‘s “You and I”
The Performance: I wrote about this performance in greater depth here, but I’ll repeat it again. Luke and Monique perform with such respect for each other in this battle that they elevate it from a mere competition. I was in the audience when this battle was fought and filmed, and I assure you, there was no clear victor because both performed so well together.
Winner: Monique. After all three male coaches rave about Luke, Shakira strategically lets him go, knowing that he’ll be stolen and neither of her artists will be made to leave the competition, which is pretty cool in my book.
Steal: And she proves right. Both Blake and Usher want Luke on their team. Luke winds up choosing Blake. Usher isn’t having any luck with these steals.
Team Blake: Jacqui Sandell vs. Savannah Berry
Song: Little Big Town‘s “Little White Church”
The Performance: As a disclaimer, I’m not the world’s biggest country music fan. That said, this battle seems a bit unfairly stacked in Savannah’s favor. Jacqui seems out of her element, her voice struggling to strike the right tone. After the two previous battles of the night, this was a bit of a let down. I give it over to Savannah with a large shrug.
Winner: Savannah. Because, duh.
Steal: No one steals Jacqui and the poor sacrificial lamb is sent on her way.
Team Shakira: C. Perkins vs. Kris Thomas
Song: Bruno Mars‘ “It Will Rain” (Does he have some sort of deal with the producers? Two songs in one night? Geez.)
The Performance: The coaches all gushed over this number, but it wasn’t my favorite thing. Both of them struggled with pitch for me and C. relied a bit too much on his runs. A run on a note is a treasure every once in a while, but at the end of every line, it’s overkill. I couldn’t care less who stays and who goes here.
Steal: Usher steals C. as he shakes his hand. Good choice? Eh. Good TV? You bet.
Team Adam: Midas Whale vs. Patrick Dodd
Song: Elvis Presley‘s “Burning Love”
The Performance: These two couldn’t have felt more mismatched. It was like Adam found himself with his last two and just though, “Eh, what the hell?” The song did no favors for Patrick’s voice. Midas Whale sounded good, but I don’t really see the long-term potential with a duo on a show like this. Again, another battle that didn’t get the rise out of me that it seemed to get out of everyone in the audience. Oh well.
Winner: Midas Whale, though Adam wants to turn this into a trio. Sadsies.
Steal: No one steals Patrick, probably because Blake is out of steals and Usher wouldn’t know what to do with him.
Team Usher: Orlando Dixon vs. Ryan Innes
Song: Bill Withers‘ “Ain’t No Sunshine”
The Performance: This is another performance I had the privilege of watching as it was fought and filmed. (I wrote about my experience here!) Ryan was simply incredible. Orlando gave it all he had, employing every vocal trick his voice could muster, but it simply couldn’t match his opponent. Was there really any question about who deserved to make it through? (No. Just to be clear, no.)
Winner: Ryan, after much deliberation from Usher. And it was much longer than the edited version showed — I thought poor Ryan might have a heart attack while waiting for the verdict.
Steal: Adam steals Orlando. Sure, not a bad idea. Stack that team, Adam. Stack it.
Did you enjoy tonight’s battles, “Voice” fans?