The Battle Rounds continue on during Monday’s (Oct. 21) episode of Season 5 of “The Voice,” which coaches Adam Levine, Christina Aguilera, Blake Shelton and CeeLo Green continuing to whittle down their teams by pitting one of their artists against another. Who makes the cut and who gets the boot? Let’s find out.
Battle #1: Team Christina’s Josh Logan vs. Michael Lynch
Xtina paired the two gents up because of the soul she thinks both carry in their voice, tasking them to take on Maroon 5’s “Harder To Breathe,” which ought to make Adam uncomfortable. During rehearsals, Michael admits he doesn’t know the song very well and struggles with the verbose lyrics. Christina grew irritated because neither seemed to know the song with enough comfort to actually entertain a crowd with it. Not exactly a wise move considering the guy who created it will only be feet away from you.
They fare much better in the actual performance, though Michael reveals himself to be a rather awkward performer. Josh brings a general ease to the stage, while Michael hops around in this weird way that sort of says he has no clue what to do with himself. It’s a same, too, because, vocally, he’s on point. Adam says that Josh has the more masculine version of his voice, prompting Blake to joke, “And your image.” Overall, Adam gave his stamp of approval, but admitted he felt Josh overpowered Michael. In the end, Christina agreed and gave Josh the victory.
Steal: With the steals tough to come by at this point, no one jumps for Michael and he’s sent on his way.
Battle #2: Team CeeLo’s George Horga Jr. vs. Juhi
CeeLo paired the two up on “The Best I’ve Ever Had” by Gavin DeGraw because they’re both youthful and fresh, he says. The vocal heights scare George, as well as Juhi’s talent, but at the second rehearsal, he steps up his game in terms of confidence, though he still comes off as a bit pitchy.
During the battle itself, both George and Juhi hold their own, though George’s general bland vocal quality still fails to rise above the fray. All the coaches point out how he hit a wonky note that could’ve broken his performance, praising Juhi much more than him. CeeLo commends both of the singers, but chooses George because he seems to want it more. Juhi and the rest of the coaches all seem pretty surprised, as they should.
Steal: Adam steals because he isn’t insane. Juhi lives to move on to the Knockout Rounds.
Battle #3: Team Blake’s Austin Jenckes vs. Brian Pounds
Blake tells the pair he pit them against them each other because of their ability to be vulnerable. It’s another opportunity for mentor Cher to prove why she’s the greatest draw this show’s ever offered. As the two rehearsed the oft-covered Bee Gees’ track “To Love Somebody,” she tells Austin, “One thing I wanted you to think about was not showing all your cards right in the beginning.” “Brian, he’s good all the way through, but sometimes he’s great,” she added,
The performance itself is a knockout. It was a wise move for Brian to put the guitar down, but Austin still manages to connect just a little more, something the coaches agreed with. While he notes both are technically even, Blake names Austin the winner, something Brian seems to even agree with as it happens.
Steal: No one goes in for the steal. Sayonara, Brian.
Battle #4: Team Adam’s James Irwin vs. Matt Cermanski
Team Adam’s two returning artists are paired up together because, as their coach says, of their shared status as returning competitors. He and mentor Ryan Tedder coach the two on Tedder’s own song with One Republic, “Counting Stars,” which can’t be the most comfortable. Worried about the vocal challenge, Matt asked to lower the key — a request that was denied.
It’s not a perfect performance, and there are some strange tempo things that aren’t in the original song that feel uncomfortable, but both handle themselves on the stage well. As Adam notes, there’s a great energy, however flawed the vocals were themselves. In the end, he keeps James around, which is probably the right choice.
Steal: No one’s moved to go in for the steal and Matt’s sent packing.
Battle #5: Team Christina’s Destinee Quinn vs. Lina Gaudenzi
During rehearsals on The Dixie Chicks’ “Not Ready To Make Nice,” both girls struggle with connecting to the lyrics, as well as with each other. While singing in unison, they consistently clash, throwing in runs that trample one another, destroying the power of the song in the process. Christina and mentor Ed Sheeran works their hardest to drive home how important it is they connect with the track, but rehearsal footage doesn’t promise much.
Of course, it’s all a misdirect because when it comes time for the actual battle, the girls knock it out of the ballpark. Lina has a tendency to oversing nearly every line that comes out of her mouth. (It’s too bad she didn’t have Cher’s advice from above about the power of holding back.) That said, she still sounds amazing, but it’s the way Destinee finds a quieter intensity that gives her the leg up. Christina calls it an “equal win” before giving the actual, real win to Destinee for having the power to make people feel moved.
Steal: Lina’s not going anywhere, though, as Adam jumps in right away for the steal, using his last. Looks like she was able to make at least one person feel moved.
Battle #6: Team Adam’s James Wolpert vs. Will Champlin
Adam pits the two against each other on Imagine Dragons’ “Radioactive” because he thinks moving forward with both of them would feel redundant. During the first rehearsal, Will struggles with pitch in his upper register, while Adam worries James can’t display the necessary emotion. During the finale rehearsal Ryan takes James to task on his tendency to let his vibrato unchecked. Couple that with Will’s newfound confidence on those high notes and James is in trouble.
When it comes down to the actual performance, the one in trouble is Adam. These two guys stun on the number. Blake and CeeLo side with James based on his unassuming nature, while Christina feels Will handles the technical aspects with much more consistency. In the end, Adam gives the win to James.
Steal: Just as it looks like Will’s walking home empty-handed, Christina moves in for the steal and stand by her critique. It’s a justified save.
And just like that, there’s just one night left in the Battle Rounds. Did the right artists move on tonight? Let us know in the comments below.