Just like that, “Voice” fans, another round in Season 5 comes to an end with Night 4 of the Battle Rounds on Tuesday (Oct. 22). It’s time for coaches Christina Aguilera, Adam Levine, Blake Shelton and CeeLo Green to finish chopping their teams in half before the show can head into its Knockout Rounds (aka The Battle Rounds, Redux). Oh, and CeeLo’s still got a steal. Who earns it? Let’s find out!
Battle #1: Team CeeLo’s Jonny Gray vs. Shawn Smith
CeeLo pits these two fellow military guys on Tom Petty and the Heartbreakts’ “Refugee” because it offered both the perfect balance of country and rock. During rehearsals, Shawn struggles with the almost spoken delivery of the verses, while CeeLo hopes for Jonny to find some more angst.
In the actual performance, it comes down to how your prefer the vocal tone of your rocker. Jonny has the more quirky delivery, while Shawn has the more straightforward growl that’s pure of tone. Adam and Christina align themselves with Jonny, while Blake sides with “Big Sexy” Shawn. In the end, CeeLo hand the win over to Jonny, claiming he sees more of a path for him.
Steal: Since CeeLo’s got the only steal left in the game, Shawn’s sent on his way, but now without a genuinely charming goodbye. A class act, that Big Sexy.
Battle #2: Team Adam’s Barry Black vs. Preston Pohl
Adam puts the two soul singers on the same battle because of their similar styles, giving them The Temptations’ “I Wish It Would Rain. During the first rehearsal, the coach advises Preston to work on not controlling his rasp too much, while warning Barry that his vocal horn gimmick will likely become just that if he doesn’t be careful. Barry’s got the wider range, finding the falsetto much easier, while Preston returns to the final rehearsal having taken the notes to heart. These two guys exude such a genuine friendship, it’s going to be a real bummer to see one lose at the hand of the other.
When it comes time to battle, both struggle a bit. Preston still seems to struggle with the falsetto, while his rasp reveals its limitations in terms of range. On the other end, Barry and his mouth horn veer into the realm of novelty, no matter how his vocal tone may be more pure and strong. It’s still an exuberant battle, owed mostly to the good-natured friendship between the two. Adam doesn’t take much time to deliberate and land on Preston as his winner.
Steal: Blake and the crowd urge CeeLo to go in for the steal, but the episode is far from over, so of course he’s not using it yet.
Battle Montage: What the heck was that about? Blake keeps Holly Henry and Brandon Chase, while we get gypped of some extended screen time from diva extraordinare Cher. (Enjoy the 7 reasons we at Zap2It love Cher here, even if “The Voice” blundered her final night tonight.) CeeLo sticks with Tamara Chauniece, a girl who’s barely remembered from the Blind Auditions.
Battle #3: Team Xtina’s Olivia Henken vs. Stephanie Anne Johnson
For the final Battle of Season 5, Christina paired up these two disparate voices (Olivia’s a little country, Stephanie’s a little soul) because they’ve both got some sassiness and spunk, she says. She pits them against one another on a country song, The Band Perry’s “Done.” It may seem more in Olivia’s wheelhouse, but Stephanie isn’t worried in the slightest. Mentor Ed Sheeran comes across as a bit smitten with Stephanie, admitting that her blind audition was his favorite. Christina throws both girls off by choosing to raise the key. In the final rehearsal, Stephanie struggles with knowing the lyrics, while Olivia fumbles with harmonies and flare. Both have their work cut out for them.
The battle is a barnburner, but it’s certainly lacking in any sort of stakes. We know it’s the last of the night, we know CeeLo still has the final steal he must use, we know no one’s going home. So, it comes down to just: Who will Christina choose and who will CeeLo get stuck with? Doesn’t exactly make for the most thrilling final moments of an episode. Olivia nails her harmony at the end, getting the showier note of the two. With the low-stakes battle much of a even playing field, that might get Olivia the win from Christina. CeeLo and Adam root for Stephanie, while Blake throws his weight behind the country singer (surprise, surprise). In the end, Christina sticks with Olivia.
Steal: Stephanie gets CeeLo’s last steal, something no one should have been worried over. (See rant above.)
And just like that, it’s time to head into the Knockouts, where the artists get to choose their own songs, the coaches continue to get to steal, and Adam finally shave that funky beard. Did the right artists advance tonight? Let us know in the comments below.