A grand total of 64 contestants come together after making it through the blind auditions to sing for their lives one more time. Judges Adam, Cee Lo, Christina, and Blake also had help from the likes of mentors Mary J. Blige, Michael Bublé, Rob Thomas, and Billie Joe Armstrong..
This episode of The Voice also saw the introduction of the “steal” button, which allows any of the other judges to steal a contestant each one doesn’t put through on their respective teams two times. In addition to contestants, that “steal” button also appears to be stealing “X-Factor” audiences as well.
Here’s who threwdown who last night…
Terry McDermott vs. Casey Muessigmann (Team Blake): Terry and Casey battled it out on everyone’s go-to “Guitar Hero” song “Carry On Wayward Son” by Kansas. Casey wore a cowboy hat because he’s a country singer and Terry is Charlie from “Lost” 15 years from now. Also, Casey’s a little more country; Terry’s a little more rock ‘n’ roll yet it was pretty much a dead heat between the two in this rodeo. It was a tough decision for Blake, who ultimately chose Terry because “he knows what his voice is a little more.”
Also from Team Blake was a kind of forgettable battle between Gracia Harrison vs. 2 Steel Girls on Dixie Chicks’ “Sin Wagon”—forgettable because it was all around good, not nothing crazy special. In the end Blake chose Gracia.
Bryan Keith vs. Collin McLouglin (Team Adam): Bryan and Collin sang Sublime classic “Santeria” and it was pretty obvious from the way Collin gratingly pronounced “sancho” that this one was gonna go to Bryan. It just suited the latter’s voice, who didn’t at all sound affected when he puffed out the lyric, “Got something for his punk ass.” I don’t even want to think about Collin getting that verse, because then I wouldn’t be able to type past all the laughter in my head. Thankfully, Adam obviously chooses Bryan, but in the first steal of the night, between Blake and Cee Lo for Collin, Collin chooses Blake.
Trevin Hunte vs. Amanda Brown (Team Cee Lo): This year’s self-proclaimed “epic” battle of the night was between two powerhouse singers from the Cee Lo canon of singers who took on “Vision of Love.” I know this was supposed to be the blow-‘em-all-out-the-water performance of the night—it had its share of killer runs—but also a lot of attempts to out diva each other that lead to straining for notes that sounded more shrill than a catfight between Nicki Minaj and, er, Mariah Carey. Trevin seemed to be the more promising of the two (please give him a guy ballad comfortably in his register next time so we can really see what he can do) and Cee Lo selected him to continue. Amanda, though, surprised with some sassy stage presence of her own that wasn’t lost on the three other judges. In lightning speed, they all vied for Amanda for the steal. Because she’s a girl with hormones she chose Adam.
Then there was Diego Val vs. JR Aquino on “Jessie’s Girl” by Rick Springfield. JR’s prior claim to e-fame is “44 million” hits on YouTube, and Diego has a nose ring. That’s a lot of personality on one stage, you guys... Anyway, Cee Lo sees a glint of this in Diego (though maybe that was just the face jewelry) and chooses him because he “can do something stranger” with the Peruvian singer.
De’Borah vs. Nelly’s Echo (Team Christina): Best performance of the night. The most stylized and therefore the most unique, these two singers were like dueling Gemini twins on the stage (similar slim Janelle Monae suits and hair and quirky soulfulness) in this rendition of “Message in a Bottle” that was polished even in its vocal improvisations (even Billie Joe noticed saying, “Even the mistakes you’re making sound amazing”). But it wasn’t a win-win situation. X-tina had to choose one and ‘X’ another—De’Borah stayed through and no one saved Nelly’s Echo.