Four weeks, 16 cut contestants, and countless melismas later, The Voice‘s battle rounds are finally over. Farewell, Stage 2 of NBC’s singing savior! You were occasionally exhilarating, occasionally infuriating, and altogether a pretty worthy successor to the blind auditions that made us fall in love with this show. Next week, we’ll find out how the series will operate as an American Idol-style live competition; I can’t wait, mainly because over the past month, I’ve gotten awfully sick of Christina’s boob-bearing, polka dotted dress and Cee Lo’s Crayola-inspired red ensemble. If there’s any justice, in the live rounds, each coach will make up for the battle rounds’ sartorial monotony by undergoing four costume changes per episode. A girl can dream, can’t she?
Team Adam started us off tonight. Maroon 5’s frontman asked his two remaining mentees, babyfaced Jeff Jenkins and “glam rocker” Casey Desmond, to sing a duet of Elton John’s “Don’t Let the Sun Go Down on Me.” Casey must have somehow anticipated the assignment, because during rehearsals, she was wearing a garish purple and turquoise capri-length romper that Elton himself probably would approve of. (Somehow, though, this wasn’t the worst outfit of the episode. That (dis)honor goes to Lily Elise’s getup, which I discuss in detail on the next page.) In retrospect, I’m sort of thankful that Casey isn’t sticking around; my puny human eyes could barely handle the contrasting, multicolored spectacle of her. Looking at Casey feels like staring directly at an isolated neon sign.
But I digress. As that delightfully cheesy theme music reminds us each time we return from a commercial break, this is The Voice — not The Look. And, in terms of vocal ability, Casey and Jeff weren’t as mismatched as some of the other pairs we’ve seen pitted against one another…or, at least, they didn’t seem to be during rehearsals. In an interview, Jeff even confessed that he was nervous about singing with Casey, because she’s “such an incredible talent.”
But when it came time for the couple’s final performance, it was easy to see why Adam had remarked that this battle would be Jeff’s to lose. The country boy with the golden pipes absolutely killed, though his impassioned, jerky movements were a little distracting. (Someone call the Soul Patrol!) As soon as he opened his mouth, Jeff had Blake mouthing “Wow” and girls in the audience squealing. From the start of the duet, then, poor Casey didn’t really stand a chance. At least she can always fall back on her fashion designing!
Blake followed Jeff’s triumph with a pairing that was bound to make for scintillating television: the Battle of the Shy Girls. Step right up, folks, to watch two reserved, brunette teenagers struggle to appear interesting! At least their bashfulness doesn’t ring as false as Dia Frampton’s supposed music biz naivete. The coach had Xenia No-Last-Name and Sara Oromchi sing “I’ll Stand By You,” a song they both probably know best as a Carrie Underwood single. During rehearsals, we learned that Sara has a much larger range than Xenia, while Xenia’s raspy tone is much more unique than Sara’s more conventional sound. Drama! Conflict! Kinda.
NEXT: A grey hood made of sweatshirt material, connected directly to the shorts via suspenders.