Though the Battle Rounds have been airing for just three weeks, it feels like they began a lifetime ago. (To be fair, 21 days is pretty old for, say, a housefly.) I can’t be the only one who isn’t sorry to see the competition move past its second stage — even if Stage 3 doesn’t seem like it’ll be radically different from what we’ve already seen.
But hey — at least The Last Battle[s] contained three full-length duels, no truncated montage clips, and a steal that would have been a total surprise… if it hadn’t been spoiled by the process of elimination. Curse you, deductive reasoning! Curse yoooouuuu!!
Team Christina: Adriana Louise vs. Jordan Pruitt
According to Carson Daly, fearless New York waitresses are the opposite of singers who once toured with the Jonas brothers. Naturally! Then again, these epithets encapsulate their performers fairly well. In rehearsals, survivor Adriana is a little raw; Disney vet Jordan holds back a little too much. Neither can hold a candle to Xtina when she expertly demonstrates how she wants them to sing Katy Perry’s “Hot N Cold” — with force, with aggression, without the “i” in “in.”
Thankfully, both come alive when they’re performing for real. Jordan’s got a versatile tone that goes from breathy to pissed-off power in a single lyric. Adriana takes more risks with the melody, treating it more like a suggestion than prescription. I think her vocal gymnastics sound forced, but I can also see why the coaches call these two evenly matched. By the time their intense duet is over, Cee Lo is declaring it one of the best battles The Voice has ever seen and Adam is comparing it to the Olympics. (Cee Lo, how quickly you forget Vicci Martinez and Niki Dawson!) Though Blake and Adam both give Jordan the win, Christina goes with the girl’s F-sharp-singing opponent instead. Alas, Jordan — you’ll have to stay on the outside looking in.
Team Blake: Kelly Crapa vs. Michaela Paige
Kelly Crapa. Kelly Crapa! Can we just take a moment to acknowledge the teasing that girl must have endured, right up until the moment she ditched school for The Voice? She pronounces it “CRAY-pah,” but come on — that’s like a third grade teacher who insists that the planet’s name is “UR-ah-nus.” Nobody believes you, Mrs. Clifton.
Sweet, 15-year-old Kelly is put at an even greater disadvantage when Blake asks 16-year-old Michaela and her to sing Joan Jett’s “I Hate Myself for Loving You.” Though both are in their mid-teens, Michaela’s got a deeper, richer sound and a punk rock Barbie look to go with it; next to her powerful growl and her mohawk, Kelly can’t help but sound like an entrant in her camp’s talent show. Sure, she’d win first place — but while she was accepting her plastic trophy, Michaela would be loitering on the wrong side of the tracks, forging her mom’s signature so she could get a kickass septum piercing. With an unsterilized needle. Punk rock!
NEXT: One last battle, and one last