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'The Voice' recap: 'The Battles, Part 3'

The judges are going with potential over perfection, and it’s making for a potentially good season.

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Tyler Golden/NBC

The Voice

TV Show
Reality TV, Music
run date:
Blake Shelton, Adam Levine, Miley Cyrus, Jennifer Hudson
Current Status:
In Season

They’re getting it right—they’re really getting it right this season. The judges, no matter which collection of four, have said season after season that they’re looking for the most “interesting” voices. Many times, that just means they pick artists with quirky voices or a very specific look/genre/vibe. This year, they’re going with performers with potential, and it seems Pharrell, Christina, Adam, and Blake are making almost all the right moves with their choices and steals. At this point, it’s hard to keep up with everyone who’s flowed from the Blinds, to the Battles, and next, the Knockouts, but I think we’ll like what we see when we get there.

There is nothing like and underdog story and tonight’s round of Battles featured not one, but two singers who seemed completely overmatched when they headed into rehearsals, and came onstage to vocally equal their behemoth Battle partners and give us two of the best performances of the season. And two more Steals! Those especially evenly matched Battles had the coaches waffling even more than usual, and made us have to hear Carson Daly say this: “America, go pee, and we’ll be right back with Pharrell’s decision.”

Here was Pharrell’s decision:  “We need a show. This is the jungle. This is The Voice.” Welcome to the jungle…

TEAM PHARRELL: Briar Jonnee vs. Caitlin Caporale (winner),  “Fallin’”

I recall from their blind auditions that both of these young women were trying to get away from boring jobs and towns in favor of a music careers, but they certainly both already looked the part when they showed up to their Battle round. Both of their voices offered up huge pop star potential as well, but Briar was all nerves when she first started singing for Pharrell and Lionel Richie. Richie tells them it will come down to who can stand the pressure, and with Caitlin’s ability to ease in and out of the huge power of her voice, that turns out to be her. Though Briar showed a lot of growth in her time with Pharrell, he sees Caitlin as a potentially great R&B artist.

TEAM ADAM: Barry Minniefield (winner) vs. Jack Gregori, ‘Feelin’ Alright’

I wouldn’t mind if Barry and Jack just took this mismatched Blues Brothers thing on the road (and considering the relative lack of enthusiasm Adam showed for this Battle, they might be better off for it). I recall hearing Jack sing “Ring of Fire” for his audition and wondering if he could sing anything else. He seemed to wonder that a little himself in rehearsals, but with a little pushing, leveled up to Barry’s energy and range. These two were both stone cold professional performers onstage, but Barry’s infectious soul beat out Jack’s unique country tone.

TEAM CHRISTINA: Katelyn Read vs. Treeva Gibson (winner), “Addicted to Love”

I’m going to go ahead and blame this battle not being quite as good as it could have been on Christina’s song choice. The song itself didn’t see particularly well-suited to either Katelyn or Treeva’s sweet, melodic voices, but asking them to do the Florence and the Machine rendition was probably just a little too much of a challenge for the novice singers this early in the game. And while they don’t quite reach the haunting effect Christina was hoping for, they both showed off the unique tones of their voices, with Katelyn’s controlled whispery sounds losing out to Treeva’s more dynamic range.

NEXT: Two teenage girls willingly sing Reba McEntire’s “Fancy” over Iggy Azaelia’s “Fancy,” and we count that as a Voice win…