Jordin Althaus/NBC
March 13, 2012 at 04:31 PM EDT

We’re in the heat of the battle rounds, which was on full display last night. There’s some fierce competition! It’s interesting to see how different battle pairings approach the battle round. Some people get super competitive, some people get inspired by each other and end up being really collaborative, and some people (like Sarah and Juliet) just seemed to have a great time. For the blog this week, I really wanted to try and focus on giving you guys more behind-the-scenes nuggets and a little more insight into what you don’t get to see on the show.

Right off the bat, Sera Hill and Geoff McBride came out swinging last night. One of the best parts of the show is giving people the experience and making things possible for them, and Geoff’s a good example of that. Geoff’s mother and brother had never seen him perform. Think about that for a second. They were never able to, and we gave them that opportunity. I know how much that meant to Geoff and them. Geoff also got to work with Lionel Richie, and when he left rehearsal, he couldn’t believe it. He was talking nonstop to our crew about it and he felt so blessed, and he was so thankful for everything. He just couldn’t believe that he was in the same room as him, that this whole show and experience was happening. One of the best parts of the show is just being around that. Geoff may have gone home, but America, his family, Lionel Richie – they all got to see how talented this guy is, and he appreciated that.

The battle between Charlotte Sometimes and Lex Land was probably the hardest for me personally. I gave Charlotte her envelope in New York City. I was there at the very, very beginning of her Voice journey, so I feel a personal connection in that regard. But I’ve been a fan of Lex Land’s music for a long time. I’m just glad that Lex had the Voice opportunity because I think she validated to a lot of people who know of her music that she’s great, and, in the blind auditions, Adam and Cee Lo and Blake all complimented her on her cool, sultry voice. I hope she took all of that to heart. Lex and Miranda Lambert had a really nice connection, too. I think Miranda really saw something special in Lex. In terms of song selection, I have to just defer to coach Blake’s strategy on wanting to tee up these two girls. Both choruses on Foster the People’s “Pumped Up Kicks” are good, down-the-middle plateaus for somebody to take a different approach, so that was a real battle. It was palpable.

I love Sarah Golden and Juliet Simms. These two girls, they’re just both such great singers and both great people. I remember meeting Sarah in our executive callbacks. She’s really funny and she’s one of those people that is always a pleasure to be around. Like I said, different battle pairings approach the battle rounds really differently, and it’s interesting that Sarah and Juliet seemed to be there to have a great time. There was a moment that I loved in that performance where they were walking next to each other and they sort of hip-check each other. It was this really cute, playful moment, and it’s clear that they made a pact to just go out there, have fun and let the chips fall where they may. You see that on TV, and I felt that during their performance. I was happy that America got the chance to see Sarah’s talent, because it’s not often you get to see folk musicians on prime-time television, and I’m thrilled that the show supports so many different genres of music. Sarah said she was grateful to NBC and us for giving her a chance, despite how she looked, but I was at her callback audition and I can tell you, we never saw anything other than a really funny, talented, beautiful singer. I’m really glad the world got to see Sarah.

NEXT: Thoughts on Kim’s victory over Whitney, Lindsey versus Lee, Jamar and Jamie’s battle, and hints about an “emotional episode” to come

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A rotating chair-full of judges search for the next great superstar singer on this NBC reality show.
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