Today is opposite day on The Voice, apparently, because the theme of tonight’s battle series is pairing up people who sound nothing alike and seeing how it goes. Only one of the contestants earns a steal from this crop, but he probably didn’t expect to have to rely on the last-minute save slap coming in to keep him here since he’d just earned four turned chairs in the blinds a few weeks back, and the person who almost knocked him down barely made it past that round with just one coaching bidding on him. Hey, anything can happen here on The Voice. Here’s how the battles commenced in tonight’s abbreviated episode.
Team Miley: Lane Mack vs. Sophia Urista
“Money” by Pink Floyd
Miley Cyrus has recruited a lot of people onto her team by promising a season full of key song selections, but with this one, she might have dropped the ball early on in the game. Lane and Sophia both got onto this show in the first place by showing off some crazy screech techniques, and this number only encourages each of them to try and out-shout each other instead of showing us anything new about themselves. The results… aren’t pleasant. Lane spends the vast majority of his stage time here at an ear-splitting decibel level, while Sophia tries to make it interesting by bringing another octave or two into play when she can but ends up being kind of a mess herself. This song was not meant to be emulated by many people — least of all these two.
Winner: Sophia Urista
Team Blake: Courtney Harrell vs. Ethan Tucker
“Gravity” by John Mayer
Blake Shelton’s team is an interesting space to watch right now because he’s got a lot more going on with his squad this season than a gaggle of boot-scooters. Courtney and Ethan, for example, are soul musicians by trade, and while they have completely different sounds than each other, they may have delivered one of the more friendly duets that we’ll see in the battles round because their voices were so distinct that they gave each other room to stand out — sort of a modern version of the Aaron Neville/Linda Ronstadt dynamism circa 1989. The bad news for Ethan is that while he has a nice, warm, and cushy tone going for himself, Courtney uses that to her advantage by making some moves up and down the scales to prove that she’s the more formidable player in this competition.
Winner: Courtney Harrell
NEXT: One singer defies all expectations …
Team Alicia: Dave Moisan vs. Michael Sanchez
“Valerie” by The Zutons
The surprise sensation of the night is Michael Sanchez, who draws crazy coaching comparisons to Randy Newman and Rick Moranis based on his throwback glasses frames and small build, but his voice easily commands the stage when he goes up against a four-chair-turner favorite. Alicia Keys manages to coach these guys into delivering a shared showcase of their ability to play musical chairs, in the very literal sense, as they each take turns providing piano accompaniment. Dave does a fine job finding his falsetto, but Michael’s collective swagger and crystalline vocals are just too impressive to overlook. He deservedly wins the day in Alicia’s book. Thankfully for Dave, Adam Levine’s there to scoop him up with the steal because a) he really wanted this guy on his team in the first place, b) they’ve hung out before, and c) he thinks he can take him all the way through. For tonight, though, it’s “Rick Moranis” for the win, to the absolute shock of everyone in Studio 12 and at home … well, everyone except Michael, who apparently already knows he’s the man.
Winner: Michael Sanchez
Steal: Dave Moisan to Team Adam
In a mini-montage series of three battles, we learn that Team Adam’s Elia Esparza went up against Ponciano Seoane III with “Tenerife,” and while they were totally natural together, Ponciano won the day. Meanwhile, Charity Bowden and Josette Diaz went toe to toe for a ticket to Team Miley’s knockouts round, and Josette won that. Finally, Miley’s team also dropped Khalia Kimberlie after she faced off with Maye Thomas because Maye had some more personal style than her stage foe on “For What It’s Worth.”
Tastiest coaching ribs of the night:
Adam (to Blake): “You sounded like you needed medical attention.”
Adam (to Blake): “Don’t tell the man he looks like Rick Moranis. What’s the matter with you? Rick Moranis but sexy … you say that to me I’ll whip your a–.”
Blake: “What about Rick Moranis? That guy was good.”
Alicia: “I’m gonna superman him out. E’s gonna become superman.”