Woah, we’re cutting right to the chase tonight!
Team Blake :: Julio vs. Terisa
Singing: Gloria Estefan “Conga”
Warm-up: Blake Shelton can’t quite explain this match up or his song choice but the gist of it is Terisa is a lady, Julio is a Latino and Gloria Estefan is all of those things. So let’s have a sing-off! Michael Buble admits no one ever knew the words to this song. Even when tonight’s so is over, that will still be the case. Honestly, watching them try to learn to sing this song fast enough is hilarious. Julio is from Chicago and he doesn’t seem to have that Miami speedy spanish down. Terisa isn’t letting the slow pace effect her and she’s just doing her thang.
The Battle: First of all, Terisa’s dress is fierce. Meanwhile, Julio’s crying. So we know who’s the man here before the first note is sung. But when they delve into it, the two are having a hard enough time singing at the same pace — there’s no time to match pitch. Terisa, as expected, brings sass and soul to it. Julio is stuck on trying to sing fast enough, which is a problem. It’s an all around odd pairing. Christina Aguilera can’t even say anything about it, claims to be “still processing.” Clearly code for “that was not good.”
STEAL: CeeLo decides to pick Terisa up with his last steal!
Team Xtina :: Dez vs. Paulina
Singing: Bruno Mars “Just The Way You Are”
Warm-up: Hmmm, how fun is it to watch Billie Joe listen to Bruno Mars over and over and over again? Dez is nervous and Paulina sounds weird like she’s trying too hard. Also there is zero chemistry between Billie Joe and Xtina, even when they agree. It’s fascinating. Dez seems to be scared of Paulina, but he’s lost sight of the fact that he’s got a million times more charm than her. Another pairing whose voices do not work great together in rehearsal.
The Battle: Dez nails this song from the first. He’s got a real Bruno Mars thing going on. Paulina is blinking like she’s got an cubic pound of snowflakes in her eyes and Xtina shakes her head. Paulina’s dress, however, is amazing. Just the way it is. When she’s forced to harmonize with Dez and hold a note, instead of doing weird vocal gymnastics, she actually sounds great. This song just doesn’t suit, as CeeLo calls it, the quirk in her voice.
Team Adam :: Benji vs. Sam
Singing: Bon Jovi “You Give Love A Bad Name”
Warm-up: A genius song choice here. Well, it was until I saw Sam wincing his way through it. Benji sounds like a total badass on it, however and their voices are melding really nicely. Mary J. Blige offers some great advice to Sam when she tells him if he can’t hit a note, hit it with emotion. When you’re trying to get to the highs of Jon Bon Jovi’s voice, that is the best way to go. Who can stop themselves from having fun with this song? Adam Levine is taking his turn on this battle to show he’s a pretty great coach. Man is doling out solid advice to his team and getting these two guys together — something Blake and Xtina haven’t managed to do with their performances tonight.
The Battle: As it should, the opening chords of the song get the judges all riled up (in fairness Blake looks vaguely uncomfortable). These two guys are actually killing it and seem to be having fun. First for the night! They’re both so talented, it’s going to come down to what Adam saw in rehearsals and what he’s looking for on his team.
Winner: Sam, even though all the other judges picked Benji
Team CeeLo :: Todd vs. Nicholas
Singing: Hall & Oates “She’s Gone”
Warm-up: It’s beard against beard in a blue-eyed-soul off! These two are fairly and complimentary matched so the Cee Lo and Rob Thomas want to know: will they be competitive enough? Nicholas is finding it hard. Todd, meanwhile, doesn’t know why they [ut him in a Kia. So not his jam.
The Battle: Holy crap, these are two gentlemen in possession of amazing voices. Todd sounds great but it seems like Nicholas is bringing it with his best James Taylor. So does CeeLo want originality or perfection? Those are the options here. And, as Blake says to Nicholas, “You look like Jesus and people like that.” Yes, indeed.
Team Blake :: Lelia vs. Suzanna
Singing: Florence + the Machine “Dog Days Are Over”
Warm-up: That passed in a blur without much really happening. The trick to this song is not blowing it out too much. It’s easy to do.
The Battle: Both ladies are wearing killer dresses, but Suzanna has nailed that Florence look. They both seem to be starting vocally shy and whispering more than Flo would, but you can hear they’ve got a bite ready to come out when the song takes off. Suzanna seems to be more in the zone and in her element than Lelia, who looks to be having a harder time getting comfortable.
Team Xtina :: Joselyn vs. Sylvia
Singing: Beyonce “The Best Thing I Never Had”
Warm-up: Wow, hell of a song choice. This is one of the harder Beyonce songs to sing — not only because Bey nails it but also because it’s really tricky. And it’s really easy to get lost in the ad libs and runs Bey pulls in this song and make it into a frilly dilly that’s hard to listen to. In their final rehearsal, you can see Joselyn getting annoyed with Sylvia’s blow-out voice. It’s so bad that even Xtina tells her to damp it down some.
The Battle: Okay, Joselyn is holding her own more than we were lead to believe she could. These two ladies are nicely matched and both killing it. They’re owning their own little sides of the stage. Hints of being too soft creep on Joselyn while hints of not having as great a range fall on Sylvia. Honestly, no idea how Xtina is going to choose here — it all comes down to what kind of team she’s building.