A Season 2 alum, I blog about the NBC competition weekly for TheWrap
It's the second (and final) week of battles, and it's been a bit of a whirlwind. There's been drama, heartache, lots of good behavior on the part of contestants and surprisingly few tears. Plus CHER!! Now let's mix a fancy martini and talk about my favorite (and least favorite) moments from this week's ‘The Voice.’
1. Surprise, surprise.
When coach Adam Levine pitted James Wolpert against Will Champlin on “Radioactive,” viewers at home dramatically sighed. These guys were two of his strongest contenders, but this is Adam's routine, and we should be used to it by now (he likes variety, so he'll have variety!).
During rehearsals it became clear that James had an edge, thanks to his wildly gorgeous tone, but Will was also coming up from behind with some clever tricks up his sleeve. The battle itself was fierce. James’ sweater said, “I'm in it to win it!” while Will's eyebrows said, “I will cut you.” Both had really great moments, but in the end James won (the sweater would not be denied), and Christina stole Will (to the surprise and delight of many). Will's eyebrows communicated his relief. I feel ya, Will.
2. Best adviser award.
This goes to Cher for being CHER!! This week she told contestants to go “balls to the wall,” referenced her large supply of denim and continued to give concise advice like her recommendation that Brian Pounds be less “cerebral” in his battle against Austin Jenckes (truth!). While none of that won Brian the battle (have you heard Austin sing??), it definitely helped Brian give Austin a run for his money; so thanks, CHER!
3. Most shocking win.
George Horga Jr. and Juhi's duet on “The Best I Ever Had” was a problematic one. The song was all wrong for poor George, and while Juhi is charming and talented, her quirky vocal technique can sometimes read as affected. In the end, Juhi delivered a stronger performance, receiving a ton of praise from coach CeeLo Green who labeled her a “Young Einstein.” CeeLo then … chose George as the winner! Wait, what? Apparently George's story touched him, which is sweet if a bit puzzling. Then Adam stole Juhi because he's never met a quirky female singer he didn't like. Everybody wins!
4. Drop the mic.
When Destinee Quinn and Lina Gaudenzi struggled during rehearsals of “Not Ready to Make Nice,” coach Christina Aguilera grabbed a mic, sang the hell out of the entire song, metaphorically dropped the mic and basically said, “Yeah, do that.” Did it help? I don't know. Neither lady excelled on the song (although Lina's tricks in the top half were a pleasant surprise!). More importantly, did Christina's demonstration provide me with endless entertainment? Yes. Ultimately, both ladies were saved (Destinee with a win and Lina with a steal via Adam).
5. Your battle dictionary.
Whenever someone feels the need to announce they're not intimidated by the other singer, that probably means they are in fact intimidated by the other singer. Keep that in mind moving forward.
6. The fly apocalypse.
Continuing to provide me with endless entertainment, Christina reacted to a fly as if it was an insect apocalypse, jumping out of her chair and acting as if she'd been set on fire. Thank you, Christina!
7. Tone, tone & more tone.
Barry Black gave it his all in his battle against Preston Pohl on “I Wish It Would Rain,” even pulling out his mouth trumpet against Adam's recommendation (good call, Barry!). However, Preston's gravelly voice is immense (maybe the most distinctive male voice this season), and it's hard to compete against that. Plus Preston has a side of vocal control to go with his main dish of crazy TONE, so his win was well deserved. This guy is definitely one to watch going into knockouts!
8. Montage this!
Really?! Two montages for Team Blake alone? Less CHER is less everything, you guys!
9. When Ed Sheeran snaps, we all snap with him!
Olivia Henken's battle against Stephanie Anne Johnson brought us many good things – Ed Sheeran snapping multiple times to demonstrate the need for more “sass,” my new favorite grandma reappearing, Stephanie's faces when Christina recommended raising the song key (can someone make me a gif??) and a pretty fantastic battle.
Both ladies pulled out the required “sass” on “Done,” but Olivia's bigger, more dramatic moments secured her a win from Christina. In a nice twist, CeeLo stole Stephanie, making grandma and me giddy with joy! Then CeeLo went backstage to hug a crying grandma, and everyone's happiness meters exploded (best warm fuzzies of the night!).
10. Things I'll miss from battles.
How will we move on without unicorns in the form of Ed Sheeran, Big Sexy's belt buckle and CHER??
Next week: The knockouts look tense, and there's now a new steal option (what??). Who were your favorites this week? Tell me in the comments, and I'll see you next Wednesday!
Don't forget to check out my new album “In & Out of the Dark,” which is available on iTunes NOW: https://itun.es/us/2BjbP. For more updates, follow me on Twitter at @katrinapmusic and visit my website, www.katrinaparker.com.