The Voice Battle Round 1 Recap: Coaches Pit Similar Singers Against One Another
On the first battle round of 'The Voice,' the coaches were strategic, since they knew they'd each be faced with the difficult choice of eliminating one of the performers tonight (March 5). They paired singers of the same ilk together, with Blake Shelton staging a country showdown and a rock 'n' roll battle. Christina Aguilera also had two teams go tonight, having her powerhouses and her gospel guys step up to the mic. Adam Levine had a pair of dudes go at it, while Cee Lo pitted his big-voiced females against one another.
In case you missed a minute or two or 60, PopCrush is here with a recap to keep you as informed as humanly possible about what took place inside 120 minutes of performances.
RaeLynn went up against big-haired Adley Stump in an epic battle of two female, country-singing firecrackers. The gals rocked Tom Petty's 'Free Fallin'.' Before they went head-to-head, Adley was advised by Kelly Clarkson since they have the same country-kissed rasp, while Shelton's wife Miranda Lambert counseled RaeLynn, since she is stylized country vocalist. Papa Bear Blake wanted Adley to dial it down and RaeLynn to take it up a notch. RaeLynn's performance told more of a story, which is crucial in this genre, so she was chosen.
Jordis Unga was paired up with Brian Fuente for Shelton's rocker battle. He chose Alanis Morissette's angsty 'Ironic' because he wanted them to show their harder and softer sides in the space of a single performance. Fuente was holding back a little while working with Clarkson. It was tough for him, since it’s such a female song. It was a messy performance, but both Fuente and Unga sang with the kinda passion you can't fake. Shelton chose Unga because there is something about her that is "time bomb'ish."
Chris Mann prevailed. Lionel Richie mentored the classically trained singer, while Jewel offered up her suggestions to Monique Benabou before they stepped up to the mic to show us what they're made of. Mann's technical proficiency was unmesswithable as he sang 'The Power of Love' by Celine Dion with his female counterpart. They sang to one another as if they were a couple. It was a hard choice for Xtina to make, since Mann showed soulful dynamics while Benabou infused her perf with passion. But the coach ultimately chose "The Mann."
Jesse Campbell triumphed during Xtina's gospel-influenced pairing. This was one of those epic battles that'll will spark water cooler conversation tomorrow. The formerly homeless Chicago resident Campbell and preacher's son Anthony Evans sang Alicia Keys' song 'If I Ain't Got You,' and Campbell hit a vocal home run. Xtina chose him, but not because Evans was subpar. They both turned up the heat a notch during the end but Campbell prevailed, even though Richie warned him not to overdo it during mentoring.
Tony Lucca beat Chris Cauley (shockingly) with a weak version of 'Beautiful Day' by U2. Lucca admitted to mentor Alanis Morissette (factoring into this ep in two totally different ways) that he knew he had limited range. Cauley chatted up Robin Thicke, who was feeling his passion and soul. In our humble opinion, Cauley was better, yet Levine chose Lucca, who clearly struggled. No disrespect to Lucca, but we're scratching out heads over this one.
Team Cee Lo:
Cheesa (pronounced "Chessa) went mano y mano with Angie Johnson, a member of the military. Before they vocally duked it out, producer Babyface told Cheesa she needed to hit the money note on Bonnie Tyler's 'Total Eclipse of the Heart,' while Ne-Yo played off of Angie, who is able to temper her toughness flawlessly. Both were spitfires and Cee Lo made a wise choice to pair them off. Cheesa was trying to upstage Angie, who held her own with less histrionics. They were brilliant at the end, when they brought it to a quiet close. Papa Bear Cee Lo, who is as fatherly as Shelton, chose Cheesa. We were on the fence about choice too, since it's not like she truly "eclipsed" her competition. Johnson had more restraint and consistency, while Cheesa sometimes sounds like she is singing in a cardboard tube. Nevertheless, the flyin' Hawaiian moved on to the next round.