Last night, the action finally kicked into third gear as 'The Voice' set out to find their fourth winner. We have all met and been charmed by the newest additions to the show, Shakira and Usher. They have both charged up the show, adding charm and an international flavor. They both seem to get along pretty darned well with Adam Levine and Blake Shelton, who return and seem quite ready to give their best to the competitors. Last night, we saw the first six of the Battle Rounds, as well as the first three steals of the season, and the first three dismissals as well. It was a great episode, with no bad performances, and several that were impressively good. But can they keep the momentum going, with excellent performances highlighting some great music. The only way to know is to get on with it, so here we go.
Left to right: Adam Levine, Usher, Blake Shelton and Shakira.
Team Adam is up first tonight, with Adam Levine and Hillary Scott offering advice to Michael Austin and Warren Stone, the surprising Country artist on the Rocker's team. They will be singing Jason Aldean's "My Kinda Party". Both men have notes from Adam to clean up their performances, and both have the strong desire to keep going further on the show.
So when policeman Michael and fireman Warren take the stage, there is a great deal of energy in the room. Both men start off with strong vocals, and have taken Adam's note seriously. They sound wonderful, and really look great together. The other judges loved them, with Blake picking Michael, and Usher picking Warren. Shakira couldn't decide, she loved them both. So it was up to Adam, and he picked Warren, with his smooth voice winning the day. Although the other judges appreciated his performance, no one hit their button, and Michael went home. After a break, it is Usher chatting with Pharrell Williams while they wait to be joined by Jeff Lewis and Josiah Hawley. They find out they will be singing "Roxanne" by The Police. Both get notes from their coach, and return for the final practice. Jeff sings, and messes up a bit, but laughs when he is done. Usher is not impressed, and lets the singer know it. They continue on, with Usher giving more praise to Josiah, and Jeff knowing it.
Both men take to the stage, with the singer/songwriter versus the model. Josiah is working the outfit like a model, and sounding pretty good, too. Jeff is holding his own, and when the sing head to head, it is sounding pretty good. Neither Shakira or Adam were impressed with the performance, but Adam gives the edge to Josiah. Blake enjoyed it more, and thought it was Jeff who proved himself. That left Usher to make the difficult choice, and he picks Josiah. Jeff takes the opportunity to say farewell to Usher, and no one opts to add him to their team. We then learn that Blake put Grace Askew through to the next round, and Usher picked Audrey Karrasch to go forward. And Shakira had a close decision before making sure Tawnya Reynolds remains in the competition. Apparently, they weren't quite ready for prime time. But once that was done, we return to see Blake joined by Sheryl Crow talking to the youngest members of his team, Caroline Glaser and Danielle Bradbery. They will be singing "Put Your Records On" by Corinne Bailey Rae. The girls sing it through and get a few words of advice from Shelton and Crow.
Both girls look a bit nervous before taking to the stage, eager to deliver their best. They both start out sweetly, not really adding much to the song. Midway through the performance, they pick it up a bit, and it proves to be a lovely duet. Danielle has a gorgeous tone, and Caroline has a quirky style that people love on this show. The other judges enjoyed the performance, but offered no advice to Blake. So it comes down to his own tortured decision, and he picks Danielle. After the hugs between the winner and Blake, Carson starts to talk to Caroline, only to be quickly cut off as Usher and Adam press in for the only steal of the evening. It became a battle between the coaches, both wanting to convince Caroline to join his team. Usher fights hard, and Adam wants her too. She makes her decision, and she goes with Adam, his first steal of the competition. Usher is crushed. Adam is overjoyed, and gives her a big hug. So that is it for tonight, and we are halfway through the Battle Rounds, and Shakira has used both her steals, while Adam and Blake have used one each. This leaves Usher as the man with no steals, having lost both attempts so far. More Battle Rounds to come next Monday night!