In the fourth season of 'The Voice', this is the last evening of Battle Rounds this year. We know Adam Levine, Blake Shelton, Usher, and Shakira have an easy rapport, with the banter between them being sweet and supportive, not antagonistic. After the auditions, the teams were 12 strong, and after the Battle Rounds, they will be down to eight each. Once again, the coaches have great support, as Adam goes into the rehearsals with Hillary Scott of Lady Antebellum, while Blake has Sheryl Crow, Shakira has Joel Madden, lead singer of Good Charlotte and coach on The Voice Australia, and Usher has Pharrell Williams. Usher is the only coach with a steal remaining, and it will be needed sometime this evening. After all, this is the last of the Battle Rounds, so let's get to the action!
Left to right: Shakira, Adam Levine, Blake Shelton, Usher, and Carson Daly.
The first battle of the night will be from Team Shakira, as Brandon Roush and Shawna P take to the ring. The two rockers will be singing the iconic "Piece of My Heart" from Janis Joplin. This seems right up Shawna's alley, as she and Joplin have a similar tone. Brandon has a bombastic voice, but can he bring the control that is needed do the song justice?
They come to the stage, and both want to win. Honestly, I am surprised they are as strong as they are on this song. Both voices held strong, and delivered a great version that was more than just a karaoke performance. This was a close battle, but I'd have to give the edge to Brandon, for I thought he held his ground in what was really Shawana's turf. Adam loved them both, and thought Brandon raised his game for the song. Usher agreed, and thought they both showed great talent. Shakira was so pleased with both of her singers, and she thought long and hard, and gave the win to Shawna. Team Adam is up next, and Duncan Kamakana and Sarah Simmons will be singing for a spot in the finals. Adam brings in Hillary Scott of Lady Antebellum to help him to groom the singers. They will be singing one of her songs, "Want You More", which could be a little intimidating. Lady Antebellum is known for their tight and perfect harmonies, and that is something the duo struggles with from the start. Even once they return for another rehearsal with Adam, he sends them away with the assignment to practice much more together. From what we see in rehearsals, it will be a tall order for Duncan to compete with Sarah's amazing voice. Can he do it?
Duncan starts off the song, sounding nice, although a bit contrived. When Sarah comes in, her voice immediately starts to soar. When we go back to Duncan, his voice now seems kind of thin, a little hollow. For me, Sarah took command, and there was not doubt in my mind. Blake loves Sarah, and thinks she has a great voice. He would pick her. Usher thinks Duncan has a strength and confidence on the stage, but Sarah soared away with her voice. It is Sarah who is going on in the competition, and Duncan returning home. With the shortened program tonight, we get a few results on the fly, like a short order cook. Usher sent Michelle Chamuel and Chelsea M. into battle, singing "Titanium" by David Guetta featuring Sia.
After the song, Usher chose to keep Michelle on the team, and sent Chelsea home. Next up, Team Adam had Amy Whitcomb and Agina Alvarez in the boxing ring, singing Pat Benatar's great song, "Heartbreaker". This should be a tough one to take on, as Benatar has an outrageous voice, and the song showcased it.
Adam chose to keep Amy around, and Agina returned home. Now it is time for Blake to put up his final Battle of the season. He offers up Justin Rivers and The Morgan Twins, and interesting duo to say the least. They will be singing "Easy", a song by Rascal Flatts featuring Natasha Bedingfield. At least I think so, as it was on screen for such a short time.
Blake surprises everyone by picking Justin Rivers, and sending The Morgan Twins home. Mary Miranda and Cáthia of Team Shakira will be singing a song by their mentor, and it throws Mary off, since she tries to learn the song in front of her. Cáthia, on the other hand, nails her performance in from of Shakira. For the second rehearsal, Mary is right on the money, but Cáthia falters, not as good as she was the first one. They will be performing Shakira's gorgeous ballad, "Antes De Las Seis".
Adam loved it, but he would have picked Mary for the win. Blake also loved it, but would pick Cáthia. Usher at first questioned the choice for them to sing Shakira's song, and she slapped him down a bit. But he recovers, and tells them they were wonderful. So it is up to Shakira to make the last decision of the Battle Rounds, and one has to believe that Usher will be stealing whomever she doesn't pick, so he can complete his team, too. After much struggle, Shakira picks Mary, leaving Cáthia to give her thanks to Shakira and all of the judges. She moves to exit and Usher hits his button in the last moment to save her. He has a great respect for her voice and talent, and she is thrilled. And that completes the teams, and next week we can begin with the Knock-Out. In two nights, trimming the teams of eight back to teams of four, ready to start the finals.