The Voice concluded its battle rounds last night as the final eight contestants took to the battle ring for their duets, and celebrity mentors Christina Aguilera, Blake Shelton, Cee Lo Green and Adam Levine each chose their final singer to advance to the live rounds.
Team Adam: Jeff Jenkins vs. Casey Desmond
Adam chose Sir Elton John’s “Don’t Let The Sun Go Down On Me,” telling Jeff (who made all four judges turn around in his blind audition) and Casey that it would be a “showstopper” if they got it right. He went on to say that Jeff’s biggest attribute and his biggest downfall is that he sings too easily and they advised him to “unlearn” some things he may know and put more emotion into his singing.
However, Blake couldn’t take his eyes off Casey. Christina agreed that Casey has a great look and stage presence, while Cee Lo agreed that Casey blew him away. Adam Blackstone said everybody expected Jeff to do well but that Casey’s tone was amazing.
Eventually, Adam picked Jeff, because there is “something really mind-blowing” about him.
Adam’s full team for the live shows is now Jeff Jenkins, Devon Barley, Javier Colon and Casey Weston.
Team Blake: Sara Oromchi vs. Xenia
Blake thought both Sara and Xenia seemed “bashful” so he wanted them to battle it out to see whose personality jumped out. They sang “I’ll Stand By You” by The Pretenders. Xenia worried that Sara’s range is higher than hers so it would be easier for her competitor to sing louder in the performance, but Sara thought Xenia’s strength was her tone.
Christina picked up on the “really interesting, cool tone” in Xenia’s voice, but thought Sara was more confident, although her voice was shaky and pitchy. Cee Lo was equally impressed by them both, while Adam agreed with Christina about the pitchiness.
Blake countered claims that this was the wrong dong for them by saying the music industry is tough and it’s about “stepping up to the plate and making things happen” even if it doesn’t seem right. In the end, he awarded the win to Xenia.
Blake’s full team for the live shows is Xenia, Dia Frampton, Patrick Thomas and Jared Blake.
Team Christina: Lily Elise vs. Cherie Oakley
Christina chose Kelly Clarkson’s “Since U Been Gone” for this duet, and was looking for passion and emotion rather than perfection in the performance. Christina was impressed with how Cherie’s confidence levels have grown and said it would be “hard sending one of [her] babies home.”
Adam thought the performance was fantastic, while Reba revealed that Cherie co-wrote her number one track “Turn on the Radio” but they had never met before the show. Cee Lo complimented them on the great collective energy, while Christina’s advisor Sia praised Lily’s high notes.
Christina said that Cherie made the song her own and could also hit the notes, while Lily has surprised her, especially with her battle outfit for the battle. It may surprise you then, to know that she chose to advance Lily to the live shows.
Christina’s full team for the live shows is Lily Elise, Beverly McClellan, Frenchie Davis and Raquel Castro.
Team Cee Lo: Emily Valentine vs. Curtis Grimes
Best friends Emily and Curtis admitted that having to duet on “Need You Now” by Lady Antebellum was “bittersweet.” Cee Lo admitted that this was a “unique pairing” because they come from opposite ends of the spectrum, but thought the emotion and universal message of the song would “level the playing field.”
The passionate kiss at the end of the duet surprised all the mentors, and prompted Blake to joke, “Cee Lo probably told you to ‘duet,’ not ‘do it!’” Adam told Curtis that he was “jealous” of his distinctive voice, “an amazing baritone that is unique and cool.” Christina said Emily was a bit shaky in her vocals but pulled off some strong notes.
Cee Lo had a hard choice to make. Emily was out of her comfort zone but it was a safe spot for Curtis. However, he still awarded the win to Curtis.
Cee Lo’s full team for the live shows is Curtis Grimes, Vicci Martinez, Nakia, Tori and Taylor Thompson.
Given the judges’ comments there were some surprising choices for me last night. But what do you think? Is your favorite still hanging on in there?