‘The Voice’ Recap: Saves and Steals Shuffle the Deck

THE VOICE -- "Battle Rounds" -- Pictured: (l-r) Aquile, Carson Daly, Nathalie Hernandez -- (Photo by: Tyler Golden/NBC)

It’s Day 2 of “The Voice” battle rounds, and after last night’s epic episode, with just six full-length battles over two hours, tonight we got a fast-forward on some of the less interesting pairings. There were still six battles, in half the time, and two of them weren’t even shown beyond a snippet of a song.

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Instead, producers chose to put all their eggs into the indie girl basket, Team Adam’s Melanie Martinez and Caitlin Michele. Melanie is the 17-year-old girl with two-tone hair, who did a smooth jazz take on “Toxic.” Caitlin suffered from anxiety disorder and sounds exactly like Florence Welch of Florence + the Machine. These two got the full “Voice” treatment, preparing for the number over at least two days, getting help from Adam Levine’s guest coach Mary J Blige, and, it seems, the complete performance of Ellie Goulding’s “Lights.”

Disclaimer: I’m not a huge fan of either of these girls. Melanie, to me, is not authentic. Her weird, affected, breathy voice seems like she’s trying to copy what she thinks “indie” girls sing like. And her big stupid red bow has got to go. She’s like a strange little doll. I like Caitlin a little more, but she sounds so much—too much—like Florence, that I wonder what she sounded like before “The Dog Days Are Over” was a hit. Sadly, I think this is the state of indie music on all these television shows, with most indie-style contestants lacking the sort of authenticity that makes indie, well, indie.

[iframe http://xfinitytv.comcast.net/watch/The-Voice/7958122402999891112/2288778956/What-s-Coming-Up%3A-Oct-9-2012/embed 580 476]

But these four coaches all seem to be buying it. Each of them said they liked both girls equally and couldn’t pick. Adam struggled to choose, but finally said that his gut instinct was to go with Melanie. Right away Cee Lo Green and Blake Shelton pushed their buttons to steal Caitlin. “I have a soft spot for unique artists like you,” said Blake, despite using air-quotes around the word “indie” (much as I do when talking about this show). Cee Lo rebutted, “My full name is ‘Unique Cee Lo Green.’” Caitlin chose to work with Cee Lo, later saying she wanted to work with him from the very beginning.

In other news, Cee Lo tortured us with the awful pairing of hip-hop dancer Domo and country boy Cody Belew on “Telephone” of all things, and settled on Cody mostly because Domo is an underwhelming diva. Christina cast off teenager Nathalie Hernandez in favor of buttery voiced Aquile, and quickly sent home Lisa Scinta (she hadn’t yet had airtime and now she never will) for 16-year-old Celica Westbrook. The show also zoomed through the battle between Blake’s country grandpa Rudy Parris and smog technician Charlie Rey; he chose Rudy.

Other observations:
– Adam’s still drinking Starbucks and I just need to know if this is subliminal marketing or what.
– Cee Lo could really use a pair of specs. I’m not used to seeing his eyes. They are a little too hypnotic.
– Christina is really taking her time with this steal thing. She’s stolen nobody so far; the other coaches each stole one of their allotted two. Don’t be too choosey, Xtina!

The opinions expressed are solely those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of Comcast.

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