The second night of Battles on “The Voice” was a speedy one! We got all of three featured fights to the death, and after Monday night’s insane pairings, they weren’t even all that exciting.
Team Christina: Jacob Poole vs. Matthew Schuler
Carson Daly had a fun time with this one: “two inspirational preacher’s sons.” The two guys were more similar than that. Their voices came across almost identical on “My Songs Know What You Did in the Dark (Light ‘Em Up),” a song with a level of intensity that doesn’t make much sense to me, nor provide much listening enjoyment. There was stomping, and strobe lights. All the coaches were pretty freaked out by it. Blake Shelton said he was waiting for somebody’s nose to start bleeding. There were multiple references to ass-whooping. I guess Matthew did better because he’s got a little more of a unique carriage to himself. And he’s a “bagel shop worker” which is fine by me. Christina Aguilera likes her bagels; she chose Matthew.
Team Cee Lo: Kat Robichaud vs. R. Anthony
Kat was an early standout, one of those gals with growls. R. kind of flew in under the radar. Cee Lo Green gives them “I Don’t Want to Miss a Thing” and desperately tries to pull out a connection from them. His right-hand man Miguel also tries to get R. to rein in his gospelly runs. Mistake. Kat had so much more personality when it came time to perform that the runs were the only thing giving R. any character, and there were just too few moments for him. Kat’s just interesting. She bleets, and it’s actually ok. And she did this one move where she sort of baby stepped really fast across the floor, like a floating witch. All the coaches are drawn to her. Says Cee Lo: “I need a natural disaster. I need a storm like you.” Kat wins it.
In three breezy little clips of other battles we learn that: “eclectic pop singer” Cole Vosbury outsang “folk singer” Lupe Carroll on “Africa” (Team Cee Lo); “country vocalist” and voiceover superstar E.G. Daily beat out Sam Cerniglia on “Something to Talk About” (Team Blake); and that when “single mother” Ashley Dubose faced off against “country singer” Justin Blake, the mother won (Team Adam). Why parents on this show are always reduced to just that, I’ll never understand.
Team Blake: Monika Leigh vs. Ray Boudreaux
Monika, a Colorado hotel worker, was appropriately awed by the opportunity to work with Cher, so she automatically wins. But really, she was great in her audition of “The Thrill is Gone”—one to watch for sure. She was up against Ray, a single dad. (At least it works for both genders.) Blake says they both have a blues thing, so he puts them together for “Some Kind of Wonderful.” And that’s the last we hear from Blake. Cher is all over this one. Blake asks her where she’s been his whole “Voice” career, and she says, “I don’t know, I’ve been working. I don’t just sit on my ass and punch a little button.” My hero.
Anyway, on day two of rehearsals, I notice that Ray’s speaking voice is lovely and buttery and Harry Connick Jr-like. And Cher’s hair is like My Little Pony. This battle is shaping up to be magical. Until it happens, and it’s just kind of there. They both give a lot, and both sound good, and it’s just pleasant and not super exciting. Who wins? “Ray!” screams his adorable little kid. Way to back Blake into a corner, little kid! After that, he has to choose Ray. But Monika needn’t worry, because here comes Cee Lo to the Steal! He says he wants her because he’s looking for someone who can “endure and project with compassion and prominence.” Not your usual checklist item, but props for being specific, Cee Lo.