By Lindsay Rothfeld
The battle rounds of The Voice are in full swing, which means the mood has slightly altered and the coaches are knee-deep in their work with the artists. While some coaches chose to pair singers with similar voices, age or demeanors, tonight we saw some unlikely pairings which led to a more difficult decision.
Last week, Blake used both of his steals, while Christina, Adam and Pharrell only used one. Did they use their final steals during this round of blinds?
Top 3 battles
Team Pharrell: Briar Jonnee vs. Caitlin Caporale, "Fallin"
Winner: Caitlin Caporale
Both Briar and Caitlin have extremely soulful voices, but each approach their execution of the song in different ways. While Briar is more free-flowing with her choices, Caitlin is more calculated and precise. During their rehearsals, Pharrell tells Briar to try to connect more to what she's singing, and instructs Caitlin to utilize all of her potential and come full force. It was evident that Briar was a little nervous about the whole process, but musical mentor Lionel Richie quashed any anxiety.
"Theres a certain greatness in a little uneasiness," he said. "Use that fear. open your eyes and point. That means they know you believe what you’re singing.” This is why Pharrell and Lionel Richie are such a perfect match filled with wisdom.
After this powerful performance, Blake tells the girls that he would buy a ticket to any of their shows, but then offer further insight. "Briar is a loose cannon, she floats around with the melody, where Caitlin has no vibrato, but has this straight line of sound that hits you." Adam continues, saying how incredible both singers are, but that Caitlin "could win the show." Christina is impressed with singers, saying they're equally great. Ultimately, Pharrell goes with the more polished of the two, Caitlin.
Team Christina: India Carney vs. Clinton Washington, "Stay"
Winner: India Carney
India and Clinton both have striking voices, but they are very, very different. Whereas Clinton has more of a soulfulness to his sound, India is a strong vocalist. So why pair the two? Because of the potential of a male-female juxtaposition, Christina says during their rehearsal. "I can't wait to have them join together and see what their chemistry brings to the table." But of course, this makes the comparison of the two very different singers that much harder.
his performance blew us, the audience and the coaches away. The way the two connected with one another on the stage and with the song's lyrics gave us goosebumps. The emotion was palpable. It literally made all viewers (including us) want to go bawl away our emotions in a corner.
Pharrell agreed, telling the singers they had the best battle of the season. Adam went a little deeper with his compliments. "You elaborated a lot in the song and executed it in a precise way." Clinton, who only turned Christina's chair in his blind audition particularly impressed Adam. "You were the male counterpart of India," he said. Blake says that he was completely wrapped up in the performance. "It felt like I was watching a music video."
In the end, it was only Christina's choice to make. And, she goes for India. But then — steal alert! Both Adam and Pharrell press their buttons to take Clinton for their team, and after both coaches try to persuade, Clinton chooses Team Adam.
Team Pharrell: Kimberly Nichole vs. Lowell Oakley, "Hound Dog"
Winner: Lowell Oakley
This was certainly the most unexpected pair of them all, as Kimberly and Lowell come from completely different musical backgrounds. Kimberly has the rock n' roll flair to her, whereas Lowell is a modern day Sinatra-esque crooner. You wouldn't think the two would be able to vibe. But they sure did. As Lionel Richie points out, before Elvis Presley released his famous "Hound Dog," the tune was originally sung by soul diva Big Mama Thorton. Here's a song both singers can relate to.
Right off the bat, Pharrell knew this was going to be a doozy. Lionel was literally wiping the sweat off Pharrell's face during the rehearsal. It was clear, though, that Lowell was a bit nervous about following Kimberly, but Lionel swooped in with some more wonderful advice. "The Commodores were the opening act for AC/DC and Queen. Afterwards, they all said, 'Watch out world. The Black Beatles are coming.'" See, kid. If Lionel can do it, so can you.
Not only was this performance a killer one, but it was fun to watch as well. The two had such a playful chemistry on stage. At one point, Lowell literally shook his tail feathers up against Kimberly. A true joy to witness.
Adam chimes in. "That was so great. It was one of those moments where you're like, 'This is a classic Voice moment. It was perfectly executed." But he states that his loyalty still remains with Lowell, who he desperately wanted on his team during the blind auditions. Blake yells at Pharrell, "What is wrong with you, putting those two together?" He continues. "Kim, your voice is infectious, your stage presence and persona. I'm obsessed with you. You might want to get a restraining order." Oh, Blake ... always taking it a bit over the edge. Christina says this was her favorite battle of the season.
And then, it's Pharrell's time to make his choice. But he can't. Like an indecisive child, he holds a little tantrum, standing up and walking toward the stage. "They are both winners. Okay, that's why [I can't decide]. I'm sorry to hold you guys up." Then, more pause. At this point, everyone was getting agitated and anxious about the decision. "Repeat after me," host Carson Daly says. "The winner of this battle is ..." But Pharrell was still so undecided, causing what Adam called a "hashtag 45 minute battle" that Carson had to cut to commercial break.
When the show returned, Blake reminded Pharrell that it is possible to steal back someone that is stolen from you, as he did in the past. And with this, Pharrell hopes that he'll eventually get both his singers back on his team. After a little more nudging, Pharrell picks Lowell, and Christina steals Kimberly.