Here we go with night three of the battles on The Voice, where we saw 11 match-ups last week, but only eight contestants were eliminated.
That’s because three — Amanda Brown, Caitlin Michele and Collin McLoughlin — were “saved” and wound up with new teams in Season 3′s new twist.
I’ll be shocked it there aren’t more saves tonight since each coach can use that ploy twice.
Battle 1: Julio Cesar Castillo vs. Terisa Griffin — Julio is the Team Blake member trying to escape his mariachi past and support his family. Terisa is the unlikely member of Team Blake who is loaded with attitude and turned in an excellent version of “Somebody Like You” in the blind audition. They’ll be singing “Conga” by Gloria Estefan. Terisa is worried that Blake has chosen a song in Julio’s wheelhouse to get rid of her. Julio is struggling keeping up with the fast-paced nature of the tune. Going in, my money would be on Terisa.
Terisa immediately shows her flair for performing, a flair Julio can’t come close to matching. But they’re both doing just fine with that rapid-fire chorus. No problem so far. Wow, great huge note from Terisa, rapidly followed by another, then followed by some sort of growl. No wonder Julio’s a wee bit intimidated. Bottom line: Terisa sang rings around Julio. My pick: Terisa.
Blake picks Julio. What? Are you kidding me?
But Cee Lo Green saves the day by stealing Terisa, who deserved to be saved.
Battle 2: Dez Duron vs. Paulina — Dez is one of the designated “hunks” on The Voice, but I was surprised by how well he sings when I checked out his YouTube videos. Paulina is a 16-year-old we barely met in the blind auditions. You can find out lots more about her here. They’ll be singing “Just the Way You Are.” Dez is concerned because the song is so high and seems to be pressing in rehearsals. Paulina likes to ab lib, and Christina worries that she’ll stray from the original too much.
Nice start by both of these contestants. Paulina has an interesting tone to her voice, but some of the lyrics do get lost from time to time. And they both end with a perfect note. Nice performance by both contestants. But, if it’s a draw and Christina is smart, she’ll go with the guy, given their tendency to attract more votes on a show like this. All three of the other coaches would give it to Dez as well. My pick: Dez Duron.
And Christina picks Dez Duron.
Battle 3: Benji vs. Sam James — Sam James is a bartender who wants to play music. He’s also another of those guys The Voice pretty much skipped over during the blind audition. So go here to learn more about him. Benji is the former race car driver who ran out of money to pursue that passion and decided to focus his attention on music. They’ll sing Bon Jovi’s “You Give Love a Bad Name.” Adam reminds them both that they don’t have to scream that whole song.
Interesting a cappella opening. Now we’re getting a taste of what we missed when The Voice skipped Sam’s blind audition. He unleashes a scream of his own early on in this number. Then holds a big, long note. But it’s Benji who has the more interesting voice. And there goes one of his screams. Not to mention wail. Sam James did well. Benji did a little better. There’s nothing very subtle about his performance. My pick: Benji.
Adam picks Sam. Actually, very surprised. Benji’s got more flair, and that’s what it will take to win this competition.
Battle 4: Nicholas David vs. Todd Kessler – Nicholas David is really Nicholas David Mrozinski, and he’s released lots of pre-Voice music. Todd performs with a band called the New Folk and has two pre-Voice albums and two pre-Voice EPs. So these are music veterans squaring off as they sing “She’s Gone.” Follow the links attached to their names to learn more.
Nicholas doesn’t look like a pop star, but he sounded solid on that first verse. Todd sounds like he’s straining. Honestly neither guy is blowing me away. It might help if Nicholas opened his eyes now and then. But Adam calls it “awesome.” Blake says Nicolas “looks like Jesus and people like that.” Christina likes his swag. My pick: Nicholas by the narrowest of margins.
Cee Lo picks Nicholas David.
Battle 5: Lelia Broussard vs. Suzanna Choffel: Well, I’d really rather not see these two square off against one another. Lelia has great pre-Voice music, yet we barely met her during the blind auditions. Suzanna is a music teacher and has a unique sound and some impressive pre-Voice music of her own. They’ll be singing “Dog Days Are Over.” Suzanna is afraid she won’t be able to cut loose on stage. Lelia seems to be struggling a bit with pitch during rehearsals. My guess is they’ll both do just fine.
This is going to be tough. Told you, they both have unique sounds. And they’re doing a great job on this song. Suzanna has the bigger voice. I like Lelia’s tone a little more. Adam thinks Suzanna won; the other two judges seem to think it was pretty much a draw. I’m going to base my opinion on the pre-Voice music I’ve heard, and I like Lelia’s a little more. My pick: Lelia.
Blake picks Suzanna. Actually, that was a battle round where I was hoping whoever didn’t win would get a save. I think they’re both that good.
Battle 6: Joselyn Rivera vs. Sylvia Yacoub — Slyvia is the singer from Egypt whose mom was also a singer, but couldn’t pursue that passion there. Joselyn is the teen who came out of her shell with the help of music and sings in English and Spanish. Sylvia is struggling keeping her powerful vocals in check; Joselyn is concerned about her lack of experience.
They’ll sing “Best Thing I Never Had.”
Well, Joselyn isn’t shy anymore is she. She looks perfectly comfortable on stage. And Sylvia might have the bigger voice, but Joselyn’s showing some vocal chops of her own. She looks like a young star too. But there’s no denying the strength of Sylvia’s vocals, is there? Another very good matchup. I personally like the tenderness in Joselyn’s voice. My pick: Joselyn Rivera.
Christina picks Sylvia Yocoub, going with the bigger of the two voices.
Adam and Blake attempt to steal Joselyn Rivera. And Joselyn is saved by Adam.