The Battle Rounds continued on The Voice (Monday and Tuesday at 8 p.m. ET on CTV2) with Kelly Clarkson, John Legend, Gwen Stefani and Blake Shelton each getting the chance to make some really, really odd pairing decisions for their teams. In some cases the pairs were given songs that felt a little too on the nose, while in other cases we think that maybe the coaches attempts to challenge their team members was bordering on the sadistic.
Regardless of the pairing or song, one thing every battle had in spades on Monday night was a sense of fun, which made it one of the most enjoyable episodes to watch.
Jared and Marina are both professional musicians and it showed in every note and move of their performance. Jared plays clubs and bars in Austin and Marina was previously signed to Diddy’s Bad Boy label, which apparently is not for life (yes, we’ve been waiting to make that joke since the Blind Auditions and yes, it was worth it). The duo took on “Valerie,” which only sounds good when sung by Amy Winehouse and Bruno Mars until Marina and Jared went for it and slayed. Blake said during rehearsals that he’s trying to pick pairings for the Battle Rounds that will ensure the fewest members of his team will go home, which is the only reason we can think when trying to understand why he would pair his two best singers. Jared took the win, which could have gone either way, and Marina decided to stay on Team Blake instead of being whisked away by Team Kelly, which also could have gone either way.
THE BIG SWITCHEROO
When John announced that he was giving Jared and Will a Shawn Mendes track to perform, it seemed like unfair coaching. Jared not only sounds like Shawn Mendes, he even looks like him. (Genetics are especially kind to some people.) But Jared, along with his chiseled chin and soaring voice, weren’t a match for Will’s personality. Normally people are too nervous to move on The Voice stage (not judging, because we would be scared too), but Will not only looked like he was having the time of his life but made it fun for everyone watching as well. He had some great vocal moments, but what clinched his win was his personality. We didn’t see that one coming.
WHERE DO WE GO FROM HERE?
Gwen called Royce and Kiara’s performance of Bob Marley and Lauryn Hill’s “Turn Your Lights Down Low” one of the most fun performances of the season and it’s hard to disagree. The pair had great chemistry, the song gave Kiara space to move from wallflower to frontrunner in the competition while Royce continued to captivate with his unique sound. But where does he go from here? Royce nailing a Bob Marley song is honestly a bit underwhelming. He should be great at Bob Marley. He’s a reggae singer who auditioned with a Wyclef John song. We want to hear Royce sing something a little bit outside his lane in order to really be able to hear what he can do.
BLAKE’S HIGH HOPES
You know when you watch the Grammys and producers put two completely opposite artists together for a tribute performance and it doesn’t make sense on paper? Then they perform a song that doesn’t fit either of their voices and it still doesn’t make sense? That was Joanna and Matthew performing Panic! At The Disco’s “High Hopes.” Unless you’re a Tony-winning Broadway star or Brandon Urie, that song is nearly impossible. Kelly voiced our thoughts on Coach Blake’s decision: “I would have hated him,” she joked, adding “Do you want me to fail?” Amazingly, Joanna and Matthew did not fail. It was a weird, jilted performance of two people covering a song they shouldn’t be singing but doing the best they could and showing that they still have great voices. Shooting for the stars, landing on the grass.
The Voice airs Monday and Tuesday at 8 p.m. ET on CTV2.