karlee metzger

The Voice Recap: Debate Expectations

The battle is on: Cocky dude who makes questionable hair choices* versus polarizing woman who’s leading her party in the U.S.A.

No, no, no… I’m not trying to bring Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton into my Monday-night recap of The Voice! (Though I’d be remiss if I didn’t mention that several of my TVLine colleagues will be weighing in later tonight on the highs and lows of the first Presidential debate of 2016.)

Instead, I speak of Adam Levine (*remember his blonde dye job from Season 10? #tragique) and newbie coach Miley Cyrus — who found themselves deadlocked at two new team members apiece (compared to zero for Alicia Keys and Blake Shelton) going into the final audition of Night 3 of the Season 11 Blind Auditions.

While the tie never got broken — thanks to Alicia snagging the fifth and final singer of a particularly tepid night of performances — let’s rank the quintet of singers from least to most promising (bearing in mind I’ll be back overnight to update this recap with more detailed performance reviews).

5. Lane Mack, “Every Day I Have the Blues” (Team Miley) | Used only one color in the crayon box, vocally speaking, and to make matters worse, that relentlessly shouty rasp faltered badly in Lane’s desperate final run of notes. Battle Rounds cannon fodder, anyone?

4. Elia Esparza, “Como La Flor” (Team Adam) | It was hard to hear anything over the dated synth of the Voice band’s arrangement. But while Elia hit most of her notes, she failed to showcase a distinctive tone or a sense of originality that might’ve upgraded this audition beyond basic karaoke.

3. Bindi Liebowitz, “Bust Your Windows” (Team Adam) | I couldn’t tell if Bindi was being deliberately languid on the verse, or merely falling behind the beat. Still, despite one mid-point run going a little hinky, Bindi was pretty solid and soulful — and could be a Team Adam surprise if he’s interested enough to really mentor her.

2. Josh Halverson, “Forever Young” (Team Alicia) | He’s not the world’s most dynamic performer — Alicia will need to challenge him with tunes that force him outside his soft blanket of a comfort zone — but there was an appealing smokiness to his tone and a sincerity to his delivery that were nevertheless undeniable here.

1. Karlee Metzger, “Samson” (Team Miley) | I didn’t hear the same pitch problems that alarmed Blake, although some of the transitions between lilting falsetto and belty full voice could’ve been smoother. That said, both halves of Karlee’s vocal persona tapped into something beautifully ethereal and endlessly listenable. Here’s hoping her position as “only” a two-chair turn doesn’t relegate her to montage status or a quick exit at the hands of a more hyped contestant in the Battles.

What did you think of Night 3 of The Voice Season 11 Blind Auditions? Vote for your favorite in our poll, then hit the comments to expand on your thoughts!