Considering how much The Voice‘s coaches have talked this season about contestants “staying in the pocket,” it’s more than a little surprising that the show itself is having a problem in the rhythm department this season.
Two weeks running, for example, the Tuesday-night Battle Rounds episode has fallen into a sluggish and predictable formula: A paltry three full matchups — along with three condensed Battle snippets — ending with a single “Save” that’s telegraphed (aka totally spoiled) well before the final commercial break. (Actually, doesn’t the final Battle always result in a Steal? How come it’s never the penultimate Battle? Urgh.)
It’s like somebody in the editing booth needs a six pack of Red Bull. Or maybe Mark Burnett needs a strongly worded Tweet explaining that, yes, there is suspense to be mined from the fate of the Season 6 contestants — not just from the camaraderie and predilections of the A-list coaching panel.
Maybe next week’s Battle Rounds Part Deux — which replace the short-lived Knockout Rounds — will inject NBC’s buzzy singing competition with something approaching true buzziness. Until then, let me jump to a ranking of each of tonight’s Battles from least- to most-promising winner:
3. Team Adam: Sam Behymer defeats Cary Laine on Ed Sheeran’s “Give Me Love” | Cary definitely blew it — going from #4ChairTurn to #MissedNotesExtravaganza. But Sam, whose “the more quirk there is, the less singing I have to do” comment made me wince, wasn’t all that much better. If she survives Round 2 of Battles, it’ll be a bigger shock than ordering a clown for a child’s birthday and winding up with a Juggalo in your yard.
2. Team Blake: Kaleigh Glanton defeats Noah Lis on Michael Buble’s “Everything” | To my ears, Noah’s voice was as generic as an orange cheese slice with a supermarket label. Kaleigh sounded smoky-cool in rehearsal, but as Usher pointed out, she lost a lot of the character of her tone when she took to the stage/boxing ring. Girlfriend’s gonna have to step it up next time around!
1. Team Shakira: Emily B defeats Cierra Mickens on Sarah Bareilles’ “Brave” (Cierra stolen by Usher) | The two best performances of the night in one compact Battle. Sure, neither woman was flawless, but Emily showcased a brute force and charisma that was hard to deny, while Cierra took some chances with the melody that (occasionally) paid big dividends. I’d have gone with Emily, too, but was stoked to see Usher swoop in and give Cierra another shot at Season 6 glory — maybe he can teach her how better to respect the natural rhythm of a song.
Shown in Montage Form
Team Adam: Christina Grimmie defeats Joshua Howard
Team Blake: Ryan Whyte Maloney defeats Cali Tucker
Team Shakira: Kristen Merlin defeats Lindsay Bruce
And with that, I turn things over to you. What did you think of the fourth set of Season 6 Battle Rounds? Did anyone deserve to get the Save and didn’t? Who gave the best overall vocal of the night? Take our poll, then sound off in the comments!