The theme for Monday night’s battle rounds on “The Voice” seemed to be nature verses nurture. The guest mentors for the rehearsals were Ryan Tedder, Ed Sheeran, Cher, and Miguel and were very helpful for the contestants during this round.
First up was Team Christina who put Josh Logan and Michael Lynch against each other singing “Harder to Breathe.” Both singers had trouble with stage presence during rehearsal because they were so focused on the song and its complicated lyrical structure. Logan was more laid back during the actual performance while Lynch seemed more jumpy and the two different approaches was a strange dynamic for the battle. Adam Levine praised them saying that they did a great job especially since it’s easy to mess up. Cee Lo, Adam, and Blake all made comments about Logan having a more powerful voice than Lynch and Christina chose to keep Logan.
Next was Cee Lo Green’s Geroge Horga Jr. against Juhi singing “Best I’ve Ever Had.” Horga was originally intimidated by the idea of singing this particular song because it’s not what he’s used to. Juhi had a good tone for it, but he main challenge was enunciating. Horga wasn’t able to hit the first high note of the song. Despite this misstep, Levine applauded his resilience and Green decided to keep him because of all of his hard work. Juhi wasn’t sent home though because Levine used his steal to bring her onto his team.
Shelton’s Austin Jenckes went against Brian Pounds and sang “To Love Somebody.” Both singers are country singers, but Blake wanted them to be taught cross-genre treatment by Hank Williams Jr. Cher also went to their rehearsals to give the singers tips on microphone techniques and harmonies that they later used in their performance. Jenckes had more grit and emotion during the performance and Blake chose to send Pounds home.
Team Adam’s first battle was James Irwin vs. Matt Cermanski and they sang “Counting Stars.” Both singers returned from the previous season. Cermanski asked to lower the key of the song in auditions but Levine wouldn’t allow it and Cermanski was able to discover his own range. For this reason, Aguilera praised him after their performance but Green and Shelton argued that Irwin had deeper, clearer vocals which Levine ultimately agreed with and Cermanski was sent home again.
Aguilera put Destinee Quinn against Lina Gaudenzi and they sang “Not Ready to Make Nice.” The two struggled to connect to the song emotionally during rehearsals. During the actual battles, they were finally able to bring emotion into it. Levine and Shelton praised Gaudenzi’s performance, but Aguilera decided to keep Quinn which allowed Levine to steal Gaudenzi.
the last battle of the night was Levine’s James Wolpert against Will Champlin singing “Radioactive.” During their performance Wolpert had too much vibrato during parts of the song while Champlin had several very good runs. Shelton and Green liked Wolpert while Aguilera liked Champlin. Levine decided to keep Wolpert. Champlin was about to walk off stage when Aguilera used a steal to bring him onto her team at the last second.
The final battles will be this Tuesday at 9p.m. on NBC.