For The Baltimore Sun
11:24 AM EDT, October 30, 2013
Let’s get ready for a vocal rumble.
The final 16 contestants took the stage last night to compete for the remaining spots on their coaches' teams, and a spot in the live shows. Remember: each coach is able to get one more additional steal, and it was Christina and Adam’s turn to give someone another chance.
The contestants needed to pick a song that would showcase their talent, and prove they are worthy of a spot on the live shows.
Team Adam: Lina Gaudenzi and “I’d Rather Go Blind” by Etta James vs. Preston Pohl and “No Woman No Cry” by Bob Marley
Coach Adam’s team kicked off the night with two classic songs, bur rehearsal found him second-guessing whether they were the right song choices.
Lina Gaudenzi wanted to show off the bluesy-side of her voice with the Etta James classic, while Preston Pohl wanted to challenge himself vocally with the reggae hit. Both performances started off a little shaky; the judges agreed that it was all about the best recovery, saying Preston delivered a stronger performance. Coach Adam decided to keep Preston for the live shows.
Team Blake: E.G. Daly and “I Can’t Make You Love Me” by Bonnie Wright vs. Ray Boudreaux and “Hard to Handle” by Otis Redding
The key to this Team Blake performance was control. One contestant kept it, while the other lost it at a most crucial point.
Actress-turned-singer E.G Daly performed the Bonnie Wright hit “I Can’t Make You Love Me,” while soul-man Ray Boudreaux performed Otis Redding’s “Hard to Handle.” While it was easy for Ray to handle his performance, E.G fell apart towards the end of hers -- Coach Christina pointed out how she lost control of her voice. Coach Blake decided that Ray had the better performance all-around, and E.G.’s time on "The Voice" was over.
Team Christina: Anthony Paul and “The Other Side” by Jason Derulo vs. Jacquie Lee and “Stompa” by Serena Ryder
Anthony Paul and Jacquie Lee had something to prove. As the two youngest contestants on Team Christina, each wanted to deliver a stellar performance that would set them apart from the competition.
A front-runner since his audition, Anthony chose Jason Derulo's pop hit (which came with a warming from Coach Christina). Underdog Jacquie knew she had to deliver with her performance of Serena Ryder’s “Stompa” to keep up with her competition.
Jacquie's performance blew coaches Adam and CeeLo away, while all the coaches agreed Anthony was less-than-stellar. Coach Christina deemed Jacquie the winner, and Anthony went home without a save.
Not only did Jacquie win that knockout round, but Adam called her “the cutest person I have ever seen.”
Team CeeLo: Stephanie Anne Johnson and “Don’t Know Why” by Norah Jones vs. Tamara Chauniece and “No One” by Alicia Keys
Oh CeeLo, this indeed was a tough one.
Coach CeeLo paired two of his team’s biggest talents to face off in one of the night's best vocal duels. Stephanie Anne Johnson grabbed her guitar and performed "Don’t Know Why,” while Tamara Chauniece put a reggae twist on hit “No One.”
Each lady added her own flare, showcasing both performance and vocal talent. While Coach Christina loved every second of it, Coach Adam wasn’t too thrilled. Coach CeeLo complimented Tamara by comparing her to a young Anita Baker, and told Stephanie that she delivered with her choice of song and instrument.
After taking a minute to make a tough decision, CeeLo chose Tamara. In a split-second decision, Christina got Stephanie Anne in the steal -- making "The Voice" history by giving a contestant a third chance to compete on the show.
Team Adam: James Wolpert and “More Than a Feeling” by Boston vs. Juhi and “I Heard it Through the Grapevine" by Marvin Gaye
The Battle of the Bookworms! James Wolpert and Juhi were ready to prove they each had enough soul and talent to make it to the live rounds. James chose to take the rock n roll route with his performance of “More Than a Feeling,” while Juhi decided to spice up “I Heard it Through the Grapevine” (this one was for you, CeeLo).
James lost the glasses and showcased vocal control and slight nerves during his performance of what the coaches called the toughest rock song to perform, while Juhi delivered edge with her performance. Although he seemed a little nervous, coach Adam decided to pick James based on his past performances and not let his off night determine his fate. Juhi was sent home.
Team Blake: Austin Jencks and “I’ll Be” by Edwin McCain vs. Brandon Chase and “Even if it Breaks Your Heart” by Eli Young Band
When it came down to delivering emotion, Team Blake’s final two contestants left it all on the stage. Austin Jenckes chose to dedicate “I’ll Be” to his father, who passed away when he was 16; Brandon Chase used all his bottled-up emotions to perform “Even if it Breaks Your Heart.”
Both performances moved the coaches, but Austin and his guitar shined a little more in the coaches' eyes. Coach Blake decided to go with his good buddy Austin, leaving Brandon and his emotions out of the competition.
Team CeeLo: Caroline Pennell and “The Way I Am” by Ingrid Michaelson vs. George Horga Jr. and “Because of You” by Neyo
In another battle of the young contestants. Caroline chose “The Way I Am” to showcase her talent and style, while George Horga Jr. switched it up with “Because of You.”
Caroline made Coach Blake want to go out, buy and cat and sit by the fireplace sipping hot chocolate (well, if that’s a compliment, take it), while George sang flat for most of his performance. That made the decision easy for Coach CeeLo, who chose Caroline for the final spot on his team.
Team Christina: Matthew Schuler and “Cosmic Love” by Florence and the Machine vs. Will Champlin and “When I Was Your Man” by Bruno Mars
In the final performance of the night, team Christina favorite Matthew Schuler chose a Florence and the Machine hit to show off his larger than life voice, while Will Champlin slowed down the pace, dedicating “When I Was Your Man” to his wife, who is battling a brain tumor.
Both men earned stating ovations from the coaches, leaving Christina with a tough decision. She decided to keep Matthew Schuler, while Will Champlin went back home to team Adam in the steal.
With all of the teams completed, next week the coaches will take their contestants into the live rounds. Now it isn’t up only to the coaches; America gets a say in who will stay and who will go.
Which team do you think is the strongest? Not sure? Find out next Monday, Tuesday and Thursday, as the live shows kick off.
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