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Since not much happens during these battle rounds, this is probably going to be a short recap. As much as I hate to do it, I have no choice – because almost NOTHING happens during this show anymore. But the good news is: This is the last battle round! Hooray! Let’s get on with it:
Adam’s last two contestants are Casey and Jeff. Who’s Casey, you ask? Someone they completely brushed over in the blind auditions, if that gives you any indication as to how things are going to work out.
We may not have learned much about Casey in the beginning, but Adam’s determined to fix all that to create the illusion he’s not going to can her. She’s kind of a rock star, with Avril Lavigne’s voice and Rihanna’s hair. Oh, and she designs her own clothes – and makeup palate, obviously. Casey looks like what I did to my Barbie® Styling Head when I was a kid.
Everyone knows that purple eye shadow makes your eyes look purple.
Regardless, Casey has her work cut out for her. She’s up against Jeff, one of the chosen few who all the judges fought over. Not to mention Jeff has a compelling background story – he lost his mother a year ago. Audiences have a soft spot in their heart for that sort of thing. But Casey isn’t worried – she’s great performer who has something to offer the viewers as well. I’m not sure what that is yet, but I know it’s not fashion.
Adam informs the duo they’re singing “Don’t Let the Sun Go Down On Me” – you know, that little song by Elton John. No big whoop. Let’s move right on to the rehearsal, where Casey is actually a bit of a surprise. She does have a strong voice, and the song suites her well. Jeff, on the other hand, struggles a little through the initial practice. He’s starting to get nervous and his face is getting all blotchy. And since he doesn’t have an ounce of ego in his body, he actually thinks Casey might take this one
Don’t worry. This is just how I react to seafood.
To make matters worse for Jeff, Adam Blackstone suggests he should unlearn some of the habits he’s developed as a singer. You know, those pesky habits one develops over years and years of training – lose those in the next day or two, ok? Then during the dress rehearsal, Adam Levine tells Jeff to take down the vibrato. Jeff looks terrified – and Casey’s starting to look smug. In fact, Casey says, she thinks she can win this thing. I’m even starting to get nervous. The singing Barbie head is starting to freak me out.
It’s time for the Battle Round. And they both sing it really well. Really slow, but really well. At least it seems slow – I haven’t heard Elton’s version in quite a while. I imagine it’s a little drawn out to fill some time. The last moments of the song consist of a battle to get the last note out – with Jeff adding a few, “Yeah-eh-yeah’s,” followed by Casey’s “Oh-oh-oh-oooooohhhh.” It may sound cheesy on television, but the live audience eats it up – and Reba loves it! Well, she loves Jeff – she couldn’t take her eyes off him the whole time, she says.
Uh, my momma told me to stay away from cougars, ma’am.
The judges are split over who should win and Jeff is starting to get blotchy again. But it’s Adam’s dilemma. He reminds us that Jeff was the front-runner early on, but Casey turned out to be a big surprise – and it’s made his decision incredibly hard. He asks Adam Blackstone for his advice, who whispers his suggestion in his ear. And at some point you can actually hear Jeff’s name come up. Why they decide to cut to a commercial at that point is beyond me. The mystery is gone.
Dude, turn your microphone off!
We finally cut back to Adam, who has to go with his gut. There’s something mind-blowing about Jeff, he feels, so Jeff wins. Jeff is send back to the greenroom, into the arms of his weeping family. The Barbie head is sent to Goodwill.
Blake is up next, and he pits Sara against Xenia. They’re both really shy and really young. And not very talkative. Every time Blake addresses them, Sara and Xenia turn towards each other and giggle.
OMG, it’s Blake Shelton!
Every. Time. Blake tells them they’re going to sing “I’ll Stand by You” by The Pretenders, only to receive giggles and stares in return. So Blake tries a new tactic, informing them that since they’re the most bashful, he wants to see which one’s personality stands out during the performance. (Giggles. Stares.)
Neither of these girls have much to say – not even during on-camera confessionals. Both are really nervous about it. And Sara has a bit of a dilemma. If she wins and goes on to the live competition, she’ll miss her prom. You can get a big recording contract any time, but prom only comes once. Unless you miss the rest of the school year because of a singing competition and fail out and have to repeat the 12th grade. See? Problem solved.
During rehearsal, Reba McEntire is met with soft handshakes and “Oh wow, it’s Reba McEntire” stares. Blake is hoping Reba’s big personality will rub off on the girls (giggles). It doesn’t. So Reba asks them if they want to sing the song all together, which is met with stares and umm’s. Realizing they’re not going to get a response, Reba and Blake just jump right into it:
Anytime you girls want to join in…
It takes a while but they manage to pull off a few notes. Still, Reba is very encouraging, calling them “cute as a button.” Blake is more realistic. “They’re scared to death,” he replies.
I don’t know what they’re so afraid of…
Blake has his work cut out for him. Not only does he have to teach these girls how to be superstars, but he also acts as their therapist. He helps Sara adjust her attitude – but not in the way you would think. Sara is TOO nice. She actually needs to develop a bad attitude to improve her stage presence. If only parents had that talk with their children! Growing up would be a whole lot easier.
Xenia has a problem with nerves too. She’s really only sung for her family – and now she’s going to be performing for the first time in front of a large audience. Reba gives great advice: Just pretend your family is sitting right there in the audience.
Just pretend that everyone in the audience is naked.
In an attempt to increase her confidence, Blake tells Xenia she has a great voice, to which Xenia bursts into tears. He’s baffled. “Oh, geez, what’d I say now?” Way to go Blake – now you have to do something about it.
After a short silence, Blake goes over to Xenia and awkwardly places his arm around her. In an attempt to console her he repeats his last statement, which causes Xenia to run into the arms of the very gentle Reba McEntire.
It’s not what you say or how you say it, Blake. It’s your big, scary demeanor that makes all the girls cry.
After all the tears are dried, we finally get to the battle round. Sara says (very unconvincingly), “This is the battle of the shy girls. Whoever breaks though more is going to win. I’m prepared to do that.” It doesn’t sound like it. Xenia just says she’s going to throw up. She lied too.
Um, so the song doesn’t go so well. Both girls look terrified and stand completely frozen the entire time. Their voices are so meek it’s like watching two little girls in their first recital. The judges look mortified – again. You see, this is the second time Blake’s team has given a poor performance during the Battle Round, and it’s starting to make him look bad. It’s probably a good thing Xenia is imagining her family in the audience, because if she looked at Blake, she would see this:
I am so about to go all Simon Fuller on you.
Considering the performers’ respective ages and fragile states of being, the judges try to be nice. Christina, Cee Lo and Adam provide constructive criticism but praise their strengths. Adam points out this wasn’t a good song for them, which put Blake on the defensive. Hey, says Blake, yeah, I gave them a challenge, but the music industry is hard and life is hard. Get used to it. But Blake has to choose somebody to win. He reluctantly chooses Xenia to make up for scaring her to death earlier.
The last remaining contestants on Christina’s team are Lily and Cherie. They’re singing “Since You’ve Been Gone” by Kelly Clarkson. Hey, wait a minute… isn’t Kelly Clarkson the girl who won “American Idol” during the first season? And didn’t she have a falling out with Simon Fuller a few years ago because she didn’t want AI to use her songs? Can somebody say, “bitter?”
So here’s the deal: Cherie is a professional country songwriter and back-up singer, but she kinda freaked Blake out during the battle round by singing one of Miranda Lambert’s songs. Lily was cut during the blind auditions, only to be given a second chance. It’s a toss-up.
This is Lily’s chance to show she really has what it takes. During the rehearsal, she asks to sing first so she can show off those pipes. And in return we get a screaming rendition of SYBG that sounds like my mother when she used to yell at me.
You get your ass over here and clean up your room!
Crap, says Cherie, you win. I’m not sure why she’s so intimidated, but those are her issues. On the other hand, Lily’s confidence is increasing. She’s totally floored to be working with her idol, Christina Aguilera. She grew up with her posters on her wall, aspiring to be just like her. And it’s a little creepy, cuz Lily is actually starting to look and sound like Christina a little bit. But Christina makes sure Lily knows her place. During the dress rehearsal, Christina shows Lily how it’s done. Or she tries to. Lily keeps singing, resulting in a screaming match to see who has the deepest lungs.
The battle sounds great but looks ridiculous. First of all, Lily shows up looking like a slutty boxer in some sort of hoodie and stilettos. Cherie looks cute, but her dad is making a fool of himself backstage by re-enacting a scene from “Rocky V.” Regardless, they sound great. Both do justice to the song without comprising their styles. And the judges love them.
Reba is especially excited. It turns out one of Cherie’s songs made its way onto Reba’s album. And not just any old song – the #1 hit “Turn On Your Radio.” Weeellll, I’m not gonna name names but SOMEBODY forgot to thank Cherie for all her hard work. It’s their first face-to-face meeting and here’s Reba’s chance to make things right. Reba gives Cherie the recognition she deserves, darn it! It’s a touching moment – but not touching enough for Christina, who chooses Lily in the end.
Remember how you wrote that song and it made me a star? Thanks for that.
That’s ok. Somehow, I don’t think that’s the last America is going to hear of Cherie Oakley. She seemed sweet. I just hope this show gives her career a boost.
Only one more battle left! Cee Lo pairs Emily with Curtis to sing “Need You Now” by Lady Antebellum. And it’s going to be bittersweet for Emily. Not only has Curtis become Emily’s best friend, but she’s developed a huge crush on him. They’re an unlikely pair: Emily is a tatted up city girl and Curtis is a good ‘ol country boy. That doesn’t matter; Emily is in love and torn about the possibility of having to send her “best friend” home.
Curtis, on the other hand, could give two sh*ts. He just wants to win, darn it. You see, Curtis once had a potential career in professional baseball, but he gave it all up for some chick. Some chick who obviously tore his heart out and stomped on it. Now he’s here, chick-less and baseball-less, and he’s not making the same mistake twice.
But I would totally do her, though.
To make it more interesting, they’re singing a love song. Ooooohhhhh! How can two people who have such chemistry and passion fight like this? I guess this is a reflection of real life – as much as two singers might love each other, things don’t always work out in the end. Love bites.
The feedback session is interesting. Cee Lo informs Curtis that Monica made him put the word “why” at the end of his hit song, “Forget You.” I’m not sure if he’s thanking her or blaming her for it, but whatever. Then he tells Curtis he really needs to feel the part and re-enact the feelings – really love her, really feel the hurt when it doesn’t work out, etc.
Needless to say, Curtis does not take Cee Lo’s advice. I think Cee Lo forgot that these folks are singers, not actors, and they display all the emotion of porn stars competing for the same dude. Um… not that I’ve ever watched a porn or anything.
It’s my turn. Now it’s my turn. Wait, why don’t we do this together?
Carson Daly did promise a shocking ending, and he kept his promise. Emily and Curtis embrace in a passionate kiss at the end of the song – which is funny because they barely acknowledged each other during the performance. But I’m sure it’s not like they planned to do that or anything.
Hey, sex sells.
Adam and Cee Lo are surprised. Their jaws completely dislocate from their skulls and drop to the floor. But that wasn’t what was so shocking. The “Holy Sh*t” moment came when Carson made a joke – and it worked
“Hold on. One of these (people) is going home. Not alone, I guess.”
Oh, wait! He’s not the only one who had a good one:
“It’s a duet, not a ‘do it.’
Thank you very much. I’ll be here all week.”
I don’t know. I thought they were funny. Even Adam gets one in, comparing his girly voice to Curtis’ baritone. Ha. Ha. Ha. All joking aside, someone must go home. And that someone is Emily, who now has a scorching case of mouth herpes. Hope it was all worth it.
Well we just keep rolling in the funnies here people! Gosh, I’m almost sad the battle rounds are over. I said almost.
Now look what I did! I promised a short recap and three hours later, I’m still typing. I’m going to stop now, but I’ll see you next week, when we reconvene for the live performances!