The time has come, after all the tears and the struggles, the dead family members and the musically cured diseases, the singers have made it to the actual show. And now they will quickly be cut in half. Devastating yes, but on the bright side, its just more fodder for their next heartbreaking package on The X Factor.
To give you a scope of what a monumental night this is; Cee Lo has lost the sunglasses (unfortunately) and Christina (fortunately) has put on her “classy” dress: skintight spandex that actually covers her drooping bosom. But to compensate she put on an extra pound of bronzer and dipped her hair in some Kool-Aid. Still no sight of pants.
Casey Musessigmann vs. Terry McDermott, “Carry On My Wayward Son” by Kansas
The first battle of the round went to Team Blake who has brought in Michael Buble as his mentor. Michael bet a million dollars the singers wouldn’t even recognize him, and to be fair that seems accurate so far. There’s another new element of the coaching sessions, group therapy! Which is basically just a sneaky way to get in more heartstring tugging. The boys started out with some impressive accapella harmonizing and for as good as they sounded together, their solos perfectly depicted their distinct styles (rock vs. country). To my ear Terry took it (by a slight margin) and surprisingly Blake agreed. I guess the country loyalty only runs so deep. Winner: Terry.
Bryan Keith vs. Colin Mcloughlin, “Santeria” by Sublime
These two guys from Team Adam were pretty interchangeable. One thought he was more suited to the song and the other was worried. Mary J. Blige mostly just chilled in her fierce glasses trying to figure out if in fact these were two different people or if she just needed a new prescription. There was very little teamwork on this one and the differences were actually discernable. You could see how much effort Colin was putting into it whereas Bryan seemed more confident in his performance. Their voices were equally good, but my vote goes to Bryan for that reason alone. Adam babbled about nonsense, mostly about how much he loves Sublime, but ultimately agreed with me. Winner: Bryan.
Colin wanted to express his love for Adam, but was interrupted by Blake and Cee Lo exercising their right to steal. Cee Lo still hasn’t mastered the art of fighting for a contestant and about five seconds earlier sided with Bryan in the battle, and unfortunately for him Colin doesn’t have the memory of a goldfish. Team Blake.
Diego Val vs. JR Aquino, “Jessie’s Girl” by Rick Springfield
Team Cee Lo brought us a battle for the ladies between YouTube superstar JR and Peruvian do-gooder Diego being coached by 90’s pinup (you never know) Rob Thomas. Poor Diego had never heard the 80s classic which put at him a severe disadvantage both in life and in this competition. This wasn’t the best duet if only because their vocal ranges were so different. Diego sings much higher than JR, but they were still both good, even if the lyrical complexity of Rick Springfield did prove too much for Diego at times. To me JR seems the safer bet for the win if only because he already has a strong million plus fan base. But Cee Lo doesn’t use silly things such as logic. Winner: Diego. But most surprisingly, none of the other judges chose to steal JR either.
De’Borah vs. Nelly’s Echo, “Message in a Bottle” by The Police
Team Christina became a battle of the most awkwardly named. De’Borah was showing mad love for mentor Billie Joe Armstrong, while Nelly’s Echo seemed more concerned that he had been cloned as woman. Christina was wearing the most clothes I’ve ever seen her in, although she never stood up so we’ll never know if she actually made a commitment to trousers. De’Borah was struggling during the rehearsals, but she came out fighting during the battle. As usual, Christina proved she is the best at creating wonderful duets in the battle round, but that also means its insanely hard to pick who did better. My long abiding love for bow ties tips it in De’Borah’s favor. Winner: De’Borah.
2Steel Girls vs. Gracia Harrison, “Sin Wagon” by The Dixie Chicks
For his second battle Blake pitted the mother daughter duo against the yodeler and gave them a country song to tear to shreds (in the good way). Gracia saw herself at a disadvantage without another voice to accompany her and seemed shaken during rehearsal. But Blake confessed that he didn’t think 2Steel Girls were working together well either. Sounds like the equation to a fantastic battle. Or not. 2Steel Girls forgot they were a duo and it seemed more like a battle between three solo singers than anything else. For that reason, and also because she’s better, I would go with Gracia. Winner: Gracia.
Trevin Hunte vs. Amanda Brown, “Vision of Love” by Mariah Carey
Finally, it was time for the battle they had been teasing for the past two hours. Take two insanely talented singers, give then and insanely difficult song made famous by one of the most insanely successful singers of the last twenty years and guess what you get, clue; it is not sane. They hyped it hard, but it was not in vain. This battle was beautiful, powerful and goose bump inducing. It was clear that no matter who Cee Lo chose, neither of these singers were going anywhere. Poor Cee Lo had quite a hard decision that wasn’t made any easier by the other coaches attaching their palms to their buttons to fight over his leftovers and Douchelord Daley trying to rationalize his purpose by pressuring him while simultaneously sympathizing with him. Winner: Trevin.
And then the battle for Amanda was underway. Ironically none of these judges turned around for her when she sang the first time, so maybe second chances are a good idea. The coaches had already praised Amanda to high heavens, but once they were actually fighting over her they started laying it on thick. Adam was comparing her to Mariah and Christina. And if someone says you sound like a particular singer don’t you think you would gain a lot from working with that actual singer? Apparently not. Flattery and washboard abs win it again. Team Adam.
Until next time!
– Devin Mainville