'The Voice' Recap: Christina Aguilera and Adam Levine Steal Back Their Sendoffs
The new knockout round steal gives a third chance to two contestants, while Blake Shelton upholds his ethos about singing off-key.
The Voice knockout round wrapped during the two-hour Tuesday episode, in which contestants choose their own songs and hope to outperform a fellow team member chosen by their coach. For the first time, each coach can steal during this sudden-death round. CeeLo Green and Blake Shelton both saved an extra contestant Monday night, while Christina Aguilera and Adam Levine ended up saving singers they let go during the battle rounds.
Meet the singers moving onto the live shows, including the two knockout-round castoffs who returned to their original coaches:
Levine's Lina Gaudenzi vs. Preston Pohl
Each hoping to show a different side of their voices, Levine's steal from Team Christina opted for Etta James' "I'd Rather Go Blind" to spotlight her blues abilities (and did so during strategic moments of the song), while the Christian rock band member put his grit and upbeat demeanor into Bob Marley's "No Woman No Cry." "As a country dude from Oklahoma, I thought that was great," said Shelton of Pohl, while Aguilera felt she got to know Gaudenzi better than Pohl through the matchup. Levine followed his gut and saved Pohl.
Shelton's E.G. Daily vs. Ray Boudreaux
Each with textured voices, the seasoned voiceover actress tried to reveal all the tricks of her scratchy timbre for Bonnie Raitt's "I Can't Make You Love Me," but stumbled toward the end, while the small-town father had trouble with breath control during rehearsals of Otis Redding's "Hard to Handle," but managed to master the wordy song's phrasing. Aguilera felt Boudreaux had better control of her rasp, and Shelton agreed, moving him forward.
Aguilera's Anthony Paul vs. Jacquie Lee
Aguilera's steal from Green’s team chose Jason Derulo's "The Other Side" -- a song she felt limited his potential -- but was nervous and ended up exposing his struggle with his upper range. Then the other teen pop singer demonstrated how much she learned stage presence during rehearsals and slayed Serena Ryder's "Stompa." "Anthony, you're such a better singer than this performance," said Green to his former singer, who agreed with Levine and Aguilera to salute Lee as the round's winner.
Green's Stephanie Anne Johnson vs. Tamara Chauniece
Green's steal from Aguilera's team picked up her acoustic guitar for Norah Jones' "Don't Know Why" and truly made the song her own with plenty of interesting riffs. Meanwhile, the veteran gospel singer went for a reggae version of Alicia Keys' "No One," and though she didn’t necessarily travel the stage as much as other contestants, her voice outshined her stance. Levine said Johnson's version was unfocused, agreeing with Shelton that Chauniece dominated. Green called Chauniece a young Anita Baker before declaring her victorious, letting Aguilera steal Johnson back to her team.
Levine's James Wolpert vs. Juhi
The Apple techie showed his classic rock childhood upbringing with Boston's "More Than A Feeling" (a major breakout moment for season three's Terry McDermott), but started off shaky in the round. Levine's steal from Team CeeLo went for the Creedence Clearwater Revival version of Marvin Gaye's "I Heard It Through the Grapevine," and though her new coach warned her about embellishing too much and not singing enough, Aguilera still thought Juhi's performance was "careless," despite Green's passionate praises. "Just so you know, James sang that song perfectly in rehearsals," said Levine, as he saved Wolpert.
Shelton's Austin Jenckes vs. Brandon Chase
Both emotional singers with country influences, Jenckes changed the lyrics of Edwin McCain's "I'll Be" to reflect the relationship between a father and son, and emoted enough to overshadow his lack of dynamics. Chase then upped the range of Eli Young Band's "Even If It Breaks Your Heart," and though pitchy, it paid off. Shelton found himself facing the same predicament as last night's match between Aguilera's Destinee Quinn and Olivia Henken, since Jenckes sang too sharp, while Chase sang too flat. Following his advice to Aguilera, he saved Jenckes.
Green's Caroline Pennell vs. George Horga Jr.
The young indie pop singer initially stayed safe on Ingrid Michaelson's "The Way I Am" in rehearsals, but Green pushed her to put power on the track, and charmed the audience with her angelic demeanor. Then, Horga showcased his ideal aesthetic with Ne-Yo's "Because of You," but struggled with pitch from the beginning of his performance. "Caroline makes me want to buy a cat and pink blanket, put a little fire in the house, and just curl up with a cup of hot chocolate,” said Shelton, intended it as a compliment. Green agreed and saved "Sweet" Caroline: "She realized herself today, and I think she knows that she's a star."
Aguilera's Matthew Schuler vs. Will Champlin
Schuler took a risk by choosing Florence and the Machine's "Cosmic Love," a song that benefits from a tender beginning in order to skyrocket through the roof, as he then did. Meanwhile, Aguilera's save from Levine's team found places to add a raspy vulnerability to Bruno Mars' "When I Was Your Man," even if initially shaky from nerves. "Standing ovations for the both of you," said Green, as the coaches called it even. Aguilera saved Schuler, while Levine pressed his button to steal Champlin back to his team.
The Voice live rounds air on three nights next week, beginning 8 p.m. Monday on NBC.
Were the right singers sent home? Who deserved the steals more than Johnson and Champlin? Sound off in the comments below.