The Voice
Season 5, The Battles, Part 4

Episode Report Card
Carla Sparks: B- | 9 USERS: B+
YOU GRADE IT
The Battles Really Begin (and End)

It's the final night of the battle rounds and it feels like we're still waiting for them to really get going. Just because Carson keeps touting these as "can't miss" and "some of the best battles yet" doesn't make it true. Carson also says that only the best are moving on, and I'm not sure I agree with that, either. Carson's opinions are not fact.

The first battle of the episode comes from Team Cee Lo. Jonny Gray takes on Shawn Smith, and they're both kind of good ol' boys, even though Jonny grew his hair out since being in the air force. Shawn used to be in the army, calls himself Big Sexy, and sings country in spite of being 80% deaf. There's only room for one veteran on this team, though. Before their rehearsal gets started, Cee Lo asks these two what compels a man to be in the armed forces. They both say they had relatives in the military. Makes sense.

Cee Lo chose "Refugee" by Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers for these two. Jonny sounds a little better on it, I think, but Miguel says Jonny needs to have more attitude to make up for Shawn's natural husky dominance. You know, Big Sexy. Miguel and Cee Lo agree this performance will be all about confidence and heart.

In the final rehearsal, Cee Lo advises Jonny not to sing too far outside the pocket and Miguel says not to lose his swagger. Then, they told Shawn to act or carry himself more like a dad. What could that even entail? Anyway, before the performance I'm still a little bored but I want Jonny's hat.

In the battle, Jonny seems less self-conscious than Shawn. Shawn is clearly in his head, but he has a great growly voice that is, as Miguel noted, naturally dominant. I like them both well enough and while I think Cee Lo will probably go with Jonny, I'd rather hear Shawn's voice more. There's not much to the song, and soon enough it's over.

Adam says he's really buying the performance and Tom Petty's songs are deceptively hard to sing but they pulled it off. Adam says he would probably go with Jonny, his fellow high-voiced man. Blake would give it to Big Sexy, but his opinion is almost invalid because his steals are gone, wasted. Christina says she regrets not pushing for Jonny and she would choose him. Cee Lo brings it in and compliments the soldier in the song and in each of them. They both move him, but Cee Lo gives Jonny the win. Shawn gets to say his goodbyes, even though his time is definitely through on the show.

The next battle is Adam's last: Barry Black versus Preston Pohl. I can see why he paired these two together: they are virtually indistinguishable. They are both Pacific Islanders who wear hipster glasses. There is definitely not room for two of those guys on the same team, and now it's just a battle of who can be the most annoying. Barry does that mouth-trumpet thing and Preston did a really great version of "Electric Feel." I'm really rooting for Preston on this one, or at least for Barry to go home. Adam claims he paired these two together because they both have a soul music feel. It is another lie.

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The Voice

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