The Voice 2013 Live Recap: Usher Energizes the Battle Rounds (4/22/2013)
We’re in the final stretch of battle rounds on The Voice2013 and the coaches aren’t playing around. New coaches Usher and Shakira have proven themselves to be hardworking, talented mentors with a no-nonsense approach to coaching. And Adam Levine and Blake Shelton have been working hard to keep up with the newbies.
Want to see what happens? Read on!
Vedo vs. Jessica Childress
Up first was one of the most exciting pairings of the night. Usher pitted powerhouse singer Jessica Childress against R&B triple threat Vedo. Though Jessica got off to a rocky start on Bruno Mars's "Locked Out of Heaven," the singer soon made coach Usher proud.
Usher wanted Vedo to put his own personality and emotion into the performance and encouraged Jessica to reach for those high notes.
The hard work paid off and these two moved effortlessly around the stage with charisma and grace. In fact, they worked so well together that we vote for these two to be the show’s first R&B duo. Sigh, if only.
“The whole interaction between you guys was just so refreshing,” Shakira told the two.
Adam decided he wanted to “bro down” with Jessica and commended Vedo for his endurance during a tough time in his personal life.
Usher didn’t know what to do, complimenting both artists for supporting one another. Ultimately he chose Vedo to move forward and Jessica was sent home. Vedo’s emotional post-performance interview had us all in tears and even cool guy Usher looked close to tears.
Up next, Shakira paired one of her Spanish singers, Monique Abbadie, with soulful singer Luke Edgemon on a Lady Gaga song of all things. Singing “You And I,” Monique wanted to prove she could sing in English, but her voice in the first rehearsal sounded affected and a little too “Broadway” for Shakira’s taste. Luke, on the other hand, impressed his coach by hitting the high notes and breaking out of his slow, smooth sound from the blind auditions.
When it came time for the battle, the coaches all favored Luke, being shocked by his breakthrough performance. Shakira told Monique that she needed to know how much Tabasco to use in her performances, and ultimately picked her hoping that the other coaches would steal her competitor.
Her plan worked when Blake and Usher pressed their buttons for Luke. The country crooner complimented Luke’s energy and perfect pitch, and the R&B superstar was at a loss for words when it came time to encourage Luke to join his team.
Luke appreciated Blake’s kind words, and quickly joined the cowboy’s team.
Next, Blake paired country singer Savannah and rocker Jacqui against one another, and though Jacqui looks like the tough girl, she was definitely intimidated by the teen singer-songwriter.
Blake picked Little Big Town’s “Little White Church” for the girls to have plenty of fun, but rehearsals were all work and no play. Jacqui worked hard to eliminate the growl in her sound and to bring out the purity of her vocals, while Savannah struggled to keep up with the fast pace of the song.
When it was time to battle, both ladies brought everything to the ring. Though we typically agree with Blake’s coaching, we disagree with his decision to get rid of Jacqui’s growl. That element really took away from her unique sound and performance. The singer also struggled on some of the lower notes, but overall seemed to be more memorable than Savannah.
Adam lamented over losing Savannah to Blake, or as he called him an “oaf.” Shakira needed some explanation on the definition of “oaf,” but Adam soon cleared things up calling Blake the new Shrek.
Blake told both ladies that they did everything they could have done to move forward, but once again opted for the country singer and picked Savannah. Looking none too pleased, Jacqui held it together for long enough to thank her coach and exit gracefully.
Shakira pulled out the big guns for her next pairing. After Kris shocked the other coaches in the blind auditions by being a man, he was ready to “defy gravity” on Team Shakira. Mentor Joel Madden noted that “everybody loves a guy who can sing like a girl,” and it was clear that Kris was dominating the rehearsal. But C. Perkins wasn’t giving up so easily. Nothing can motivate a person quite like wanting to get out of a job at a grocery store.
For his part, Kris tried to stay away from his feminine image when he took to the stage in a dark army-green coat and black tee. Both artists did a commendable job, but Kris’s voice was clearly the standout throughout the duet.
Adam was proud of both boys, calling the battle “excellent" and saying he viewed them as “equals.” Blake was complimentary of the singers, but felt that both held back and still had plenty to show.
Shakira seemed most proud of C. Perkins and how far he’d come since the auditions, but ultimately picked Kris to win the battle. C. Perkins had little to fear after Usher’s commentary because the R&B superstar was more than ready to snatch him up at the very last second as the singer was on his way out the door.
Singling out three of his most eccentric contestants, Adam Levine put blues singer Patrick Dodd against folk duo Midas Whale. Picking Elvis Presley’s “Burning Love,” the three boys worked hard to stand out while blending together.
And though they had accuracy in their initial rehearsals, Adam wasn’t content with the traditional approach to the tune. Instead he added a bluegrass element to the rendition, which seemed to lift the spirits of all three singers.
In the end, the lively performance was so enjoyable we forgot to compare the duo to the blues artist. Patrick and Midas Whale sounded more like a cohesive band than competitors. The coaches complimented Midas Whale’s youthful energy, and Shakira told Patrick that he was such a seasoned performer that she didn’t think any of the coaches had anything left to teach him.
Adam said this was the hardest decision he’s faced in the battles thus far. But ultimately he picked his first duo and sent Patrick back to Beale Street.
Stepping into auditions with their “half-Blues Brothers half-swag” style, soulful singers Ryan and Orlando were ready to bring true emotion to the stage singing “Ain’t No Sunshine” by Bill Withers.
Ryan, whose emotional baggage is apparent in his sound after a painful broken engagement, was heartfelt in rehearsals, but lacked Orlando’s technical expertise. When Usher and mentor Pharrell Williams spoke with Orlando about his lack of emotion, the singer broke down admitting his family’s broke and The Voice is his only chance. It was this breakdown that led to a rejuvenation and new passion in Orlando’s sound.
But would he give Ryan a run for his money? Definitely. Both men took to the stage with powerful performances that had Usher grinning his most dazzling of smiles.
Shakira noted Orlando’s “amazing control” and Ryan’s impressive emotion. Blake called Ryan a “man’s man” saying that stylistically he’d pick Ryan as the winner of this battle.
Usher clearly had an internal struggle, which Carson Daly was desperate to speed up. Shakira suggested Ush “breathe in, breathe out," but the superstar couldn’t seem to make a decision.
Ush picked Ryan to win the battle, but Adam pressed his button to steal Orlando so no one left the stage empty-handed.
What did you think of tonight’s performances? Tell us below!