Credit: Lewis Jacobs/NBC © 2011 NBC Universal, Inc. Photo: Erin Willett and Gwen Sebastian Perform "We Belong" by Pat Benatar in The Voice Season 2 Battle Round 3

Here we go again, Round 3 of our old favorite, the Battle Rounds of The Voice.

After tonight’s battles, we’ll be that much closer to the live episodes, and that much closer to crowning somebody The Voice.

But first, some more good old-fashioned head-to-head competition.  

Pip vs. Nathan Parrett

First up in the battle rounds is Adam Levine’s team, and Adam decided to pit hipster heroes Pip and Nathan Parrett against one another.

Once in rehearsals, the two boys seemed like two eager sons vying for the affection of their father, in this case, Adam. Though Pip was a judges’ favorite, Alanis Morissette told him that “restraint is your hero,” while Robin Thicke, told Nathan to get out of his shell, and “lose it on the stage.”

After some ego-stroking for Nathan, he went into the battle with some confidence, leaving Pip feeling as if he had something to prove.

Once in the ring, the boys gave it their best, singing Amy Winehouse’s, “You Know I’m No Good.” With Nathan assuming a stage presence reminiscent of the late great Amy, as Cee Lo noted, it was a bit of a toss up, but Pip ended up coming away with the win.

 

 

The Shields Brothers vs. Erin Martin

Next, Cee Lo Green’s remaining artists were anxiously waiting their next pairing. In a surprising match-up, Cee Lo teamed up two of the most unique artists in the competition, Erin Martin and The Shields Brothers.

Both offbeat, they were given the Queen of Soul’s classic, “What’s Love Got to Do with It." Dealing with her unique voice and the brash, in-your-face Shields Brothers, Erin had to dial down her diva desires, and say OK to Cee Lo’s choices.

Mentor Babyface told the brothers to “show some vulnerability,” and take it down a notch, while Ne-Yo  pushed back against Erin, questioning her emotive powers, and causing the former model to question her own sexual prowess. 

“Power is not talent, it’s just loud,” Erin noted none too snarkily, and with that, the battle commenced with her scratchy falsetto working well against the rock and roll duo’s balls to the wall rendition of the Motown classic. 

In what can only described by Adam as “so weird,” few words could describe the performance as a whole. Cee Lo himself called it “deliciously strange,” but still went with his darling Erin Martin, which we think had more to do with her outfit than her actual performance. 

Ashley vs. Jonathas

Christina Aguilera’s team was next at bat, and she chose youngsters Ashley Del La Rosa and Jonathas to battle, giving them Jordin Sparks' R&B duet, “No Air.”

During rehearsals, they both sounded more than record-ready, but Ashley’s nerves were a weak point that gave Jonathas’ some confidence going in to the performance. But, as Christina wisely noted, it’s still “anyone’s game.”

While singing around the piano, Christina played the girl to Jonathas’ guy vocals, and engaged with him to the point that he forgot he was supposed to be performing, prompting mentor Lionel Richie to remind him to not lose his character once on stage.

Once the stage lights were turned on, we had to do a double take to make sure it wasn’t the original Jordin and Chris singing the ballad, the duet was so solid.

For her part, Christina  made note of both of their youthful energies, but thought that Ashley had more to work with in the end, and chose her to stay in the competition.

Jermaine Paul vs. Alyx

And then we had Blake Shelton, who chose Jermaine Paul and ALyX for his next round.

Though only 19, ALyX seemed to have confidence for both of them — until they got to the piano in front of coach Blake. Mentor Miranda Lambert caught on to ALyX’s restraint and serious demeanour, telling her it was OK to be “sassy about it.”

Jermaine, meanwhile, though regularly in the presence of chart topping female stars, was humbled by mentor Kelly Clarkson, who was, in turn, thoroughly impressed by his talent.

Singing “Get Outta My Dreams, Get Into My Car” by Billy Ocean, the duo gave passionate performances, and brought the kind of enthusiasm that the show was created for. In a vote that all the judges seconded, Jermaine took the win, and moved on to the live rounds.

Katrina Parker vs. Angel Taylor

Coming back around to Adam’s team, songstresses Angel Taylor and Katrina Parker were chosen to strut their stuff next. Commissioned with fellow reality star Leona Lewis's “Bleeding Love,” the girls had their work cut out for them.

Angel got some advice from scrumptious singers, Robin and Adam, who told her to give it her all, while Alanis told Katrina, to just take her talent, and “paddle away in it.”

Given the chance on stage, both did just that, giving us a pretty emotive performance overall. Though they both held command of the song in their own way, Adam went with Katrina, who had a  more “multi-dimensional” aspect, as Christina put it.

 

Erin Willett vs. Gwen Sebastian

Last up from Blake’s team, were Erin Willet and Gwen Sebastian. Singing Pat Benatar’s “We Belong," the girls had to find a way to make the ‘80s era pop icon their own.

Gwen tapped into the emotional aspect of the ballad, focusing on trying to make the audience feel the song over anything else. At the same time, mentor Kelly advised Erin to be strategically subtle, and use her falsetto rather than purely her powerhouse vocals.

And, as if these battle rounds weren’t enough to deal with, Erin learned that her father’s condition had worsened while she was in rehearsals. Though Gwen wanted to see it as more of a show, and less of a battle, we could tell that Erin had her game face on, hoping to make her father proud.

If nothing else, the two girls definitely belong together, on stage, and gave a stellar take on the classic song. However, it was the rich, warm tone of Erin’s voice that ultimately caused Blake to choose her, in a victory that, we’re sure, went beyond The Voice.

 

Next week,  we have the last week of the epic battle rounds. Watch as we find out who advances to the live rounds and who’s left behind.


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