And here we are, the last of the battle rounds. Though nothing seems to have changed, with the coaches in the same outfits they’ve been wearing for the past five weeks, we’ve actually cut the number of competitors in half.
In the last of the pre-recorded competition, the judges put their remaining artists to the test, as the final first rounders take their turn in the ring.
James Massone vs. Wade
Boston boy James was a little less than enthused, admitting that he didn’t even know the words (how is that even possible?). In front of the piano, mentor Ne-Yo told him to get up “out of his nerves,” giving the timid tenor a much needed dose of confidence.
And even though Wade “looked like a 12-year-old,” in Babyface’s words, he sang with an experience beyond his years that both coaches instantly connected with.
At the final rehearsals, Cee Lo was so touched by their progress, he actually shed a few tears at the prospect of having to cut one of his talented boys.
The final performance was heartfelt, though not without some “pitchy moments” as judge Christina Aguilera pointed out. Faced with a decision, softie Cee Lo once again got a little choked up , but chose James, sending his “soul brother” Wade packing.
Nicolle Galyon vs. Mathai
Next, from Adam Levine’s ranks, were sweet songstresses Nicolle Galyon and Mathai. In the opening rehearsals, tiny Mathai actually towered over Nicole, who seemed a bit nervous to be paired with the would-be nursing student.
Despite her insecurities, Mentor Robin Thicke was thoroughly charmed by Nicolle, equating her voice to “morning coffee on a veranda,” while Alanis Morissette directed Mathai to take her time with the song and showcase her distinctive sound.
In the final run-through, however, Adam switched it up and scrapped the piano, which Nicolle was using as sort of crutch, leaving her with nothing between herself and competitor Mathai.
With the focus on what she was losing rather than what she could possibly gain from open space, it seemed Nicolle was less than prepared to step into the ring.
Singing the bubbly pop hit with a bite, “Love Song” by Sara Bareilles, the two girls gave it a breathy air, which proved to be both a good and bad thing.
Judge Adam Levine was unenthused with the whole piece, saying that he was “let down” in general, but awarded the win to the more confident Mathai.
Moses Stone vs. The Line
Saving her most original pairing for last, Christina pitted country duo The Line against hip hop artist Moses Stone. Looking for a way to push both competitors to their limits, Christina was ready to shake things up, both for the competitors and the audience, giving them “(I Can’t Get No) Satisfaction” to sing.
Even though they outnumbered the young emcee, The Line had a bit of trouble with the song, giving Moses the chance to use his personality to upstage the two from the outset.
In rehearsals, both Christina and mentor Lionel Richie praised his versatile nature, even comparing him to Young Money superstars Drake and Lil Wayne.
Mentor Jewel wasn’t nearly as sweet with The Line, telling them point blank to not be a “wedding band.”
She even got a little personal, telling them to dig from their own relationship woes for inspiration (awkward).
Once on stage, the country singers were pleasant enough, but Moses’ obvious bravado overshadowed their singing talent. Though judge Blake thought the performance was “pretty weird,” Christina seemed to love it, giving Moses her final vote.
The female half of The Line, Hailey, clearly didn’t agree with Christina’s decision, refusing to even give the obligatory fake humble exit interview.
Karla Davis vs. Orlando Napier
In his last pairing, Adam gave his remaining singers Karla Davis and Orlando Napier "Rich Girl," which didn’t sit well with Los Angeles native Orlando, who hadn’t ever heard of the song.
But he didn’t have to worry too long, because in another switcheroo, Adam changed the team’s song mid-rehearsal, to The Voice mentor Lionel Richie’s “Easy.”
Once that was finally set, Adam set to work drawing out Karla’s powerhouse side, christening her big voiced alter-ego, “Bertha.” Meanwhile, mentor Robin dubbed Orlando the “Picasso of the group,” telling him to ignite the crowd with his powerful song strokes.
The performance lived up to its name, and was seemingly effortless for both singers, if lacking a bit of the showmanship of battles past. But it was Karla, giving "Bertha" her due, who took the victory out from under the soul singer Orlando.
Jordan Rager vs. Naia Kete
Singing Jason Mraz’ “I’m Yours,” everyone, including Blake, thought Naia had the upper hand given her experience and singing style.
While rehearsing, though nervous about his harmonizing skills, young Jordan still didn’t have a problem trying to make some sweet music with Blake’s wife Miranda Lambert. Meanwhile, Mentor Kelly Clarkson was instantly charmed by bohemian beauty Naia, giving her free reign to let her voice fly.
In the final run-through, Jordan finally nailed the harmony, giving Naia a little something to be nervous about, which showed once they were finally in the ring. Underwhelmed with both performances, Blake decided to choose based on their track records, picking the experienced street performer Naia over high school student Jordan.
Tony Vincent vs. Justin Hopkins
Both impressed us away with their talent and raging vocals, but our reaction was nothing compared to Cee Lo, who was wiping his eyes in the middle of rehearsals ... again. (Pull it together dude.)
Mentor Ne-Yo praised Justin’s “natural growl,” with Cee Lo calling him a “diamond in the rough,” while Tony made it all look too easy with his Broadway bravado.
Choosing Journey’s “Faithfully,” Cee Lo was clearly hoping for an epic finish, and that’s what he got. At one time touching and gritty, the guys put their heart into their performance, impressing the judges across the board.
Calling it the “toughest one” for him, CeeLo finally went with dad-to-be Tony Vincent as his last team member.
Now that we’re finally done with the battles, the real fighting begins. Next week, the live rounds!