We got a taste of the new and improved battle rounds last night, so we were more than ready to get back into it tonight on The Voice Season 3.

Rather than battling against each other, today was all about meshing together. The coaches had the singers work more on harmonizing with their teammate rather than just out singing them. But it seemed like playing nice was even harder than fighting dirty, as the singers did their best to make music with their biggest competition.

Here’s how they did!

Cody Belew vs. Domo

And we started out with a bang.  We had Domo, the, shall we say, spirited-dancer-hyphen-singer who started her own concert in the blind auditions, paired against Cody Belew, the sweet-natured farmer who had a bit of that dancing “bam bam” of his own.

For these two, coach Cee Lo Green chose Lady Gaga’s “Telephone,” and apparently going for the method acting approach, Domo showed up to rehearsals in full Lady Gaga-esque wardrobe, including neon costume jewelry the size of a small child. Somehow mentor Rob Thomas was able to focus long enough to give some good advice to the mild tempered Cody who was busy dodging Domo’s ponytail whipping through the session.

We’re surprised Cody even fit in the room considering Domo’s ego, especially after she compared herself to Aretha Franklin and Mariah Carey, receiving in return a much-deserved eye roll from Rob Thomas who was not here for that.

Although Domo was ready to make Cody a back up dancer to her one woman show, in the ring, neither quite gave the performance worthy of a solo artist, but managed to make it work with a whole lot of stage presence on both ends. Barring a real vocal battle, Cee Lo went with his personal favorite, choosing Cody over Ms. When I say ‘DA,’ You say ‘MO.’ Sometimes in this game, less is more.

Aquile vs. Nathalie Hernandez

Over in Christina Aguilera’s pleasure dome, we caught up with the coach and mentor Billie Joe Armstrong as they prepped the next battle, Aquile and Nathalie Hernandez.

Right out of the gate, Aquile slid into the song with practiced ease, earning high praise from Billie Joe, who said that he sang it “better than the original.” 15-year-old Nathalie seemed nervous that she lacked the life experience to necessarily back up the song, but Christina said that she could end up being the ”secret weapon” of her whole team.  

Singing “You Give Me Something” by James Morrison, Aquile and Nathalie pulled it together and turned out a really sweet duet that just made you want to smile, including the coaches, who called Nathalie “precious” and Aquile “commanding.” But, as precious as Nathalie was, the clear winner was the smooth-voiced Aquile, who skated through to  the next round, sending Nathalie home. Let’s be honest though, being 15 and singing in the biggest national competition ain’t too shabby.

And then we got some rapid fire battle montages, which apparently weren’t dramatic enough to make for a full segment. Celica Westbrook won over Lisa Scinta in Christina’s house, and Rudy Parris made it through over Charlie Rey on Blake’s team.

Caitlin Michele vs. Melanie Martinez

Then we had the multi-colored hair pair of Caitlin Michele and Melanie Martinez. Sitting down alongside Mary J. Blige, coach Adam Levine told the two talents that they both had “unique voices” that worked “in a pop context,” which made sense considering they reminded us of a Florence + the Machine and Zooey Deschanel in training respectively.  

Once they got to singing, the two blew away Ms. Blige, but somehow lost of some of that quality in their final rehearsals, earning a “that’s no good” from coach Adam, effectively amping up the dramarama factor for the upcoming battle.

We will say this for Adam, he always picks the best songs for his team’s voices, and once again, he was right on the money with his choice of Ellie Goulding’s “Lights.” The pop off beat song with a haunting edge really suited both singers’ lilting tones, and while Melanie had to burn off a bit of her nerves in the beginning, the younger singer got back into it with plenty of time to get back on track. By the end, the two were neck and neck and from the judges’ perspective, it was too close to call. Hmm, we smell a “steal.”  

Adam didn’t want to give away any of his toys, but alas, he had to choose one. Going with his gut, Adam declared Melanie the winner, basically serving up Caitlin to the others on a silver platter. And gobble her up they did, with Cee Lo Green and Blake Shelton both all too ready to swoop in.

Though Blake thought the match was “natural,” Mr. “Unique” Cee Lo Green beckoned his “dark princess” over to his lair and scooped up his first steal.

Next week, more battles, more steals, and a maybe breakup of our favorite bromance between Blake and Adam?


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