Let the battle rounds begin!
Now that the coaches can steal any player who’s been eliminated from another team, the competition involves slightly more, uh, strategery.
And with new mentors joining our regular V.I.P.s—Mary J. Blige on Team Adam, Billie Joe Armstrong on Team Christina, Rob Thomas on Team Cee Lo, and Michael “Tiny Bubbles” Bublé on Team Blake—there’s so much personality, it hurts to look directly at the TV screen.
So let’s keep our eyes glued right here on this recap instead, shall we?
Team Blake: Casey Muessigmann vs. Terry McDermott
If someone says “American dream” one more time when mentioning Scottish rocker Terry McDermott, I’m going to move to Canada. To be fair, though, what American isn’t rooting for this guy? Check out that awesome arena-rock voice. That stylish Brit-pop mullet. That adorable accent. Just the way he says “Michael Bublé” is probably making your mom faint right now.
Even Blake is charmed. He warns Casey, “Terry is a bad-ass singer. That’s an uphill battle for you.” But Casey still declares that he’s going to win the whole competition, and for a while, I almost believe him. I love his Southern cowboy twist on “Carry On My Wayward Son” by Kansas. He turns this classic-rock nugget into a natural-born country song, one that’s smoother and sadder than the original, with themes of faith and family that fit right into that genre. Unfortunately, it’s clear that he’s working very hard to sound good, while Terry makes everything look so easy. He just strolls across the stage, belting out a powerfully strong chorus with such a casual attitude, you’d think he was doing nothing harder than kicking a tin can across the stage. Blake chooses Terry.
Poor Casey. You know what he said about winning? Well, tonight, his Scottish buddy will get to see Casey eat his words, with a side of haggis.
Team Adam: Brian Keith vs. Collin McLoughlin
Next up, Adam picks Sublime’s “Santeria,” because nothing says competition like a song about sticking the barrel of a .45 down your rival’s throat. With his raspy voice and his tough-guy fedora, Brian understands the darkness in this track. But Collin might be a little too clean-cut. As Mary J. Blige observes, “He needs to create that pain and that crackle.” Oh, c’mon, Mary, just say what you’re really thinking: More drama. That’s what he needs.
You can tell that both of these guys are great performers because somebody’s father is singing along happily in the front row. (Aw!) Brian’s grittier voice is a more natural fit for this song. But Collin has such energy and range, I get the feeling that he can sing anything, from Motown to boy-band pop to contemporary R&B. So Adam chooses Brian. And Blake steals Collin. And I’m gonna steal that dad.
NEXT: Someone gets away with calling Christina the c-word.