Do you know what time it is?
Hint: the contestants are starting to suck up to the mentors. (“She’s like an angel!” gushes one bearded guy about Sheryl Crow.) Carson Daly is getting impatient with the coaches. (“Adam, I know it’s hard, but I need your decision!” he sighs.) And the rest of us are busy playing our new favorite drinking game: take a shot every time one singer says that the other is “more experienced than I am.” (You get bonus points if you play this game with a bottle of Blake Shelton’s special “adult sarsaparilla.”)
That’s right—it’s Battle Rounds hour at The Voice. Time for classically-trained singers to duke it out in an actual boxing ring, just like Pavarotti intended. The competition is intense! But don’t worry. If you get too stressed out about picking your favorite, just remember that these coaches are “more experienced” than you. And please ignore the gulping sound that’s coming from my flask.
TEAM ADAM: AMBER CARRINGTON VS. SASHA ALLEN
The song: “Try” by Pink
The story: “Wherever you are in your life, put yourself in that song,” suggests Adam’s mentor, Hillary Scott from Lady Antebellum. Suddenly, sweet, young country-singing Amber gets choked up. “When my mom passed away, it was very hard, but I didn’t want to be one of those people who fell into a depression,” she admits. Then she cries. Then a certain Voice recapper cries. (Sniff.) Okay, people. Nothing to see here. Moving on!
The battle: I love that Amber sounds like a young Kelly Clarkson, and the emotion in her performance feels very real. Yes, Sasha’s more experienced (drink!), with a powerhouse voice that could pick Amber up by her pompadour and throw her at Adam’s feet as an gift offering. But maybe she’s overdoing it a little?
The feedback: “I wouldn’t want to be in your shoes right now, Adam,” says Shakira. “I wouldn’t either,” agrees Adam. Wait, he wouldn’t want to be in his own shoes? Suddenly, I’m imagining him wearing Shakira’s stilettos under that chair.
The verdict: Adam picks Amber. But wait—Shakira and Usher both want to steal Sasha! Usher promises that he’ll reveal “the best information and secrets” if Sasha goes with him. (What secrets? Is he guzzling lizards’ blood to make his voice sound that good?) But Sasha picks Shakira, and Usher pretends to cry. “Just think what I could’ve done with you!” he sighs. What a shame. All that lizard blood, wasted.
TEAM SHAKIRA: GARRETT GARDNER VS. J’SUN
The song: “How You Like Me Now?” by the Heavy
The story: Garrett worries that R&B vet J’Sun is “more experienced.” (Drink!) And Shakira worries that high school kid Garrett will overdo his raspy tone. “It’s like when I shake my hips…” she says. “I like that!” insists her mentor, Good Charlotte frontman Joel Madden, a.k.a. Mr. Nicole Richie. Shakira laughs. “But I can’t just shake them every verse!” she insists. “Well, we could debate that…” he replies. Guys! Stop flirting before Nicole stabs you both.
The battle: J’Sun has a great falsetto, a lot of swagger, and a cool leather jacket. Garrett has a smooth, soulful voice, some adorable curls… and a cool leather jacket. Win-win?
The feedback: “This is torture for me to have to pick between the two of you… Oh god, I should’ve never taken his job,” frets Shakira. But Blake has some solid advice for calming her nerves: “Just drink like I do.”
The verdict: Shakira picks Garrett. “I’m about to cry,” he confesses. “I can’t even express how happy I am!” Total tears shed tonight so far? At least 2,517.
NEXT: “Proud is not the word. Sick is the word.”