You think it’d be easier to do one night, three hours, and be done with it for the week. Unfortunately, NBC hates me. Here’s part two of the battle rounds that won’t be any different from the last episode outside of I believe they brought out a lot of contestants from the night of blind auditions I skipped so forgive me for not recalling over half the night‘s contestants.
Pharrell rampantly praises Alicia Keyes in the night’s first introduction before pairing up Jordy Searcy and Taylor Phelan. I’m sure Searcy and Phelan were in the blind auditions but neither one sparks my recognition. Pharrell paired them for their indie rock and pop style and gives them The Script’s “Breakeven.” Jordy produces some weird runs compared to Taylor who has issues pushing out the notes. Grammy-award winner Alicia Keyes gives Taylor some crucial advice: He should tighten his stomach “like you’ve gotta take a poop.” Grammy-award winner, everyone! Alicia nicely sums up the entire reason for the battle rounds when talking about Searcy and Phelan; both sound so similar so they end up blending instead of producing something unique. The boys’ big rehearsal scene sounds awful with both of them ending every line flat. During the actual performance Jordy is all hands. Literally, his hands are flying across his face and are highly distracting. If you aren’t looking at his hands, Jordy’s stilting of the notes comes off like forgetting lyrics. Taylor, fortunately, pulls out those pauses for dramatic effect as intended. Taylor makes himself heard and felt, whereas Jordy acts like the sensitive singer. This is another example of a good battle that’s not a scream-fest. Gwen and Blake say Pharrell should pick Taylor which he does. Smart decision, Pharrell.
I really wish we could hear these “interruptions” between judge and guest judge because I’m curious whether Adam’s showing Stevie Nicks some sort of yoga position…or something else. Adam’s first pairing is Alessandra Castranovo and Joe Kirk. Joe doesn’t seem excited about meeting Stevie, and it’s ambiguous whether he knows who she is. Maybe he can borrow a copy of Jonathan Wyndham’s copy of “Rumours” on vinyl. Adam gives the duo Rihanna’s “Stay” and the whole rehearsal comes off like they’re preparing to perform on the Kids Choice Awards. Adam mentions his band, again, and the pressure he once felt before performing. He’s trying to bond with Joe through the story, but Adam Levine hasn’t been nervous in years! That man pisses confidence. I wasn’t wrong with the Kids Choice feeling because these two sound like pure tween pop. Alessandra does a better job of projecting a story through her performance, and she’s got a broader range than Joe. Joe lacks that dreaded “personality” Gwen keeps bringing up. Carson says “This is how you battle!” I’m assuming then that all we need to establish peace in the Middle East is a hug, huh, Carson? I’d go with Alessandra, but I feel that Adam’s attempts to establish a bond with Joe would sway in his favor. Carson keeps harping about running out of time. Yeah, considering this series is 85% filler half the time, it’s great on time management. Adam picks Alessandra and I’m tempted to believe he started saying his own name and just spewed out the “lessandra.” Adam does mention Joe was like a little brother. Gotta love an artist meeting someone twice and feeling like they’re family.
For all Carson’s talk of time we get a montage of other battles that apparently weren’t good enough to show in full. How can you boast three-hours of content, two nights a week, for like 4 weeks and STILL have to cut stuff? Adam paired Clara Hong with Rebeka Samarin and picked Rebeka; Blake paired Grant Ganzer with John Martin, picking Grant; Blake also paired Justin Johnes with Tanner Linford and picked Tanner. Why these were good enough to air in their entirety has all the makings of a dart and a dartboard.
The final pairing of the night has Gwen team up Menlik (I rewound four times and still couldn’t read his last name) and Troy Ritchie. Troy performed Fitz and the Tantrums during his audition so he gets my support by default. Troy is very impressed to meet Gavin, glad someone is. Gwen gives the guys Hall and Oates’ “Maneater.” Menlik wants to bring a reggae vibe to the song which doesn’t sound like it’s meant to work, especially when Troy lacks that sound entirely in his performance. It would have been better pairing Menlik with Antoinette, the other reggae performer on Gwen’s team. Gavin says there’s no connection between the two of them. Words of advice from the man you love, Gwen! Gwen tells Troy to be tough and tone it down. This advice from the woman who proceeds to put her hands by her crotch and throw her arms around like she’s Jay-Z! It’s a Hall and Oates song, not a performance by Slayer! During the actual performance Troy bops all over the joint which I’m taking as a subtle sign of rebellion against Gwen. He’s fun to watch while Menlik has a nice sound and that’s it. With Gwen’s hard-on for reggae I see Menlik winning by default. Gwen reminds us that she must go with the show’s name. What is it again? She picks Troy! Wow, Gwen, I apologize for a quarter of the insults I’ve given you. Adam and Pharrell decide to steal Menlik with Menlik picking Pharrell.