Voice viewers -- first an apology. Monday night was filled with news of the tragedy in Boston, and we didn't get a recap done for you. I'll write about the performances from Monday night at the bottom of this recap.
First, there's good and bad news for KU's own Caroline Glaser. She was part of the last pairing in Tuesday night's episode, so if you just can't wait, scroll to the end of tonight's recap to find out.
The first battle pairing Tuesday was battle country hero. Adam paired deputy sheriff Michael Austin against firefighter Warren Stone.
The pair struggled some in rehearsal and neither did an outstanding job in the battle. I actually agreed with Blake that Michael won, but Adam sided with Warren Stone. None of the judges chose to use their coveted steals.
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The second battle came between Team Usher's two pretty boys -- Josiah Hawley and Jeff Lewis.
The song was completely wrong for both of them. Giving two men, confident in their looks, a song about mystique proved challenging during rehearsals -- and the battle.
Shakira was not impressed by their performance; neither was Adam.
Usher thanked them both for working hard, but selected former model Josiah. Jeff Lewis is out of the competition after no judges stole him.
I guess the shortened Tuesday night shows leave little time to show each battle pairing, so we got a montage of battles from the judges.
Blake decided to keep Grace Askew over Trevor Davis. Usher kept Audrey Karrasch over Jamila Thompson and Shakira chose Tanya Reynolds over Mark Andrew. Just a side note, there seem to be a lot of country artists this season.
Team Blake had the next pairing of the night, with KU student Caroline Glaser performing against Danielle Bradbery.
This is the battle of the unexperienced, with two artists who need to build confidence. I miss the days of pairing a strong person against a weaker performer and watching the weaker person rise to the challenge.
In any case, Blake found promising features in both of them, and this battle is sure to have a steal at the end, right?
The pair performed "Put Your Record On" and did not disappoint.
Both of these girls have a unique tone to their voice, and it was by far the best battle I've seen so far (but I have to go back and watch last night's episode!).
I'm sort of sad to see one of these girls leave Team Blake. I'd like to think they could be best friends, as they are some of the younger contestants this season.
Shakira described the performance "as refreshing as tangerine ice cream." Adam told Caroline he was an imbecile for not turning around for her the first time. We agree, Adam.
Blake loves both girls, and it was clear that this would be difficult. He also noted the difficult decision putting the pair against each other.
Blake decided to keep Danielle Bradbery on his team, and he may lose for it.
Usher and Adam both immediately comforted Caroline by hitting the steal button. I was sure glad to see it. The KU student is good enough to win this competition.
Usher was gushing over Caroline. He said he was willing to set himself on fire for the artist.
Adam was happy to have a chance to redeem himself. And he fought hard for the singer-songwriter. He told her he believed they were a wonderful fit.
Caroline selected to move to Team Adam -- just another incredibly strong performer on Team Adam.
Some notes from Tuesday's episode: Who is that judge sitting next to Adam? Oh, what's that you say? It's Shakira? She looks fabulous with straightened hair! And could Adam's hair be any bigger than it is in this episode? Also, do the advisors helping the coaches have any value this year? We've seen them less than in any past season. What happened to the one-on-one sit downs with the coaches, advisors and artists?
Now, back to yesterday's performances.
The first battle pairing of the night came between Amber Carrington and Sasha Allen.
The two performed Pink's "Try."
Now I see my first sit-down between the advisors, coaches and artists. Clearly, I wrote my previous notes prematurely.
Adam says Amber and Sasha would likely be one of his hardest decisions. I think Adam is delusional, based on the amount of talent on his team.
Sasha said in an interview that in order for her to win, she was going to have to feel something in the song.
Throughout her performance, this Voice viewer felt like she was trying to make it seem like the song touched her.
It was clear that the song was an anthem for Amber Carrington, who noted that after her mother's death, she had to force herself to get up and try.
Adam told the girls that this was one of the best battle rounds ever seen on the show (guess this was taped before Caroline Glaser and Danielle Bradbery's battle, huh?)
Adam chose Amber as the winner of the battle, shocking many, including Amber.
But Sasha is talented, and it was no surprise that, immediately, Usher and Shakira hit their steal
Usher and Shakira are both convinced that Sasha could help them win the season.
But Shakira was a winner by asking Sasha not to break her heart for a second time.
Sasha got hugs all around from Shakira, Adam and Usher. While Sasha told him it was a girl thing, I'm not sure she made the right choice. That remains to be seen and we move on to the next battle pairing.
Shakira put R&B artist J'Son against rocker Garrett Gardner. Gardner was a bit starstruck by advisor Joel Madden, but it didn't stop him from performing for his coach and advisor.
Both artists were one-coach turns during the blind auditions. They sang "How You Like Me Now" for their battle.
The last rehearsal for both performers was strong.
And from the first note out of J'Sun's mouth until the the last harmonized note, the performance was captivating.
J'Sun's style is reminiscent of Michael Jackson, while Garrett clearly is a rocker. But both gave performances to be remembered.
Halfway through the performance, I've determined I would steal whichever of these performers isn't selected as the winner.
Unfortunately, with the level of talent this season, no judge had a place for J'Sun once Shakira selected Garrett as the winner. He has a lot of talent, so I hope to see him again in music.
Blake's next pairing was between Holly Tucker and Michelle Raitzin.
Tucker had the support of all four coaches before choosing Team Blake. He was the only judge to turn for Raitzin, but the power of both vocalists drew him to pit the two against each other.
They performed "Blown Away" in the battle round.
I think it was probably torture for Holly Tucker to not be smiling during her performance, but Blake told her she needed to sing the song with anger. It felt like forced anger, but she got there.
It was definitely an epic battle round, as many of Monday and Tuesday's performances were.
Blake had a difficult decision to make. He picked Holly because of her ties to country music.
And like the blind auditions, none of the other judges picked up Michelle Raitzin.
Usher's first battle round was between Jess Kellner and Taylor Beckham.
Watching Tuesday night's episode first may have been a mistake for me. I certainly did not see the same type of coaching from night to night.
That's good on Usher, I suppose. That means he recognizes artists for their differences and knows how to lead them each differently.
Did anyone else feel like Taylor Beckham's personality was so flat during her performance? I don't know if it was the weird arm movements or her lack of emotion in her eyes, but her entire performance fell flat for me.
Jess Kellner's performance wasn't much better, but her unique vocal tone made her worth keeping for me.
It really was not a surprise that Blake and I agreed on this, while Shakira and Adam felt like Taylor did the better job.
Usher selected Jess as the winner and will move on to the knockout rounds.
And just when we thought Taylor Beckham was going home, Blake swooped in for the steal.
Team Blake had the next battle round, pairing The Swon Brothers and Christian Porter.
During the blind auditions, the Oklahoma natives sang Tom Petty; which served them well in the battle round with a Tom Petty song.
I really thought it would be Team Adam beating up on each other vocally, but in two nights of battle rounds, Team Blake is making me rethink those thoughts. I hope other Voice viewers are as excited as I am about the amount of talent on this season.
It was another great performance by members of Team Blake and he chose The Swon Brothers as the "swinners." (So many great puns this season!)
READ: 'Muskogee duo edges Blake Shelton teammate' (http://bit.ly/swonwin)
Christian Porter exits the show, but his cover song career could be really strong if he continues singing great arrangements like his blind audition.
Team Adam continues to showcase the power on his team with the next pairing.
Karina Iglesias battled Judith Hill for a spot in the knockout rounds. They performed "It's a Man's World."
Both women, like most of Adam's contestants, have incredible talent. The battle round should be unforgettable.
And unforgettable it was. She received standing ovations from at least two of the coaches and the crowd.
Blake's only negative comment in the entire performance was that Adam was stupid for pitting the two against each other. Shakira also said pairing them up was a bad idea.
And in two nights, we've seen declarations of the best battle round ever more than once. And more than once that's been correct.
Adam selected Judith Hill as the winner of the battle. Karina didn't get the chance to go home, though. Shakira, who said not turning for Karina during the blind auditions haunted her, swooped in to get Karina for her team.
A couple of notes on Monday's episode: Did the wardrobe people really dress Michelle Raitzin as Wonder woman, or did she do that herself? Did you have difficulty understanding Shakira when she was naming the song for Garrett and
J'Sun? I had to rewind it three times. But, I'm really starting to love her as a coach this season. I would almost rather see her and Usher stick around in place of CeeLo and Xtina. And could Carson use the word epic to describe more battles, please?