It's Team Blake's turn next, and it's Jermaine Paul vs. Alyx in the battle of Billy Ocean's "Get Out Of My Dreams, Get Into My Car." Billy Ocean has been a guilty pleasure of mine since the Top Gear Band got a hold of "Red Light Spells Danger" a few years back, but I couldn't have guessed that Blake knows Billy Ocean! Ah, surprises. Anywho, Alyx gets to work with the lovely Miranda Lambert, who calls her "very guarded" and isn't sure if she's "ever had fun." If she can't connect with her duet partner and more importantly, with the audience, she's done for. Meanwhile, Jermaine is paired with Kelly Clarkson, while I wonder if his head is going to hit the ceiling of the barn when he's on the practice stage. Kelly thinks he can "handle anything" and invites him on tour with her, but Blake warns Jermaine not to underestimate his competition.
Battle time! I'm not sure what Alyx is wearing, but she certainly seems to have loosened up a bit, and she and Jermaine have the audience eating out of their hands from the start. They both sound great, and their voices match well together, though it appears as if Jermaine's additional experience does give him an advantage. He's engaging the crowd more and he seems to have more command of the stage. Adam tells Jermaine that he "took this song and kicked its ass," and he, Cee Lo and Christina are all impressed by him, so Blake steps in and says Alyx isn't getting enough credit. Who does he save? Jermaine.
Team Adam's Katrina Parker gets the daunting task of facing early darling Angel Taylor, with the song "Bleeding Love" by Leona Lewis. Adam calls the prospective battle "both exciting and terrifying," but advises both artists to "stick to the program" and make sure to convey the vulnerability in the song. He pairs Angel with Robin Thicke, and just from Adam's vocal snippets in their rehearsal, I'd beg to hear him cover the track. Robin thinks Angel could win it all, but needs more passion from her. Meanwhile, Katrina works with Alanis, and it's nice to hear her ask questions instead of just standing there and taking advice. Alanis makes a boat metaphor. Adam gives the pointer I've been waiting my whole musical career to hear: "Be nervous. You may forget words. Who cares?" Ha!
With that, it's time to battle. Both Angel and Katrina sound great, but Katrina more than holds her own with Angel. Maybe it's because people weren't necessarily expecting Katrina to blow the doors off the joint, but to me she sounds more amazing than I would have guessed from her audition. Couple that with the fact that she's smart enough to ask questions and be an active participant in the rehearsal process, and she could go really far. Not to shortchange Angel, who also sung very well here, but I saw a combination of vocal talent and brains from Katrina that really impressed me.
Blake says Katrina "flat out" won the battle. Cee Lo is also impressed by her. Adam wants to hide, saying "this really sucks, to do this right now, because I don't want to. I hope you don't hate me after I do this." He saves Katrina.
As I'm writing this column, people are already hating on Katrina, Adam and/or the show for not picking Angel, and to those people I would like to say: for one, you do not have to destroy someone else to support someone you love. For two, while Angel has a great voice, as I mentioned previously, a great audition doesn't mean an automatic pass through the next round. You can be outsung, and she was. As Adam said, there are other things out there for Angel, and let's put our energy into supporting her in those ventures rather than hating on others.
Now we go back to Team Blake, and it's Gwen Sebastian vs. Erin Willett with "We Belong" by Pat Benatar. We are rocking the 80's tunes this season! Gwen gets to work with Miranda Lambert, which floors her. Miranda tells her it's "really cool that you're thoughtful of the other person on stage," which I second. Kelly teams with Erin, but unfortunately Erin gets some very bad news about her father just before the battle. Even though he doesn't have long, her father tells her to stay with the show, and she has Blake there to counsel her. Excuse me while I get my Kleenex. I can't fathom not being with the person you love in that situation, let alone having the courage to perform under those circumstances.
Yet it is still a competition, and Gwen can't be expected to let Erin win, no matter how painful the going. This is one battle of the belters, and I think Pat Benatar would be pretty proud of it. Both ladies sing with power, and they sound pretty great. Cee Lo goes with Gwen, while Adam finds himself conflicted between the two, and eventually sides with Erin. The final call goes to Blake, who wishes the battle wasn't so good so his decision would be easier. He eventually takes Erin, but Gwen departs gracefully, and I'm sure we'll also hear from her again.
Oh, and the Adam Levine Bleeping Counter goes up +1 this week to 12 this season, plus we got a bonus bleep from Christina Aguilera.
What did you think of the battle results? Did you agree? Disagree? Was there someone or something you truly loved? Let me know, and I'll see you next week.
(c)2012 Brittany Frederick/Digital Airwaves. All rights reserved. No reproduction permitted.