Tuesday, October 16, 2012

'The Voice' Pairs Mariachi With Soul During Battle Rounds

Photo: NBC
Natasha Chandel/MTV

"The Voice" raged on as the judges made some odd pairings in the battle rounds on Monday night. With the competition stiffening, coaches are looking beyond mere originality and judging vocals on consistency and technique. Adam Levine, Christina Aguilera, Blake Shelton and Cee Lo Green paired some interesting artists, culminating in some highly entertaining battles.

Opposites Attract
You know you're in for an interesting battle when a Mariachi singer is paired with a soul diva. Team Blake's Julio Cesar Castillo and Terisa Griffin entertained the crowd with their duet of Gloria Estefan's "Conga." Coach Shelton felt the song was a good way to showcase Castillo's Latin flair and Griffin's big voice. Despite Griffin's equally big personality, which often intimidated her contender, Shelton chose to keep the singer he felt worked the hardest: Castillo. But 42-year-old Griffin was quickly swooped up by Cee Lo Green in the steal.

Coach Adam Levine decided to throw in a wildcard by pairing Sam James and Benji. Singing Bon Jovi's "You Give Love a Bad Name" was more out of James' range, who was advised to work on his range, while Benji was told to rein in his wide range and find some balance. The two young men gave a fierce battle, with James delivering on the notes and Benji delivering on that signature scream, but the judges gave a unanimous vote for Benji. In a surprise move, Levine bet against their opinions and kept James.

The Beard Crew
"What makes a good song? Something that takes you somewhere," guest mentor Rob Thomas told Nicholas David and Todd Kessler as they led Team Cee Lo's Midwestern "beard crew." The two became fast friends and found it hard to compete against each other. Forced to put their feelings aside, the duo sang in near perfect harmony with David's soulful alto breathing wind into Kessler's breezy soprano. Besides receiving praise for his style, swag, originality and even Jesus-like looks, ultimately, Nicholas David moved his coach the most.

Wind vs. Fire
Team Christina's Jocelyn Rivera and Sylvia Yacoub brought the elements in their battle with Rivera having difficulty finding her place with her soft vocals against the vocally charged Yacoub in their cover of Beyoncé's "Best I Never Had." The two proved their range and maturity in singing the tough song, but the fierce Xtina connected to Yacoub's "fire," leaving Rivera free to steal. Supporters Shelton and Levine began their own little battle over the singer whose smile "melted" their hearts. Rivera ultimately chose Team Adam.

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