Last night's teen diva blow out was pitched as an "epic battle" in the promo, though it was no more epic than any other high octave/high school/high drama sitch on Team Xtina. Devyn DeLoera, whose personal plotline is about trying to get out of the Texas backcountry and take her pageant hair to the big time, did a wallpaper-peeling version of "Free Your Mind" with this season's youngest competitor, MarissaAnn. MarissaAnn stomped and strutted at a level well beyond her 15 years, and opened on the unfortunate "prostitute" line and had to sell it. Devyn practically gave us an upskirt by walking across the stage and ended in the pose of the The Voice statue. In between, they covered many octaves. Aguilera picked the smoother Devyn, but Blake wisely got in the game by stealing MarissaAnn for his team, which has been largely diva-free.
On to our power rankings.
Coach: Blake Shelton
Though they blitzed through several battles in the span of a few minutes to cram as much as possible into an episode shortened for the presidential debate that followed, Shelton nixed Ryan Jirovec (who?) for emo cheese piece Cassadee Pope. Shelton credited Pope being "further along" than her competitor (given that she spent the last few years under contract to Pete Wentz's major label imprint, she's probably further along than everyone on the show). Between that and the teen diva pick up, Shelton is showing that he's honing a team of getters, while the other coaches seem to be making choices about whom to keep or not based on sentiment and who sounds the most like the coach. MarissaAnn joins the rank of Shelton's Steals alongside the dude with the shell necklace.
Coach: Christina Aguilera
Tonight she went with DeLoera and though Xtina sometimes picks the more generic contestant, she always goes with the most technically perfect. In the rehearsal reel she hoped they could perform "without overkill" – but c'mon, where's the fun in that?
Coach: Cee Lo Green
Cee Lo and Rob Thomas tried to get real on the totally unconfident returning contestant Daniel Rosa, with Green telling him, "I can't teach anyone how to play it safe." SRSLY. Thomas made note that Rosa looked like he was about to barf his lunch onto the piano, which made Rosa look even more nervous – who knew that was even possible? Rosa duetted with Hurricane Katrina survivor Alexis Marceaux on Adam Lambert's hit "Whataya Want From Me" for a bit of Idol synchronicity. Rosa sounded like a soulful version of Modest Mouse's Isaac Brock, which made Cee Lo keep him for the reason that he and Rosa are both flawed in a fantastic way. Keeping someone while simultaneously quasi-insulting them and complimenting yourself is a classic Xtina move; Cee Lo is a close study.
Coach: Adam Levine
Levine carved some man-meat from his team tonight in the form of "single dad" Brian Scartocci, previously promising soul-teen Brandon Mahone and least notably, the dorm rasta Samuel Mouton, surely crushing Mouton's dream of performing Snow's "Informer" in the finals. Levine kept "Vermont hippie with magnetic personality" (oof) Nicole Nelson, wedding singer Loren Allred and Joe Kirkland, who sounds just like Levine. None of these people are going to make it near the finals, so Monday was a low-stakes culling.
Best mid-show tweet between contestants: @Amanda_Brown tweeted: "@LorenAllred How was the juice cleanse? I have been putting mine off."
Proof that despite looking like he's going to vomit, Daniel Rosa is getting the competitive spirit: He uttered the number one reality-show gauntlet-throwdown cliché as he took the stage: "I didn't come this far just to go home."
Just in case you thought she was all Small Wonder: MarissaAnn: "I am a teen but I have emotions."
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