Alas, the battle rounds are through – but the knockout rounds start next week, and they are, judging by the promo reel, the same thing but more serious. But never mind that: last night’s biggest moment was getting a glimpse of Avery Wilson, who has been destined for the semi-finals since his audition. Coach Cee Lo Green pitted him against former Lady Gaga back-up singer Chevonne on David Guetta’s song featuring Sia, “Titanium,” which the contestants performed complete with weird robotic arm moves that were very Transformers: The Workout. Wilson, a dancer turned singer, was an effortless triple-threat under the stage lights, with huge sustained vibrato and moves to match. Chevonne, fresh from playing stadiums, was mugging for the cheap seats with high notes and kabuki-corn. At one point she sank to her knees, tugged off her jacket and seemingly went into bridge pose. The producers cut to Christina, who was laughing. The judges were tongue-tied for Wilson, and then Aguilera scooped Chevonne with a steal, but it was kind of low-stakes: Team Xtina had one steal left and Chevonne was the last contestant in the game. Lord knows, the woman cannot deny a belting alto with big hair.
Coach: Cee Lo Green
Avery. Wilson. All his performances are drop-the-mic moments. If Cee Lo pits anyone against Wilson in next week’s whatever-battle phase, it will be because he hates them.
Coach: Christina Aguilera
Xtina made Jordan Pruitt think she was a lock because they had that hyper-groomed child-of-Disney shared background, and then Aguilera nixed her for being too safe and made her cry. This is the second season in a row where Xtina has taken down people who play that Mousketeer card. She might as well tear up a picture of Mickey, Sinead-style. She was not kidding in the rehearsal reel when she said the job of a pop super star is to “exude power.” The mouse may have brought her to us, but she is her own woman now – and don’t you forget it.
Coach: Blake Shelton
He and his assistant coach Michael Bublé are cornier than two corndogs. Shelton described 16-year-old Michaela Paige as “a punk rock,” singular. Bublé Gomered-out on Paige and her competitor, 15-year-old crimping-wand victim Kelly Crapa (“CRAY-puh”), when they told him how old they were. Sweetly enough, the coaches told the girls that when they are superstars, Shelton and Bublé would be able to say they knew them when. Then Bublé said that Paige had “a 60-year-old black woman trapped” in her teenage body. Shelton opted to keep Paige (and the lady trapped in her).
Coach: Adam Levine
Levine is in last place because he had no horses (nor he-divas) in tonight’s competition.The other reason Jordan Pruitt should have been eliminated: Melismatic ad-libs on Katy Perry’s “Hot N Cold” are beyond the pale, even for the perpetually over-the-top Voice battle rounds.Best Xtina burn: She called the melody to Perry’s song “cutesy” and showed her contestants how to sing it with some dynamics and grit.Enough with the Rocky imitation: Chevonne’s backstage reel included jogging in place and punching the air.