The Voice
Season 4: The Battles Premiere, Part 2

Episode Report Card
Carla Sparks: C | 1 USERS: B+
U Got Him Mad

In the first episode of the Battle Rounds, Carson teased "a shocking steal." I wonder what elements could possibly make a steal shocking. Is it shocking because of who does the stealing? Blake doesn't steal a country artist or Adam does? Maybe it's shocking because the stolen contestant isn't very good, but they would never promote that. Perhaps the shock is that one of the contestants gets stolen, then turns out to be a bear. Now that would be shocking.

The next pairing is Michael Austin and Warren Stone from Team Adam. They are Adam's two country guys. Blake wasn't terribly impressed with Michael and didn't push his button, but Warren turned three chairs including Blake's. These two guys are very excited to see Hillary Scott. But there's only room for one service man who is also a country singer on this team, or any team.

Adam chose Jason Aldean's "My Kind of Party" for Michael and Warren. We are all curious to see how Adam's mentorship goes for them. He talks a lot about tone and attack. He doesn't talk about trucks, boots or guitars. He doesn't even try to wear a cowboy hat. In the final rehearsal, Adam tells these country guys that country music is "all pocket," and sometimes they fall off rhythmically. He's not talking about the pockets on your Wranglers, folks. They look like they're listening to Adam, but who knows what kind of skepticism is dwelling behind those nodding heads?

Although I thought his advice about pockets was useless, I see what Adam is talking about falling "behind the pocket" as Michael and Warren battle. They're both lagging a bit, and the performance feels sleepy. It's not my kind of party, nor is it Blake's.

Blake compares it to a wrestling match, and gives his vote to Michael. Usher compliments Warren on giving it a younger feel and adding "country swag." Shakira likes them both equally, and is out of steals already. Someone needs to tell Shakira she can't adopt all the puppies at the shelter. Adam chooses Warren, likely because of Michael's "marketability" issues, and because he's the one Blake turned his chair for. No one steals Michael. We remain un-shocked.

The next battle comes from Usher's team: Jeff Lewis versus Josiah Hawley. Is this the battle of the good looking Christian guys? No, because then both of them would have to be good looking. Jeff, whose religion is not disclosed, lost his record deal and now works full time as a Carson Daly look-alike. Josiah used to be a model but wanted to use his looks for something else that would make him feel special. Usher paired them together because they are both (over-)confident.

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