The Voice
Season 6, The Battles Continue

Episode Report Card
Carla Sparks: B- | 5 USERS: A-
YOU GRADE IT
Stuck in the Middle with Duos

The Battle rounds are probably my favorite part of this whole process, but they're also the weirdest. No one gets to feel good about themselves until the live rounds, and even then, maybe America will make them feel bad. In this portion, the coaches' picks are pitted against one another, vying for their famous person's affection.

Adam's first battle pair of the night is Austin Elis versus Josh Kaufman. I don't remember Austin very well at all and I'm thinking he got montaged over. Josh Kaufman got that coveted last audition of the night and he's a "family man" who doesn't suck at singing. I'm thinking this will go Josh's way.

Austin is a huge fan of Aloe Blacc and I love how cool Aloe is about everything. For this battle, Adam wisely chose the addictive, toe-tapping "Happy" from Despicable Me 2. Adam cautions Austin in rehearsal not to lose steam at the end of his notes and Aloe tells Josh he can have more attitude. They are giving it too much attitude and embellishment. This isn't a song that's trying too hard and they're making it into one. Aloe Blacc honestly believes that these two will have "one of the best soul battles." Is that saying anything?

In the final rehearsal, Adam comments that Austin has the "soulful jovial nature" and Josh has the "soulful voice." If it wasn't abundantly clear already that Josh probably won't lose this battle, that just said everything. They keep playing up Austin's charisma, but in the end it will be a good singing voice that wins this thing.

Carson calls Austin "the hard-working pop vocalist" and I'm trying to decide if that is insulting and/or racist. Josh comes out as "the soul-singing SAT tutor." From the start, this battle is firmly in Josh's favor. He just sounds smoother and more Pharrell-like on this tune. He may not have known it at the time, but Austin is blowing it up too much for the vibe of this song. I would go with Josh, no question. He's even wearing a hat, just like Pharrell has been known to do lately. They both get an F for this terrible staging/choreography and acting out of the lyrics. Stupid.

Blake says Austin is a solid singer and Josh has a lot of tricks and for that reason he'd give the win to Josh. Usher says there were a few rhythmic issues for Austin but his upper range is very powerful and this song didn't get to showcase that. He'd give it to Josh, but he acknowledges Austin's talent. Shakira says this is one of the best battles and found herself oscillating between the two artists. Adam tries to make it about him doing an impression of an oscillating fan, which Shakira ignores. Adam is like "you overcame so much to make this a great performance, Austin," and they need to just roll out a giant cake with a stripper in it for Josh already. Adam picks Josh, duh. The coaches look at each other mischievously like they might steal Austin but no one does. Usher is still waiting for that something special.

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The Voice

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