March 31, 2014
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The Voice recap: Some Magic On The Voice
By Jason MacNeil, Special To QMI Agency

The Voice. (Photo by: Tyler Golden/NBC)

The Voice episode Monday night proved one thing for both the judges and contestants: nobody said it was easy.

The additional battle round – with Coldplay's Chris Martin advising – opened fairly strong with Blake Shelton's roster featuring Audra McLaughlin against rocker Megan Ruger.

After deciding on Miley Cyrus' The Climb, the duo ran through the rehearsal with Martin asking if the song was one Miley twerked on.

After Martin urged both to become almost Jagger-esque in delivering the tune, the battle had McLaughlin singing bigger and better. Ruger unfortunately was steadier but less memorable. Usher and Shakira both believed McLaughlin was the victor. In the end Shelton agreed.

Meanwhile Usher – sporting a furry chapeau – saw Cierra Mickens vie for a playoff spot over T.J. Wilkins. Despite using lyric sheets which seemed to indicate both weren't overly familiar with Oleta Adams' Get Here, their pipes meshed. Martin suggested there should be a connection (or a conscious coupling) of their voices while Usher wanted their voices to “fill the room.”

The performance was rather pedestrian before the duo revved things up to finish, briefly bringing to mind Diana Ross and Lionel Richie's Endless Love. Wilkins surprised Usher by taking the Adams song and making it his own, giving him the edge over Mickens.

Possibly the cutest battle was Shelton's team again with Jake Worthington scared as much by Tess Boyer's beauty as he was with her voice. The two found their way through John Hiatt's timeless gem Have A Little Faith In Me.

Under the spotlights Boyer shone, being equally smooth and powerful when needed. “You blew me away girl,” Shakira said afterwards as all four judges gave them standing ovations. Although the song fell a bit flat at the end, Shelton agonized but stuck with Worthington out of loyalty. Boyer also won with three judges hitting “steal” buttons, leaving her to go with Shakira.

The first contestant starstruck with Martin was Christina Grimmie, praising Martin for Coldplay's Violet Hill. Levine said Grimmie and Sam Behymer were “all over the place” during OneRepublic's Counting Stars and needed to rein things in. The performance was tighter as Grimmie sounded confident and polished while Behymer was solid but a “little more inconsistent” in Levine's eyes. As a result, Grimmie carried on.

The Voice also had some Canadian content when Josh Murley and Patrick Thomson performed Bryan Adams' Run To You. Chris Martin's subtle suggestion to give each a microphone stand as a prop paid off during the battle. Murley's subtle rasp seemed far more effective than Thomson's gravelly delivery throughout. Yet Shakira's personal taste preferred the burly Thomson.

Finally, Levine let Delvin Choice and Josh Kaufman run wild on Stevie Wonder's Signed, Sealed, Delivered I'm Yours. The soulful duo left Martin quite impressed, stating they were “brilliant” and “game-ready” in rehearsals. When it mattered most both were squeezing everything out of the song which made the judges proud. Following a bevy of kudos, Levine chose the “earth-shattering” Choice. But Usher was so impressed with Kaufman he stole him.



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