'The Voice' recap: A few bright spots

Dani Moz. (Twitter/DaniMozMusic)

Dani Moz. (Twitter/DaniMozMusic)

Jason MacNeil, Special to QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 1:53 AM ET

The Voice Monday night was rather pedestrian with nobody walking away with the competition.

 

Shakira didn't have a tough decision when Clarissa Serna and Dani Moz went toe to toe. After deciding on Pink's Perfect, the rehearsal showed both working out the nerves. Shakira and musical adviser Chris Martin thought Perfect's powerful message should be delivered as a “triumphant anthem.”

At crunch time, Moz found her voice quicker than Serna who sounded anxious to start. While both soldiered on, both Blake Shelton and Usher thought Moz won thanks to her unwavering voice. That steadiness, something Usher said “can't be taught,” ended up being the difference and sent Serna home.

Elsewhere another case of three's company emerged in Adam Levine's lineup as Dawn and Hawkes went up against belter Kat Perkins. Going with K.T. Tunstall's catchy ditty Suddenly I See, the singers were both over the top in warm ups. Thankfully Martin's idea to simplify was wise, beginning with an acoustic arrangement and then fully fleshing it out.

Initially Dawn and Hawkes were backing singers to Perkins who seized the opportunity. She was the winner in Usher and Shelton's as both believed the duo played second fiddle to Perkins. Levine felt although neither showed their true potential, Perkins' perkiness won the battle.

Usher's bout was rather girl-y as Melissa Jimenez and Music Box had three songs to choose from, all with “girl” in the song titles. Both thought Alicia Keys' Girl On Fire had the grit and power they desired. That dichotomy worked wonders in rehearsal, with Martin simply suggesting they pretend they wrote the tune to give it that extra oomph.

In the ring it was clearly a diva duel with neither backing down. The judges were split with Shelton and Shakira siding with Music Box while Levine picking Jimenez. Shelton broke the tension by asking Usher “what would the fox say?” in reference to his furry hat. Usher picked Jimenez, putting Music Box in the outbox.

Up next was Kaleigh Glanton and Ryan Whyte Maloney opting for the country crossover ballad Easy. The cover of the Rascal Flatts song with Natasha Bedingfield had some fleeting moments of power but was far from spine-tingling. Again the rather average performance left no unanimous winner among the judges. Shelton mulled it over briefly before deciding Maloney's “overall consistency” trumped Glanton.

If there was a highlight, Team Levine's Brittnee Camelle and Jake Barker might have been it. The two went with Usher's Climax and held back in rehearsals, causing Levine to literally give Barker a nudge. Onstage Barker balanced a style between Usher and Michael Bolton as the diplomatic Usher briefly nodded his approval. Barker's vocal balance also endeared him to many judges including Levine.

The finale was spoiled with Bria Kelly and Madilyn Paige. Knowing Shelton had a steal left, it was a given both would move on after covering The Pretenders gentle gem I'll Stand By You. Despite their youthfulness, they carried the song well but again without being outstanding. Usher thought Bria Kelly was better, leaving Paige heading Shelton's way. 


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