The Battles, Part 2
Can lightning strike twice? Last night's battles left the coaches and the crowd exhilarated and exhausted as Nic Hawk, Anthony Paul and Briana Cuoco all survived a battle loss by being stolen by rival coaches. The tensions every bit as high on night two. Tonight's show is just one hour, but the matchups look promising: Jacob Poole vs. Mathew Schuler, Kat Robichaud vs. R. Anthony, Monika Leigh vs. Ray Boudreaux, E.G. Daily vs. Sam Cerniglia, Cole Vosbury vs. Lupe Carroll and Ashley DuBose vs. Justin Blake. Blake's already used both his steals, while Christina has one remaining, and Adam and CeeLo have both of their steals remaining.
Xtina's first matchup finds Matthew Schuler and Jacob Poole going head-to-head on Fall Out Boy's "My Songs Know What You Did in the Dark." Pop sensation Ed Sheeran joins the diva to give the two singers the boot camp of their lives. Matt's got the more powerful voice, but both Xtina and Ed caution him about being overzealous; Jacob's right on the mark in rehearsals. The moment of truth arrives, and the pair trade musical punches blow for blow. Staring at each other with verse, they bring the song to an incredible climax. No matter where it goes from here, they've both got an unforgettable performance to look back on. The coaches are effusive: Adam calls it a "musical ass-whooping" while CeeLo dubs it one of the best battles ever. But it's Xtina's opinion that counts first - and she's going with Matthew. With no one to steal him, Jacob says a heartfelt goodbye.
Team CeeLo is next in the spotlight as Kat Robichaud and R. Anthony prepare to do battle over Aerosmith's "I Don't Want to Miss a Thing." Rocker Kat couldn't be more different from gospel singer R. Anthony, but now they've got to work together to craft a duet that showcases them at their best. Miguel counsels R. Anthony to pick his spots, so the audience knows when to be impressed; CeeLo warns Kat she'll have to give it everything if she's going to stand out over the more powerful and proficient R. Anthony. The battle begins, and Kat takes an emotional, breathy tack from the start. R Anthony raises the stakes as they go, adding precise run after run, but it's Kat who delivers the knockout blow. CeeLo, citing Kat's natural, raw talent, picks Kat to move ahead; R. Anthony is done.
We see a succession of battles next. In the first, Cole Vosbury takes on flower deliveryman Lupe Carroll, singing Toto's "Africa." Citing his smoothness and control, CeeLo picks Cole to move on. Next, E.G. Daily faces Sam Cerniglia on "Something to Talk About." They're evenly matched, but E.G. turns on the jets at the finish - and it's just enough to put her ahead; Sam heads home. Ashley DuBose and Justin Blake square off next for Coach Adam, singing Christina and Blake's hit duet, "Just a Fool." It's an over-the-top performance, and Adam's torn. But ultimately, he picks Ashley, citing her potential and preparation for the difficult competition ahead.
Blake has the final battle of the night. He throws Monika Leigh and Ray Boudreaux at each other to sing Grand Funk Railroad's rocker, "Some Kind of Wonderful." Both singers are tickled to be working with Blake and his advisor, Cher. As they rehearse, Monika grows intimidated by Ray's sheer power: his voice fairly booms throughout the practice studio. Cher warns Monika to give it all she's got but to be consistent; Blake identifies Ray's range as his weakness. Though both singers have their flaws, the showdown looks to be a fight to the death.
The two combatants take the ring and kick off the song with a bluesy, rollicking beat. Monika comes out loud and clear, while Ray exhibits power to spare and seems to focus on getting each note just right. The band pushes the beat, and the two belt out verse against verse. By the time Paul Mirkovich and his crew modulate the song, Ray and Monika give it all they've got. In the aftermath, Xtina thinks Ray dug deeper, while CeeLo gives the edge to Monika. Ray's adorable little daughter lobbies Blake from the audience. Blake gives the nod to Ray, but Monika is quickly scooped up by CeeLo. "Everybody wins," says Xtina - and she's right: the battle bar has never been higher.