The Battles, Part 3
The pressure is only intensifying on the third night of battle rounds. With the coaches' steals dwindling, the remaining contestants must bring their absolute best if they hope to remain in the competition. Christina's team enters the battle arena first, with Josh Logan going up against Latin-flavored landscaper Michael Lynch. Xtina and Ed Sheeran give their singers Maroon 5's "Harder to Breathe" in hopes that the song's soul and heavy lyrical workload will encourage them to take some creative chances onstage. Despite struggling with lyrics and enthusiasm in rehearsals, Josh and Michael are on fire on the night of their performance. Ultimately, Josh's more polished, powerful performance wins Christina over, and despite his best efforts, Michael is sent home!
CeeLo's team takes the stage next, with Romanian George Horga Jr. and 16-year-old Juhi facing off! CeeLo and Miguel pick Gavin DeGraw's "Best I've Ever Had" for their singers in an attempt to complement their young styles. During rehearsals, Miguel notices Juhi pushing her personality in the song and wants George to raise his game to her level. On the next day, George shows vast improvements and begins to separate himself from Juhi. During their battle, George misses a note but shows resilience with a strong recovery. Juhi's rocker-meets-pixie sound wins the other coaches over, but CeeLo shocks everyone by choosing George! He wants to support an artist like George who has an extreme drive for music. Adam immediately steals Juhi, saying, "I feel like I just won the lottery!"
Blake and Cher team up to bring the best out of Austin Jenckes and former college baseball player Brian Pounds. Blake chooses the Bee Gees' "To Love Somebody" for his singers, hoping they'll put a personal edge on their performances. In rehearsals, Brian struggles to overcome his intimidation of Austin's obvious talent and power. After each singer makes significant strides in their practices, Blake realizes he made a huge mistake in pairing them together. How is he going to let one of them go?! Brian and Austin wow the crowd with their cover of the Bee Gees' hit song. Ultimately, Blake chooses Austin because he put his whole heart into the performance. Brian doesn't do enough to garner another coach's steal.
Ryan Tedder and Adam pit two returning artists against one another, the 31-year-old James Irwin and the much younger but equally talented Matt Cermanski. Adam and Ryan give their comeback kids the song "Counting Stars" by Tedder himself, as its message maps perfectly to the journeys of both. Their performance on the battle stage is far from perfect, but the coaches can't come to an agreement on the winner. Christina thinks James started great but Matt finished better. Adam decides to keep James around, as he thinks his ceiling is much higher than Matt's. James is elated, but in this game, joy comes at the expense of another. Xtina hates to see Matt's dreams dashed; she knows he gave it his best shot!
Christina's team jumps back into the battle arena, this time with biker bar singer Destinee Quinn and former teen model Lina Gaudenzi. Xtina picks the Dixie Chicks' "Not Ready to Make Nice," a choice that scares Destinee because she fears the song fits Lina's sound much better than her own. Both singers struggle with nerves as they try to find the anger within themselves that is infused into the song. On the night of their performance, Destinee brings the emotion, but Lina's vocal range is incredible. Xtina hates that she has to make a decision, but her gut says music is all about passion and Destinee displayed that tonight. She chooses Destinee, and Adam jumps at the opportunity to use his final steal on Lina. Adam couldn't be happier, as "she is a diamond in the rough!"
Team Adam's James Wolpert and Will Champlin are the final pairing to take the stage! James and Will have a lot of the same sensibilities in Adam's eyes, so he doesn't think advancing them both to the next round would be prudent. He picks the song "Radioactive" to help him identify the stronger of the two. Will needs to get the technical stuff under control and make sure it's not strained, while James needs to emote more so his performance isn't robotic. James and Will put it all on the line in their performance, continually raising the bar as they try to elevate themselves above the competition. Adam thought it was a lot more even than he anticipated, as Will was a huge surprise, but he still goes with James! Xtina scoops up Will at the very last second, giving him new life on the show!