Video: "The Voice" recap and preview - Final Battle Rounds air tonight
The final of the four Battle Round episodes air tonight on the hit reality TV show "The Voice," which airs at 9 tonight on NBC (KFOR-4 in Oklahoma City, where it looks like, thankfully, it won't be preempted by tornado coverage this week).
Remember, next week, "The Voice" moves to 8 p.m. as the live shows begin and the American public can begin voting on the surviving singers. I'll have a fresh interview with Oklahoma country music star Blake Shelton - one of the four celebrity coaches on addictive TV singing contest - next week to coincide with the start of the third and final phase of picking the first winner of "The Voice." (It won't be the last: "The Voice" has been renewed for a second season.)
Since we've reached the last of the Battle Rounds, it's easy to see who will be paired up in tonight's episode. Or as Blake posted on Twitter (@blakeshelton): "Tonight @SaraOromchi and @X3NIA17 will battle to the death on NBC!!! Well.. Not to the death but to the sad..."
Speaking of sadness, Shelton had the sad distinction of presiding over the only real duet disaster to emerge so far out of the Battle Rounds, which when you think about it, have the potential to turn out terrible performances if the singer is determined to do her own thing at any cost.
Yes, I'm talking about Serabee, the barefoot power vocalist whom we barely got to see in the live audition phase but won over Blake by belting "Son of a Preacher Man."
Taking the ongoing theme of pairing contrasting styles and voices, Shelton pitted the experienced, vocally aggressive Serabee ("I've sung in front of 10,000," she said) and the breathy, folksy stage-fright sufferer Dia Frampton, a children's novelist who got both Blake and Cee Lo Green's attention in the blind auditions with her pretty rendition of "Bubbly."
Blake has developed a definite song-selection strategy in the Battle Rounds: Take a classic that falls somewhere between his competitors' comfort zones, toss it up there and see who rises to the challenge. In this case, the country crooner picked the Supremes' "You Can't Hurry Love," and Dia mostly wanted to get advice from Shelton and adviser and fellow Okie Reba McEntire on how to cope with her nerves. Blake cautioned Serabee not to oversing and "keep all the tricks down" and later commented "I hope that she's heard me."
She hadn't. Serabee stated before taking the stage that she was going to do her thing and that if "that outshines Dia, then I can't help that." Dia, in her demure lacy white dress, sweetly crooned the first verse and really seemed to take to heart Blake's advice to "own" the song. Her version was on of the folksy side, but at least she was clearly singing "You Can't Hurry Love," and Serabee didn't seem to think that was important. Dressed in a witchy ensemble of white shawl, funky hat and bare feet, Serabee launched into a growling version of the Motown hit that sounded just like her version of "Son of a Preacher Man" and evidently was designed to simply blow Dia out of the water. She plowed through the catchy classic like a bulldozer, making no effort to even sound like she was doing a duet with Dia, who then had to come back and harmonize with Serabee's caterwauling finale.
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