Video: "The Voice" Round 4 Battles recap
Caution: This blog post recaps tonight’s “The Voice” Round 4 Battles, so if you don’t want to know what happened, don’t read any more. Here be spoilers:
What is it with Blake Shelton and shy girls?
The Oklahoma country star shows not the slightest shades of shyness, his new wife Miranda Lambert doesn’t seem a bit bashful, and Reba McEntire, his guest adviser on “The Voice,” isn’t known for her retiring demeanor.
So how is it that Shelton managed to pick a team of eight singers on the aforementioned reality TV series and end up with three shy girls in the mix? And these ladies aren’t just shy, they are full-blown stage-fright sufferers.
In last week’s Battle Round, Shelton pitted aggressive barefoot belter Serabee against bashful folk singer Dia Frampton, and Serabee attempted to vocally bulldoze the demure Dia. Her brash behavior didn’t please Shelton, who picked Dia to advance to the live phase.
He was guaranteed to send another bashful lady to the final phase tonight, matching his remaining performers: timid teenagers Xenia, 16, and Sara Oromchi, 18. He wasn’t sure what their vocal ranges were, so he went with what has been his overarching strategy for all the Battle Rounds: pick a classic hit that will force the singers to stretch the limits of their abilities.
Shelton selects The Pretenders’ “I’ll Stand By You,” and he and Reba set out to find out what the teens can do. It’s not that easy, since the girls will hardly open their mouths in the initial rehearsal. Papa Blake worriedly notes, “They’re scared to death.”
Sara asks for advice on how to show more attitude and later posits that whichever one is able to come out of her shell more will emerge as the victor. Meanwhile, Xenia is so nervous, she bursts into tears when Blake compliments her, prompting Reba to smack him after the girl is out of the room.
These two can barely make eye contact with their own coach, so it seems impossible that they will be able to vocally duke it out.
“I’ll Stand By You” proves a good fit for Xenia’s unusually raspy vocals, and she sounds lovely and unique without much discernible difference in demeanor. Sara works harder to assert herself, but her voice shakes with nerves and she misses too many big notes.
The fellow coaches get their chance to talk, and they are tactful: Christina Aguilera praises Xenia’s vocal quality and notes that Sara had more confidence but was too pitchy. Cee Lo Green dubs them both “able,” but nods in agreement when Maroon 5 frontman Adam Levine says, “It was pitchy and there were nerves flying around everywhere.”
Levine also says that he doesn’t think the song was the right choice for them (again, it seemed to go best with Xenia’s voice, even though it was outside her range). Blake acknowledges that his fellow coach may have a valid point, he adds “The music industry is tough,” and singers have to be able to rise the occasion. Plus, it’s hard to figure out the range and abilities of singers who won’t even talk, much less belt.
In the end, Blake chooses Xenia, who hopefully will never have to do vocal combat again.
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