The Voice's intense battle rounds have come to a close!
Christina Aguilera, CeeLo Green, Adam Levine and Blake Shelton finalized their six-singer teams on tonight's episode of the NBC hit reality singing competition, but not before making some tough decisions and shedding a few tears (at least Cee Lo did)!
So who were the final contestants to make it to next Monday's live show?
It's Nicolle Galyon vs. Mathai on "Love Song" by Sara Bareilles and both singers admit to be intimidated by the other. While Nicolle plays piano, Mathai has a fun personality onstage, so it's sure to be an interesting matchup. In her session with Robin Thicke, Nicolle charms the singer, who tells her, "I want to take you to prom. It's adorable. It sounds like morning coffee on a veranda." Alanis Morissette mentors Mathai to give each note "its due respect." During their final rehearsal, Adam tells Nicolle she's not going to use the piano during the performance, which Mathai sees as an advantage.
Blake says the showdown came down to "breathing" and gives the edge to Mathai, as does Christina, who calls the decision a "no-brainer." Cee Lo thinks Nicole's singing was "generic" and also chooses Mathai. Adam wasn't "happy" with the performance overall, but crowns Mathai as the winner.
In Adam's final battle, he pairs Karla Davis and Orlando Napier. Karla admits the one person she didn't want to go up against is, in fact, Orlando, a fellow musician. They are singing "Rich Girl" by Hall & Oates, a song Orlando is not familiar with. Um, what rock is he living under?! Luckily for Orlando, Adam decides to change the song during the first rehearsal. Their new song? "Easy" by Lionel Richie.
Blake says the battle was pretty even, saying he loves Karla's voice, but thinks Orlando gave an overall better performance. Christina felt the performance was "lackluster," but says Karla won the sing-off. Cee Lo agrees with Blake and says Orlando was the winner. Adam calls the decision "difficult," but chooses Karla as the winner.
Team Cee Lo
James Massone and WADE are the first contestants of the night to battle it out, sharing singing duties on "True Colors" by Cyndi Lauper. "When you don't know the words to a song, it's overwhelming," James says, explaining he's nervous to sing a song he isn't familiar with. Ne-Yo comes in to mentor James, who is nervous to make a fool out of himself in front of the R&B singer. As for WADE, Babyface comes in as his adviser and he has nothing but praise for the hopeful. During their final rehearsal, James and WADE make Cee Lo cry and he seems heartbroken that he will have to send one of them home.
After their performance, Cee Lo says James' confidence onstage blew him away and calls WADE out for being nervous. "I expected you to go all the way to the end of this with me," Cee Lo tells WADE, adding he was hoping to make him "soul brother number two." In the end, Cee Lo decides to send James through to the live shows.
In Cee Lo's final battle, he pairs Broadway singer Tony Vincent against "rough"-voiced Justin Hopkins on Journey's "Faithfully." Justin admits he is intimidated by Tony's range, but the guys make Cee Lo cry during rehearsal. "Bringing tears to Cee Lo's eyes [is] incredibly humbling," Tony says.
Adam calls both guys "equally energetic," but prefers the roughness of Justin's voice. Blake thinks Tony is more versatile, but says Justin had a better performance. Christina disagrees and thinks Tony can go farther in the competition. "This was the toughest one for me," Cee Lo says of the decision, before picking Tony to join his team in the live shows.
In her team's final battle, Christina decides to do a bit of a musical experiment: pitting country duo THE LiNE against hip hop artist Moses Stone on the Rolling Stone's "Satisfaction." THE LiNE says they would've preferred a more country song, while Moses sees it as "a great challenge." Christina brings in Lionel Richie to help Moses, who tells him, "You got the voice." THE LiNE rehearses with Jewel, who advises them to not smile as much during their performance and to draw on their break-up for inspiration.
Cee Lo says the performance was "great" and praises Moses on his stage presence, which he says gave him the edge. Adam chooses THE LiNE based on vocals and Blake, who thinks the performance was "weird" but "good," prefers THE LiNE. Christina disagrees with Adam and Blake on what they consider "the voice," and chooses to send Moses through to the live shows.
In Blake's final battle, he pits "laid-back" singer Naia Kete against "country as dirt" Jordan Rager on Jason Mraz's "I'm Yours" because they are "so completely different from each other." Blake admits that the song is a better fir for Naia, but thinks Jordan has a better chance of surprising people. Blake's wife, Miranda Lambert, comes in to advise Jordan, who has a bit of a crush on her. Naia works with Kelly Clarkson, who tells her to just be herself because the song is in her niche.
Christina prefers Naia, Cee Lo says Naia's performance was more natural and Adam applauds Jordan for going outside of his comfort zone, but he chooses Naia as the winner as well. Blake says Jordan stepped up, but says they both had "pitch problems." In the end, Blake sends Naia through to the live shows because she has more "experience."
What did you think of tonight's episode? Did you agree with all of the decisions the mentors made? Sound off in the comments!
(Originally published March 26, 2012, at 7:18 p.m. PT)