The battle rounds are done! We now go live next week. Tonight, the two remaining metro Atlantans compete: Mathai and Jordan Rager.
Over these four weeks, many of the pairings were mismatches and you could tell based on the song choice and editing who was going to win most of the time.
James Massone vs Wade (Team Cee Lo, “True Colors” Cyndi Lauper). James has some confidence issues during rehearsal but he did a great job during the battle round. He has a more interesting voice. Wade is far smoother and more refined. It’s a toss up. But Cee Lo felt he didn’t hit his high point. So he gives it to the underdog James.
Mathai vs. Nicolle Galyon(Team Adam, “Love Song,” Sara Bareilles). It’s fair to say Mathai, who moved to Atlanta from Dallas a year ago, is the favorite. Mathai gets Alanis Morissette as a coach. “Stretch those notes a little more,” Adam said. ‘You paint a little more,” Alanis said. “You have to give each note due respect,” Mathai noted. Country-leaning Nicolle loves her piano but Adam convinces her to dispense with it for the battle round. There seems to be an odd weakness to Nicolle’s voice and she hits some really flat notes. Mathai has a bit of the same problem Erin last week did: strange, cutesy pronunciations of words. Have they all been listening to Zooey Deschanel? It really wasn’t a very good duet at all. Adam was disappointed and I’m glad he said that. In the end, he had to give it to Mathai.
The LINE vs. Moses Stone (Team Christina, “(I Can’t Get No) Satisfaction” Rolling Stones) – The LINE would have preferred country. MC Moses probably would have preferred hip hop. But they get rock. This is one odd pairing! But that’s the point, right? I have no idea who is the favorite. Watching this battle, it’s like a bizarro mashup of Branson, Miss. and the gritty streets of Washington D.C. Cee Lo favors Moses. Adam and Blake both go The LINE. Christina goes for the MC/hip-hop man Moses. I have no problem with that.
Karla Davis vs. Orlando Napier (Team Adam, “Easy” the Commodores) - Adam first opted for pop-rock with “Rich Girl” by Hall & Oates but switched to a more soulful Commodores hit from the same era. Both singers have their quirky charms. Orlando’s bluesy style is contagious and very particular. Karla doesn’t have much depth in the higher registers but I am drawn to her more. It’s a close call, though. Adam picks Karla. He likes her energy and natural tone. (Interesting how Christina slagged it so badly.)
Jordan Rager vs. Naia Kete (Team Blake, “I’m Yours” Jason Mraz) – Street performer Naia is favored for sure here and Blake not coincidentally picked a song that fit Naia. We barely saw Jordan earlier so we know instantly he’s in trouble. Jordan played in bars since he was 16 and wants to meet Blake’s wife Miranda Lambert. Naia fell right into it during rehearsals. Blake asked Jordan to do some harmonies, something he hasn’t done much of. Plus, Jordan isn’t familiar with the song. Miranda ends up being Jordan’s advisor. He is still having trouble with harmonies. During the battle round, Jordan held up well but Naia probably would have had to collapse to lose. She didn’t. “A solid performance,” Christina said. “Naia had a more natural groove of it. You strayed off near the end. For my own personal preference, I’d go with Naia.” Both Cee Lo and Adam noted that Jordan was out of his comfort zone. Adam felt he had nerves. Blake said he didn’t expect Naia to be so nervous. “You missed some notes there,” he said. “There was just some breath. Jordan-you stepped up. It’s interesting to see how far you’ve come. There were a lot of pitch things especially on the harmonies.” No duh. He goes for experience and picks Naia.
Justin Hopkins vs. Tony Vincent (Team Cee Lo, “Faithfully” Journey) – This is Tony’s to lose. He’s clearly the favorite. Carson Daly’s former house band member Justin is intimdated by Tony’s range. It comes down to gritty rocker vs. theater dude. Tony is downright scary. Justin is approachable. Best battle round of the night. . It’s too bad we have to lose either of them. Adam likes Justin’s edginess and gives him the edge. Blake thinks Tony is more versatile but prefers Justin, too. Christina thinks Tony’s versatility makes him more pliable. Cee Lo likes Justin’s heart and soul but gives his final slot to the more experienced Tony.
So of the five metro Atlantans, three made it through: Pip of Marietta, Mathai of Atlanta and Sera Hill of Lithonia. Chris Cauley of Atlanta and Jordan Rager of Loganville didn’t make the cut.
By Rodney Ho, Radio & TV Talk