Pharrell is a great addition to “The Voice.”
He’s smart, levelheaded and incredibly kind while still making for good TV. It’s no wonder that signed him for Season 8 so quickly before he truly proved himself a star and raised his price. (Take heed, Cleveland Browns!)
But, man, did Pharrell mess up last night by picking DaNica Shirey over Toia Jones to move forward. Sure, he may have some inside knowledge we don’t know about. Or maybe he and Alicia Keys simply Morgan Freeman-ed her when she was overcome by emotion. But Jones seems like a potential star and Adam Levine and Gwen Stefani were both ready to scoop her up after Pharrell passed on her.
As the battle rounds wind down, the competition is truly starting to heat up with three of the six competitions on Night 3 of the Battle Rounds having both singers advance.
Here’s how the night shook out:
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TEAM ADAM: DAMIEN VS. KELLI DOUGLAS, “Knock on Wood”
Their first rehearsal of the Otis Redding and Carla Thomas classic was truly awful – both tentative and off-key. By the time they got to the performance, though, they were good, even as Kelli seemed a little nervous. Damien’s soul man routine, however, was impossible to deny.
ADAM PICK: Damien
SHOULD’VE PICKED: Damien
TEAM GWEN: JESSIE PITTS VS. RYAN SILL, “I Need Your Love”
If she had a British accent, Jessie’s voice would be a ringer for Ellie Goulding, so the song choice was a little lopsided in her favor. “I love your sparkle-iness,” Gwen told Jessie. However, the strength of Ryan’s voice made the song work in his favor.
GWEN PICK: Ryan
SHOULD’VE PICKED: Ryan (Blake steals Jessie)
TEAM PHARRELL: BLESSING OFFOR VS. KATRIZ TRINIDAD, “Do I Do”
There was so much going on with the Stevie Wonder classic that it was hard to keep it straight. Blessing was strong, but his runs grew out of control. Katriz got lured into his over-singing trap, but managed to handle it better even though she’s only 15. If she can figure out how to hold her own, she may have a chance to go far.
PHARRELL PICK: Katriz
SHOULD’VE PICKED: Katriz (Adam steals Blessing)
TEAM ADAM: ETHAN BUTLER VS. MATT McANDREW, “Yellow”
Sometimes less is really more. And Matt used that idea to great effect on the Coldplay classic, as Ethan tried to do a little too much with the simple song. “Putting you two together was never a good idea for me,” Adam said, which was true because it did not play to Ethan’s strengths. But it did set up McAndrew to be one of the early standouts.
ADAM PICK: Matt
SHOULD’VE PICKED: Matt
TEAM BLAKE: BREE FONDACARO VS. TAYLOR BRASHEARS, “You’re No Good”
Bree’s voice was distinctive on the Linda Ronstadt classic, but Taylor just crushed her with her power and passion. Gwen scolded them for changing the melody too much and she was right.
BLAKE PICK: Taylor
SHOULD’VE PICKED: Taylor
TEAM PHARRELL: DaNICA SHIREY VS. TOIA JONES, “Halo”
The best battle of the night was a true note-for-note battle over the Beyonce song. Blake said they were both on 10 for the entire time, but they handled the wildness well. Pharrell chose DaNica for her control, but he really should have chosen Toia for her soul -- especially after his show-long quest for having singers “let go.”
PHARRELL PICK: DaNica
SHOULD’VE PICKED: Toia (Adam steals Toia)