Will Champlin and James Wolpert get feedback from coach Adam...

Will Champlin and James Wolpert get feedback from coach Adam Levine before the third battle round of "The Voice" Season Five. Credit: NBC/Trae Patton

The third night of the battle rounds was all about potential. Unlike recent seasons, there’s no front-runner on “The Voice” this year, meaning someone is going to actually take the mentors’ advice and somehow learn to be a star. That should make for good TV.

There were plenty of possibilities in the third round:

TEAM CHRISTINA: Josh Logan vs. Michael Lynch, “Harder to Breathe”
In the battle of the back stories, it was “The Single Dad vs. The Landscaper Who Loves Latin Music” and the race was tight. They seemed to struggle with all the lyrics in Maroon 5’s “Harder to Breathe,” but Josh’s easy soul edged out Michael’s frantic, slightly forced ad-libs. “He had a more masculine version of my voice,” Adam said of Josh, which should help him.

TEAM CEELO: Juhi vs. George Horga Jr., “The Best I’ve Ever Had”
This was a great battle because 16-year-old Juhi has an interesting voice and she radiates a star quality, while George is a talented, hardworking guy. CeeLo did neither one any favors by picking the Gavin DeGraw song and neither really knocked it out of the park, though they both showed potential. CeeLo picked George, even after an obvious bum note, because of his work ethic, while Adam stole Juhi for her raw talent. We’ll see which one gets farther.
SHOULD’VE PICKED: Juhi (stolen by Adam)

TEAM BLAKE: Austin Jenckes vs. Brian Pounds, “To Love Somebody”
This wasn’t a good song choice, which Blake even acknowledged later because the Bee Gees song didn’t play to the aspiring country singers’ strengths. It was one of those battles where Brian sang the song and Austin felt it. That’s something that can’t be taught and it bodes well for Austin, who CeeLo called “effortless.”

TEAM ADAM: James Irwin vs. Matt Cermansky, “Counting Stars”
This didn’t seem really fair. James has a great voice, but this isn’t the song for him. He’s not Ryan Tedder-ish or Adam Levine-ish for that matter. He takes his time with his vocals and he’d normally shy away with songs with this many lyrics. This seemed like it was right in Matt’s wheelhouse, but in the competition, James simply out-sang him.

TEAM CHRISTINA: Destinee Quinn vs. Lina Gaudenzi, “Not Ready to Make Nice”
Can’t we just have Christina sing this? Her few bars of the song showed how it should be done. Destinee says she’s not good with the ad-libs. Lina says she’s an overthinker. This could have been a nightmare, as bad as one of Lina’s “Oh ooh wooh aah wooh aah” ad-libs that ruined a very direct, powerful song from the Dixie Chicks. I don’t know many people who resort to “Oh ooh wooh aah wooh aah” when they’re angry, but Adam decided to steal Lina because of her potential (aka he’ll stop her from ever doing that again). Destinee actually has more unrealized potential, whether she can get to realizing fast enough is the big question.

TEAM ADAM: James Wolpert vs. Will Champlin, “Radioactive”
Either Will Champlin was sandbagging in the rehearsals or he is the world’s fastest study. Adam and Ryan Tedder questioned his upper register? He filled his take on Imagine Dragons’ “Radioactive” with upper-register notes that he nailed. James Wolpert was good, but both Blake and CeeLo seemed to give him the nod because of his “element of surprise,” that he looks unassuming in that ugly teal sweater. Uh, people can’t see him on the radio and the element of surprise will be gone once y’all remember who he is. That said, from here on out, James will have more control of the material he sings and should do much better. However, Christina made the right call. Will could be the surprise of the competition.
SHOULD’VE PICKED Will (stolen by Christina)

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