The technical issues that made last Monday’s new The Voice rounds, the Cross-Battles, such a disaster were thankfully smoothed over in this second week. But the new format – in which contestants from opposing teams faced off for the public’s votes – was still a personal disaster for Team Blake’s Carter Lloyd Horne and Team Legend’s Jacob Maxwell, two best friends who were unexpectedly forced to battle each other.
“It’s a little heartbreaking,” Carter said of the awkward situation this Monday. John Legend, who’d made the seemingly spur-of-the-moment to pit Jacob against Carter after Blake Shelton challenged him, seemed chagrined, saying, “I'm sad you're two good friends. I didn't know that, Blake! I'm sorry.”
“It was the last thing we wanted, but we can see the fit,” Jacob said ruefully, acknowledging his obvious similarities to Carter. They’re both long-haired Harry Styles-style heartthrobs, basically. In a showdown of haircuts and natty menswear, this was an even match that’d surely end in a Steal or Save. But vocally, there was a clear winner here.
Carter’s cover of Kaleo’s “Way Down We Go” surprised me. I’d assumed that he was a lightweight, and I had no idea he had so much grit and smoke in his voice. Did he undergo some sort of Peter Brady-style voice change since the Battle Rounds were taped? This was a sexy, confident, manly performance.
Jacob took on Shania Twain’s “You’re Still the One” – but he was not the one. His shy Shania performance was limp and listless. So I am afraid the Carter/Jacob bromance of Season 16 is about to come to an early end. (I’d say we still have the Blake Shelton/Adam Levine bromance to look forward to, but on Monday a nasty Adam actually told Blake he “hated” him, more than once, so perhaps the bloom is off that rose for good.)
Jacob will likely be a goner on Tuesday’s live results show, but the coaches will still have some say; after last week, Blake has one Steal left, and Kelly Clarkson and John each have a Save.