10/22/2013 12:10 am ET Updated Oct 31, 2013

'The Voice' Recap: The Battle Rounds Get 'Radioactive' During Season 5, Episode 9

Note: Do not read on if you have not seen Season 5, Episode 9 of NBC's "The Voice," titled "Battle Rounds."

The battles continued on Season 5 of "The Voice" -- and these singers weren't yet ready to make nice. As two of each team's singers met on stage for a mic'd up showdown, Carson Daly announced the entrances like we were watching "Friday Night Fights." This was boxing-level excitement for the third part of the Battle Round, and some of the duos delivered.

While nothing could really compare to Christina's meeting with a supposed mosquito on set, the contestants did their best.

Battle Round: Team Christina with special guest Ed Sheeran
Josh Logan vs. Michael Lynch, “Harder To Breathe” by Maroon 5

Okay, six-nights-a-week-singer Josh Logan and Michael Lynch, the landscaper who moved to Mexico City to be the next Enrique Iglesias, must've been the only two people in America who didn't hear Maroon 5's first single 987,000 times when it was released. Neither of them really knew the words -- and I wonder if Christina made them more nervous by showing off her runs. We know, we know, girl -- you've got the best voice around.

During rehearsal, Christina wanted the guys to get more hyped on stage, and cried, "Michael, play with me!”

"I wanted to get their attention," Christina said. That probably did it.

When it came time for the battle, Josh's moves were subdued compared to Michael, who bounced around the stage like his feet had springs. While the pair's harmonies blended gorgeously, Josh, in fact, didn't need to move -- his vocal control was just superior to his younger competitor, and Adam said he at times overpowered Michael's spotlight. "Adam wrote it from a very pissed-off, emotional place," Christina said, "So you have to mean what you say." The judges agreed -- Josh won the battle, and Michael smiled graciously as the judges declined to steal him.

WINNER: Josh Logan

Battle Round: Team Cee-Lo with special guest Miguel
George Horga Jr. vs. Juhi, "The Best I Ever Had" by Gavin DeGraw

First things first -- Miguel has the best hair on this show right now. The R&B upstart and Cee-Lo laid an unlikely song on George Horga, Jr., the Romanian with a dream to sing, and high school sweetheart Juhi, who will be an aerospace engineer if she doesn't win "The Voice."

Juhi's voice? She sounds like cabaret theater and women dancing in fishnets. She does NOT sound like a high school girl. "That girl can sing her face off," George remarked. But Juhi's squeaky, un-enunciated phrasing might've been too much for the song. George worried that the key was at the top of his register. But the two battlers seemed to hit it off well, singing together in rehearsal like a poppy Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeroes.

George hit a sour note early in the battle round, but recovered quickly. When Juhi grabbed the mic and committed, her eyes bulging out wide, Adam just stared at her -- it was a telling moment. Hard to believe those guttural, fierce vocals could come from such a young girl -- but Juhi also showed her age. She just didn't have enough breath control to make it through all her lines.

Adam and Blake were both impressed with Juhi's sound. Blake lamented that he should have made a play for Juhi during the blind auditions. While Cee-Lo called Juhi a "young Einstein," he felt compelled to "commend and support someone who wants to solely do this, as if there’s no plan B." It seemed like Juhi's aerospace engineering dreams may have backfired on her, as Cee-Lo went for George, who moved to LA three years before with a dream.

Things were sad for a moment, until Adam pressed his button and stole Juhi! He said he thought Cee-Lo would keep her, instead of George. "I think we have work to do, but gosh, you’re 16," he told her. "I just kind of won the lottery by grabbing you for my team.”

Also, how long is Cee-Lo gonna wear that red leather outfit?

WINNER: George Horga, Jr.
STEAL: Juhi to Team Adam

Battle Round: Team Blake with special guest Cher

Austin Jenckes vs. Brian Pounds, "To Love Somebody," Bee Gees

Blake Shelton's country-fried battle pitted Brian Pounds, the baseball player who gave up sports for guitar, against Austin Jenckes, singing to honor his dead father. Blake noted this Bee Gees song was covered by none other than Hank Williams, which made it more of an understandable pick for the Oklahoma star.

In one of the more unlikely moments of the night, bearded Austin Jenckes, who wowed the crowd in blinds singing Lynyrd Skynyrd's "Simple Man," actually got tongue-tied meeting his rehearsal mentor. "I'm actually a huge Cher fan," he told the camera.

Brian admitted "it tinges" a bit to see the judges fawning over Austin. He loosened up, dropped the guitar, but Austin still got lost in the song in a way Brian couldn't seem to do. At one point during rehearsal, Cher announced, "I have a problem!" (she's clearly used to seeing assistants scurry when she says this) Her issue? She couldn't hear Austin well enough.

So yeah, the deck was stacked against Brian from the beginning. But Brian gamely pressed on. "When Cher talks, you listen," he said.

When the two performed, Brian just couldn't connect with the audience like Austin, who really has a once-in-a-"Voice"-season rock sound. The judges all thought Austin took the battle. “He left his heart laying out there on the stage," Blake said admiringly. This was a clear-cut win, and there was no steal.

WINNER: Austin Jenckes

Battle Round: Team Adam with special guest Ryan Tedder

James Irwin vs. Matt Cermanski, "Counting Stars" by OneRepublic

Comeback kids James and Matt were both eliminated during previous seasons of "The Voice." Cue their triumphant returns: until they were tasked with singing a OneRepublic song in front of Ryan Tedder, the guy who actually wrote it. Both seemed tentative as rehearsal began. James could "hit all the notes in a way that’s astonishingly precise," Adam raved. But the more Matt sang, the more Ryan and Adam started to believe he could win the battle, especially after he ditched his guitar.

"Matt can sneak up and steal this away from him," Ryan declared.

When the battle began, both singers put emotion and danger into this mid-tempo OneRepublic track. As the camera spun and the two singers circled each other, it became a for-real BATTLE! Matt had some pitch problems, but his falsetto seemed to best James. At the end, Cee-Lo told them, in all seriousness, "it was hype, dope and fresh." Adam acknowledged that both singers stumbled, but picked James as the winner.

After it was all over, James celebrated with his wife and baby daughter. Matt's mother told him, "You won it in my eyes." Moms are the best.

WINNER: James Irwin

Battle Round: Team Christina with special guest Ed Sheeran
Destinee Quinn vs. Lina Gaudenzi, "I'm Not Ready To Make Nice" by The Dixie Chicks

Plucky Destinee Quinn faced off against teen-model-turned-singer Lena Gaudenzi -- and in rehearsals, they both struggled. Poor Destinee seemed petrified, Lena was over-thinking her singing, and of course Christina took the mic to prove she could sing it better (of course, she did).

Is it just me, or is Destinee just the most unlikely biker bar songstress and friend of Alice Cooper you could ever imagine?

The two looked like they were in a full-on Lady War by the time they took the stage. It was a diva showdown, and a clear winner was hard to pick. Adam was a fan of Lena. Blake, pulling for Destinee, declared, "It almost looked like you were about to cry, you were so mad." Christina could barely take it. She said, "I'm so living for these two right now."

If Destinee won the emotion, Lena won the range. So when Christina said she had to choose Destinee, Adam didn't hesitate, stealing Lena for his second theft of the evening. Also, a mosquito landed on Christina, and she started screaming and trying to keep her dress from falling down. I love this show.

WINNER: Destinee Quinn
STEAL: Lena Gaudenzi to Team Adam

Battle Round: Team Adam with special guest Ryan Tedder

James Wolpert vs. Will Champlin, "Radioactive" by Imagine Dragons

This was hyped as the battle to battle last week's "My Songs Know What You Did In The Dark" in the promos -- too bad it didn't really deliver. Disappointing, because college dropout and Apple store worker James Wolpert stole my Detroit heart during the blind auditions with his cover of Jack White's "Love Interruption." But this song contest didn't pay off for Monday night's finale.

Wolpert dueled with white-spectacled Will Champlin, a new father and son of former Chicago bandmember Bill Champlin, who actually said, "I’ve always looked up to Maroon 5 and OneRepublic." Really? I mean, your dad was in Chicago! Adam said the two vocalists are remarkably similar -- moving forward with both of them would "be redundant."

During the battle, Will hit some amazing high notes, taking the crowd (and me) by surprise. James showed off some fury, too. Blake and Adam both remarked that James' buttoned-up look contrasted remarkably with the passion he shows on stage. "You look like you could be working the stock market, in a cool way," Adam mused.

In the end, Adam took James -- and Christina, who said she thought Will won the battle -- swooped in for a last-minute steal.

WINNER: James Wolpert
STEAL: Will Champlin to Team Christina

The competition continues on "The Voice," Mondays at 8 p.m. ET and Tuesdays at 9 p.m. ET on NBC.



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