WOW. Just, wow. India Carney and Clinton Washington gave the best Battle Round performance of this season of The Voice — and quite possibly in the history of the show. Their performance of Rihanna's "Stay" was captivating, steamy, and emotional — and music video worthy according to Blake Shelton. On top of their beautiful performance, both artist's vocals were powerful and raw, giving Coach Christina Aguilera a tough decision. Carney's experienced voice earned her the win, but Washington was the one who deserved to stay.
Going into the performance, the coaches doubted Washington's abilities and marked Carney the winner before either singer even opened their mouths. Washington, who only turned his coach's chair in the blind auditions, was paired against a four-chair-turner — the coaches were prepared for a slaughter. But the 26-year-old digital marketing exec channeled his inner suave superstar and ended up wowing the coaches with his soulful sound. His smooth vocals balanced Carney's strong delivery, bringing the performance down to an intense but sweet duet. Washington's performance proved that he could sing against a powerhouse vocalist without getting overpowered, and his improvement from the Blind Auditions was clear. He would've been a strong addition to Aguilera's very female team, and the coach was wrong to let him go.
Carney is amazing singer, there's no denying that. Her years of classical training are evident and she has a very strong stage presence, which is something that can't be taught. But her performance was weak compared to Washington's. It could just be that I was imagining that Washington was serenading me as he was singing, but Carney seemed to be overpowered by his soulful performance. But Aguilera was ultimately the judge in this battle, and she chose the contestant that would benefit more from her direction. Carney is the perfect fit for Team Christina and she'll certain thrive as her student. She'll have to watch out for Washington, though. Now that he's on Team Adam — Levine was smart to steal him — Washington is with a coach that's ready to perfect his talent — and he's going to be a contestant to watch on this season.
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