Just when it seemed like the idea of singers battling in a boxing ring was running out of steam, Jeff Jenkins and Casey Desmond delivered one of the "The Voice's" strongest duets yet, a deep and emotional reading of Elton John's "Don't Let the Sun Go Down on Me."
The two were vying to be the fourth and final members of Adam Levine's team on the series, which goes live next week. Their performance was easily a high point -- two contestants making out at the end of a song was the other -- as each coach rounded out their teams of four.
Video: "The Voice," Battles: Round 4 (Full Episode)
The episode chronicled fear, romance and a touch of the underdog rising to victory in an episode that NBC needed to be strong if it hopes to attract the "American Idol" fans who are now thirsting for more competitive singing.
In two pairings, the show felt a bit too much like an early round on "Idol": nerves got to the shy teenagers Sara Oromchi and Xenia as they wobbled and warbled the Pretenders' "I'll Stand By You." And songwriter Cherie Oakley, who penned the No. 1 country hit "Turn on the Radio," was unable to turn her tunesmith chops into a vocal thunderstorm and wound up losing to the youngster Lily Elise.
Oakley and Elise duked it out with the Kelly Clarkson hit "Since You've Been Gone," yet another example of the judges handing the singers a tune that would challenge at least one of them. Blake Shelton wanted to see if his charges could deliver a very steady ballad; Christina Aguilera wanted to see how a country singer and an R&B belter might handle a pop tune; and Cee Lo Green handed Curtis Grimes and Emily Valentine Lady Antebellum's "Need You Now," which fit Grimes' comfort zone and seemed foreign to Valentine. Grimes not only got the victory, he also appeared to get the girl as they shocked the coaches with an extended smooch at the end of the performance. "Neither of us had ever done a duet on stage before," Valentine said on a conference call Wednesday morning. "We choreographed it all night long." The comment was followed by a knowing chuckle.
With he teams set but the upcoming competitions unclear, it appears that Cee Lo has the most varied team, which could work to his advantage. then again, it might make it tough to eliminate singers one at a time.
On Tuesday, "The Voice" was up 29 percent among 18-49 viewers, pulling in 4.9 million viewers within the demographic, the highest it has been in four weeks. The show pulled in 14.375 million viewers, the largest audience yet for the show, despite airing against the NBA Finals.