The Voice 17 Recap: Battles End/Knockouts Begin Live Blog (VIDEO)

THE VOICE -- “he Battles, Part 5/The Knockouts” Episode 1711 -- Pictured: (l-r) Jake Hoot, Carson Daly, Melinda Rodriguez -- (Photo by: Justin Lubin/NBC)
THE VOICE — Pictured: (l-r) Jake Hoot, Carson Daly, Melinda Rodriguez — (Photo by: Justin Lubin/NBC)

The Voice season 17 Battles end tonight with coaches Blake Shelton, Kelly ClarksonJohn Legend and Gwen Stefani, and featuring special celebrity mentors, including Normani (Team Kelly), Darius Rucker  (Team Blake), Usher (Team Legend) and will.i.am (Team Gwen).

Halfway through the show, the Knockouts will begin. Pop star Taylor Swift will serve as “Mega Mentor” for each of the coaches. Each team has ONE steal. But this season–no saves! The stakes are high.  Carson Daly hosts. Blake Shelton has the only remaining steal!

The Voice 17: Mega Mentor Taylor Swift’s Emotional Knockout Moment
The Voice 17: Max Boyle vs Katie Kadan Knockout Shocks Coaches Video
The Voice Season 17 Contestant List Spoilers: Blinds, Battles, Knockouts
The Voice Season 17 TV Schedule: Blinds, Battles, Knockouts, Lives

Caroline Reilly vs Jake Haldenvang – Team Gwen – Just Like a Pill by Pink – They are the “rockers” on Gwen’s team, she says. That’s why she paired them. Jake toured with his dad for a long time. Caroline is a 16 year old who loves the classics. She was the “little girl” Gwen kept yapping about wanting on her team, which doesn’t bode well for Jake. Gwen notes Caroline’s nerves. She feels a little intimidated by her older partner. Jake has a rangy upper register, but he needs to work on control. Will is ready to record Jake’s album RIGHT NOW. Hm. At the studio rehearsal, Gwen suggests Jake ditch his guitar. “It looks like you’re backing her up.” Jake is the more experienced, seasoned singer. They are both pretty old fashioned, though. I can’t decide the winner of this battle. Caroline has a clear, strong tone, while Jake has an appealing rasp. They’re nailing the harmonies. Good duet. Kelly compares Jake to Steven Tyler. She chooses him. Blake goes for the young Caroline. John would pick Jake. He liked his surprising choices. Gwen Picks Jake. Caroline is Eliminated. So goodbye to Gwen’s “little girl.” Oh well. It was the right decision, I think. 

Preston C. Howell vs Mendeleyev – Team Legend – Fire and Rain by James Taylor – John paired the only baritones on his team. Preston is a 15 year old crooner. He performed at the US Open. That’s cool. Mendeleyev is the product of hippie-dippy parent.  His childhood home burned to the ground. “We lost everything,” he says. Interesting that John chose a song suited to Mendeleyev rather than Preston, who seems to be a fav. Both are 4 chair turns. Young Preston is really struggling with it. John warns him not to sound “wooden.” John wants more sweetness from Mendeleyev. “Your job is to interpret James Taylor,” says John.  Jeez, their vocal styles are so different. They do manage to harmonize nicely, though. Mendeleyev can’t help but stand out, his voice is so unique. Preston’s youth is showing in this duet. Gwen loved the harmonies. She’d pick Preston. Kelly loved Preston, she calls Mendeleyev a “beast.” Blake would choose Preston. John Picks Preston Mendeleyev is Eliminated

Montaged Battles

Jordan Chase vs Ricky Braddy – Team Blake – Blake Picks Ricky (YAY) Jordan is Eliminated.
Brennen Henson vs Calvin Lockett – Team Gwen – Gwen Picks Calvin Brennen is Eliminated

Hello Sunday vs Lauren Hall – Team Kelly – Wrecking Ball by Miley Cyrus – Lauren’s father immigrated to the US from Honduras. She’s been a struggling artist in Los Angeles for a few years. Hello Sunday are tween friends who sing. They are “the youngest duo in Voice history.” The teens love Normani. Squeals all around! This is kind of a ridiculous matchup. Oh well. Doesn’t matter what happens here. Kelly will probably keep the kiddos, while Blake uses his steal on Lauren. Eep. The girls really struggle with pitch. They need more work. Kelly pushes them to power their vocals. Lauren is miles and miles beyond the kiddos. At studio rehearsal, Kelly is super pleased. Lauren is so good. And the kiddos worked on their harmonies. But Lauren, c’mon. It’s no contest. She’s auditioned for The Voice 7 times. It’s her time. Blake thought they all had great moments. John calls Lauren’s tone “beautiful.” He appreciates Hello Sunday’s passion. He refuses to pick. So, nobody is picking! CLIFF HANGER. After the break, Kelly Picks Hello Sunday Blake Steals Lauren. Yup. Saw that coming. Who didn’t?

TIME FOR THE KNOCKOUTS! OUTFIT CHANGE

Taylor met Blake when she was a 15 year old up and coming country singer. Remember when Taylor was all country all the time? 

Marina Chello vs Cali Wilson – Team Blake

Marina Chello –  I Who Have Nothing by Tom Jones –   Marina moved to the US from Uzbekistan at age 11. Her family worked hard. She picks the song because her father loves it. Hm. Artists need to think strategically, forget pleasing the parents. This old fashioned song is not a great pick. Taylor works on Marina’s stage presence. Marina has a POWERFUL voice. But THIS SONG CHOICE IS BAD. Her look could use an update too. It’s not the 90s! This performance is so loungy. With the right songs and some coaching to update her approach, she’d be killer. 

Cali Wilson – Wicked Game by Chris Isaak – Cali grew up in a small Iowa town. It was tough being a closeted lesbian in a tiny midwestern town. Taylor encourages Cali to express a range of emotions, and not be so internal. Cali gives the song a little twang, but at the same time, it’s slinky and sexy. There are no vocal gymnastics here, just a beautifully delivered hypnotic performance. For me, she’s the clear winner. 

John called Cali’s performance “pitch perfect.” He compliments Marina’s range. Gwen compliments Cali’s song choice. She notes Marina’s power. Kelly appreciated Cali’s spin on an oft covered song. She calls Marina’s voice a gift from God. Blake Picks Cali Marina is Eliminated.  Blake appreciated Cali’s growth since the blinds.

Jake Hoot vs Melinda Rodriguez – Team Kelly –  

Jake Hoot – Cover Me Up by Jason Isbell – He’s been happy dating his girlfriend for 6 or 7 months. But his difficult divorce is still fresh in his mind. The pain inspired his song choice. Taylor calls his vocal style “authentic” and “convincing.” She advises Jake not to sway on stage. Maybe use a mic stand, she says. Jake is an old school country singer with an ability to deliver emotional lyrics. This is a very good song choice. His voice is so strong. 

Melinda Rodriguez – Always Be My Baby by Mariah Carey. Melinda’s emotional mentoring session with Kelly and Taylor is previewed HERE. Her brother Chris got called in for a heart transplant. As it turns out, he’s Taylor’s biggest fan. He has her album names tattooed on his body. Tears all around! Taylor wants to send him some gifts. Taylor loves the chorus so much, that Kelly suggests Melinda start there, instead of with the verse. Taylor suggests a drum part to emphasize the melody. The arrangement is jazzy and updated. Her timing and intonation are effortless. I like her style. But Jake actually delivered the stronger performance. They both should move on. 

Blake thinks Kelly will make a huge mistake, no matter what she does. There are Hooters jokes. Oh no. John loves Jake’s voice. He was a one chair turn in the blinds! John calls Melinda’s performance her best so far.  Gwen loves Jake. Kelly Picks Jake. Wow. I’m a little surprised. She wants that lone male country singer on her team.  Melinda is eliminated. That’s a shame. She drops in with an update–Chris is recovering from his heart transplant. 

Hm. Without a steal and a save, methinks there may be wildcards. Fingers crossed for Melinda. 

Katie Kadan vs Max Boyle – Team Legend 

Katie Kadan – Piece of My Heart by Janis Joplin – Katie spent years struggling with self-acceptance. In her 30s, she learned to love herself. She’s been earning a living as a musician in Chicago. Taylor calls her performance quirky and ballsy. She really didn’t have notes for her. Katie is a powerful singer, but for me, she pushes too hard. I find her style overbearing. That’s probably just me though. I wasn’t a huge fan of Janis’ whiskey and cigarette ruined voice either though. Sorry

Max Boyle – When the Party’s Over by Billie Eilish – He studied psychology in college, but is currently pursuing a music career. He just experienced a painful breakup. Taylor compliments Max’s intuition. John admits that Max is the underdog, but he’s putting up a fight. Max is more my style. His take on the song is so delicate, yet full of power and emotion. This is beautiful. That falsetto! Exquisite. Somebody better get stolen. 

Gwen notes Katie’s star quality, but is impressed by Max. Kelly calls Katie “magical.” She also loved Max. She gives him the win. Blake thinks Max had a moment, but he is impressed with Katie’s power. He’d pick her. John Picks Katie. Gwen and Kelly Steal Max. Kelly thought Max actually “blew away” Katie. Max is the kind of artist Gwen would listen to. Max Chooses Kelly. John blocked Kelly. Now she has him. Backstage, John claims he can win the entire show with Katie on his team. 

Battles

Advancing to the Knockouts

Caroline Reilly – Team Gwen
Preston C. Howell – Team Legend
Ricky Brady – Team Bake
Calvin Lockett – Team Gwen
Hey Sunday – Team Kelly
Lauren Hall – Team Blake Steals from Team Kelly

Eliminated

Jake Haldenvang – Team Gwen
Mendeleyev – Team Legend
Jordan Chase – Team Blake
Brennen Henson – Team Gwen

Knockouts

Advancing to the Playoffs

Cali Wilson – Team Blake
Jake Hoot – Team Kelly
Katie Kadan – Team Legend
Max Boyle – Team Kelly steals from Team Legend

Eliminated

Marina Chello – Team Blake
Melinda Rodriguez – Team Kelly

 

About mj santilli 29664 Articles
Founder and editor of mjsbigblog.com, home of the awesomest fan community on the net. I love cheesy singing shows of all kinds, whether reality or scripted. I adore American Idol, but also love The Voice, Glee, X Factor and more!