Tonight, The Voice season 20 LIVE shows begin with the Playoffs. First up, the winner of the 4-way Knockout will be revealed and will join the Top 16. Seventeen singers will perform for your votes tonight. The Top 9 will be revealed tomorrow (May 11).
Coaches Kelly Clarkson, Blake Shelton, John Legend and Nick Jonas will be on hand to guide their team members. Carson Daly hosts.
*Big thanks to Steven Curtis for covering The Voice shows these past few weeks! He did a great job.
First, a video recap of the 4-way Knockout. And the WINNER is….Oh dumb questions first. Emma Caroline, Devan Blake Jones, Carolina Rial and Savanna Woods await their fate. They all thank their fans as if they are leaving the competition tonight.
NO LIVE AUDIENCE. Surprised they are still doing the wall.
AND the ARTIST MOVING ON TO the Top 17 IS….Devan Blake Jones from Team Nick Jonas. Uhm. That’s kind of a surprise? I guess the Jonas fans went into overdrive.
Team Kelly Clarkson
Corey Ward – Bruises by Lewis Capaldi
Corey knows how to deliver a heart-wrenching ballad. Between his urgent rasp and unique phrasing, it’s drama non-stop. He’s a compelling singer. He soars on a high note and even uses his falsetto. He’s got weapons in his arsenal. He goes down on his knees at one point. SO THEATRICAL. Nick compliments his passion. However, he reminds him to remember technique. Kelly says FORGET TECHNIQUE! It’s all passion. You can’t teach someone to be emotional. “It’s like watching an actor in the best scene of the movie.
Gihanna Zoe – Always Remember Us This Way by Lady Gaga
Hm. I don’t like this as much as her last performance. Her vibrato is very warbly here and she has a few pitchy moments. She sings too many runs. But her tone is very pretty and she hits a few glorious, gospel-y high notes. John thinks she’s channeling Beyonce more than ever. Kelly was “tearing up in the end.” She calls the performance effortless. “You have the biggest voice on the show right now.”
Zae Romeo – When I Look at You by Miley Cyrus
He’s a little pitchy, but Zae sings with a perfect marriage of rasp and sweet tone. He builds a song really well, and doesn’t rely on a bunch of runs. But he’s so passionate nevertheless. He gets lost in the song. Zae also on his knees! He ends on a soft, emotional note. Kelly thinks Zae is a mix of both Corey and Gihanna.
Kenzie Wheeler – Red Dirt by Brooks & Dunn
Mullets are just…I don’t get mullets. Having said that, Kenzie has a radio-ready country voice. His tone resonates. He’s engaging on stage and performs with a confident air. He makes it look easy. In other words, Kenzie could win this whole damn show. Blake regrets saying that he could win: “Being honest doesn’t pay!” In any case, Blake says that he hopes Nick doesn’t win. Kelly feels he is rising to the occasion. She hopes he is a songwriter. She’s so happy that she used the block against Blake.
The Top 20 artists did commercials for Marshalls. They are covering “Dynamite” which is a bunch of fun. They’re using the same Universal lot the coaches used for a performance of Bob Marley’s “One Love” last season.
Team John Legend
Ryleigh Modig – drivers license by Olivia Rodrigo
Ryleigh is one of my favorites right now. She has a perfect pop voice with a beautiful tone, head voice and range. And she’s cute as a button! I hope that she survives to the semifinals. Her voice breaks some on the high notes and she’s having a little trouble sustaining notes in her upper register. But she’s so emotional as she sings, it doesn’t matter. “You put so much heart, and soul, sadness and beauty into the song,” says John. “Stunning.”
Zania Alake – Dangerous Woman by Ariana Grande
Zania usually picks classic songs, so this is a bit different for her. She started off a little pitchy, but she cuts a dramatic figure here. I prefer her singing the jazzier soul tunes. She reminds me of Anita Baker, and is better when she stays in that lane, I think. Good for her for trying to step out of her box, though. Those last notes were rough. John calls today’s performance “extra level star power.”
Pia Renee – Need U Bad by Jazmine Sullivan
Pia’s outfit IS AMAZING. Hm. It’s amazing how the pitch issues come out when the show is live. t’s an interesting song choice, but I don’t think it’s paying off for her as a vocal showcase. Pia’s vocal sounds strained and flat. Dang. She might get eliminated this week, and I considered her a possible front runner. It’s simply the wrong song. Blake calls it the best Team Legend performance so far. NO WAY. Ryleigh was better. John admires how much she gives on stage.
Victor Solomon – I Wish by Stevie Wonder
Victor delivers a soulful and snazzy rendition of this Stevie Wonder classic. He’s moving around the stage, while staying on time and pitch effortlessly. Stevie is hard to sing! He’s putting his own raspy stamp on the song. OK THE DANCING. This is pretty great. John points out that it’s the first four coach standing ovation of the night. He calls Victor a “superstar.”
Team Nick Jonas
Dana Monique – Free Your Mind by En Vogue
Dana knows her strengths, which are big rock tinged soul songs, and she’s sticking to them. She’s got the Tina Turner vibe down. Her voice is big, beautiful and bawdy. She leaves it all on stage and reminds me a little of 70s era Patti Labelle. The singer tosses her hat as she finishes. WOW. Kelly threw ALL HER STUFF at her, and wants to sing backup for her. “You have such a gift. You’re my spirit animal.” Nick is honored to be her coach. “You just blew that out of the park.”
Andrew Marshall – Put Your Records On by Corinne Bailey Rae
Before he got sick with cancer, Andrew performed in that dang New England boy band Kick-it along with Colin Jamieson and his pal. KICK-IT MAKING A COMEBACK. Why pick a nominal song from by a one-hit wonder from a decade ago? This song choice is inexplicable and not doing Andrew ANY favors at all. He’s got a pretty decent pop voice, but this song is all wrong for him. Sabotage? He screeches the last chorus. It’s painful. Hoo boy. Bad. He probably knows he bombed. Ohhh. “Not everything came perfectly during this song, I think we both know that,” says Nick. TRAINWRECK.
Jose Figueroa Jr. – Talking to the Moon by Bruno Mars
How about that. ANOTHER TERRIBLE SONG CHOICE. Jose is a gospel singer. This song is out of his wheelhouse. And he needs to avoid his falsetto. It’s weak. When he’s given the opportunity to sing it out at the end, the performance improves. John calls his gift special. “It’s always a pleasure to hear you sing.” Nick calls it his best vocal performance on the show.
Devan Blake Jones – Shape of My Heart by Backstreet Boys
This is an unexpected song choice. The studio version is better I think? The verse is a little low for him. I wonder if he prepared enough for this performance. Did he expect to win the Knockout? The vocal is pitchy throughout. He hits some belty notes and, uhm. Nope. He seems nervous. Will Nick throw him under the bs like he did Andrew? Nope. “You should be happy with that performance. Well done,” he says.
Rachel Mac – Rainbow by Kacey Musgraves
Rachel’s voice is pretty as a clear, clear bell. She does the little country scoop and it’s lovely. It’s the perfect song choice for Rachel’s sweet personality. There isn’t a note out of place, even as she shows off her range. Her sincerity shines through as she ends the song on an emotional note. Kelly is wiping away tears. Blake compliments Team Nick and thinks they outsung the other teams. Well, Rachel and Dana were terrific, the others not so much.
Team Blake Shelton
Jordan Matthew Young – Gold Dust Woman
His voice seems wrong for this song. He sounds tuneless on the verse. Flipping a female song can be a smart move for a male vocalist, but there is very little flipping here. He barely changed the arrangement. Jordan’s vocal improves when he enters his higher register. And I do appreciate his steel guitar playing. But I think the song is more powerful coming from a woman’s point of view. He hits the big Stevie Nicks notes at the end. Kelly is screaming. “You are way too cool to be on Blake’s team,” Kelly says. “You’re an incredible talent. Blake calls it a “breath of fresh air.”
Anna Grace – Let Her Go by Passenger
It’s a good song choice for Anna and a perfect arrangement. A slow piano driven ballad highlights Anna’s sweet tone and her ability to slide around the notes expertly. Her head voice is heaven. It’s her best performance on the show so far. Not a note out of place. Kelly is screaming again! Blake compliments her artistry, control and finesse. He notes her calm. Which she is, while also being full of intent. So good.
Pete Mroz – We Belong by Pat Benatar
Another guy singer flipping a female song. But this is how it’s done. He rearranged the song just enough to make it unique, but not too much to render it unrecognizable. His version is very folky and plaintive. I don’t know how Pete will do in a stacked competition. Between Anna and Cam, he’ll have a tough time advancing. But his experience makes for smart choices and compelling performances. Blake has a special place in his heart for his old buddy. Blake made it, Pete not so much. But still, I think he prefers other singers.
Cam Anthony – Take Me to Church by Hozier
Cam is consistently incredible. He’s a pop singer with a fresh and soulful sound. There is nothing fancy going on here vocally, but his urgency propels the song. Yet, he performs with ease and confidence. I can hear him on the radio. John is heartbroken that Nick used his block against him. And neither got him! Blake had promised to keep his lane open. But Cam did his part too. “You could be the first superstar that we launch off the show,” he says.