The Voice 21: Jershika vs. Paris: Knockouts End with LEGENDary Performances
The final night of The Voice 21 Knockouts was a solid one even if it lacked consistent moments (Read our Recap). There was one specific Knockout that exceeded expectations, however. Jershika Maple vs Paris Winingham ended the night with a dramatic steal.
Other enjoyable performances included the breakout performance from Team John Legend’s Shadale and the performance from double montaged Team Kelly Clarkson contestant, Xavier Cornell. Even if he didn’t deliver a perfect vocal, his tone was so rich, I wondered why the show never aired a full performance before the Knockouts.
A Knockout full of talent
Jershika Maple, one of the big stars of the night, thought of her mother as she sang the classic, “Inseparable,” by Natalie Cole. This song, a tall number, could easily sound dated or boring. But Jershika’s rendition sounded neither. The crowd supported the singer the whole time, cheering very loudly in her opening line. There’s a lot of R&B talent this season, but I think Jershika may be the most interesting due to her ability to put very cool touches on songs. Her low notes are crazy impressive, and there is emotion in her high notes as well as color in her tone. Jershika’s personality in her package is so much fun, and her vocal performances are just as fun and intriguing.
Opponent Paris Winningham took the stage next. In his video package, he shared his struggles over being an adopted child. Eventually, Paris was able to appreciate his adoptive parents. He sang the very overdone “Tennessee Whiskey” in the style of Chris Stapleton. Paris’s vocal was so clean that it was tough to find flaws in his performance. My only critique for Paris is on the song choice–he didn’t necessarily do anything new to the song by simply stripping it. Picking a song like this didn’t really show his artistic ability, but nevertheless, he nailed it vocally. He removed his glasses as a part of his performance before hitting some remarkable runs towards the end. This was Paris’s best performance to date.
Blake Shelton uses his steal
Kelly said, “I can’t sit down because it is disrespectful,” adding, “He is so capital S screwed right now” referring to John, the deciding coach. Kelly noted that, as her previous coach, she knows “how gifted” Jershika is. She also mentioned the glasses moment from Paris, calling it “sexy, cool.” Kelly went with Jershika as the winner but felt that both were deserving. Blake Shelton said Paris “brought a different kind of personality” to his song before calling Kelly crazy for giving up Jershika. He loved the singer for “pouring more salt into the wound.” Ariana Grande pointed out Jershika’s ability to make everyone feel the emotion and complimented that Paris’s great “storytelling” ability.
John called the pairing’s singing an A+ and mentioned the smart move by Paris to strip the performance down as advisor Ed Sheeran suggested. He called Paris’s performance “beautiful,” while Jershika’s was “a masterclass” in utilizing the different parts of her voice. She is “amazingly gifted,” John said. After a long and hard decision, John declared Jershika the winner with Blake stealing Paris.
That’s a wrap on the knockouts. Overall, Jershika’s performance was up there with Shadale and Girl Named Tom for the best performances of the entire Knockouts. It will be interesting to see what happens next week when The Voice returns with the Live Playoffs. In a season loaded with R&B talent, how many R&B singers will advance, and will the Comeback wildcard have an effect on the competition?