The Voice season 22 Knockouts begin tonight with a brand new format. Instead of TWO acts facing off against each other with a solo song for a spot on their coaches team, THREE will face off against each other. Only ONE moves on. One or Two of the eliminated acts CAN be stolen by another coach. Each coach gets ONE steal.
Coaches Blake Shelton, Gwen Stefani and John Legend. Pop star Camila Cabello have big decisions to make as they whittle the field from 36 to a Top 16. Carson Daly hosts. We’ll be live blogging all the Knockout performances right here.
REMINDER: NO SPOILERS IN COMMENTS. Keep spoiler talk under spoiler posts above. Thank you.
The show opens up with a Halloween bit. Happy Halloween.
Bodie – Kevin Hawkins – The Dryes – Team Blake Shelton
Bodie explains how he and the other two acts vying for a spot on Team Blake are all very good friends. They’ve even helped each other with their performances. Blake calls them his “big vocalists.” Blake saved The Dryes in the Battles. Bodie is married with three kids. Kevin feels like he’s going home for sure. Blake feels like Bodie hasn’t completely worked out his arrangement. Blake calls Kevin’s falsetto “exciting,” but believes he should sing in his chest voice in spots. Derrick from The Dryes decides set aside his guitar for this performance. Blake loves the couple’s song choice and is pleased that Derrick stepped up to the plate. NBC previewed this Knockout last week.
Bodie – Better Now by Post Malone – Bodie is no virtuoso singer, But he’s expressive and musical. He’s got a clear tone that cuts through and navigates a difficult song with ease. He’s a great pop singer, ready for the radio now.
Kevin Hawkins – This Woman’s Work by Kate Bush – He’s singing the Maxwell version, with tons of falsetto. He’s a better singer in his chest voice. He picked the song because of his grandmother, but it’s not a great choice. His falsetto is thin and grainy.
The Dryes – Chasing After You by Maren Morris and Ryan Hurd – It’s a perfect song choice for the husband and wife duo. It gives them an opportunity to show off their chemistry, which they have in spades. Blake is right about Derrick. He delivers his best vocal performance to date. His wife is the real star here. Her range and tone are impressive! They end with a sexy smooch.
“Two of you were supposed to suck!” says Blake. Camila calls Kevin a star, but she wanted more from his body language. She’d pick Bodie. Gwen loves Bodie’s voice. She’s impressed with Kevin’s range. She thinks The Dryes delivered their best performance yet. John calls Kevin’s performance “disjointed.” Blake feels bad after advising Kevin to sing in his chest voice more. “I take responsibility,” he admits. Blake is amazed at the way Bodie can sing complicated music. Jokes about Blake quitting the show ensue. Remember, this round was taped over the summer!
Blake picks Bodie, Gwen and Camila steal Kevin, Kevin chooses Gwen. Because Gwen turned around first, Kevin picked her. Also, he didn’t say it, but she didn’t criticize his performance! The Dryes are eliminated.
Morgan Myles, Orlando Mendez, Chello – Team Camila Cabello
Morgan was a four chair turn. Camila calls her one of the best voices of the season. She’s a vet who’s been touring for years. Camila helps Morgan with stage presence. She’s very nervous. Chello, a versatile musician, will play the guitar. Camila urges the singer to “be Chello.” He doesn’t need to do long belting notes, she says. Orlando’s uncle died a few weeks before his Knockout, so the song resonates for him. Camila suggests he use his falsetto.
Chello – Hold On by Justin Bieber – Chello is an interesting artist. He doesn’t have incredible vocal chops. But he’s an inventive musician and creative. His vocal ability will hold him back in this competition. A show that allowed him to sing his own songs (Like Idol) might be a better fit for him. Having said this, Chello delivered a smooth and engaging performance.
Morgan Myles – What the World Needs Now by Jackie DeShannon – Hoo boy, this gal can SANG. Her phrasing is beautiful and unique. And her range and power are incredible. She is hands down one of the best pure vocalists in the competition.
Orlando Mendez – Live Like You Were Dying by Tim McGraw – He’s Camila’s “Cuban Cowboy.” Bryce Leatherwood is the country artist of the season, but Orlando is right behind him. He’s kind of a sleeper. This isn’t his best vocal, however. Maybe not a great song for him, which he chose for sentimental reasons. He’s a bit pitchy this time.
Gwen thought Chello had tuning problems, but she liked the song choice. Gwen warns Morgan not to be pageanty. John also likes Chello’s song choice. He feels Orlando was in his element, but it could have been more “singery” instead of shouty. Yes. Blake also thought Orlando pushed too hard. But he appreciated the emotion. Blake calls Morgan “incredible.” Camila admits that her advice to Morgan may have made her seem “pageanty.” Camila picks Morgan, Orlando and Chello are Eliminated Camila says it was a close decision. But she thinks Morgan could win.
Parijita Bastola, Peyton Aldrich, Valarie Harding – Team John Legend
John put them together because they’re all at about the same level. Parijita is only a teen, but it’s a song her parents listened to. John pushes her to work on supporting her big notes. John gives Valarie some phrasing advice. He wants a few melody changes and a firmer ending from Peyton. He doesn’t have much advice for any of them.
Parijita Bastola – I’d Rather Go Blind by Etta James – Parajita is another contestant who could win the show. She’s only 17, but has a preternaturally mature sound, like she’s began singing in another life. Her tone is very thick and rich and she sings with emotion and nuance beyond her years.
Peyton Aldrich – Forever After All by Luke Combs – John can go on about how he enjoys coaching country artists, but he usually ditches them pretty quick. Peyton’s a little off this time. Although he’s got a strong tone and passion, he’s a bit out of pocket.
Valarie Harding – Weak by SWV – Valarie is a solid traditional R&B singer, although her warbly vibrato is a little distracting. She’s also having some breath issues. This isn’t an easy song to sing. There are a ton of words sung fast. She improves on the second verse when she lets loose a little.
Blake can’t believe Parijita is only 17. He’s blown away. He’s also impressed with Peyton’s vocal, but thought his body language was stiff. Camila also was impressed with Parijita. She’d choose her. Gwen also finds Parijita impressive. Gwen thinks he does too many “curls,” but otherwise great vocal from Peyton. She calls Valarie “incredible,” but felt she had issues in her lower tones. John noted her early problems, but loved her “wailing.” John also thought Peyton got off to a shaky start. John picks Parijita, Peyton and Valarie are eliminated.
Kique Gomez, Rowan Grace, Destiny Leah – Team Gwen Stefani
Gwen put them together because they’re all “super young.” Rowan and Kique are friends. Gwen is very impressed with Destiny in rehearsal. But feels she needs to emote more. “Be bold about it,” Gwen advises. Kique re-arranged Hey Ya “bringing it down” in the first verse. It’s really emotional, before speeding it up. Gwen suggests that he stick to the melody more in spots. Of course, Rowan’s dad, a musician, loves Billy Joel. Gwen suggests she play with the lyrics more, and be more physically expressive.
Kique – Hey Ya by Outkast – Kique’s arrangement of “Hey Ya” is inspired. The young singer hasn’t been a major standout until now. Generally, “Hey Ya” isn’t a great competition song, but his version is so emotional, fun and carefree that he makes it work. Also, his elastic vocals are a vibe.
Destiny Leah – Impossible by Christina Aguilera feat. Alicia Keys – Compared to Kique, Destiny’s performance comes off as rudimentary. She’s got some pipes, but she’s singing it close to the original. And she’s no Christina Aguilera. She sounded better in rehearsal.
Rowan Grace – Vienna by Billy Joel – Rowan’s got a little rasp at the end of her lines that’s pleasing. Her tone is soft, but expressive. She sings like a classic singer-songwriter–she doesn’t wow with big notes, but makes the most of little moments.
John calls Kique audacious. He thought Destiny connected to the song, even if she could have better vocals. He calls Rowan powerful. She’s one of Blake’s favorites. He calls Kique a star and would pick him. Camila believes all three artists have blossomed. She calls Kique “cutting edge.” Gwen loved the way Destiny worked the stage. She’s happy Rowan took her notes. Kique blew her away with a surprising song choice. Gwen picks Kique, Blake steals Rowan, Destiny is eliminated.
NBC is only uploading videos for the artists who advanced. Sorry! The three way knockout is A LOT. What was the thinking behind it? A shorter round? The coaches keep saying that ditching the celebrity mega-mentor allows them to spend more time with the artists. But it probably came down to money. It’s crazy that they expanded the Blind Auditions, but only 16 artists will go into the live shows. Also, cutting the field from 36 to 16 is BRUTAL.