The Voice season 22 Knockouts continue tonight. A brand new format means that 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.
Ian Harrison, Omar Jose Cardona, Morgan Taylor – Team John Legend
NBC previewed this Knockout earlier today. John stole Ian from Team Gwen in the Battles. Ian’s song choice reminds him of the pivotal moment that he decided to pursue music. John wants him to lean into being a rockstar more. Morgan blossomed once she began music school, she says. John literally has no notes for the singer. He likes her sultry approach. Omar, a 4-chair turn, has been working corporate gigs for many years. John calls him a soulful rockstar. But says that he needs to gel with the band more.
Ian Harrison – Cough Syrup by Young the Giant – Ian is a solid indie singer. His tone is appealing and he sings passionately. He probably should be fronting a rock band.
Omar Jose Cardona – Radioactive by Imagine Dragons – Omar knows what he’s doing. He’s quite the showman. He does some interesting little tricks with his voice. But his performance borders on hyper-active. With so much at stake, the adrenaline is probably flowing. But this is not his best performance so far. Still, his vocal tone and range are outrageous.
Morgan Taylor – I Got You (I Feel Good) by James Brown – Morgan starts off too languid. She’s doing the sultry thing, but it comes off lackluster. She’s better when she pushes into the blusier second half of the song and is bold rather than sexy. However, she pulls off inventive runs, and is a solid blues singer.
Blake calls Morgan’s effort her “best performance” and Ian’s performance “solid.” He is impressed with Omar’s vocal tricks and would pick him. Camila calls Omar a “dragon.” Gwen wants to see “more and more” of Omar. John thinks Ian didn’t physically embody the song. He says Morgan “nailed” her performance. He feels that Omar “built a journey.” Unsurprisingly, John picks Omar, Ian and Morgan are eliminated.
Eric Who – Team Camila Cabello
Eric Who faced off against Jaeden Luke and Reina Ley. But viewers only see a glimpse of the two during Camila’s mentoring session with Eric and when she picks Eric to move on. In their session together she suggests that Eric sing his song choice “Exs & Ohs” as if he’s possessed. Turn up the Broadway vibe and the acting, she says, “Go crazy.” And indeed he does. He works the stage as Camila gets out of her chair to dance. She loves his theatricality. There is no such thing as “too much” as far as she’s concerned. The performance is montaged, but at least fans got to see most of it. – Camila picks Eric, Jaeden and Reina are eliminated
Bryce Leatherwood, Kate Kalvach, Jay Allen – Team Blake Shelton
Kate and Jay were not expecting to be in the same group, for some reason. Again, Kate is the singer Blake tried to lure with a goat. Jay was on Gwen’s team. She tried to save him, but Blake stole him, and Jay abandoned her. Oops. He’s close to getting married, and dedicates the song to her. His fiancee is also a country singer named Kylie Morgan. Blake thinks Jay needs to bring more joy into his performance. Out in Los Angeles, Bryce is homesick. Blake heard some pitch problems, but otherwise he’s impressed with how he’s handling a difficult song. Like Jay, Kate’s song choice is inspired by her partner, her husband. Blake advises Kate to sing in her full voice, rather than switch to her head voice.
Bryce Leatherwood – Colder Weather by Zac Brown Band – Bryce and his twang and cowboy hat is quintessentially country. His sound isn’t particularly unique. But he sings with with heart and is a solid story teller.
Jay Allen – Prayed For You by Matt Snell – Jay, also a country singer, has a tone that grabs my attention. He’s got a bit of a rasp when he sings, which I prefer over Bryce’s smooth professional tone. Jay could sing pop music too. He’s pouring everything he’s got into this performance. He’s emotional!
Kate Kalvach – Anyone by Justin Bieber – Kate’s tone is beautiful. Blake’s advice to stay in her chest voice when possible was good advice. She’s impactful on the high notes. The song is hard to sing and she pulls it off spectacularly.
Camila was on her feet, she LOVES Kate. Camila thought something went wrong with Jay’s performance. He says his fiance in the audience got him emotional. Right. It wasn’t a perfect performance. But his outpouring of raw emotion made up for that. Bryce was boring by comparison. She calls Bryce “iconic.” Gwen loves Jay despite the fact that “he left me.” She calls him a true artist. But Kate blew her away. Gwen would choose her. John describes Bryce’s voice as “warm and assuring” despite some pitchiness. He calls Kate a “revelation.” He would pick her as well. Blake is a fan of Bryce’s singing and his likeability. – Blake picks Bryce, John and Camila STEAL Kate, Kate picks Camila.
After he’s eliminated, Jay says having his fiancee in the audience was worth it, even if it messed up his performance. A performance that wasn’t perfect, but not a trainwreck. Camila made too big a deal of that. She and John fought over Kate. But Camila has been fighting so hard for her, Kate chooses her.
From my perspective, Kate won the Knockout, and Jay secondarily. But Blake obviously connected with Bryce not only as an artist, but on a personal level as well. Sometimes, despite the talent, coaches just don’t click with an artist. Decisions on who to advance come down to more than talent.
Next Monday, the five remaining Knockouts air. On Tuesday, NBC is covering the US midterm elections, so no The Voice on November 8. The Live shows begin on Monday November 14.