The Voice 23: Team Blake Matchup Ends With Last Second Steal

The Voice 23 - Grace West, Neil Salsich
Pictured: (l-r) Grace West, Neil Salsich — (Photo by: Tyler Golden/NBC)

The Voice 23: Grace West and Neil Salsich Team Blake knockout results in a last second steal

Blake Shelton teamed up Grace West and Neil Salsich for the last night of The Voice season 23 Knockouts. (Read our Recap).

Grace chose “Here You Come Again” by Dolly Parton, a song she has been singing since she was a young child. “I love Dolly Parton. She is this amazing, strong woman who has literally done it all,” Grace said. She shared about her supportive parents and her struggle that involved going back and forth from Detroit to Nashville until she relocated after high school. In rehearsal, Blake calls Grace’s song choice a “tip of the hat to some of the old-school country.” He advises her to put more air on a big note, and mentor Reba McEntire suggests she “play with the camera” more. She name-drops Barry Manilow when giving this advice. Grace thinks the song allows her to showcase her range.

A strong vocal

A skilled and polished singer, Grace comes across as very confident while on stage. Her range is quite impressive, and her vibrato is distinct as it is a bit quivery while she remains in control. Some fans may find it distracting, but it works with her twangy country tone. This is probably her strongest performance to date as her voice soars on the song.

A gospel song disguised as a rock song

Neil sings “Taking It to The Streets” by The Doobie Brothers. He is from St. Louis as are The Doobie Brothers. He describes the song as an example of the St. Louis sound–“a gospel song disguised as a rock song.” He’s been a musician in St. Louis for a while, but he’s ready to take the next step. Blake calls the song, “the perfect next step.” Reba and Blake think the background vocals will help him out. They note the lyrics aren’t so playful. Reba describes some of the lyrics are “somber” while others have “hopefulness.”

Neil is an excellent vocalist and a true throwback singer. The performance is lively and a lot of fun and he seems to have taken Reba and Blake’s advice when it comes to emoting. His performance is energetic while exuding loads of feeling. As the song goes on, he erupts, giving it everything vocally.

I’d lean towards Neil vocally, but Grace probably has a higher ceiling when it comes to going far in the competition. Both are great though.

Niall Horan says Neil’s changes at the end took it “to the next level,” while Grace has “always been one of my favorites.” He would pick Grace. Chance the Rapper says Grace’s tone has “that southern feel” to it, and finds Neil’s stage presence “exciting.” He’d go with Neil. “You have this energy about you when you sing. It’s captivating” Kelly Clarkson describes Neil. She calls Grace “a star” but critiques the song choice. She would also go with Neil. Blake says this difficult decision is part of the reason he’s quitting.

Kelly uses her steal

He chooses Grace as the winner as he sees potential in her “old-school country voice.” But then Kelly steals Neil at the last second. She yells, “I want you to sing some Billy Joel.” She notes he can sing everything.

Other than this knockout there were some other great performances. Team Niall’s Ross Clayton wowed with Steely Dan’s “Dirty Work”, Team Kelly’s Holly Brand displayed big vocals on “Blue Moon of Kentucky” and her partner Rachel Christine earned a steal from Blake on a super solid rendition of “Rhiannon.” Overall, tonight showed that the female country talent is strong this season. It’s tough to tell if it’ll be Grace or Holly who makes it further as both continue to stand out.

About Blake Busch 271 Articles
I am a graduate of Drake University with a BSBA in marketing and minor in data analytics. My favorite shows to follow are American Idol and The Voice. I also love crime thrillers, Top Chef, and Masterchef. My hobbies include cooking, baking, playing basketball, and watching sports.