The Voice 24 Knockout: Team Gwen Stefani’s Kara Tenae Moves On, Telling Her Opponents to “Leave (Get Out)”
The Voice Season 24 Knockouts are in their final week, and they are ramping up. Monday night was full of steals and saves, culminating in a big steal from John Legend, after failing earlier in the episode to steal two singers from Team Niall Horan. (Read our Recap)
Team Gwen Stefani’s final trio of the night was full of mature singers showcasing their big vocals, including Kara Tenae, the 34 year old R&B singer who truly stood out and found her footing. She brought “swag” and “attitude” according to her coach.
The Riverside, California native chose to perform “Leave (Get Out)” by Jojo, saying the song has a “pop flair” to it. She can relate to the song as it’s telling someone to go because “they aren’t treating you the way you deserve to be treated.” Kara shares that she was in a relationship for four years that was similar to the song’s situation. This is a good song choice as Kara seems to stand out the most when she’s performing throwback songs, even though her voice may be one of the most current on the season. In rehearsal, Mega Mentor Wynonna Judd tells her to make it more believable, and to “get real in a way that’s not about performing.” Wynonna thinks she “blossomed” off of this advice, Gwen likes the technicality of her voice and “realness.” She says, “it’s like we got to see you.”
Kara Tenae brings emotion from the jump
Kara starts with restraint but brings emotion from the jump. This song is tricky as a vocal showcase, as the backing vocals are such a prominent part of it. The timing has to be tight due to the call and response portions of the song. Kara’s tone is poppy and wonderful on the number, and she is believable. The bridge was a tad choppy, but she eventually eased into it, which resulted in a gorgeous vocal moment as she got softer, and then hit a huge note.
She ends the performance with silky smooth runs. Her Battle and Knockout performances (one song from the late 90s and one from the early 2000s) were much stronger than her audition which was a more modern pick. Even so, I would love to see her showcase her smooth sound on the current viral hit “Water” by Tyla. It would be a great fit for her voice, and she could redeem herself on a modern hit.
“You really look like a star up there”
John tells Kara, “you really look like a star up there, and I just believe you as an artist.” Reba McEntire says, “I think you are a great singer, you look wonderful, your stage presence is great.” She would lean towards Kara’s opponent and former Reba team member CoRii. Niall says, “the way you told that story as well was brilliant, and the way you played around the backing vocals on the track was phenomenal”. He would choose Kara’s opponent, Kristen Brown. Gwen says “you are so good at being dynamic on stage” about Kara. She was floored by her performance, and that led her to disagree with her fellow coaches and pick Kara. She says the way she “delivered the lyric felt believable.” Kara’s performance was the most put together when it came to both vocals and emotions, so I agree with this pick.
John Legend finally landed a steal after a third try
As far as Kara’s competing team members are concerned, CoRii’s “Ain’t It Fun” by Paramore had the vocals but lacked some punch, and Kristen’s emotions were there on Martina McBride’s “This One’s For The Girl,” but at times she tripped up vocally. Either way, Kristen’s emotional performance was strong enough as it earned a steal from John– his third attempt at a steal on the episode.
The other performances of the night were incredible. Team Reba’s yodeling teen Ruby Leigh wowed and won her matchup with country classic, “Blue.” Team Niall’s Huntley won his Knockout with a gritty take on Bon Jovi, and Team Legend singer Lila Forde’s tone shined on a James Taylor number. Each had strong showings, but Reba’s steal of Team Niall’s storytelling country singer Noah Spencer was the true highlight of the episode, as he nailed his take on a The Steeldrivers song, “Where Rainbows Never Die,” giving one of the best performances of the night.