I’m sorry, but the Knockout rounds suck. What’s the point? Completely random pairings set up between contestants in order to create a contrived “battle”–just dumb. Especially since it’s pretty obvious the fate of each pairing is already written in stone.
The battle rounds come off as rigged too, but at least there is an air of a legitimate face off as the singers duet. The interest comes from hearing the performers sing together, and of course wondering if an eliminated contestant will get a reprieve via The Steal.
There are no reprieves in the Knockout rounds, and the complete lack of tension or suspense results in some really dull television. The coaches explanations for why they matched up certain contestants were ridiculous. It only makes sense to have two singers performing and competing side by side when they are stylistically alike. What is the point of comparing apples to oranges?
For instance, there was no reason whatsoever for Adam to pair up Midas Whale, a folk duo with the belty country singer, Amber Carrington, except that one (Midas Whale) was obviously cannon fodder. And poor Orlando Dixon paired up with ringer Judith Hill? Like a lamb to a slaughter. And of course, although she’s a good singer, Shawna P. is in her mid-4os, making her TOTALLY expendable and perfect fodder for that other ringer, Sasha Allen, on Team Shakira.
I’m glad this round lasts only a week. Next week’s semi-finals can’t come soon enough. I have no interest whatsoever in viewing the machinations of The Powers That Be. Make the VOTING rounds longer, and keep the rest off camera.
The Knockout Rounds begin as the The Voice coaches whittle their teams from 32 down to 16. Acts will perform solos side by side, after which their coach will eliminate one, with no saves or steals available! The artists choose their songs.
Tonight’s knockouts feature Team Shakira and Team Adam. Tomorrow’s 2 hour The Voice will conclude with Team Blake and Team Usher.
Here we go.
Amber Carrington vs Midas Whale – Team Adam – Sigh. It was fun seeing you on TV again JPL! Amber is one of the pimped ones. Midas is basically cannon fodder in this round.
Amber – “I’m With You” by Avril Lavigne – Amber steps out of her country box to show off her ability to hit crazy, CRAZY high notes. She’s a very versatile singer.
Midas Whale – “Higher Ground” by Stevie Wonder – This is very…odd. The attempt to electri-folkify Stevie Wonder isn’t completely successful. I don’t love what they did with melody–it sounds sinister rather than hopeful. But it’s different, and imaginative. Kudos for taking a risk. No way do they survive this round. And to be honest, it would not have mattered what they sang. Oh well.
Blake is drawn to Amber. Shakira liked the Midas Whale arrangement, but she gives it to Amber. Amber Carrington Wins the Knockout.
Garrett Gardner vs Tawnya Reynolds – Team Shakira – Shakira sees so much potential in Garrett. She advises him to growl sparingly. She advises Tawnya to BE theatrical. Yodel away, she says.
Garrett – “Too Close” by Alex Clare – Garrett has improved since his audition. His vocal isn’t as guttural and is using those growls sparingly. This is a good song choice for him. Definitely his best performance in the competition so far.
Tawnya – “Hell on Heels by Miranda Lambert – Tawnya ‘s super-twangy treatment of the tune features a strong tone and GREAT vocal control.
Adam gives Garrett props for improving. Blake didn’t like the yodels. Shakira loved them, and really, that’s all that counts. Usher compliments her yodels, and Blake calls him a suck up. Shakira compliments Tawnya for being was appropriately bad ass. Shakira is proud of Garrett. Garrett Garner Wins the Knockout.
Amy Whitcomb vs Caroline Glaser – Team Adam – Adam put them together because Amy has a big voice and Caroline does not. Erm. It’s not like they are singing together, so why does that matter?
Amy – “House of the Rising Sun” – Amy really runs the gamut here, showing off her big, powerful voice, but also incorporating some interesting phrasing. A nice combo. Caroline looks REALLY intimidated.
Caroline – “Little Talks” – Caroline picked a good song for her “quirky” voice. She’s got some pitch things going on here and there. She sings it well, but doesn’t bring anything special to the arrangement. I’d give it Amy, her vocal arrangement was daring.
Blake appreciates that Amy took some chances, but the 2nd half was better. Caroline was safer, but more consistent. Usher would give it to Amy. Adam thinks they both did better in rehearsals. Caroline Glaser Wins the Knockout
Kris Thomas vs Mary Miranda – Team Shakira – Shakira tells Kris NOT to belt. He’s a crooner, not a belter, she says. Mary Miranda picks a VERY hard song “Every Breath You Take.” She should have stuck to her native Spanish. This is gonna be a trainwreck.
Kris Thomas – “What a Wonderful World” by Louis Armstrong – This is pitchy with WAY too much vibrato. He loves this song, but it’s not a great choice. The phrasing is really grating. He should have stuck to R&B.
Mary Miranda – “Every Breath You Take” by The Police – This performance is better than her rehearsal, but she sings the words uncomprehendingly. The song is about obsession! It’s the stalker song. The song is totally stripped of it’s edge. Really REALLY boring. Zz.
They both pretty much sucked. Adam feels it was pretty evenly matched, but Mary was better. Blake is surprised Shakira would pair up 2 “pets.” Blake liked Mary’s arrangement. He can’t decide. Usher felt the Mary he knows was missing, but was impressed with Kris. Kris Thomas Wins the Knockout. I would have ditched them both.
Judith Hill vs Orlando Dixon – Team Adam – POOR ORLANDO. He’s forced to sing against THE Voice ringer, Judith, and he has no chance whatsoever. On top of it, Judith is singing the song for her dead grandmother. Adam advises Orlando not to oversing. What’s the difference either way?
Judith – “Always on My Mind” – Welp. Judith is killing it, with her Aretha Franklin-inspired rendition of this country classic. So effortless.
Orlando – “All My Life” – Orlando is singing his little heart out. His last time on the stage should be memorable! Very passionate and heartfelt. But he’s got to work so hard to be good, while Judith barely has to lift a finger.
Blake will of course, give the knockout to Judith. Usher gives Orlando props for a good performance but… Shakira didn’t think it was Orlando’s best performance. Adam gives Orlando the kiss off speech first, before crowning Queen Judith – Judith Hill Wins The Knockout.
Karina Iglesias vs Monique Abbadie – Team Shakira – Both of these women are Latina singers. Karina chooses a rock song, while Monique picks a big Celine Dion song. I’m already predisposed to Karina on song choice alone.
Karina – “Are You Going To Go My Way” – Karina is totally rocking out this joint. Such powerful vocals. But she’s also capable of some really subtle and tricky vocal inflections. Good stuff.
Monique – “Power of Love” – Zzzzzzz. Wow. Could this be any more dull. It’s also kind of pitchy. She’s still that pageanty kid singer from Sabado Gigante.
Adam didn’t think Karina picked a good song, but he would pick her. Blake would give it to Monique. Usher was entertained by Karina, but didn’t like the song choice either. Shakira is afraid Karina is turning into a caricature. Karina Iglesias Wins the Knockout Round. Thank gawd. For a minute I feared Shakira was about to make the wrong decision.
Warren Stone vs Sarah Simmons – Team Adam – Warren is taking a risk by stepping away from his country roots. He plans a big song-with big emotion.
Warren – “I Just Died In Your Arms” – Warren countrifies the song just a tinge, pouring a ton of emotion into his rendition. The song choice is odd on the surface, but it works.
Sarah – “Wild Horses” – This got off to a shaky start, but then kicked in big time. Sarah’s voice is raspy, vulnerable and perfect here. I’m going to be sorry to see Warren go, but Sarah was better.
ALL the judges loved Warren, but felt Sarah took it. It kinda sucked these two were up against each other. Adam compared Sarah to Miranda Lambert “Here here!” said Blake. Sarah Simmons Wins the Knockout Round.
Sasha Allen vs Shawna P. – Team Shakira – Sasha is really happy Shakira stole her from Team Adam. Ha. Shawna calls “Maybe I’m Amazed” a gospel song. Alrighty then.
Sasha – “At Last” – This performance is legit. Powerful and bluesy. KILLER KILLER KILLER Glory note. Shakira stands up and claps. Shawna doesn’t stand a chance.
Shawna P. – “Maybe I’m Amazed” – This also really good, though. Nuanced phrasing and passionate. But I think Shawna’s age (40s) was going to keep her out of the live rounds anyway. I’m not surprised she was paired up with a favorite.
Adam calls Sasha’s performance, incredible. He loves Shawna’s grit. He chooses Sasha. Blake calls it the best knockout round. Blake calls Sasha a front runner. Usher accuses Shawna of oversinging because of Sasha. REALLY USHER? Sasha Allen Wins the Knockout
- Amber Carrington
- Judith Hill
- Sarah Simmons
- Caroline Glaser
- Midas Whale
- Orlando Dixon
- Warren Stone
- Amy Whitcomb
- Garrett Gardner
- Kris Thomas
- Karina Iglesias
- Sasha Allen
- Tawnya Reynolds
- Mary Miranda
- Monique Abbadie
- Shawna P.