The Voice 9 Recap Knockout Rounds #3 – Live Blog VIDEOS
The Voice 9 Knockout rounds wind down tonight. The Top 20 will be revealed and will compete in next week’s Live Playoffs.
Coaches Adam Levine, Blake Shelton, Gwen Stefani and Pharrell Williams will be pairing up the remaining team members, who will each perform a song of their choosing. The coach pick the winner of the battle. Pharrell Williams is the only coach who hasn’t used their one steal. Don’t worry–the result will be telegraphed way ahead of the actual reveal! Pop star, Rihanna, serves as key adviser to all four coaches. If you liked her as mentor, wave goodbye!
Gwen says The Voice is the favorite thing she’s ever done. Really?
James Dupré vs Shelby Brown – Team Adam
Shelby Brown – Jesus Take the Wheel by Carrie Underwood – She used to sing in the bowling alley of her small town. She sang the song for her 3rd grade talent show, and lost. Eep! That should make Carrie Underwood feel old. Rihanna is very impressed with her range and skill. Adam says the only thing she needs to gain is confidence. She’s her biggest opponent, he says. Rihanna gives her key tips on her vocal mid-range. Adam pitted his two country artists against each other, aiming to choose the best one.
Performance: Wow. Shelby is so good! Big voice, beautiful tone, amazing range. She’s effortless, with a natural talent and ability to convey emotion. James looks stricken as she sings. He probably knows he’s a dead man walking.
James Dupre – Sure Would Be Cool if You Did by Blake Shelton – He was an EMT before quitting to pursue music. He became such a big Youtube star, Ellen invited him to sing on her show. James is a family man with 4 kids. He really wants to stay on Team Adam, despite being country. Adam loved the vocal, but advised him to loosen up. Rihanna says he’s not too old to be sexy! At the final rehearsal, Adam joked that he sang Blake’s song better than him.
Performance: James has a nice, deep tone. He sings the song more meaningfully than Blake does. It’s a heartfelt ballad in James’ hands, rather than a jaunty bro tune. Interesting. But I see what Adam and Rihanna mean about his failure to really loosen up. James is holding back.
Blake says it wasn’t right to have such awesome country singers on Adam’s team. Blake really liked James take on his song, says he made it seem easy. But Shelby swang for the fences with her song choice, although she was a little sharp. Gwen didn’t hear a tuning problem. Shelby blew her mind. She compliments James on well behaved kids in the audience. Pharrell loves James vibrato, but Shelby was swinging her sword, chopping heads off on the chorus. Shelby wins the Knockout. That was the correct decision. James is a solid singer, but Shelby took her performance to another level.
Shelby Brown – Jesus Take the Wheel by Carrie Underwood – Download from iTunes
Mark Hood vs Siahna Im – Team Pharrell
Mark Hood – Stand By Me by Ben E King – He freaked out when he met Rihanna. DUDE I LOVE YOU ALREADY she exclaimed when meeting him. He’s a Pharrell fanboy. Mark is scared to sing a tune he can’t lather with theatrics. Pharrell felt he contemporized the song, effortlessly. Rihanna calls him one of a kind. They both advise him to build up to the showmanship. You murdered that! exclaimed Rihanna. But Mark is still feeling insecure.
Performance: When he’s not showboating, his vocal limitations become apparent. It’s not until the song builds that he begins to impress. This isn’t a favorite performance of his, to be honest. The arrangement seemed a little flat and boring. Mark needs to work on his vibrato. The song is a classic, and has been covered by many wonderful singers. I think it was too big for him.
Siahna Im – Back to Black by Amy Winehouse – Young Siahna is an odd one. She’s only 15, with a unique sound and vibe. Pharrell calls her fearless. Bonkers! says Rihanna. She has a lot of vocal notes. Siahna is rough, vocally. She needs some work. Rihanna sings a verse to demonstrate. She’s good!
Performance: There are many flat notes in this performance. She’s got personality and and a compelling style. BUT HOLY COW SHE’S OFF KEY and even lost her timing at one point. She’s young, I think she kind of lost it during the performance. Siahna needed to wait a couple of years before auditioning. She could use some voice lessons.
Gwen can’t keep her eyes off of Mark “I feel like I know you already.” She calls Siahna “adorable” but is careful not to criticize her. Adam says a monster beast comes out in Siahna’s performance. After, she goes back to being a quiet little girl. Blake notes that Mark can’t stand still when he performs. Pharrell calls them both great performers. Nobody criticizes Siahna. Hm. Pharrell goes with his “gut.” Mark wins the Knockout. Man.
Mark Hood – Stand by Me by Ben E. King – Download from iTunes
Jeffrey Austin vs Kota Wade – Team Gwen
Jeffrey Austin – Turning Tables by Adele – He had an office job, but quit to follow his dream. He really wants to stay on Team Gwen! “Adele, you’re going to make me fall off of a boat,” Rihanna says regarding Adele’s emotional catalog. When Adele’s last album came out, says Jeffrey, he had just broken off a relationship and drowned in the music. Rihanna gives him vocal pointers on his phrasing. She compares Jeffrey to Luther or Sam Smith. Gwen gives the singer pointers on how to carry himself during the performance.
Performance: Jeffrey is a real hidden gem. He could be a dark horse in this competition. He’s a talented blue-eyed soul singer. How many versions of this song have I heard? But I’m enjoying this. He does seem a little nervous. He finished with a nice little falsetto adlib.
Kota Wade – Barracuda by Heart – Purple haired girl performs in a band. She IDOLIZES Gwen. She advises Kota dial back the growls. Don’t oversing! Rihanna agrees. Control the big notes. Her sass is there, Rihanna says, just stay on top of the vocal.
Performance: Oooh. Shouty and pitch impaired and strident. No contest, Jeff walks away with this. Kota picked the wrong song when it really really mattered. She would have been better off with something contemporary and emotional.
Adam hears originality in Jeffrey’s tone. Gwen was the only person to turn around for him! Kota chose a hard song, Adam says, but by the end, she had a handle on it. However, he’d pick Jeff. Blake is impressed with how Jeffrey stripped the song down and showed us who he was. Blake thinks Kota’s performance lacked dynamics. (I AGREE). Jeffrey could have pushed it harder, says Pharrell. He applauds Kota for taking a big risk. Gwen had been working with Jeffrey to let his guard down, and it worked! For that reason, Jeffrey wins the Knockout
Jeffrey Austin – Turning Tables by Adele – Download from iTunes
Emily Ann Roberts vs Nadjah Nicole – Team Blake
Emily Ann Roberts – Cowboy Take Me Away by Dixie Chicks – She’s just a teen. Adam fought hard for her, but being on Team Blake feels right. Emily chose the song to show off her bluegrass side. Rihanna says don’t be afraid to hit the notes! Emily confesses that she’s not on top of her game. “She could be a star,” notes Rihanna. Blake wonders if the song is too challenging. she “Too bad she’s not cute.” Blake teases, as Emily leaves the stage. Hm.
Performance: Emily has an effortless country vibe, like an old soul. She yodels like she probably did it in her mama’s womb. What a lovely tone. I wonder, though if she can dig into more emotional fare. She reminds me a little of Danielle Bradbery–lovely tone, but not deeply connected to the lyrics she’s singing.
Nadjah Nicole – A Woman’s Worth by Alicia Keys – She worked as a personal banker before The Voice. She’s got a little daughter. She was inspired to choose the song, because of her daughter. Rihanna calls her the full package. Blake feels she’s holding back at the beginning of the song. She needs to let go of her nerves. She sings some amazing adlibs. This is a very strange matchup.
Performance: A competent rendition of the song. Nadjah shows off that lovely head voice on a few key ad libs, but there’s something flat and dull about this performance. She doesn’t pop.
Pharrell felt Emily was in her comfort zone. He loves her adlibs too. Gwen calls Nadjah “Mesmerizing.” Gwen admires Emily’s intuition and confidence. Adam notes the progress Emily has made. Adam wants to hear more from Nadjah. Blake feels Emily fits into a mountain sound, but mainstream. He believes she has great potential in country music. For that reason, Emily Ann wins the Knockout After, he kids that he can’t wait til she makes him rich.
Emily Ann Roberts – Cowboy Take Me Away by Dixie Chicks – Download from iTunes
Chris Crump vs Zach Seabaugh – Team Blake – TOO BAD! You’re MONTAGED! Chris doesn’t even get a last hurrah. Zach wins the Knockout.
Zach Seabaugh – Somebody’s Heartbreak by Hunter Hayes – Download from iTunes
We’re out to commercial with one of Christina Grimmie’s Kohl’s fashion promos. Yippie.
Evan McKeel vs Tim Atlas – Team Pharrell
Evan McKeel – Dare You To Move by Switchfoot – Evan is the singer that can sing rock or soul. But tonight, he’ll be singing alt/rock, vs another indie singer. Interesting that the second Rihanna feels he’s got great texture to his voice. She wants him to drop the guitar, although he was excited to play an instrument this round. Rihanna thought it was 1000 x better when he wasn’t hiding behind his guitar. She gives him some pointers on his stage presence.
Performance: His ability to switch between soul and alternative rock is really impressive. Another great performance from Evan. Theatrical, passionate, with great stage presence. Rihanna was right about him putting the guitar down. He worked the stage instead, which really helped him open up. Interesting that his alternative alt rock choices are from rock bands with ties to CCM.
Tim Atlas – Torn by Natalie Imbruglia – He was heartbroken to lose the Gwen Battle Round, but now he’s on Team Pharrell. Interesting voice! says Rihanna. She loves his awkward moves. Don’t be afraid, she says, noting that Mick Jagger’s spastic stage moves seemed weird at first too, but he owned them. Pharrell gave Tim a few pointers on how to open up when his vocal becomes strained.
Performance: Damn. I love Tim too! Can we have them both? He possess a tone that’s alternately velvety and raspy. There’s nobody like him in the competition.
Gwen felt his adlibbing needed work, but he loves his unique tone. She appreciates Evan vulnerability. Blake calls Evan a great vocalist, but Tim is really unique. Too many “herbs and spices” however. Pharrell felt his intuition was freed when he took Rihanna’s advice not to play an instrument. Pharrell thinks unique can work against a vocalist if they don’t use it right. For that reason, Evan wins the Knockout. Ultimately, it was the right choice. But I hate losing Tim. Damn.
Evan McKeel – Dare You To Move by Switchfoot – Download from iTunes
Regina Love vs Riley Biederer – Team Gwen
Regina Love – Midnight Train to Georgia by Gladys Knight – She’s had her “ups and downs” in the industry. She started off on Team Adam. Gwen stole her. Rihanna coaches Regina on her breath control. Gwen wants the singer to take some liberties. Rihanna would NEVER want to battle Regina!
Performance: Competent vocal from Regina, albeit old fashioned and not particularly original. If you’re going to sing a classic, bring something new to the proceedings. Growling your way through a song does not constitute a great vocal. ETA: And I see I’m so in the minority here. The song choice was uninspired. I’ve heard this song covered a zillion times. Regina is a good vocalist, but I don’t think she brought anything new here.
Riley Biederer – XO by Beyonce – She was ecstatic when Pharrell turned for her. Rihanna is so impressed by Riley’s voice, she feels that even without her adlibs, Riley’s voice would stand on its own. Riley reveals that her Youtube “Diamonds” cover was one of the first to go over 1M.
Don’t overdo the vocals, Rihanna reminds her.
Performance: I can’t believe only one chair turned for Riley. Her audition was montaged. She’s terrific! There’s some Kelly Clarkson realness happening here. She’s a little nervous, but natural talent abounds. She’s got a ton of potential as a performer.
Adam misses Regina! “You just crushed this.” But Riley killed it too. It was her best so far, he says. Blake saw more diversity in Riley’s vocal. But Regina “parted my hair.” Pharrell calls Regina’s performance “crazy.” She filled that church, he says. He thought Riley did “really great.” Neither should go home! Gwen thinks BOTH should be on the show. She’s confused! In the end, Regina wins the Knockout. Really Gwen? REALLY WHAT THE HELL. Who cares. Pharrell is going to steal her. BYE. Pharrell steals BACK Riley. He hated losing her the first time!
Advancing to the Live Playoffs:
Shelby Brown – Team Adam
Mark Hood – Team Pharrell
Jeffrey Austin – Team Gwen
Emily Ann Roberts – Team Blake
Zach Seabaugh – Team Blake
Evan McKeel – Team Pharrell
Regina Love – Team Gwen
Riley Biederer – Pharrell Steals BACK from Team Gwen
James Dupre – Team Adam
Siahna Im – Team Pharrell
Kota Wade – Team Gwen
Nadjah Nicole – Team Blake
Chris Crump – Team Blake
Tim Atlas – Team Pharrell
The Voice 9 Top 20
Team Adam Levine
Amy Vachal – Stolen from Team Pharrell
Team Blake Shelton
Emily Ann Roberts
Morgan Frazier – Stolen BACK from Team Pharrell
Team Gwen Stefani
Viktor Kiraly – Stolen from Team Adam
Team Pharrell Williams
Riley Biederer – Stolen BACK from Team Gwen