Monday had some true stars on the first night of The Voice season 22 Knockouts. Even if you were out trick or treating or at a Halloween party, you should catch up. It was the first ever three-way knockout rounds. We got to see a lot of rehearsal footage, four trios of pairings with the first and last pairing resulting in epic steals! (Read our Recap)
One of these trios from Team Gwen Stefani was made up of teens who are all beyond their years vocally. This pairing was mind-boggling considering how talented the three of them were. This group of teens, made up of 18-year-old diva Destiny Leigh, eclectic 18-year-old Kique Gomez, and artistic 16-year-old Rowan Grace was the star knockout of the night.
Before I dive into the winner and the epic steal, I want to give a quick shoutout to Destiny Leigh who was
sent packing after this round. She sang “Impossible” by former The Voice coach Christina Aguilera. She is
a very gifted vocalist and she stood out amongst all the eliminated contestants tonight. She just needs a
little more time to polish her vocals, and then she will be a force to be reckoned with.
Kique’s song choice stunned Gwen Stefani, but not in a good way
Let’s first cover the winner of the knockout, Kique. The young singer stunned fans, including me, as he began to sing in rehearsal. He shocked Gwen with his decision to sing “Hey Ya” by Outkast, but she was not shocked in a good way. She didn’t understand why he picked the song and the choice worried her. He changed up the arrangementment, starting off slow, before diving into the more upbeat parts. Gwen advised him to build dynamics, and he followed her advice by adding some cool low notes.
Once on The Voice stage, he performed the opening just as impressively as he did in rehearsal. Kique performed some amazing riffs right off the bat that had Camila Cabello and John Legend exclaiming. He also displayed more power than we have seen from him before. He’s got retro touches in his tone while remaining very modern sounding in his approach. His breath control is insane in this performance, as he balanced the talking parts and transitioned right back into the singing parts. Everyone looked like they were having a blast! Camila, John, Gwen, Rowan, and Destiny danced in their seats. One tiny critique about the performance: Some parts felt a bit too stylized and he could have shown even more power, but that’s nit-picking.
Gwen advised Rowan to bring more drama
Rowan, whom Blake Shelton saved, closed the Knockout with a classic 70’s song, Billy Joel’s “Vienna.” In rehearsal, Gwen advised Rowan to bring more drama to the song’s lyrics. Play to the lyrics with her face, Gwen told her. Meaning, she wanted her face to express the emotions of the song.
Elise Testone is one of my favorite American Idol contestants, and her version, from Season 11, of one of my favorite songs, is a classic. Although not as impactful as that version, Rowan’s was a very good performance. She brought tasteful runs and connected to the lyric. I like the airy parts of her voice, but her high notes needed a bit more support. I also appreciate the hint of power and rasp in them, but she could truly belt them out. A slower arrangement may have allowed her to showcase more powerful vocals. Nevertheless, Rowan has been one of the most consistent performers during her run on the show.
Gwen chooses Kique as the winner of the knockout. But then Blake STEALS Rowan
The coaches praise Kique, including John calling him “audacious.” Camila thought that a “star was born” with that “cutting edge” performance. Blake also dubs him a star, declaring him the winner of the knockout. Blake also had a lot of praise for Rowan. Gwen liked that she took her advice, while Kique’s ability to nail his risky song choice shocked her. She picks Kique as her winner with Blake stealing Rowan. The young singer has the potential to be a dark horse, but has yet to truly break out. Her consistency could be key to going into the lives.
Kique and Rowan were two of tonight’s stars, but Team Blake’s Bodie and Team John’s Parijita Bastola
continued to shine bright. Team Camila’s front runner Morgan Myles also brought some massive vocals
even if it wasn’t my favorite performance from her. Overall, some strong singing even if I disliked the pacing of the three-way knockouts with each trio taking 30 minutes to cover.