The Voice 21 Knockouts: Ryleigh Plank vs. David Vogel: Pop Artists with An Artistic Edge
Night 2 of The Voice Season 21 knockouts was not my favorite night of singing (Read our Recap), especially following Monday night’s excellent show. Hailey Mia had her moments as well as Samuel Harness, but we also said goodbye to fan favorite BrittanyBree. The final knockout featured two solid singers in Team Ariana Grande’s Ryleigh Plank and David Vogel, but I kept waiting for a performance that full-on wowed me. Each of them had areas of their performance that I enjoyed, but altogether, the performances left me slightly underwhelmed.
Two artists fight for a spot on Team Ariana
Floridian, Ryleigh Plank, started this Knockout out with “Midnight Sky” by Miley Cyrus. She chose the song because she feels akin to Miley, in that she is unapologetically herself. I’m not sure if taking it a half step down was the wisest decision. Ryleigh mumbled the low notes at the beginning, and the words were tough to make out. But she broke out in the latter half of her performance and found her footing.
At times, she adds a few too many bells and whistles to try to prove that she is a good singer. If she did a little less, her talent would shine more. However, I loved her upper register in this performance, and the few high notes she hit at the end were impressive. I hope in the Lives, that Ryleigh can put together a vocal performance that is a bit less imperfect. Either way, I appreciate that she always performs with her heart on her sleeve.
New Yorker, David Vogel, who broke out in his Battle performance, started with powerful and silky-smooth vocals on “Lose You to Love Me” by Selena Gomez for his Knockout. He had great control over his voice and runs and his arrangements are very artistic. Unfortunately, the performance lacked variation. Everything was very smooth, and it lacked a climactic moment. I wish David had brought his rock edge like last round and added some variation with a little added rasp to highlight the song’s emotion. But I enjoy his tone and how radio ready he sounds. Overall, I thought David projected incredibly well and gave the better performance.
The coaches don’t make it easy for Ariana
John Legend exclaimed, “look what you all did to her. You are putting her through so much pain,” alluding to the tough decision that Ariana would have to make. He went on to say that Ryleigh is a “star” with “charisma” and “individuality” and that he thought the guitar arrangement allowed David to “inhabit the entire room.”John picked David at the day’s winner. But if he was picking for all of the rounds, the winner would be Ryleigh.
Kelly Clarkson called both singers “free-spirited.” She thought the guitar “enhanced” David and called Ryleigh “cool” and the “whole package” comparing her to Annie Lennox. Kelly leaned toward Ryleigh as the winner.
Blake Shelton felt that David put “his stamp all over that performance” before joking about the singer having the confidence to even play with his hair during the performance. Blake is drawn to Ryleigh, which is why be believes she deserves to win.
There’s a steal!
Ariana called what David did was special and said it allowed us into his performance in a “disarming” way. Ariana loved Ryleigh’s rockstar, popstar, disco diva presence, and said she’s like all the greats “put in a blender.” She declared Ryleigh the winner, afterwhich John stole David Vogel.
Both singers should shine in the Lives. David seems to be improving vocally even if his performances are still missing magical moments. And Ryleigh is clearly one of Ariana’s favorites, with the ability to do a lot of vocal acrobats.