Tonight on NBC, The Voice season 13 Knockouts begin. Once again, team members are pitted against each other. But in this round, each member performs a solo of their choosing. One singer will survive, the other will head home. That is, unless a fellow coach steals the losing contestant. Each coach gets ONE steal.
Also, American Idol OG winner Kelly Clarkson will be on hand to help the teams headed by coaches Adam Levine, Blake Shelton, Jennifer Hudson and Miley Cyrus. Kelly is set to coach when The Voice returns for season 14 in the spring.
YAAS. The future is now, says host Carson Daly, as season 14 coach Kelly Clarkson joins the season 13 crew as Key Advisor. Yipee. Contestants will sit off to the side to watch their fellow team member rehearse and perform.
Carson describes Kelly as a “country pop superstar.” Uh wut? She’s a soulful pop singer, who has recorded a couple of country duets.
Esera Tuaolo vs Adam Cunningham – Team Blake Shelton
Adam Cunningham – Either Way by Chris Stapleton – He’s a huge fan of Kelly Clarkson. “She’s real..and she can rock your face off,” he says. Adam sees himself as a soulful country singer. Times got tough after his Christian music label dropped him. His wife and eventual daughter helped turn his life around. Blake liked that he chose an acoustic arrangement. Ditto Kelly who loves his phrasing. When Adam’s full, round voice hits the chorus, the audience erupts in applause. Choosing to go fully acoustic allows the singer to reveal his ability to pour emotion into a song. Download from iTunes
Esera Tuaolo – Superstar by Leon Russell (Luther Vandross) – Ha. He attributed the song to The Carpenters. Esera is experiencing some tough times. His 83 year old mother is ailing. A closeted gay man in the NFL who came out after retirement, his mom was his musical inspiration as well as biggest champion. As Esera sings, Kelly excitedly smacks her (non-working) button. “Make sure you use that vibrato,” she suggests. Esera has a beautiful strong, tone, especially in his upper register. Really nice phrasing. He doesn’t bring anything new to the arrangement, and he over does the runs toward the end, but nice job. – Download at iTunes
Jennifer loved the way his voice soared. But Adam captivated her. It’s a tie, she says. Miley felt he had a lot of courage to go acoustic. She loved his high notes. Adam felt his song choice was a crowd pleaser. But he’d pick Esera. Team Blake Shelton picks Esera Tuaolo. That was a surprise. He says there isn’t anybody like Esera in the competition. Sounds like he’s trying to keep his team diverse. Team Adam Levine Steals Adam Cunningham. Oh. That, after Adam talked Adam C. down a bit.
Aw. Jennifer Hudson and Kelly Clarkson hugging it out! Fellow American Idol alums. Jennifer reveals that Kelly inspired her to you know..audition for that show. No names, of course. Also not said…Y’all wouldn’t even exist… But I digress.
— Jennifer Hudson (@IAMJHUD) October 31, 2017
Shi’Ann Jones vs Lucas Holliday – Team Jennifer Hudson
Lucas Holliday – Tell it Like it Is by Aaron Neville – Lucas makes Kelly real excited to be a coach next season. This is a good song choice for him. But TOO MANY runs. And weird runs. He stretches phrases out in odd ways. He’s trying way too hard. I’m not feeling real emotion from Lucas, just a lot of histrionics.
Shi’Ann Jones – Team Jennifer Hudson – Who’s Lovin You by Smokey Robinson – Her dad is a preacher and gospel singer, and her coach. She’s a shy 15 year old. “Every day I become more confident on the stage.” She says. Kelly calls her an “amazing singer” but warns her not to over do the runs. “Simplify the run,” says Jennifer. Kelly also suggests she connect the song to her own life. “Imagine a crush,” she says. There’s no denying this young lady has a voice. She doesn’t quite know how to use it yet. But there is so much raw talent there. Her deep burnished tone is so unique. She’s got to advance to the next round. – Download at iTunes
Miley loves Lucas’ vocal layers. However, Shi’ann won the knockout as far as she’s concerned. Adam calls Lucas “a freak…and I only like freaks.” About Shi’ann he says “Wow.” Blake felt Shi’ann maintained control for the most part. Actually, I think she had better control than Lucas. Team Jennifer Hudson Picks Shi’Ann. Lucas Holliday is eliminated.
Addison Agen vs Dennis Drummond – Team Adam Levine – “We’ve got Kelly Clarkson, We’ve got Kelly Clarkson!” croons Adam. An obvious schoolyard taunt. Hm.
Addison Agen – Team Adam Levine – Beneath Your Beautiful by Labrinth – She’s a teen who performs at coffee houses and farmers markets back home. She was initially with Miley, but Adam stole her. Addison has a ton of natural talent. Adam compares Addison to Adele. Kelly gives her tips on how to use her head voice. Nice. Her voice is heavenly, sweet. She modulates between her chest and head voice effortlessly. Addison’s still got a few rough edges, but once those are smoothed out–there will be no stopping her. – Download at iTunes
Dennis Drummond – All Along the Watchtower by Bob Dylan – He’s the guitar player who played in The Voice alum Adam Wakefield’s band. Like Addison, he was stolen (from Blake) during the Blinds. Kelly is blown away by his performance, calling it sexy. But she gives him some vocal notes. “This is The Voice” she reminds him. “I want him to step out and be in the front,” says Adam. Dennis is a talented guitar player, full stop. But he’s competing in a singing competition, right? He’s an average vocalist and lacks charisma. I’m surprised Dennis made it past the Battle Rounds. This isn’t even a contest. If it were The Guitar, he’d be the winnah.
Addison is one of Blake’s favorite vocalists. He was Dennis’ original coach, but he’s got to to with Addison. Jennifer notes Dennis’ great guitar skills, but his voice didn’t grab her. Miley calls her former team member’s performance “pitch perfect.” Adam assures Dennis that he’s a lead singer. He finds Addison’s voice comforting. Team Adam Levine Picks Addison Agen. Dennis Drummond is Eliminated.
Janice Freeman vs Karli Webster – Team Miley Cyrus
Karli Webster – Blue Bayou by Linda Ronstadt – Karli has gravitated to 70’s music since she was a kid. Kelly compares her light, airy voice to Dolly. She suggests Karli add a sexy edge to her vocal performance. She sounds sleepy, breathy on the verse. But she breaks out on the chorus. Her tone is very pretty. But Kelly had a point. Imagine this song if Haley Reinhart sang it? It needs sex appeal. Karli’s voice cracks on a high note. She seems nervous. Man, pretty easy to see where this is going to go.
Janice Freeman – I’m Going Down by Mary J. Blige – Janice is a cancer survivor who also lost her husband to cancer. She’s a survivor! Janice says she wants to bring Alt Rock and Soul together. “So good!” gushes Kelly. Yep. Janice is singing her face off. Karli doesn’t stand a chance. Janice is retro and modern all at once. Her voice cuts through. Her ad libs are well placed, muscular. She sings with passion. Jennifer is on her feet. Download at iTunes
Adam apologizes to Karli in advance, but he’d have to go with Janice. Blake assures Karli she is fantastic in her lane. But he’d have to go with Janice also. Jennifer concurs. For the panel, Janice is just too much of a force to deny. Miley calls both performances perfection but Team Miley Cyrus Picks Janice Freeman. Karli Webster is eliminated.
Davon Fleming vs Eric Lyn – Team Jennifer Hudson
Eric Lyn – What’s Going On by Marvin Gaye – He studies classical music at Cal State. He chose the song because it shows off his jazz side. He wants to make a statement with his performance. Kelly and Jennifer give Eric some minor vocal notes. His vocal sounds a little muppety this time? It’s not something I noticed prior. Hm. This is weird. I don’t like the way he’s phrasing this song at all. It sounds affected. Dang. Now I’m even more disappointed that Jennifer chose him over Ignatious Caramouche in the Battles. Maybe she needed some cannon fodder to pit against Davon.
Davon Fleming – I Can Only Imagine by MercyMe – Davon grew up poor in Baltimore. He’s a worship leader. His song choice brings him close to his spirituality. Kelly loves his runs. Don’t change it, she says. “I have your albums,” gushes Davon. “You’re the vessel for that message,” she says. Davon sings with real conviction. Jennifer has her hand up waving. Man. This is the type of song a contestant saves for the lives. There’s so much passion. His high notes soar. Eric is screwed. – Download at iTunes
Miley believes Davon did what he needed to do in this round. Adam “Davon you’re ridiculous. Adam thinks Eric should be performing in a bar in outer space (it’s a compliment.) Blake tells Davon that his performance made him want to hide his drink (’cause he was so holy). Team Jennifer Hudson picks Davon Fleming. Eric Lyn is eliminated.
Ashland Craft vs Chloe Kohanski – Team Miley Cyrus
Ashland Craft – Wanted Dead or Alive by Bon Jovi – Ashland feels a real connection to Kelly. They’re both country girls. She chose Bon Jovi because it shows a different side. Kelly compares her rasp to Natalie Maines. Miley thinks Ashland can be the female Chris Stapleton. “Girl you’re going to be a force in country music,” says Kelly. Ashland puts her gritty rasp to good use here. But sometimes she pushes too hard. I would have liked a little more nuance from her. But having said that–she’s a powerful, powerful singer. – Download at iTunes
Chloe Kohanski – Landslide by Fleetwood Mac – Kelly calls Chloe an interpreter “I totally teared up,” she says. Ashland is teary too–and a little intimidated. Am I just noticing this singer now? Because this performance is sensational. Her tone is so unique and she sings with such simple, plaintive emotion. If she’s a good songwriter, she’ll have it all going on. I’d choose her. – Download at iTunes
Jennifer calls Ashland a star. Adam felt Chloe broke out. Blake calls Ashland pitch perfect. But he admires the way Chloe connected. Miley feels Chloe did an amazing job, but Team Miley Cyrus picks Ashland. She wants a country girl on her team. But then Team Blake and Team Jennifer Steal Chloe. Jennifer thinks she could win. Blake agrees. “That’s what I specialize in.” He’s wanted her on his team from the get go. Blake acknowledges her artistry. Jennifer isn’t very convincing. Even Adam advocates for Blake. They hug! Shevine forever! And of course. Chloe Picks Team Blake Shelton.
FYI: Tomorrow night (Halloween) is a CLIP SHOW. So, NO LIVE BLOG. See you next week.
Advancing to the Playoffs:
Adam Cunningham – Stolen by Team Adam
Chloe Kohanski – Stolen by Team Blake