The Voice season 15 Knockouts begin tonight with coaches Adam Levine, Kelly Clarkson, Jennifer Hudson, Blake Shelton and Carson Daly as host. We’re live blogging all the performances and results here.
Coaches will pair up the remaining 32 team members who will each perform songs of their own choosing. The coach chooses the winner, who advances to the Live Playoffs. The loser is eliminated OR can be stolen by a fellow coach. Each coach has ONE steal to use during the round. Also each coach will have ONE opportunity to SAVE an eliminated contestant.
The Knockouts key adviser is…Mariah Carey. The ex-American Idol judge will assist all four coaches with their team members performances.
Mariah says she wanted to do the show because there isn’t “shows like this with mentors.” So should we begin a drinking game? Down one every time Mimi tosses out a veiled American Idol diss! Heh.
Keith Paluso vs Tyke James – Team Adam – Adam calls Keith a “raw singer” and Tyke a “vivid personality.” In other words CANNON FODDER.
Keith Paluso – You are The Best Thing by Ray LaMontagne – He wants to dedicate the song to his wife, who has been so supportive. Keith is currently a park ranger. Mariah suggests he starts off softer. Adam is discovering his voice is stronger than he thought. Keith’s performance features a pleasant rasp. His delivery is effortless, although he doesn’t bring anything brand new to the song. There is some nice phrasing here and there, however. OOH. HIGH NOTE. Kelly is having a moment. Several moments, actually.
Tyke – Ring of Fire by Johnny Cash – He’s a surfer and sings at a taco truck in Hawaii. He chose the song because it was one of the first that inspired him. Both Adam and Mariah want him to darken it up. They also want more energy. Erm. He’s a surfer dude from Hawaii. Good luck with that! Tyke’s performance: The beginning is a snooze, but thankfully he picks it up on the second verse. Surprisingly, there is some urgency in his delivery, which I was not expecting. So maybe I take back what I said before. But not completely. Blake says at first he was picturing him on a surfboard. He calls it a “cool” version of the song. He tells Keith he did a great job. Kelly calls Tyke “fearless.”
Adam chooses Tyke. Really? And then Adam Saves Keith. BUT Kelly Steals Keith. Adam chose Tyke, because he’s been with him from the start. But Keith has improved drastically. Kelly thinks Keith possesses many gifts to showcase. OHH. Keith rejects Adam! Keith Chooses Kelly
Kelly says she would have LOVED to have Mariah Carey as a Key Advisor when she was competing. Kelly mentions that one of the artists had to leave the show due to “personal reasons,” and she leaves it at that. It was Cody Ray Raymond in case you were wondering. As a result, we have a trio of singers performing in this next Knockout.
Kymberli Joye vs Zaxai vs Natasia Greycloud – Team Kelly – Kelly put them together because they all had giant voices. They all flip out when they see Mimi. “Divas in the building!” gushes Zaxai.
Kymberli Joye – The Middle by Zedd and Maren Morris – She’s a gospel singer and has sung backgrounds for Childish Gambino. She chose the song to prove that she’s a gospel singer who can sing pop. Mimi is “blown away” and calls her a “true talent.” Kelly compliments her control. Kymberli’s performance: Her tone and range are crazy. She’s an effortless singer. Nothing seems out of her grasp, her voice is so strong. She does not overdo the runs, either. She adds a growl at the end for good measure. WOW.
Nastasia Greycloud – Tennessee Whiskey by Chris Stapleton – She moved to Nashville with her sister to pursue her career. She was stolen by Kelly and is excited to work with her. She sang her song pick at her sister’s wedding. Kelly says Jennifer will regret letting her go. Kelly and Mimi loves when she sings in her upper register and encourages using her head voice. “I have the greatest team,” Kelly screams. Natasia has a dusky contralto with a bit of a growl. But she can hit those high notes too. Great phrasing as she slowly builds the song to a dynamic crescendo. There’s a ton of talent in this trio.
Zaxai – Cruisin’ by Smokey Robinson – He picked the song because his dad is a big Motown fan. Kelly stole him from Team JHud. Kelly loves how smooth is voice is. But Zaxai wants help with his falsetto. Mimi urges him not to hold back. Kelly gives Mariah one of her red team jackets. OK. Super sexy. I think Kymberli is going to faint over there in her corner. Such a sweet tone. “Cruisin” is the perfect song for a singer capitalizing on smooth delivery. Zaxai doesn’t have the crazy range of the other two, but he’s pleasing. He does have issues with his higher register, but he makes up for it with passion. Jennifer throws her card. Adam calls his falsetto “ill.”
Blake says he has a plan for his steal. Jennifer reminds everybody that Kelly blocked her from Kymberli. “It’s Team Jhud on the stage!” She tells Natasia not to be afraid of her gift. Kelly calls Kymberli’s talent “innate.”, Natasia “a force” and Zaxai “incredible.” Kelly chooses Kymberli Joye and Zaxai. Kelly hemmed and hawed on the second name. I would have picked Natasia, but maybe that’s just me. But luckily, Blake says “I lied” about having a plan for his steal. Blake Steals Natasia. YAY.
MaKenzie Thomas vs Mike Parker – Team Jennifer
Mike Parker – Breakeven by The Script – He’s choosing a song out of his comfort zone. He’s turning it into a worship/soul/pop song. Jennifer loves his vulnerability, but notes some pitch problems. Mariah chalks it up to nerves. His performance is emotional. He doesn’t hold back. It’s a nice arrangement of the song.
MaKenzie Thomas – How Deep is Your Love by Bee Gees – MaKenzie is the singer who didn’t get a turn last season. Jennifer has helped her so much with her confidence. She rearranged the song as a jazz guitar ballad. Mariah Carey is moved to tears. “She’s so musical,” Mariah compliments MacKenzie. “I think you have more voice in there,” says Jennifer. This is an easy listening version of a song that’s already pretty easy listening. I’m not loving this arrangement. There is, however, some tasty phrasing in spots.
Kelly calls Mike’s song selection “cool.” Kelly loves MaKenzie’s riffs. She gave her a “leg cramp.” Adam thinks Mike has come a long way. Blake has loved watching her journey on the show. Jennifer calls MaKenzie a “skilled” singer and Mike a “smart” singer. Not sure what she means exactly? Kelly reminds them that JHud did not win the show that shall not be named. Jennifer Chooses MaKenzie. Mike is Eliminated. I’m a little surprised. But then again, there are no singers on Jhud’s team like MaKenzie.
RADHA vs Reagan Strange – Team Adam. We previewed this Knockout HERE. Adam calls RADHA sheer power, and Reagan unique. “They can learn from each other.” believes. Adam calls it a “bittersweet pairing.”
RADHA – I’ll Be There by Michael Jackson and Mariah Carey – Mariah tells the story about how she sang the song live and then released it as a single (MTV Unplugged, I believe). RADHA is in college, but wants to take her career to the next level. Mariah notes it’s a hard song to sing. “She needs to focus on singing it from her heart.” Adam urges RADHA not to imitate Mariah. It probably bugs her that RADHA can actually hit the high notes. /catty. RADHA’s performance: I don’t like her vibrato. There’s too much and it’s distracting. She’s got a growl and can hit the high notes. But her tone is a little unpleasant.
Reagan Strange – Dancing on My Own by Robyn (Calum Scott) – She’s 14 and has been watching The Voice since she was little. Mimi loves Reagan’s tone. “It reminds me of when I was first starting out.” Adam is ready to cry. I think Reagan is the chosen one in this matchup. The Voice loves young, precocious talent. Reagan is a giggly teenager off stage, but once she opens her mouth to sing, her deep rich tone is mature. Adam is not letting this one go.
Blake notes RADHA’s “fast vibrato” comparing it to his gal pal Gwen Stefani. JHud compares her to Celine. RADHA was nervous singing in front of Mariah! Kelly would choose Reagan because she loved her song choice. Adam calls Reagan’s song choice “gutsy.” Adam Chooses Reagan because she “dazzled” him. And Adam Saves RADHA
The Comeback Stage will be posted up on You Tube tonight.
Katrina Cain vs Funsho – Team Blake – Don’t Let Me Down by The Chainsmokers feat. Daya – Mariah says she suspects that Blake is a “weisenheimer.” Yes, she actually used that word. “What does that mean?” Blake asks.
Katrina Cain – Katrina admits that the first couple of songs she performed weren’t really in her genre “electro pop.” Mariah suggests that she play with the melody more. She’s got a voice made for features. But can her ethereal tone win a singing show? She struggles a bit pitchwise on the high notes.
Funsho – Earned It by The Weeknd – Blake calls Adam a “trainwreck” for letting Funsho go in the Battles. Funsho calls the song soul with pop energy. His family came to America from Nigeria. Maria suggests he not push as hard when he sings softly. He’s having pitch and dynamics issues. Kelly is on her feet for this performance. He doesn’t bring much new to the arrangement, but his phrasing is right on. This is a deceptively hard song to sing. His high notes are SWEET. He’s got this. I can’t imagine Blake letting him go.
Kelly calls Katrina “captivating,” and Funsho “a beast.” Adam calls his former team member an “exciting performer.” Bad news: Blake has NO IDEA what electro pop is. He has no clue where she’s coming from. He’s “blown away” by Funsho, however. He took Mariah’s notes. He’s impressed. Unsurprisingly, Blake Chooses Funsho. Katrina is Eliminated. They cut away before she can even give a thank you speech. Poor little cannon fodder.
Patrique Fortson vs SandyRedd – Team Jennifer – Here comes the big matchup of the night. Jennifer put this duo together because they both have “soul” to sell.
Patrique Fortson – I Don’t Want to Miss a Thing by Aerosmith. This former American Idol semi-finalist had a gospel deal at 7 years old. He’s dedicating this song to his father, who had a stroke. IT’S THE ASTEROID SONG Y’ALL. Mariah and Jennifer both advise he hold back at first. Patrique delivers a full throated version of the song anyway. He ends the song gently. He shoulda sang this on Idol!
SandyRedd – Dangerous Woman by Ariana Grande – She sings all over Chicago, but she struggles. She hopes The Voice can take her career to another level. Jennifer stole SandyRedd from Kelly. Mariah is impressed with her spirit and likes hearing her lower register. “Own the stage,” advises Jennifer. I love what she’s wearing–a red satin dress with black thigh high boots. She’s fabulous. THERE’S NO WAY Jennifer doesn’t keep her. What a voice. Her stage presence is incredible. She reminds me a little of Fantasia. But she’s got a bigger voice.
Adam throws his shoe at Sandy Heh. He thinks Jennifer will pick Patrique because he’s “a revelation.” Hm. Jhud calls Patrique a “vocal beast” and appreciates the fact that Sandy sells the moment. Jennifer Chooses Patrique. How the hell does Sandy keep loses these matchups? IT MAKES NO SENSE. Oh. Because Jennifer Saves SandyRedd. Of course.