Last night’s new episode of “The Voice” (originally airing Sunday, October 29, 2013) got the knockout rounds started. Each coach will choose two singers from their team to go head-to-head with the singers taking turns performing a song of their choice. The coach must choose which one to keep and take to the live shows and which to send home. One new twist this season is that each coach now has one steal to use during the knockout rounds.
The first knockout paring was from Christina Aguilera’s team and found Amber Nicole facing off against Josh Logan. Amber sang “Momma Knows Best” by Jesse J while Josh chose “Living for the City” by Stevie Wonder. Amber sang first. The song fit her big voice and personality perfectly. Josh has a completely different style so his was a very different performance, but he too was very good. Christina had a difficult time choosing, but she ended up deciding to keep Josh. As Amber said her goodbyes Blake Shelton and Cee Lo Green both pushed their buttons to steal her. Amber decided to choose Cee Lo because she thought he would make her take some risks.
The next knockout came from Team Cee Lo and featured Cat Robichaud and Monika Leigh squaring off. Kat was first to sing. She did a raw, energetic version of Alanis Morrisette’s “You Oughta Know.” Monika went to the other end of the spectrum and did a bluesy, inspired version of Ray Charles’s “Hit the Road Jack.” Kat got a standing ovation from Christina while Monika’s smoky, cool performance had Blake smiling. In the end, Cee Lo chose to keep Kat.
It was then Team Blake’s turn in the ring with Holly Henry battling Nic Hawk. First to the stage was Holly who decided to do Radiohead’s “Creep.” Her version was interesting and not bad, but she left the door open for Nic who took a risk and did Christina Aguilera’s “Genie in a Bottle.” His rearranged version of Christina’s hit song brought a smile to her face and had her dancing along as he sang. With sheer attitude and an interesting vocal, Nic left little doubt and Blake chose to keep him.
The fourth battle of the night featured Ashley Dubose and Tessanne Chin from Team Adam. Ashley picked Train’s “Hey Soul Sister” because she wanted to show her more upbeat, fun side. Jamaican Tessanne chose “Stronger” by Kelly Clarkson because she felt it could showcase her range. Ashley was all smiles during her performances. It was charming fun and well done. Tessanne showed off her vocal power and hit some big notes. The battle was a study in opposites that made the choice a difficult one for Adam. After hearing from his fellow coaches, Adam chose to Tessanne because he thinks she has what it takes to win the show.
Team Blake was up next with his second battle of the night. This time he chose Briana Cuoco to face off against Shelbie Z. Briana was thankful that Blake stole her during the battle rounds. She decided to show off a different side of herself with No Doubt’s “Don’t Speak.” Shelbie chose Carrie Underwood’s “Last Name.” She said that she competes in a lot of singing contests and always wins when she sings this song. Briana was first to the stage and she did a pretty straight forward version of the No Doubt classic. She was good, but had a few issues. Shelbie took control of the stage and gave a strong, confident performance. Blake said these two were the hardest working members of his team. He felt Shelbie just out sang Briana and he decided to keep her.
Grey took on James Irwin in the next knockout from Team Adam. Grey was first to take the stage and did Kelly Clarkson’s “Already Gone.” She gave a soulful version of the song with an interesting vocal trick that had the judges swooning. James did “Breakeven” by The Script. He gave an emotional, strong performance that had Adam agonizing over who to keep. After some thought, he chose to keep Grey.
Team Christina was next in the ring with Destinee Quinn and Olivia Henken going head-to-head. Destinee picked “See you Again” by Carrie Underwood while Olivia decided to do Linda Ronstadt’s “No Good.” In a battle of country singers, Destinee started out slowly, but she picked it up towards the end of the song and found her connection to it. Olivia gave a more controlled performance than Destinee, but she had her issues as well. All of the coaches mentioned how both performances were flawed. Christina thought both girls let the nerves get to them. She struggled to decide, but chose to keep Olivia.
The final knockout battle of the night came from Team Cee Lo. In the battle of the long hair, Cole Vosbury took on Jonny Gray. Cole decided to do “Let Her Go” by Passenger. It is a quiet, dusky, emotional song. Jonny picked “We Can Work It Out” by The Beatles. There is always danger in doing a Beatles song. Many a singing show contestant has found their doom trying The Beatles. During the battle Cole played his guitar and gave a smooth, passionate performance that had Christina grinning. Jonny’s performance was energetic. He moved around and owned the stage and stayed in tune. It wasn’t fantastic, but it was good and he ended on a high note. Adam Levine said right from the start whoever Cee Lo picks he is going to steal the other. Cee Lo praised them both and said he loves the both. He said it was tough, but he decided to pick Jonny. Adam wasted no time hitting his button. A moment later, Blake hit his button as well. After hearing their pitches Cole struggled with his choice, but ended up going with Blake.
Tomorrow night the knockout rounds of “The Voice” continue as more singers leave it all on the stage as they try to get a spot on the live shows.