Photo via NBC/TheVoice
‘The Voice”s Knockout Rounds got off to a so-so start. None of the performances were electrifying, so let’s hope they’re saving the best for last. The coaches all get one extra steal, which is a pretty successful way to keep dragging this out. Here’s how Monday night’s contestants did.
Amber Nicole vs Josh Logan. Amber chose Jessie J‘s “Mama Knows Best,” which gave her a lot to work with. Amber is young, but she’s showing that she has talent beyond her years. Josh picked Stevie Wonder‘s “Living For The City,” which as Adam pointed out is a tough song to sing because Stevie has such a high range. He was pretty impressive though, and surprisingly Xtina picks him as the winner. I thought she would want to keep Amber, but that left her to be stolen by Cee Lo.
Destinee Quinn vs Olivia Henken. Destinee went for emotion on “See You Again” by Carrie Underwood. I think she would have gone for something more upbeat, even though this was dedicated to two lost family members. Her performance never really went anywhere, and some of her notes were very shaky. Olivia shined on “You’re No Good,” and I’m glad she took Xtina’s advice about not over singing it. When Christina tells you to not over sing something, you listen! The winner was clear, Olivia moves on to the Live Rounds.
Henry Holly vs Nic Hawk. Holly went for Radiohead‘s “Creep,” putting that “unique” voice of hers to work. I think she tried a bit too hard on this one, and instead of it being “haunting” it was just pitchy. Nic took on “Genie In A Bottle.” It’s always a risk to do one of the coach’s songs, and to change up the arrangement. I didn’t love the neo-soul twist he put on it, but Christina and the other coaches appreciated it and helped Shelton with his decision. He picked Nic as the winner.
Briana Cuoco vs Shelbie Z. Wanting to show off her rock side, Briana chose No Doubt’s “Don’t Speak.” Personally, I wasn’t feeling this. Even if No Doubt weren’t one of my favorite bands, I don’t think Briana took this song where it needed to go. There was a chance for her to show off at the end, but she never took the opportunity. Shelbie went with another Underwood song, “Last Name.” She said that she always wins singing contests with this song, so why not try it here? Her lucky song worked, she moves on to the Live Rounds.
Ashley Dubose vs Tessanne Chin. Ashley is lovely and she has a great voice, which is why I was so disappointed to learn she would be singing Train‘s “Hey Soul Sister.” NOOOOOOO! Not only did it not do her voice justice, it’s just a really annoying song. Her performance wasn’t as fun as it could have been, it’s like someone sucked out her soul but she did sound good. Tessanne Kelly Clarkson‘s “Stronger,” a much better but predictable choice. She made the song her own and delivered another solid performance. Adam crowned her winner.
Grey vs. James Irwin. Another Clarkson song for a member of Team Adam, Grey chose “Already Gone.” She didn’t sound all that great during rehearsals, but turned out a great performance, though her ending note left her coach a little puzzled. I think she should have ended it the way Kelly does, even if that would have been playing it safe. James sang The Script‘s “Breakeven.” It gave him a chance to prove that he could hit the high notes, and he did, pushing his upper range. Both have grown as contestants, but Adam could only keep one. He chooses Grey, sending James home, again.
Team Cee Lo
Kat Robichaud vs Monika Leigh. Kat chose the fun, but difficult to sing “You Oughta Know.” Kat rocked it out on stage, and i’m glad she worked on her delivery of the “know” in the song. It’s tempting to try to sing it the way Alanis Morrisette does, but one can come off a little shriek-y. Monika, whose name I’ve spelled at least three different ways, went for “Hit The Road Jack.” I loved the way she started the song, and it was a pretty sultry performance, but something was missing. While their coach enjoyed both performances, Cee Lo decided to send Kat on to the Live Rounds.
Cole Vosbury vs Jonny Gray. Cole went acoustic on Passenger‘s “Let Her Go.” Much different than what he has performed before, the song perfectly suited his voice and allowed him to emotionally connect with it. Jonny sang The Beatles‘ “We Can Work It Out.” Cee Lo urged him to work on his stage presence, and when it came time to perform, maybe he was too focused on the song. While he sounded good, Jonny just isn’t that much of a performer. Of course for the last performance of the night there was a dramatic steal. Adam said he would go for whoever Cee Lo didn’t pick, which Cole. Blake and Adam fought over him a bit before Cole moved over to Team Blake. So both he and Jonny get to stay in the competiton.