The Knockouts conclude as frontrunners emerge on “The Voice”

The Voice Season Five Knockouts

Several frontrunners stepped up to the plate on the final night of “The Voice’s” Knockout Rounds. (Photo property of NBC)


By: Jacob Elyachar

The Knockouts are here!

So far…Adam selected Grey and Tessanne Chin to represent him in the Live Rounds. While CeeLo kept both Jonny Gray and Kat Robichaud and stole Amber Nicole from Team Christina. Speaking of the “Genie in the Bottle” singer, she kept both Josh Logan and country singer Olivia Henken.   The three-time Voice champion chose Nic Hawk and Shelbie Z and successfully stole Cole Vosbury from the “Forget You” singer.

With two steals left, Adam and Christina will be very picky on whom they will go after for their steals.

So who shined? Did Adam or Christina use their coveted steal tonight? Read on to find out…

The first match-up of the night was Team Adam’s Lina Gaudenzi and Preston Pohl.  It was really hard for me to listen to Lina’s version of Etta James’ “I’d Rather Go Blind” without thinking of Rachel Crow’s heartbreaking cover two years ago on The X Factor USA. She did not deliver vocally and did not have the same passion that Rachel had when she sang this song.  On the other hand, Preston delivered a raw vocal that made me smile and would have made Bob Marley proud!  Because of Preston’s performance, Adam chose Preston to represent him in the Live Rounds.

Blake paired E.G. Daily and Ray Boudreaux against each other. Voice actress E.G. Daily soared when she tackled Bonnie Raitt’s “I Can’t Make You Love Me.”  She demonstrated terrific tone and beautiful high notes.  Ray tackled Otis Redding’s “Hard to Handle” that featured a lot of blue-eyed soul.  In the battle of music legends, Blake chose Otis over Bonnie.  That meant Ray would be the fourth member of Team Blake.

Team Christina’s youngest members were next to duel. Anthony Paul chose Jason DeRulo’s “The Other Side” but he had a rough first run-through with his new coach until they talked about approaching his falsetto.  During her rehearsal with Christina, Jacquie Lee was able to improve her stage presence.  While Anthony had pitch issues throughout his performance, Jacquie soared with her cover of Serena Ryder’s “Stompa” and earned a place in the Live Rounds.

The “Bright Lights Bigger City’s” resident powerhouses, Tamara Chaunice and Stephanie Anne Johnson, were paired together because they had soulful deliveries.  Both girls went the Reggae route as they infused their soulful voices into Alicia Keys’ “No One” and Norah Jones’ “Don’t Know Why” respectfully.   CeeLo decided to choose Tamara to represent him in the Live Rounds.  Meanwhile, for the first time in Voice history, a coach stole back their former teammate as Christina stole back Stephanie!

Classic rock ruled Adam’s final Knockout Round.  James Wolpert chose Boston’s “More Than a Feeling” while Juhi tackled Creedence Clearwater Revival’s cover of the Motown classic “I Heard It Through the Grapevine.”  James showcased his vocal range with the Boston anthem while Juhi infused sass and power into her cover.  While CeeLo preferred his old teammate, Adam sided with Christina and gave James his final spot in the Live Rounds.

Blake’s last Knockout Round featured two featured the soulful Austin Jenckles and the superb Brandon Chase.  Austin was the first artist of the night to give me goose bumps. He delivered a beautiful vocal that would make the audience’s hearts melt.  Following Austin was no easy task but Brandon sang an impressive cover of Eli Young Band’s “Even If It Breaks Your Heart.”  While Blake chose Austin, I strongly believe that Brandon has a great career ahead of him.

Team CeeLo’s last pairing was Caroline Pennell and George Horga, Jr.  Caroline stole the show with her cover of Ingrid Michaelson’s “The Way I Am.” Her angelic vocals and personality shined through and made me smile. While George delivered a worthy performance of Ne-Yo’s “Because of You,” CeeLo picked “Sweet Caroline” and she became the final member of Team CeeLo.

The last knockout round of Season Five left me on the edge of the seat!  Two of my favorite male vocalists of this season, Matthew Schuler and Will Champlin, were the final singers to perform!

The last knockout round of Season Five left me on the edge of the seat!  Two of my favorite male vocalists of this season, Matthew Schuler and Will Champlin, were the final singers to perform! Matthew took a risk and tackled Florence + the Machine’s “Cosmic Love.” Christina advised him to pace himself as he reached to the climax.  Meanwhile, Will chose Bruno Mars’ “When I Was Your Man.”  Christina wanted Will to bring vulnerability to his performance.

Matthew took viewers to heaven with his cover of Florence + the Machine’s “Cosmic Love.” It was pure vocal nirvana! Will countered with a haunting performance that showcased his fantastic vocal runs and gave me (and the rest of the audience) chills!  This was a tough call…however, there were two winners still standing… Matthew kept his spot on Team Christina and Will returned to Team Adam!

Next week, the Live Rounds begin! Who will you choose America?

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Copyright 2015 Jacob Elyachar