By: Jacob Elyachar, jakes-take.com
Well, that was fast!
After weeks of Blind Auditions and Battle Rounds, the Knockout Rounds concluded tonight!
Before we get to tonight’s recap, here are the artists that will be participating in the Live Playoffs:
Team Adam: Nathan Hermida, Deanna Johnson & Brian Johnson (stolen from Team Blake)
Team Blake: Sarah Potenza, Meghan Linsey, Corey Kent White & Hannah Kirby (stolen back from Team Pharrell)
Team Christina: Sonic & Kimberly Nichole
Team Pharrell: Sawyer Fredericks, Mia Z, Caitlin Caporale & Koryn Hawthorne (stolen from Team Christina)
The only coach with the sole steal remaining was Christina Aguilera! While the Queen of The Voice has appeared in the finale three times during her duration as a coach, she has yet to win the competition! Perhaps, she found the artist that would help reach the finale.
Which artist received her final steal? Read on to find out…
Up first to face the crowd were two Team Adam powerhouses: Tonya Boyd-Cannon and Barry Middlefield! Ugh! Why Adam, why? Both of them deserve a spot in the Knockouts! It is a shame to see one of them go! Tonya chose a great song: Stevie Wonder’s “I Wish.” Adam challenged her to not imitate Stevie and guest adviser Nate Ruess wanted her to let loose. Meanwhile, Barry chose Bobby Caldwell’s “What You Won’t Do for Love.” Adam and Nate wanted to bring the song to match Barry’s upper register.
During the Knockout, Tonya brought it with her fiery vocals! I loved her showmanship and presentation. With that performance, it put Tonya in the same category of Frenchie Davis, Kim Yarbrough, Amanda Brown and Sisaundra Lewis excellence. As for Barry, he slayed the performance and while I was very unfamiliar with the song…he delivered a suave vocal that was steal worthy! Unfortunately, Christina did not activate her steal when Adam chose Tonya…sending Barry home.
Blake’s final Knockout pairing of Season Eight was Brooke Adee and Kelsie May. The 16-year-old gushed over guest adviser Nate Ruess, but kept it together to reveal that she was going to perform Taylor Swift’s “Tim McGraw.” While Blake applauded Kelsie’s decision to go out of her comfort zone, but the song choice (and nerves) made her voice sharp. Meanwhile, Brooke has pretty big shoes to fill as she tackled MGMT’s “Electric Feel,” a song that Preston Pohl slayed when he auditioned for Season Five—-three seasons ago. During the taping, it was very hard to watch Kelsie vocally collapse in this crucial round. Because of that factor and an excellent performance from Brooke, Ms. Adee secured the final spot on Team Blake!
Christina’s first Knockout of the night was India Carney versus Joe Tolo. India picked a monster of a song: Jessie J’s “Big White Room.” Christina stated that India needed to be vulnerable, open and honest with her performance, meanwhile, Nate wanted to see more of India in the performance. Meanwhile, Joe chose Joan Osbourne’s “One of Us.” Like Brooke, he tackled another iconic Voice song as it reminded me of the time that Sarah Simmons stole the Season Four Blind Auditions with her interpretation. Unlike Sarah’s larger than life cover, I did not connect with the performance and I thought that his vanilla performance cost him the competition.
Meanwhile, India Carney delivered one of the best performances of the night! Every lyric that she sang literally stabbed me in the stomach. Her runs were unbelievable and I hope that the current Voice Australia coach was watching that amazing performance. I am glad that Christina went Pharrell and Blake’s recommendation and chose India for the fourth spot on her team. I think India just threw down the gauntlet and declared her candidacy for The Voice crown!
Pharrell’s last battle of the season was Lowell Oakley versus Jacob Rummell. I thought it was very interesting that Lowell picked the Temptations’ “My Girl.” I admire Lowell for taking a chance with this soul classic and pushing through when his voice cracked during his rehearsal with Pharrell and Nate. During the Knockout, his vocals were superb and I loved that he brought out his showmanship.
As for my fellow Jacob, I have to give him credit…I haven’t heard “Life of the Party” before and he made the song his own. While Pharrell declared Lowell the victor, I think that both Nickelodeon and Disney would be very happy to have him on their team.
Xtina’s final Knockout of the season was Rob Taylor versus Treeva Gibson. I love that Rob chose the Rev. Al Green’s “Love & Happiness” While Rob used his falsetto as a main weapon; Christina wanted him to incorporate other elements of his artistry when he performed. Meanwhile, Treeva chose Adele’s “Chasing Pavements” for her battle! When Treeva struggled with stage movement, Nate belted the track and shared with her a strong example of what they wanted.
I still cannot connect with Rob! The main reason why is that he overused his falsetto when he performs. Artists who have been on a talent competition such as Clay Aiken, Adam Lambert, Chris Mann, Will Champlin, Branden James and Joshua Ledet saved their falsettos for when it counted the most and if he continues to do that…I do not see him moving forward in the Top 12. It was also sad to see Treeva go because she would have a strong representative for the deaf community.
The final Team Adam knockout was Lexi Davila and Joshua Davis. He wanted to give both members a challenge with their performance. Newcomer Davis dedicated Amos Lee’s “Arms of a Woman” to his wife. Meanwhile, Lexi chose Team Adam Battle Round adviser Ellie Goulding’s “Anything Can Happen.”
Joshua’s heartfelt performance of “Arms of a Woman” reminded me so much of Will Champlin’s “Everything I Do” back from Season Five. Both men showcased their love for their wives and delivered game-changing performances. As for Lexi, she made it impossible for me to not compare her to Team CeeLo’s Caroline Pennell, who stole America’s hearts with her cover. But what Caroline did not have was the bombastic vocals that Lexi showcased in her performance and the vocal runs made me smile.
Luckily, both artists stayed on the show! Joshua earned his spot on Team Adam, while Christina stole Lexi!
Next week, “The Voice: Season Eight” Live Playoffs begin!