Night 2 of the Knockout Round on The Voice
Last night, four of the six contestants to turn four chairs during the blind auditions took the stage.
Only one — Team Adam’s Tessanne Chin — survived the evening.
Goodbye, Holly Henry. Goodbye, James Irwin and Ashley DuBose, too.
The final two four-chair turn recipients take the stage tonight, meaning we’ll see performances from Pennsylvania lads James Wolpert and Matthew Schuler.
Will they do better?
Well, over on Team Christina, Matthew draws a tough knockout round foe in Will Champlin. James, of Lancaster, goes up against Juhi, who was impressive enough in the battle rounds to earn a save from Adam Levine.
Adam stole Lina, a 23-year-old from Miami, after she lost a battle round match with Destinee Quinn (they sang the Dixie Chicks’ “Not Ready to Make Nice”). She had turned two chairs singing “Landslide” for her blind audition. Preston, 26, of Halletsville, Texas, bested Barry Blake in the battle round when they performed the Temptations’ “I Wish It Would Rain.” The former member of the Christian band StorySide: B earned a three-chair turn in the blinds. Adam says they’re both soulful singers and he wants to see who’s the most unique.
Lina is going to sing “I’d Rather Go Blind” by Etta James to show off the soulful, blues side of her voice. Preston has been one of the most impressive male singers so far. He’s selected Bob Marley’s “No Woman, No Cry.” He wants to show his laid-back side. Hmm, interesting strategy for a knockout round match. Lina goes first, and starts really well. Dang, Lina is sounding much better than I expected her to. There was a neat little growl early in that performance and a couple really nice big notes toward the end. Very nice. Preston’s turn, going reggae. His rasp gives him a distinct sound. And he does a good job from beginning to end. Just not thrilled with the song choice. That wasn’t a song designed to provide moments. If Preston wins, past performances will factor into it. Grade: Preston, B; Lina, B. And Adam picks Preston. Lina doesn’t get saved.
We didn’t get to see E.G.’s battle round victory, when she performed “Something to Talk About.” The actress and voice-over performer turned a pair of chairs with a rendition of Faith Hill’s “Breathe” in the blinds. At 51, she’s the oldest contestant to make the knockout round. Ray, 25, of Lafayette, La., impressed singing “Some Kind of Wonderful” in the battle round and defeating Monika Leigh. He sang Bill Withers’ “Use Me” in the blinds and turned two chairs. Blake says they both have blues influences in their voices and he wants to decide which one is best to take to the live shows.
E.G. is going to sing “I Can’t Make You Love Me” because she wants to be an adult country, soul, rock artist. Ray has picked “Hard to Handle” by Otis Redding, saying he wants to make a career of singing soul music. E.G. sings first. Blake has told her to play up the vulnerable side of her voice. Given the natural gravel in her voice, the Bonnie Raitt song choice was a good one. That was certainly a heartfelt performance, but her voice cracked when she went for the big note and I’m not sure it’s going to be good enough to beat Ray. His turn to take the stage, and he’s smooth from the word go. Ray won me over with a really great battle round performance. No sure this performance was quite as good, but it was certainly solid from start to finish. Grades: Ray, B; E.G., C+. Blake picks Ray, E.G. does not get stolen.
Christina has paired two of her youngest singers. She stole high school choir standout Anthony after he lost to Caroline Pennell of Team Cee Lo in the battle round. Cee Lo had them sing “As Long As You Love Me.” The 18-year-old from Twinsburg, Ohio, is being pitted against 16-year-old Jacquie from Colts Neck, N.J. She’s been impressive both times we’ve seen her, singing Amy Winehouse’s “Back to Black” in the blinds and “House of the Rising Sun” in a battle round win over Briana Cuoco, eight years her senior. Christina says they’re both young pop singers with lots of potential and she wants to see who can perform best under pressure.
Anthony is going to sing “The Other Side” by Jason Derulo. He says he wants to be a pop, R&B singer, and thinks this song is a good fit. Christina isn’t so sure. Jacquie Lee is going to sing “Stompa” by Serena Ryder. Christina wants to get Jacquie Lee’s performance to match her fine vocals. Anthony goes first. Don’t know whether it’s nerves or what, but that was a rough opening. And his pitch is all over the place on the first run through the chorus. Yikes. This is not good. Yikes. Jacquie’s turn. She’s clearly taken Christina’s advice about working the stage. I really like this gal’s youthful energy. Not to mention the fact that she has a much bigger voice than you would expect. Dang, this is the performance of the night so far. Wow. Excellent. Way to go, Jacquie Lee. Grades: Jacquie Lee, A-; Anthony, D. Jacquie Lee advances, of course.
Cee Lo scooped up cruise ship singer Stephanie Anne after she lost to Olivia Henken in a Team Christina battle round (they sang “Done” by The Band Perry). Stephanie, 29, of Tacoma, Wash., auditioned with “Black Horse and a Cherry Tree.” Tamara, 23, of Wharton, Texas, won a battle round match against Keaira LaShae we didn’t see. They performed “Big Girls Don’t Cry.” A former child gospel singer, Tamara sang Beyonce’s “1 + 1″ in the blinds and turned two chairs.
Cee Lo says they both have big, soulful voices and he wants to see who has the most potential.
Stephanie Anne is going to sing “Don’t Know Why” by Nora Jones. Cee Lo says Stephanie Anne is more dynamic than he imagined. Tamara is going to sing “No One” by Alicia Keys and says it’s a risk, but she wanted to showcase something different in this round. Stephanie Anne, playing guitar, goes first. Hmm, really like the distinctive sound she’s displaying on the opening. Nice vocal, with a fine big note at the end. That, too, was a little laid back for a knockout round song choice, but Stephanie enlivened it with a few little vocal wrinkles. Tamara is going to sing a reggae version of “No One.” As I recall, this young lady has a big voice. Not sure this is the best way to showcase it. OK, I might have been wrong. That ending was quite good. And might have won the knockout for her. Grades: Tamara, B; Stephanie Anne, B-. Cee Lo picks Tamara.
Stephanie Anne is stolen for a second time and rejoins Team Christina.
James, the 22-year-old from Lancaster, turned four chairs in the blind auditions; then bested Will Champlin with his battle round rendition of Imagine Dragons’ “Radioactive.” Juhi, 16, of Franklin, Tenn., had two coaches turn when she sang “Mercy” in the blinds. She lost to George Horga Jr. in the battle round (they sang Bruno Mars’ “Treasure”), but was stolen by Adam. Adam says these are really different singers.
James has picked “More Than a Feeling” by Foreigner saying his dad raised him on classic rock. Juhi is singing “Heard it Through the Grapevine.” James goes first. Rough start, frankly. His voice soars during the chorus, but he also seems to be going awfully sharp. James goes a little crazy during the middle of the song, but for the most part of this song, he seems to be over-singing. Juhi shows no fear for a teen. She’s got great stage presence and a really nice tone to her voice. Clearly, she had a lot of fun with that performance. Gotta say, I liked the stolen Juhi better than the four-chair turn recipient. Grades: Juhi, B-; James, C. Adam picks James. Not surprised, but it was the wrong decision based on just that performance.
Austin, 25, of Duvall, Wash., was especially impressive in his battle round win over Brian Pounds; Blake had them perform “To Love Somebody.” In the blind audition, Austin sang “Simple Man” and turned two chairs. Brandon, 20, of Arlington, Texas, won a battle round match that wound up on the cutting room floor; he and Emily Randolph sang “Tiny Dancer.” Brandon was also a two-turn recipient in the blinds when he sang Hunter Hayes’ “Wanted.” Blake says they’re both emotional singers with country influences and he wants to see which one can move the audience.
Austin will sing “I’ll Be,” turning the love song into a relationship song about himself and his dad, who took his life when Austin was 16. Brandon will sing “Even If It Breaks Your Heart,” saying he really relates to the song. Austin goes first. Not sure how the voting public will receive this guy, but I think he’s one of the best male singers on the show. He might have pushed just a little too hard on that. But the ending was really special. And there was no doubt he felt what he was singing. Brandon opens very well. He seemed to get a little pitchy on the second verse. But this is going to be an interesting decision for Blake. Because you could argue he’s got a younger vibe and the capability of drawing lots of votes from the ladies. Grade: Austin, B-; Brandon, C+. And Blake gives the win to Austin. Brandon does not get stolen.
George, 19, from Portland, Oregon, turned only one chair in the blinds, but defeated Juhi in the battle rounds when they performed Gavin DeGraw’s “Best I Ever Had.” George sang Bruno Mars’ “Treasure” for his audition. He’s matched against another teen, 17-year-old Caroline of Saddle River, N.J. She impressed with a version of “Anything Could Happen” in the blind auditions, then defeated Anthony Paul in the battle round when they sang Justin Bieber’s “As Long As You Love Me.” Cee Lo says he’s paired his youngest singers to see who comes into their own.
Caroline is singing “The Way I Am,” saying she sees herself as an indie-pop artist. George is singing “Because of You” by Ne-Yo, saying he sees himself as a pop-soul artist in the Bruno Mars vein. Caroline takes the stage first. With Holly Henry out, she’s the only indie female singer left in the competition. And she’s doing a very nice job with this song. Not exactly a flashy song choice, but then I’m not sure that’s Caroline’s forte. No idea what George is doing. This honestly is a pretty tortured version of something. I’ll take his word that it’s a Ne-Yo song. What I know is I don’t want to hear it again. Grades: Caroline, B; George, D. Cee Lo picks Caroline.
An intriguing match-up. Christina liked Will well enough to save him after he lost to James Wolpert in the battle round when they sang Imagine Dragons’ “Radioactive.” The 30-year-old from Reseda, Calif., son of a member of Chicago, turned three chairs in the blinds. But Christina has thrown him up against four-turn recipient Matthew, 20, of Yardley, Pa. He defeated Jacob Poole singing “My Songs Know What You Did in the Dark” in the battles after performing “Cough Syrup” in his blind audition. Christina paired these guys because they can both rock out.
Matthew is singing “Cosmic Love” by Florence and the Machine. Will will take on “When I Was Your Man” by Bruno Mars. Not a lot of suspense here, with one steal left and one knockout left. One guy’s going to win and one’s going to get stolen. Matthew takes the stage and is on again, sing the heck out of his song. Wow, I thought the first half of that song was really good. The second half was a Voice moment. Dang, Matthew. That was superb. Will’s turn, and he’s doing a fine job as well. As soon as I saw the list of knockout round matchups, I figured this was one to watch. And Will just made what looked like an easy decision much tougher for Christina. Very nice flourish at the end of Will’s performance. But he didn’t quite have the Voice moment that Matthew did. Grade: Matthew, A; Will, B+. Christina proclaims Matthew the winner.
And Adam steals Will, who was previously a member of his team anyway.