On the first night of the Knockout Rounds on “The Voice,” Team Adam and Team Cee Lo were split in half. And the desperation that came from one last pitch to get to the live shows caused many of contestants to take drastic measures. Namely, it got the boys to sing girl songs. Sometimes it worked, sometimes, not so much.
The other noticeable thing about the Knockouts was the coaches’ strategies. Adam Levine paired up similar acts against one another, while Cee Lo Green’s matches seemed kind of random. One thing they had in common: both coaches made generally predictable choices, but both had one big surprise.
Here’s how it played out.
The coach chose the pairs, then worked with them on a run-through of their self-chosen song. Then the knockout: as one singer performed, the other sat awkwardly behind them on a stool. After both took their turn, the coach had to choose a winner to move on to the live shows.
Adam Levine grouped his singers by category. Pop girls: Joselyn Rivera vs. Kayla Nevarez; rockers: Joe Kirkland vs. Bryan Keith; R&B girls: Amanda Brown vs. Michelle Brooks-Thompson; indie singers: Melanie Martinez vs. Sam James; and then the two left-overs: Loren Allred vs. Nicole Nelson.
Joe Kirkland was the first to do a gender song switch, picking Taylor Swift’s “Mean.” It didn’t him any favors, and he lost to Bryan Keith.
Adam advanced both of his steals—the amazing Amanda Brown, formerly of Team Cee Lo, and Joselyn Rivera, formerly of Team Xtina.
Melanie Martinez and her stupid red bow continued on.
And the big shocker of the night: Loren Allred. This wedding singer has so far had pretty much no airtime. And in her rehearsal of “You Know I’m No Good,” she sounded dangerously wedding singery. Peppy and generic. Her competitor Nicole Nelson, meanwhile, has been a magnetic presence since her blind audition. No one though Loren would make it. But then she opened up halfway through her song and made some sounds that were totally soaring. The coaches were all so stunned, they all said they’d keep her in the competition if it were up to them. And that’s what Adam did.
Final Team Adam: Joselyn Rivera, Bryan Keith, Amanda Brown, Loren Allred, Melanie Martinez.
Team Cee Lo:
Without rhyme or reason, it seemed, Cee Lo Green up Avery Wilson vs. Cody Belew; Mackenzie Bourg vs. Daniel Rosa; Terisa Griffin vs. Trevin Hunte; Nicholas David vs. Mycle Wastman; and Caitlin Michele vs. Diego Val.
The weirdest gender-song-switch of the night was Cody Belew. He sang Dolly Parton’s “Jolene” and despite Cee Lo’s encouragement that it would be totally fine for a guy to sing that song, it just came off as sweetly, adorably, gay. I usually hate when people sing opposite gender songs and change the pronouns, so that wouldn’t have been the solution, and anyway, it wouldn’t have made much sense then either. I think this song just needed to stay a lady’s song, that’s all.
But Cee Lo liked Cody’s dark, growly rendition and kept him on, which was a huge shocker considering how unbelievable amazing Avery has been throughout the competition so far. Can’t wait to see where he is scooped up to.
Then Mackenzie Bourg did the gender switch thing with “Call Me Maybe,” although that song being the in the first-person, doesn’t really have a gender. My issue with this performance was actually how he tried to reinterpret it acoustically. It’s just not a good enough song to deserve an indie acoustic treatment, sorry.
Again, Cee Lo likes that stuff. Mackenzie moved on.
Terisa and Trevin was a toughie, because Terisa is really, really good. But Trevin, on “Against All Odds,” which was dedicated to that teacher that told him he’d never be a singer, was extremely powerful. He made Cee Lo cry. Cee Lo loves crying. So it was Trevin.
Then Nicholas David sang a girl’s song, too. “Put Your Records On.” One of the dumbest songs ever written. But Cee Lo loves that stuff. Just kidding. He doesn’t like dumb songs (or maybe he does, I don’t know.) But he does like Nicholas David, so it didn’t matter what Mycle Wastman did, which actually was a good rendition of “Don’t Let the Sun Go Down on Me.” So he picked Nicholas.
Finally Caitlin Michele, the Florence Welsh soundalike, did Evanescence and was an Amy Lee soundalike. Good as she is, you just can’t trust a vocal chameleon like that. So Diego won by default.
Final Team Cee Lo: Cody Belew, Mackenzie Bourg, Trevin Hunte, Nicholas David, Diego Val.