‘The Voice’ Recap: Knockout Rounds, Part 1
We apologize for the late recap of last night's episode of 'The Voice.' Hurricane Sandy wreaked havoc over the New York area and power was cut - as a matter of fact, the show didn't air directly on NBC due to storm coverage. While we're currently up and running and looking forward to tonight's two-hour episode, we're just glad we're safe and sound and hope anyone in the path of the hurricane is and remains safe.
And now, for the PopCrush recap of the Knockout Rounds!
The Knockout Round is a new tool introduced to the show that pairs all remaining contestants against one another (yet again), only this time, they're allowed to sing a song of their choice under the watchful eye of their respective coaches, and "knockout" their fellow teammates. Yes, the contestants compete within their own teams in order to make it to the live shows. The drama factor increased tenfold because of it.
Joselyn Rivera vs. Kayla Nevarez: Rivera actually made her way on to Levine's team via another new (and much talked about) tool the show introduced to us: the steal. Both are clear frontrunners in the pop world, so it makes sense that their coach would pair the two together in order to knock one out. Harsh, we know. Rivera chose Beyonce's 'Love on Top,' which Levine appreciated and called "ambitious," and she nailed it; her ability to hit the high notes was pretty astounding and ultimately didn't even need to compete with Nevarez's rendition of V V Brown's 'Shark in the Water,' which she sang beautifully, but wasn't nearly as strong to keep her around.
WINNER: JOSELYN RIVERA
Joe Kirkland vs. Bryan Keith: After pairing Rivera and Nevarez, we quickly caught on to the theme Adam Levine was working with: pairing similar artists together. This match up was no different. Kirkland decided to tackle Taylor Swift's 'Mean,' which was an odd choice for a lead singer of the pop-punk band Artist vs. Poet, and the vocals to the song don't really register under "challenging," so when Keith opted for fellow namesake Bryan Adams' 'Everything I Do (I Do It for You)' it was obvious who the winner would be.
WINNER: BRYAN KEITH
Amanda Brown vs. Michelle Brooks-Thompson: This was another fun match, considering Brown was also brought to Levine's team via the steal option. Brown chose 'Paris (Ooh La La)' by Grace Potter and the Nocturnals and killed it. We heard a rendition of the song on an 'X Factor' audition, but it didn't come close to Brown's who was on point vocally and executed near-perfect range. Brooks-Thompson was the belter of the game, and opted for Jennifer Hudson's 'Spotlight,' but her belting capability just wasn't enough to impress her coach. A good and strong performance, sure, but not strong enough for Levine.
WINNER: AMANDA BROWN
Loren Allred vs. Nicole Nelson: Naturally, one would assume that Nelson would be the frontrunner during this challenge, but... you'd be wrong. Allred's version of Amy Winehouse's 'You Know I'm No Good' was impressive, leaving Blake Shelton to call her a star outright. Nelson sang Alicia Keys' 'If I Ain't Got You,' and was predictably good, but didn't really shine the way Allred did, nor did she come through or rise to the challenge like Allred did, which is probably why Levine chose Allred. "I was pretty sure I was gonna choose Nicole," said Levine afterward. Pretty sure we all thought that too.
WINNER: LOREN ALLRED
Melanie Martinez vs. Sam James: Martinez will forever be known as the Minnie Mouse look-alike who did a pretty awesome rendition of Britney Spears' 'Toxic.' This time around, she decided on 'Bulletproof' by La Roux, and of course, used her creativity and uniqueness to make the song completely her own. James tackled 'Walking in Memphis' by Marc Cohn and probably could've afforded to borrow some of Martinez's creative juices, because it cost him the game. But then again... we're kind of growing real tired of her trying to be so out of the box; it's like she's trying too hard.
WINNER: MELANIE MARTINEZ
TEAM CEE LO:
Avery Wilson vs. Cody Belew: Before this knockout even began, we not-so-humbly chucked to herself and declared Wilson the winner because... is he not one of the frontrunners of this competition?! Inexplicably, he chose to sing Chris Brown's 'Yeah 3x,' which isn't the most vocally challenging song out there, and while he gave a good performance, he grew out of breath as he attempted to dance and sing at the same time. Belew decided on 'Jolene' by Dolly Parton, which was so out of the box and different, you know Cee Lo was about to pitch a fit and have a field day with it, because he likes that s---. And just like that, the win was ripped from Wilson and bestowed upon Belew.
WINNER: CODY BELEW
MacKenzie Bourg vs. Daniel Rosa: Ah yes, the "indie" artists of Team Cee Lo. Both sang songs we're not too fond of: Carly Rae Jepsen's 'Call Me Maybe' for Bourg and Taylor Swift's 'Back to December' for Rosa. However, Bourg took this round because he gave Jepsen's otherwise bubblegum pop song a unique tone and changed it up, whereas Rosa just really didn't cut it this time around. Even Cee Lo admitted that it wasn't Rosa's best, which must've stung, but hey, at least he made it this far his second time around.
WINNER: MACKENZIE BOURG
Terisa Griffin vs. Trevin Hunte: Hunte is a helluva voice to be messed with on 'The Voice,' so when Griffin chose Whitney Houston's 'Saving All My Love,' we gulped down our pride real fast. She was a powerhouse vocalist, which is always incredible to see (and hear! ha), but Hunte's rendition of 'Against All Odds' by Phil Collins blew Griffin's performance out of the water. Remembe when we said Avery Wilson was one of the frontrunners of this competition? Well Trevin Hunte is the front-frontrunner, because this guy is good. Can we buy his album now?
WINNER: TREVIN HUNTE
Nicholas David vs. Mycle Wastman: We kind of knew who'd be the winner of this round (ahem, David), because Cee Lo just loves those unique and different singers; David's performance of 'Put Your Records On' by Corinne Bailey Rae was just different enough and even his coach mentioned that he had a quality that you just "couldn't explain" aka, he'd win. Wastman had a try at Elton John's 'Don't Let the Sun Go Down On Me' - which seems to be a reality singing show staple - but it just wasn't impressive. As a matter of fact, neither performance was exceptionally mind-blowing, so picking the unique guy made the most sense. We guess.
WINNER: NICHOLAS DAVID
Caitlin Michele vs. Diego Val: The last performance of the night was a doozy in the greatest way. Why, you ask? Because both were awesome. Michele belted Evanescence's 'Bring Me to Life' and totally gave the band's lead singer Amy Lee a run for her money. Val, who has struggled in the past getting used to songs that were unfamiliar to him, also nailed 'Are You Gonna Go My Way' by Lenny Kravitz. Both were rockers, both worked the stage as if they were actually getting paid a million bucks to entertain the crowd for a mere four minutes, and both owned their vocals - to say it simply, they gave their coach a tough choice, which is what you should expect from a show like 'The Voice.'
WINNER: DIEGO VAL
And like that, two teams were cut down in half in a matter of two hours. Tonight, another two-hour episode of 'The Voice' will air on NBC, this time showing Team Blake and Team Christina.
All we can hope in the tri-state area is that the episode will actually air on its given channel instead of news coverage of Hurricane Sandy, so we can give you the recap in a timely fashion.
Watch Joselyn Rivera vs. Kayla Nevarez
Watch Joe Kirkland vs. Bryan Keith
Watch Amanda Brown vs. Michelle Brooks-Thompson
Watch Loren Allred vs. Nicole Nelson
Watch Melanie Martinez vs. Sam James
Watch Avery Wilson vs. Cody Belew
Watch MacKenzie Bourg vs. Daniel Rosa
Watch Terisa Griffin vs. Trevin Hunte
Watch Mycle Wastman vs. Nicholas David
Watch Caitlin Michele vs. Diego Val