Last night in the first of the brand new addition to ‘The Voice”, the Kockout rounds, began. Adam Levine and Cee Lo Green cut down their teams from 10 members each to the five that will move on to the live rounds.
And first may I give a big shout-out to all my East Coast friends (and those I’ve yet to meet). Missing out on most of last night’s “The Voice” may very well be the least of their problems and my heart goes out to them. Let’s kick Hurricane Sandy’s ass!
For power outtages, you always have recaps.
Last night, the coaches had to pit two of their team members against each other. The artists sing songs that they chose themselves, while their opponent watches on from the corner. The coaches must choose to send one of each pair home, cutting the teams from 10 members each to 5 members for the live shows. In an added twist, the contestants won’t know who they’ll go up against until they’re standing onstage. It’s brutal.
Team Adam’s Joselyn Rivera vs. Kayla Nevarez
This was a pop diva face off, with Joselyn singing “Love on Top,” and Kayla taking on “Shark in the Water.” Joselyn, who Levine “stole” from Christina Aguilera’s team during the Battle Rounds, sounded pitchy, I thought, while I liked Kayla’s uniqueness. However, Adam was more impressed with Joselyn’s ambitious song choice and kept her. First shock of the night for me and we were only just started.
Team Adam’s Joe Kirkland vs. Bryan Keith
“May the best man win,” Adam Levine told his two pop-rock singers. Joe surprised me by singing Taylor Swift‘s “Mean.” Bryan was much more predictable with his song choice: “(Everything I Do) I Do It For You.” It was one risk too far for Joe, who didn’t really pull this one off. Bryan also had tempo issues but Adam kept him because of his ability to connect with the audience.
Team Adam’s Amanda Brown vs. Michelle Brooks-Thompson
Amanda sang “Paris (Ooh La La)” and Michelle rocked out “Spotlight” like a diva. I liked Amanda’s onstage persona. She has something special, I think, and Adam noticed it too, choosing to keep Amanda.
Team Adam’s Loren Allred vs. Nicole Nelson
Loren attempted (unsuccessfully?) to shed her wholesome good girl image for “You Know I’m No Good” and Nicole sang “If I Ain’t Got You.” I thought Nicole made this look easy and I really wasn’t buying Loren’s performance, so my second shock of the day came when Loren was saved by Adam, saying she had “the element of surprise.” Perhaps Adam was put off by Nicole’s weird hand gestures, because I don’t see how it could be her voice.
Team Adam’s Melanie Martinez vs. Sam James
Melanie sang “Bulletproof.” Or felt it. She really feels sings, apparently. Anyway, she made a really good job of it and she put her own spin on the song. Sam sang “Walking in Memphis” with some phrasing problems. Somehow, despite that, I thought Sam sounded stronger but Adam kept Melanie.
Team Cee Lo’s Avery Wilson vs. Cody Belew
Avery sang “Yeah 3x” and Cody sang “Jolene.” Avery showed off some moves on the floor, but his singing seemed to suffer for it. Cody’s version of this song was a bit strange, as I expected, but his voice was strong and Cee Lo chose him to stay.
Team Cee Lo’s Mackenzie Bourg vs. Daniel Rosa
Mackenzie really made “Call Me Maybe” his and had great stage presence. Daniel put emotion in “Back to December” but their were tempo issues that sent him home again. Mackenzie lived to do battle again.
Team Cee Lo’s Terisa Griffin vs. Trevin Hunte
This was the batle of Cee Lo’s “two powerhouses,” he said, with Terisa tackling Whitney Houston’s “Saving All My Love for You,” and Trevin taking on “Against All Odds (Take a Look at Me Now)” as a dedication to his mean eighth grade teacher who told him he’d never become anything. Nice! I was particularly gladafter that, that Cee Lo chose Trevin, but this was probably the best battle of the night and it was a shame either of them had to leave.
Team Cee Lo’s Mycle Wastman vs. Nicholas David
Nicholas sang “Put Your Records On” and Mycle sang “Don’t Let the Sun Go Down on Me.” In contrast to the previous battle (sadly) neither of these two were anything special. But Cee Lo saved Nicholas. He does have a good tone to his voice.
Team Cee Lo’s Caitlin Michele vs. Diego Val
In the weakest battle of the show, Caitlin sang “Bring Me to Life” and Diego sang “Are You Gonna Go My Way.” There was nothing unique or special about Caitlin and Diego was pretty annoying with his rocker talk but he was chosen as the least bad of the two, I guess, giving Cee Lo an all-male team for the live shows.
What did you think of the first night of Knockout Rounds? Did you agree with the mentor/judges’ choices?