It was night two of the knockout rounds on last night’s episode of “The Voice” (originally airing October 29, 2013). If you missed Monday night’s show, the knockout rounds are simple. Each coach will pick two people to face each other one on one. The artists get to sing the song of their choice and the coach will chose which of the two they want to keep and take to the live rounds. Each coach has one steal this round, but Christina Aguilera and Adam Levine were the only coaches left with steals going into last night’s snow.
The first battle of the night came from Coach Adam. He chose Lina Gaudenzi to go up against Preston Pohl. Lina was very happy that Adam stole her in the battle rounds and decided to sing “I’d Rather Go Blind” by Etta James. Preston chose the Bob Marley classic “No Woman No Cry.” It is a bold choice. Taking on any classic song can be dangerous. Lina was first to sing and she gave a strong, soulful performance, but Preston was just as smooth and cool and he had the crowd clapping and into it. Adam was left with a tough choice. After some thought, he decided to keep Preston.
The second knockout battle came from Coach Blake and featured E.G. Daily facing off against Ray Boudreaux. E.G. was first to take the stage and did Bonnie Raitt’s “I Can’t Make You Love Me.” She gave a smoky, if not somewhat subdued, performance. Ray followed her with “Hard to Handle” by Otis Redding. His fun, at times raspy, version of the Redding bluesy rocker had the coaches moving and the crowd dancing. Blake complimented both of them, but chose to keep Ray.
Next to the stage were Anthony Paul and Jacquie Lee from Team Christina. Christina stole Anthony during the battle rounds. He was first to perform and chose “The Other Side” by Jason Derulo. Christina was a little wary because she thought the song didn’t let him show off his voice. He found a few places to show off his range, but he had some problems. Jacquie sang “Stompa” by Serena Ryder. The 16-year-old firecracker started a little slow, but found her groove and had Christina smiling from ear to ear. It wasn’t really close. Jacquie won the knockout round and moved on.
Ceel Lo’s first knockout of the night matched Stephanie Anne-Johnson with Tamara Chauniece in a battle of ladies with big, powerful voices. Stephanie took a risk with a Nora Jones song “Don’t Know Why.” She changed the arrangement and played the guitar which resulted in a unique performance that was relaxed and confident. Tamara picked Alicia Keys’ “No One.” She started off a little slow, but things picked up and she ended with some big notes. Cee Lo professed his love for both singers, but chose to keep Tamara. As Stephanie was saying her goodbyes Christina hit her button and stole her which was a “The Voice” first because Stephanie was originally on Christina’s team before she was stolen by Cee Lo and now she was stolen back and is again with Team Christina.
Team Adam was next in the ring with James Wolpert squaring off against Juhi. James chose “More Than a Feeling” by Boston. Adam gave him some pointers on how to hit the big notes. He started off shaky, but found his way and hit most of the notes. Juhi followed James to the stage and performed “Heard It through the Grapevine.” She chose to do the Credence version of the Marvin Gaye classic. Her take on the song had some sass, a little growl, and she hit some serious notes. Both had their problems, but it was a very close battle. The coaches were split, but Adam decided to choose James because he felt he had more potential.
Blake Shelton put together his final knockout with Austin Jenckes battling Brandon Chase. Austin picked Edwin McCain’s “I’ll Be” which has been the downfall of many singing show contestants. His performance was emotional. He showed his range and had the coaches clapping. Brandon decided to sing “Even If It Breaks Your Heart” by Eli Young Band. He decided to take it up an octave from the original which was a risk, but he pulled it off nicely. He put his heart into it and gave a strong, impressive performance. Blake struggled to choose, but eventually chose Austin as the winner.
Team Cee Lo’s final knockout battle found Caroline Pennell going up against George Horga Jr. Caroline went first and selected Ingrid Magnussen’s “The Way I Am.” Her quirky, unique voice was a great fit for this song. She gave a cool, jazzy performance. George decided to do “Because of You” By NeYo. For most of the song his smooth voice was strong, but he had a few moments that weren’t great. The coaches raved about Caroline and for good reason. She is one of the few very unique voices on the show this season and while Cee Lo praised George he chose Caroline as the winner.
With her last knockout Christina selected Matthew Schuler and Will Champlin to get in the ring. Matthew was first to perform and chose “Cosmic Love” by Florence and the Machine. With soaring vocals and passion, Matthew gave one of the better performances of the season. He had Christina and Cee Lo on their feet cheering. Will decided to go with “When I Was Your Man” by Bruno Mars. He shocked everyone in the room with a raw, honest, emotional performance that was heartbreaking and won him raves from the coaches. There were no losers here because Christina chose to keep Matthew and Adam wasted no time stealing Will.
With the teams now decided, next week on “The Voice” the live shows start and the power switches to the viewers as the singers perform for viewers’ votes and downloads. There is plenty of talent this season so the live shows should be a lot of fun.