The Knockout Rounds got a little more intense during Tuesday night’s episode of “The Voice” on NBC. With the judges only having two steals left, the remaining contestants had to bust out a lot of talent to impress, but only a few did.
After a shocking and history-setting episode Monday, coaches Christina Aguilera, Pharrell Williams, Blake Shelton and Adam Levine were joined once again by celebrity guest mentor, and Grammy-winner, Nate Ruess of the band Fun. Together they helped elevate the remaining artists as they scrutinized even the minutest details. The hope was to ensure that everyone moving forward to the Live Playoffs has what it takes to go all the way.
The real stars of the evening were the potential steals remaining from Team Xtina and Team Blake. Unlike the Battle Rounds, each coach was only given one steal and the two judges kept them close to the vest last night, but we’ll get to that.
To help fans digest the episode, below is a breakdown of each Knockout Round pairing from Tuesday night.
Cody Wickline vs. Corey Kent White (Team Blake)
Shelton wanted to take his two country-leaning singers and reduce them to one sooner rather than later. These two were more in his wheelhouse than any of his other team members so he wanted to ensure he could focus all of his coaching in the Live Playoffs on just one. Wickline got the night started singing “Till My Last Day” by Justin Moore. Then came Cody’s rendition of “Live Like You Were Dyin’” by Tim McGraw. Both men brought their country chops to the stage and gave outstanding performances. However, Cody’s song had that extra shot of emotion and connectivity with the music. While Wickline was technically proficient, White’s passion and heart moved him to the next round.
Deanna Johnson vs. Blaze Johnson (Team Adam)
Coach Adam Levine pit his two Johnsons against each other in the Knockouts in the closest matchup of the night. Blaze took the stage first continuing his trend of picking songs by “The Fray.” Previously, he made his way onto the show in the Blind Auditions with a rendition of the band’s hit “How To Save a Life.” He sang “You Found Me” in an attempt to showcase his slow and low voice. Although he lost pitch in the middle of the song, he put on a heck of a show and was definitely worthy of advancing onward. However, Deanna was standing in his way with a performance of “Listen to Your Heart” by Roxette. After having a lot of trouble during practice with her nerves, the former Season 5 contestant just couldn’t seem to shake the jitters going into her performance. Both Pharrell and Adam practically scolded her for not believing in herself but, in the end, Levine was too curious to see what a more confident Deanna could do. Just like that, Blaze was sent packing, with neither Aguilera nor Shelton willing to steal him back.
Hannah Kirby vs. Caitlin Caporale (Team Pharrell)
Originally on Team Blake and stolen to Team Pharrell, Kirby may not be the best performer in the competition, but she’s certainly the most fun. She put her cover of Steve Winwood’s “Higher Love” against the stellar voice of Caporale singing “Warrior” by Demi Lovato. This was a particularly potent challenge for the viewer as it put the show’s two most opposing ideas against each other. Caporale’s song was elegant and hit every note with laser accuracy. While she demonstrated an innate ability to be “The Voice,” she simply didn’t put on as good a show as her opponent. Pharrell was clearly having trouble choosing between them as he wrestled with the same issue -- go with the voice or go with the star. In the end, he had to follow the name of the show and advance Caporale to the playoffs. As her coach and the audience lamented they wouldn’t see more of Kirby’s dancing and unique vocals.
That’s when Blake Shelton hit his button saving her, the crowd and possibly Season 8 by bringing the young diva back to his team. With a few more Knockout Rounds to go, and only one steal left, the final 12 are starting to crystallize heading into the Live Playoffs.
Tune in to “The Voice” Monday and Tuesday nights at 8 p.m. EDT on NBC.