It seems like a rip-off to just get three Knockouts in 1 episode, but then again, we also get the unexpected Blake Shelton–Taylor Swift comedy hour. So perhaps it evens out? Regardless, in the next night of this Knockouts we get three matchups, none of which have especially surprising results, but all of which offer some solid performances. So again, we’re breaking even? Let the people sing!
Team Legend: Khalea Lynee, “Because You Loved Me” by Celine Dion vs. James Violet, “Stay” by Post Malone
John Legend stole soulful acoustic James Violet out from underneath Gwen Stefani, who had been hoping to save him during the Battles, so it seems a little wasteful to put him up against Khalea Lynee, a true Beats on Team Legend who’s most certainly not going anywhere anytime soon. To demonstrate that point, she picks the Celine Dion bop”Because You Loved Me.” As Kelly notes, she somehow makes this song seem effortless. It’s not! Each of the judges really want from her would be to show a little more emotion, besides that, she’s perfect. James puts up a valiant attempt and shows some true range we hadn’t seen before, but he understands that this is a done deal. At least he is cool about it, noting that”there is no better person to lose to” compared to Khalea since she’s so dang good.
Winner: Khalea Lynee!
Steals: He may be a gentleman, but another coaches pass on James Violet.
Team Gwen: Kyndal Inskeep, “Elastic Heart” by Sia vs. Jessie Lawrence, “Dancing With a Stranger” by Sam Smith and Normani
I can’t even see Jessie Lawrence without having psychological considering his Battles functionality by which he and Rose Short brought the house down with their voices and then rebuilt it with their own tears. Tonight, however, Jessie is picking more of an upbeat, lively song and although in rehearsal Gwen tells him it’s her favorite performance of the this season, it falls flat on stage. The lack of emotion and intention behind it’s made dangerously apparent when he goes right after Kyndal Inskeep who is basically laying her (elastic) center on the stage with this stripped-down variant of the Sia song. Mega Mentor Taylor Swift is blown away by her voice, which contains both quirk and control. Each one the coaches remind her to prevent picking songs by artists that seem so like her in the long run, but she nails this performance. An artist with style and heart for her voice? It is Gwen’s dream.
Winner: Kyndal Inskeep!
Steals: The trainers are extremely picky with their steals that round, so we must bid farewell to dear Jessie.
During the Battles, Blake Shelton commented that he heard a small amount of Chris Robinson, lead singer of the Black Crowes, in Ricky’s voice, so frankly, heed to this dude for rolling with this and picking a Black Crowes song. I can’t really nail down Ricky’s genre — maybe only A Rocker in Suits? — but he is a true performer. This matchup basically comes down to Ricky’s experience versus Joana’s power. We’ve got a lot of power vocalists on this show (we do ) Nonetheless, it’s still always shocking to be reminded that the voice coming from Joana Martinez belongs to a 15-year-old. The coaches essentially say as much in their post-performance critiques: Joana has”a spark” and it is always interesting to watch someone so young advancement through this show, but Ricky is the consummate performer and that might be more valuable now. It is not the most electric of Knockouts, but I suppose they can’t all be winners.
Steals: Gwen wanted Joana in the Blinds, and she wants her now. Or she just made a pact with Blake to steal someone out of his team. Either way, Joana moves into Team Gwen!
We have two nights of Knockouts and two steals left in drama (Blake and John are still holding on to theirs), as we gradually inch toward live performances. Who are you looking forward to seeing next week? Who are your front-runners? Will Taylor Swift ever quit pointing from that the nervous tics of The Voice artists?