'The Voice': Artists Continue to Find Their Identities in the Knockouts

Christina Aguilera used her final steal as the Knockouts come to a close.
Trae Patton/NBC
Pharrell Williams and Nate Ruess

Coaches Blake Shelton, Adam Levine and Pharrell Williams had all used their final steals going into tonight’s third round of the Knockouts, leaving only Christina Aguilera with the ability to steal one of the contestants sent home tonight.

Team Adam had the first Knockout of the night, as Barry Minniefield and Tonya Boyd-Cannon faced off. Boyd-Cannon chose “I Wish” by Stevie Wonder, hoping it would show off her range and technical skills. Minniefield chose “What You Won’t Do for Love” by Bobby Caldwell, which gave him the opportunity to showcase his upper register for the first time in the competition. Advisor Nate Ruess even suggested bringing the pitch up half a step, and the results were impressive. Even though both gave strong soulful performances, Minniefield showed more improvement than Boyd-Cannon in their Knockout. However, in a bit of a surprise move, Levine chose Boyd-Cannon. As a powerhouse singer, she’s an asset for his team, but Minniefield really displayed the ability to grow as an artist and incorporate Levine’s coaching.

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Shelton matched Kelsie May and Brooke Adee. Hoping to show a vulnerable side, she chose the song “Tim McGraw” by Taylor Swift. In her rehearsal, she sang sharp, and we haven’t really seen her have pitch issues like that, but she blamed it on her nerves. Adee chose “Electric Feel” by MGMT. Ruess advised her to stick more to the original melody than she had in her rehearsal. Like May, she had a lot to work on before their final performance. Both girls still had a few pitch problems in the Knockout, but Shelton picked Adee as the winner.

India Carney and Joe Tolo from Team Christina went up against each other next, with Carney choosing “Big White Room” by Jessie J as her Knockout song. Carney has a lot of versatility but lacks confidence when it comes to the high notes. Tolo chose to sing “One Of Us” by Joan Osborne, but it didn’t quite give him the opportunity to show off his range. Carney gave the more dynamic performance, and Aguilera crowned her the champion. It was the right move, as Carney truly has the ability to win the whole competition.

From Team Pharrell, Jacob Rummell and Lowell Oakley prepared for the Knockouts next. Oakley chose to sing “My Girl” by The Temptations, and it was perfectly suited for the soul and crooning sides of his voice. He had a rough rehearsal, with his voice cracking, but Pharrell gave him advice that boosted his confidence in his final performance. Rummell, whom Pharrell stole during the Battle Round, decided to sing “Life of the Party” by Shawn Mendes, and it was another good song choice, playing to the strengths of his upper register. Oakley seems to have a stronger idea of who he is as an artist, but both men are incredibly talented. Pharrell chose Oakley.

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Aguilera’s team members Rob Taylor and Treeva Gibson were next up in the Knockouts. Aguilera encouraged Taylor to push his voice even higher in their rehearsal. Gibson decided to sing “Chasing Pavements” by Adele, explaining that the song’s message applies to her own life. Taylor gave a technically sound and captivating performance, nailing the falsetto. Gibson sounded a little too similar to the original recording, failing to bring her own style to the song. Aguilera chose Taylor, another artist who already shows the ability to win the whole thing, as the winner of the Knockout.

Lexi Davila and Joshua Davies from Team Adam faced each other, and Davies struggled with vocal control in his rehearsal. Davila sang “Anything Could Happen” by Ellie Goulding, and she showed improvement, especially when it came to her confidence level. The song choice showcased the upper part of her range, and her Knockout performance was her best one in the competition. Davies, who sang “Arms of a Woman,” gave a vocally sound performance but lacked a special spark to make him stand out. Levine oddly chose Davies, but Aguilera swept in for the steal, meaning Davila will join Team Christina for the live shows.

With the Knockouts over, the teams are now finalized for the live shows, which kick off next week. Which coach do you think has the advantage?

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