9:57pm PT by Rebecca Ford
'The Voice' Recap: Knockout Rounds Begin
As Hurricane Sandy shook the East Coast, the Knockout Rounds shook up the teams on NBC's The Voice on Monday night.
In the brand new addition to the show, the coaches -- Adam Levine, Blake Shelton, Christina Aguilera and Cee Lo Green -- 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. In an added twist, the contestants won't know who they'll go up against until they're standing onstage.
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.
Team Adam and Team Cee Lo were up first on Monday night.
Team Adam's Joselyn Rivera vs. Kayla Nevarez
These two pop divas face off, with Joselyn singing "Love on Top," and Kayla taking on "Shark in the Water." Joselyn, who Levine "stole" from Aguilera's team during the Battle Rounds, sounds good, but has a couple pitch problems. Kayla has a really cool unique sound. But Levine decides to keep Joselyn because her song was more ambitious.
Team Adam's Joe Kirkland vs. Bryan Keith
"May the best man win," says Levine of his two pop-rock singers. Joe is singing, surprisingly, Taylor Swift's "Mean," while Bryan will sing "(Everything I Do) I Do It For You." Joe's take on Taylor Swift doesn't quite work -- it comes off a little awkward. Bryan's song choice is so different that it's strange to have these songs back-to-back, but he sings it decently enough (despite some tempo issues). Even though Levine says Bryan wasn't as good as he could have been, he decides to keep Bryan because of his ability to connect with the audience.
Team Adam's Amanda Brown vs. Michelle Brooks-Thompson
Amanda is singing "Paris (Ooh La La)" and Michelle will sing "Spotlight." Amanda has a really special spark when she performs onstage. And while Michelle rocks it like a diva onstage, it seems like Amanda has that special uniqueness that could get her to the finals (can you believe that only Green turned his chair for her in the blind auditions?!). Levine chooses to keep Amanda.
Team Adam's Loren Allred vs. Nicole Nelson
Wedding singer Loren chooses "You Know I'm No Good" and Nicole is singing "If I Ain't Got You." Loren tried to drop her good-girl vibe for her performance, but we're just not buying it. Nicole, a pro, makes this song look easy, and we love it. However, Levine picks Loren, saying she had "the element of surprise." Maybe it was Nicole's strange hand motions that got her booted -- because there's no way it could have been her voice.
Team Adam's Melanie Martinez vs. Sam James
Melanie -- definitely in the running for "most unique" -- is singing "Bulletproof." "I don't just sing songs, I actually feel them," she says. Sam is singing "Walking in Memphis" because it reminds him of his youth. Melanie's performance is good (if you ignore the annoying bow on her head). She looks comfortable onstage and is lucky to have that unique sound to her voice. Sam has phrasing problems, but is a strong singer. Levine chooses to keep Melanie.
Team Cee Lo's Avery Wilson vs. Cody Belew
Avery is singing "Yeah 3x" and Cody is singing "Jolene." Avery, who is also a dancer, shows off some moves on the floor, but his singing seems to suffer for it. Cody's version of this song is a bit strange, but his voice is strong. Green decides to go with Cody. Avery gives an extremely sweet farewell speech, and Green promises to keep in touch with him.
Team Cee Lo's Mackenzie Bourg vs. Daniel Rosa
Mackenzie is doing a really unique version of "Call Me Maybe," while Daniel is singing "Back to December" (another guy singing a Swift song?!). Mackenzie rocks it, and we love it. He's got such great energy onstage. Daniel is an emotional singer, which is great, but his timing is off. Green decides to send Daniel home, so it looks like second time was not the charm.
On a sidenote, how great is that banter between Green and Levine? "I'll call you from a payphone," says Green to Levine. Hilarious.
Team Cee Lo's Terisa Griffin vs. Trevin Hunte
"My two powerhouses," explains Green. Terisa is taking on Whitney Houston's "Saving All My Love for You," and we all know that doing a Whitney song is always a risk because there aren't many people who can come even close to her abilities. Trevin sings "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. These are two of the best performances of the night, and it's a shame that one of these talents has to be sent home. Green keeps Trevin, and Terisa gives a gracious speech about mentoring Trevin. She's really amazing.
Team Cee Lo's Mycle Wastman vs. Nicholas David
Nicholas croons "Put Your Records On" while Mycle sings "Don't Let the Sun Go Down on Me." Neither of these guys is amazing (especially following the previous pair) but Nicholas has a really special sound to his voice and a cool attitude onstage. Green decides to keep Nicholas (maybe because they both like to wear sunglasses indoors).
Team Cee Lo's Caitlin Michele vs. Diego Val
Caitlin is singing "Bring Me to Life" and Diego is taking on "Are You Gonna Go My Way." The weakest performances of the night wrap up the show. Caitlin seems to just imitate other singers, and Diego just sounds a bit weak with his rocker talk-singing. Green decides to keep Diego. This means Green will be taking an all-male team to the live shows.
What did you think of the first night of Knockout Rounds? Sound off in the comment section below.