7:20pm PT by Kayla Kumari Upadhyaya
'The Voice': Knockouts Conclude With Two Final Steals
The Knockout round came to a close on NBC's The Voice season 18, which built up to a four-way Knockout between the saved artists from the Battle Round. Coaches Kelly Clarkson and Nick Jonas still had steals to use at the top of the night, but Blake Shelton and John Legend were out of steals for the round. James Taylor continued to serve as celebrity mentor.
The night started out strong with Knockout performances from two of Team Legend’s four-chair turns: Thunderstorm Artis and Mandi Castillo. It seemed immediately clear that this would result in an early steal. Artis sang Legend’s own “Preach,” while Castillo sang “Stand by Me,” and both delivered original, layered performances that reiterated how strong of a coach Legend is. The emotions and vocals were captivating, and Legend was left with a tough choice. He decided to keep Castillo, which was a little surprising, but Jonas swooped in to steal Artis, keeping both in the competition. It was a big win for Team Nick.
Jonas faced a pretty easy decision with his first Knockout of the night. Jon Mullins sang “Thinking Out Loud” by Ed Sheeran, and Arei Moon sang “You Don’t Know My Name” by Alicia Keys. Jonas worked with Mullins to come up with a strong arrangement, but Moon simply gave the more dynamic and memorable performance. Jonas kept Moon and Mullins was eliminated.
Team Kelly was up next, with Tayler Green singing “Time After Time” and Micah Iverson singing “Graveyard” by Halsey. Green sang it well, but it’s a tough song to reinvent. Iverson gave a performance that stood out a little more, but the coaches were divided, preferring Green’s song choice for the most part. Clarkson decided to choose Iverson as the winner, and Green went home despite strong feedback from the other coaches.
In Knockouts that did not air in full, Team Kelly’s Mandi Thomas beat out Anaya Cheyenne.
Another Team Nick Knockout pairing had a straightforward outcome. Allegra Miles sang “Chandelier” by Sia and Jacob Miller sang “Better Now” by Post Malone. Miles made the much more ambitious song choice, and it paid off. She gave the more impressive performance and she forward while Miller was eliminated.
Team Blake closed the show out with a very strong Knockout showdown between powerhouse vocalists Toneisha Harris and Cedrice. They both opted to sing big Rihanna songs, with Harris choosing “Diamonds” and Cedrice choosing “Love on the Brain.” They both gave gorgeous, well-rounded performances, proving themselves to be standouts on Team Blake. Shelton chose Harris as the winner, and Clarkson used the last steal of the round to keep Cedrice in the competition. Cedrice has bounced around a lot in the competition, but she gives consistently strong performances, so hopefully Clarkson will be the right coach for her.
The night ended with the four-way Knockout that has been teased since the Battles. The four artists that the coaches saved during that round had to compete for the final spot in the Lives, which will start May 4. The winner of the four-way Knockout will not be announced until then, and because of COVID-19 social distancing measures, the new format of the show will be entirely virtual.
For the four-way showdown, Team Blake’s Todd Michael Hall sang “Somebody to Love” by OneRepublic; Team Legend’s Nelson Cade III sang “Best Part” by Daniel Caesar; Team Nick’s Michael Williams sang “You Are the Reason” by Calum Scott; and Team Kelly’s Samantha Cowell sang “Always on My Mind” by Willie Nelson. Everyone was pretty equally matched, but Cowell had one of the more memorable performances. The vote is now in viewers' hands.