'The Voice': Knockouts Kick Into High Gear

Blake Shelton used his steal.
Trae Patton/NBC
'The Voice'

The Knockout Round continued on NBC's The Voice tonight, with coaches Alicia Keys, Gwen Stefani, Adam Levine and Blake Shelton making tough decisions as to who would advance to the Live Playoffs. Levine and Stefani already used their only steals for the round last night.

Anatalia Villaranda and Dawson Coyle from Team Alicia were the first up. Villaranda chose to sing Carrie Underwood’s “Two Black Cadillacs,” which Keys pointed out is a deep song for a 17-year-old to sing, but it also proved that she has diverse abilities. In her final performance, Villaranda showed off her range and power with huge vocals. She sounded especially strong on the low notes, adding the right amount of growl.

Coyle decided to sing “Demons” by Imagine Dragons, identifying strongly with the lyrics. Keys said it was in a beautiful register for his voice but encouraged him to work on breath control. Keys said Coyle brought a singer-songwriter vibe to her team. In his final performance, he packed emotion into the big vocals, but it’s a tough song to sing, and he didn’t quite pull it off. “That sounded like an indie record,” Stefani said. But she also noted Villaranda’s power and confidence. Keys said Villaranda surprised her, while she saw Coyle really come into his own in the performance. She ultimately went with Villaranda.

Enid Ortiz and TSoul from Team Blake were up next. Ortiz chose “When We Were Young” by Adele as her Knockout song, admitting that she doesn’t have a lot of confidence when she’s performing but that she’s working on it. Shelton worked with her to get the most out of her voice. She opened up in her performance, singing with confidence and giving her personal best performance.

TSoul chose “These Arms of Mine” by Otis Redding and got visibly emotional in his rehearsal, connecting with the words. That emotional connection carried through to his performance, which was smooth and a bit of a throwback. TSoul stands out on Team Blake. Stefani said she felt like she knew who he was right away, calling his sound “retro.” Stefani said the low notes Ortiz hit were impressive. Shelton, saying that he was basing his decision solely on the battle, chose TSoul to advance.

Stefani paired Aaliyah Rose and Brennley Brown, who she stole from Team Blake, for the next Knockout. Rose chose to sing  “Like I’m Gonna Lose You” by Meghan Trainor, which Stefani said sounded like the kind of music she would probably make. Her coach told her to save her vibrato for when it really works. It proved to be a great song choice for her, and she came to life in her Knockout performance. She sang with passion and power, making the song sound like her own.

Brown chose “Up to the Mountain” by Kelly Clarkson as her Knockout song, identifying with the message. Stefani praised her vocal instincts but told her to make sure she’s conveying the right emotions when singing, pushing her to find a clear interpretation of the song. Brown’s performance had brilliant momentum, the most beautiful performance of the night. Levine said she gave a Grammy performance. He said the biggest difference between Brown and Rose is just that one year between them: Brown is 15 years old, and Rose is 14. Brown seemed like the more seasoned performer. Stefani, devastated by having to make a choice, picked Brown to advance to the Live Playoffs. Shelton waited until the last possible second, but he stole Rose, who will also advance to the next round of the competition on Team Blake.

The Knockouts wrap up next week. What did you think of tonight’s performances?