7:10pm PT by Kayla Kumari Upadhyaya
'The Voice': Team Kelly's Duo Stands Out in Another Night of Knockouts
The Knockouts continued Monday on NBC's The Voice season 17. Taylor Swift worked with coaches Gwen Stefani, Blake Shelton, John Legend and Kelly Clarkson to get the remaining artists ready for solo performances. Artists who advance from this round will compete in the Live Playoffs.
Here are the highlights from the night, followed by a recap of the rest of the performances. Shelton and Legend still had steals left in this round.
The best performances came at the very end in a Knockout from Team Kelly featuring the duo Hello Sunday and solo artist Alex Guthrie. Guthrie sang “I’m Not the Only One” by Sam Smith, deciding to really focus on his voice instead of playing guitar. It paid off, and he gave a vulnerable and understated performance. Hello Sunday once again delivered an outstanding performance with tight harmonies and a ton of stage presence. This time around, they sang “Almost Is Never Enough” by Ariana Grande. They said they wanted to sing something that would showcase emotion, and they did just that, singing in the top performance of the night. Hello Sunday won, but Guthrie wasn't on the chopping block for long. Legend stole him up for Team John.
The evening started on a high note, too, with a battle from Team Gwen. Rose Short sang “Big White Room” by Jessie J. She cited the work she has done as a songwriter and connecting with the song emotionally because of feeling stuck in life. In rehearsal, Short delivered powerful vocals that moved Stefani to tears, and that translated to a killer Knockout, too. It was one of the best performances of the night and the round in general. She was followed by Destiny Rayne, who sang “Tell Me You Love Me” by Demi Lovato. She also delivered a standout performance, but it wasn’t quite the stunner that Short’s was. Rayne was radio-ready, but Short delivered on several levels, giving a particularly emotional performance. Stefani indeed chose Short as the winner.
Later in the episode, Team John’s Will Breman and Zoe Upkins went up against each other next. Upkins sang Legend’s own “Like I’m Gonna Lose You,” which was definitely a bold choice that ultimately didn’t pay off. She sang with conviction and huge range and impressed Legend with his own song, but she was still bested by Breman. Breman sang “I Don’t Care” by Ed Sheeran and Justin Bieber and made it his own with a creative arrangement. “He’s really got his own thing,” Swift said about him. They gave very different performances, but both played to their strengths perfectly. Legend went with Breman as the winner, and Upkins went home, which was one of the bigger upsets of the round.
Kiara Brown and Shane Q from Team Kelly were up against each other. Q shang “In Case You Didn’t Know,” and Clarkson worked with him to tighten his control. He gave a vulnerable and gentle performance that showcased his head voice. Brown was a steal from Team Gwen, and for her Knockout she sang “Bones” by Maren Morris, whom she was mentored by after winning a contest. She sang her own interpretation of the song, making it her own and showcasing her artistry. Clarkson surprised by choosing Q over Brown.
A Knockout from Team Blake featured Kat Hammock and Lauren Hall, who Shelton said he thought had similar approaches to singing. Hammock sang “Kiss Me” and gave a vulnerable performance, despite admitting that she couldn’t yet relate to the lyrics. Her performance had momentum and dynamics, and she brought a singer-songwriter vibe to it. Hall sang Clarkson’s own “Breakaway.” She used to be on Team Kelly but was stolen for Team Blake. She didn’t do much to change the original, but she still sang it very well, and Clarkson said she even sang it better than she did because of the way she honed in on the message. Shelton chose Hammock as the winner.
Team Gwen delivered a standout Knockout from Royce Lovett and Jake HaldenVang. HaldenVang sang “Powerful” and played guitar, and Swift called him “effortlessly good.” But she also pushed him to seem more natural onstage. He gave a stellar performance on multiple levels, showing that he is a multi-talented musician. But singing “Wake Me Up,” Lovett also gave a layered and impressive performance, also accompanying himself on the guitar. The song pushed the top part of his range, but he sounded more in control in the final performance than in the rehearsal. Stefani went with him, and Lovett went home.
The Knockouts will wrap up Tuesday.