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The Knockouts wrapped up Monday night on NBC’s The Voice, with nine more artists advancing to next week’s Live Playoffs. This season’s key adviser Mariah Carey joined coaches Adam Levine, Blake Shelton, Kelly Clarkson and Jennifer Hudson in preparing the performers for their head-to-head matchups. Clarkson and Shelton both had saves left heading into the night, and Hudson had a steal remaining.
The first pairing came from Team Kelly: Chevel Shepherd and Sarah Grace. Shepherd leaned into her country sound and chose to sing “Travelin’ Soldier” by Dixie Chicks. Carey worked with her on her storytelling abilities. In her final performance, she showcased impressive confidence and control for a young singer. It was a solid pop-country performance that played to Shepherd’s strengths.
Grace meanwhile sang “I’d Rather Go Blind” by Etta James, showing off her bluesy tone. Carey helped her on her phrasing, yielding another mature, confident performance from a teen singer. She tapped into the emotions of the song, and Levine praised her ability to emote. Clarkson chose Shepherd as the winner, but then used her save to keep Grace in the competition, too.
Next up were DeAndre Nico and Jake Wells from Team Adam. Nico, who was a four-chair turn, sang “Wanted” by Hunter Hayes. In rehearsal, they changed the key so that Nico could showcase his upper register, and the choice paid off. He gave a soulful performance and made the song his own.
Wells sang “Yellow” by Coldplay, accompanying himself on the piano. The performance didn’t stand on its own as well as Nico’s, but he made some interesting creative choices and still managed to connect even while staying behind the piano. However, Levine chose Nico as the winner, and Wells went home.
Team Jennifer’s Anthony Arya and Kennedy Holmes followed. Arya sang “Operator” by Jim Croce, which was perfectly in his lane. He had fun with it, showcasing his throwback sound, but it wasn’t the most memorable performance.
At just 13 years old, Holmes is one of the youngest artists left in the competition, and she went with a bold song choice, performing “What About Us” by Pink. She had a huge range and impressive creative instincts, possessing experience beyond her years. Hudson unsurprisingly chose Holmes as the winner, and Arya departed the competition.
Colton Smith and Kirk Jay from Team Blake followed with a pair of evenly matched performances. Smith sang “Lady Marmalade,” which was an ambitious song to pick, but he has proven in the past that he has a big range and can excel at unexpected song choices.
Jay gave a more typical performance for Team Blake, keeping with his country roots in his cover of “In Case You Didn’t Know” by Brett Young. He also proved able to hit the high notes, and he connected with the emotions of the song, conveying strong storytelling. Shelton went with the conventional country singer, choosing Jay as the winner. Then Hudson stole Smith, who started out on her team earlier in the season before Shelton stole him.
Next up were Team Adam’s Delaney Silvernell and Steve Memmolo. Silvernell made another bold song choice of the evening, singing “Praying” by Kesha. She made it her own without making too many changes to the original melody, giving a powerful and emotional performance that stood out.
Memmolo sang “Unaware” by Allen Stone, and Levine encouraged him in rehearsal to lean into his falsetto. He also gave a layered, emotional performance and had a gorgeous tone. Levine surprised by choosing Memmolo as the winner, and Silvernell went home — the biggest upset of the evening.
For the final Knockout of the season, a save was guaranteed since Shelton still had one left. Team Blake’s Chris Kroeze and Michael Lee faced off, with Kroeze singing “Burning House” by Cam. Showing off strong artistry, he came up with his own arrangement, and those risks paid off, making his performance memorable.
Lee sang “Whipping Post” by the Allman Brothers Band, accompanying himself on the guitar but not letting his instrument-playing overpower his vocals. He made strong artistic choices, too. Shelton could have gone with anyone as the winner, so he flipped a coin and Lee won. But then Shelton saved Kroeze, keeping them both in the competition.
The remaining artists will compete in the live shows starting next week.
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