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Someone get Taylor Swift a spinning red chair ASAP.
The Voice’s revived knockout rounds continued on Tuesday night, with Swift sitting in as a universal guest mentor to the contestants of Gwen Stefani, Adam Levine, Blake Shelton and Pharrell Williams. And for the second night this week, she continued to show not only her expert command of the stage, but also her ability to actually communicate those tips in a way that the remaining competitors can improve and apply to the live shows — and more importantly, coming off as likeable to viewers at home.
“Let your mind be the metronome, and be still,” she insightfully advised a swaying singer, and told another of effective eye contact, “Think of your eyes as if they have laser beams or spotlights in them — give bold, hurt, dejected looks, and use that as your sniper shot.” She’s the female equivalent of Usher as a coach, with all the push-ups substituted for jokes about being a crazy woman and having cats. According to her one-album-every-two-years pattern, can someone set her up with a contract to rotate in for fall 2015 or spring 2016, please? And of course, a Swift collab with any of the other coaches would also be highly welcomed.
See who survived the sudden-death solo performances — in which they chose their own songs — and who escaped elimination by getting stolen away:
Team Gwen’s Taylor John Williams vs. Troy Ritchie
Williams, who was nicknamed Taylor Three Names, learned how not to march while showing emotion during Tears for Fears’ “Mad World,” and Ritchie put a coffeehouse spin on Outkast’s “Hey Ya” — acoustic guitar and all. While Shelton praised Ritchie’s Richard Simmons–Napoleon Dynamite combination, Levine applauded Williams impressive performance overall. Stefani opted for Williams.
Team Adam’s Alessandra Castronovo vs. Mia Pfirrman
Both young vocalists, Castronovo got the crowd on their feet with Emeli Sande‘s “Next to Me,” and Pfirrman tried to stretch her lower register with the verses of Christina Perri‘s “Human,” feasible with Swift’s breathy delivery tip. Shelton and Williams preferred Castronovo for her diverse bag of vocal tricks, while Stefani liked Pfirrman’s tender moments. Levine sided with Stefani, and moved Pfirrman forward.
Team Pharrell’s Elyjuh Rene vs. Ricky Manning
Both with R&B sensibilities, Rene hoped to spotlight his soulful side with Chris Brown‘s “With You,” and Manning took a risk with a ballad, picking Miley Cyrus’ “Wrecking Ball,” but both were initially lacking an authentic connection (which Williams craves) and Swift advised them on eye contact and blocking. Levine and Stefani were blown away by emotional Manning’s performance — a breakout moment for the competitor. Williams, however, picked Rene because he fell short with his song choice and that there is more work to be done (a first of the series!). Strategy or stupidity?
Nevertheless, Stefani leaped at the chance to use her only steal of the round to acquire Manning.
The Voice knockouts continue Monday at 8 p.m. on NBC.
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