And so the Knockout Rounds begin!
Tonight there were 4 contestants who competed who are in my Top 11, and I still have one steal left for the Knockout Rounds.
I decided since tonight left me very talkative I would give my opinions on all the performances this evening and who I thought should and should not have continued on.
Bryana Salaz and Sugar Jones kicked off the night with the first Knockout Round of the season. Bryana’s take of Demi Lovato’s hit “Heart Attack” was powerful and very strong which I feel like songs like this suit Bryana very well and feel like this is the lane she can really excel in. The notes that girl can hit are spectacular and I was blown away because this song I feel like is a good song, it just is not the song for a competition. Even though I love Demi Lovato and her music, out of all the songs in her wheelhouse, this song probably was not the best choice in the whole world, but at the same time I thought Bryana did the song justice and excelled with the high notes and I was impressed because so far I haven’t been her biggest fan, but I also did not dislike her. I thought overall this performance made me take notice of this girl, she was stellar and I thought every note she hit was flawless. Sugar Jones, where do I begin with her? She brought the house DOWN! She took Beyonce’s smash hit, “Love on Top” and brought her own take on such a challenging song. I say challenging because let’s be honest it is a challenging song, the notes go everywhere and it ranges from high to low and it is FAST changing notes if I might add. If I am going to be honest, I have not been the biggest fan of Sugar Jones, however during her Battle Round I saw something and felt like I should take notice because it was a killer Battle performance and tonight’s was no different. When it came down to who won, I was torn because I thought both were incredible, but in the end I did give my vote to Bryana because I see her growing a lot in this competition and even though I LOVED Sugar, I just felt like I could see Bryana learning more and being a real contender in this competition. However, Sugar Jones got a steal and I thought she earned the right to that Steal. With that being said, as you continue reading you will learn more on my take on the Steal.
James David Carter, who is on my Top 11 performed Carole King’s song, “You’ve Got A Friend” which I liked the song choice, however I felt like it was a very safe choice. Now I love James and think he has one of the best Country voices that I have ever heard on The Voice, however for something like the Knockout Rounds I have come to expect powerful, fighting performances and that to me as much as I did enjoy it, I just felt like I was in a coffee shop. He still is one of my favorites, I just felt like I hope he can take some chances and some risks in the Live Shows. Griffin, he sang Justin Bieber’s “As Long As You Love Me” and to be honest, I cannot hear that song and NOT compare it to Caroline Pennell’s version that she did back in Season 5 of The Voice. To me her rendition of that song is just liquid magic and it was beautiful. Griffin’s take on the song was good, however I did not think that song fit him at ALL and I felt like if it was his way of challenging himself, he did it, but not in the best way. I loved his Battle Round because he just came at that song with like fight and grit and this song that he did tonight was just not that great. So in looking back at both James and Griffin’s performances, I have to be honest and say I was not fully blown away by either of their songs, but based on their voice, James David Carter has a flawless voice and he hits every note so well. So because of that, that is why I picked him as the winner.
The next Knockout Round left me feeling very anxious and honestly overcame me. No joke. When I saw that DaNica Shirey and Katriz Trinidad were being paired up, I got so nervous. I have DaNica on my Top 11, however I think Katriz is a powerhouse, and for only being 15 years old that is MIND BLOWING. DaNica had a challenge on her hands with Whitney Houston’s classic, “Saving All My Love For You” which for me made me nervous for her, but then when she started singing I was like, nevermind she TOTALLY has this covered! She was flawless and those notes were just stunning. I felt like you could have given her any song and she would have done an above and beyond performance. Her voice is just so good and I hope she can stay til the end. With that being said, Katriz was better than I have ever heard her before and I again was not a fan of hers in the beginning, but tonight changed everything. She took Alicia Key’s “Superwoman” and made me love that song. She gave the performance of the evening. That is my honest opinion. She was superb and I loved every minute of that song. So when they announced DaNica as the winner, I was like excited because I had a feeling Katriz would get a Steal and they would both move on. THEN NO ONE STOLE HER! Someone, as in Pharrell STEALS Sugar, yet NO ONE STEALS or tries to STEAL Katriz! That is INSANE and I had no words, I was yelling at the television along with everyone else in the room!
This is another Knockout Round that left me speechless. Damien and Toia Jones. Both are incredible vocalist and I added Damien last week to my Top 11, with Toia who just missed the mark (her Battle of “Halo” was spectacular). Anyways, tonight Damien chose a song that I did not see coming from Country star, Leann Rimes, “How Do I Live” which left me in tears. Like I was on the verge of balling my eyes out, I just believed every word that he sang and it was emotional and moving. Heck, if you looked at Toia even she was crying. I loved that he sang a song that was not typical of him, but something that was different. I thought he carried the notes super well and basically he channeled that emotion and made the audience feel what he was feeling and the message of the song was most definitely conveyed. To be honest, when I saw Toia was being paired up against him I was like, she is going to be slaughtered. HOWEVER, that was NOT the case at ALL. Her performance of “Crazy in Love” by Beyonce left me grooving and had me speechless. That was spectacular and I honestly did NOT see that coming from Toia. So when it was my turn to think who would I advance into the Live Shows, I was at the stand-still. My emotions went towards Damien, however my head-bobbing and my ears kind of enjoyed Toia more. Either way, both had an incredible performance and their voices are some of the BEST. So when Damien advanced I was not mad, however again I am aware that there is only 1 Steal per judge, however with that being said Toia has grown so much since her Blind Audition and tonight she proved how far she has come and she proved how she can be a powerhouse! I think she could have been someone to watch out for in the competition as it went on, but now we will never know.
This one is going to be fast and to the point! Jessie Pitts was above and beyond incredible tonight. Minus one note that was a little sharp, the entire performance of “Your Song” by Elton John was everything I could have ever hoped for. Her voice is like butter, it is just so good and so light and yet also so powerful. I am sorry for the people who liked Tanner Linford, but my honest opinion is if he would have waited another year or two, until his voice developed and was NO LONGER going through puberty I think he could have been a contender. I mean look at Anita Antoinette, she waited 4 seasons til she decided to return and now look at where she is. If Tanner would have just waited til his voice had fully developed I think he could have been great, but with how his voice is now it just in the nicest way possible, his performance was hard to listen to and hard to watch. He tried, man did he try, but he just needs time that is all and with him being so young, he has time to develop his voice and hopefully one day he can do great things. But I am glad Jessie Pitts won, my group of friends and I were worried that Blake might have gone with Tanner.
This last Knockout Round left me nervous because I knew Pharrell loved Luke Wade and I love his voice, but he was paired up against Taylor Phelan, who is one of my favorites of the entire competition. Out of the Top 11, my two favorites are Ricky Manning and Taylor Phelan. So when I saw that he was paired with Luke Wade I was just anxious. I knew Luke was going to be incredible, which he was as he performed “Rich Girl” by Hall and Oates. I liked his performance, however I just did not really like it as much as his Battle Round. For me I preferred Taylor Phelan as he sang “Rather Be” by Clean Bandit, which honestly I have never heard of that song before. I loved everything about that performance and I love his voice. It is undeniable that he has an incredible voice, with a tone and a range that I envy. His performance was incredible and I loved how he worked the stage, Taylor Swift’s note about losing the guitar was an excellent idea and his vocals were so spot on in my opinion. I had a feeling that when the coaches were critiquing them that if Taylor did not win, he would definitely get a STEAL. So when he was “eliminated” and all three coaches pressed their buttons I was overjoyed! With that being said, during the commercial break when Carson was like “And the coaches will do the first three STEAL round” I laughed because Pharrell at that point already used his STEAL, so I was like laughing because there will only be one THREE CHAIR STEAL lol. Oh well, Carson tried, or whoever wrote that lol Anyways, I am very happy Taylor Phelan is with Team Adam and I pray that he will go far!
So that is my recap on tonight’s episode of The Voice.
Meet me back here tomorrow night as I recap the second night of Knockout Rounds and maybe I will reveal my LAST and FINAL STEAL! So before I sign out, here is where my Team stands!
Team Adam: Taylor Phelan, Damien, Chris Jamison, and Rebekah Samarin
Team Blake: Allison Bray, James David Carter, and Reagan James
Team Gwen: Beth Spangler
Team Pharrell: Ricky Manning, Jean Kelley, and DaNica Shirey