In the Knockout rounds of “The Voice,” coach Gwen Stefani pitted four pairs of her artists against each other. She had to choose one singer in each duet to take on to the live shows that start on April 17. And Keys also stole one of the rejects of the other three coaches.
Stefani lost both of her previous seasons of “The Voice.” We asked you which of her picks from the knockouts you think could win her the competition over rival coaches Alicia Keys, Adam Levine and Blake Shelton. Your choice by a wide margin is Hunter Plake, who won his knockout against Johnny Gates on April 3.
Below are the vote counts for each of her artists, as well as a recap of what each did to get her attention. If you haven’t voted in our poll yet, be sure to do so at the bottom of this post and also sound off in the comments section.
Brennley Brown (Steal from Blake Shelton): 9%
Blind Audition – “Stupid Boy” (February 27)
Although only 14, this Apple Valley, CA native eventually impressed Alicia Keys and Shelton with her interpretation of Keith Urban‘s 2006 Grammy-winning “Stupid Boy.” She started off shaky but finished strong and chose to go with Shelton.
Battle Round: “Better Man” vs. Lauren Duski (March 20)
Duski did an outstanding job conveying the emotional intricacies of this 2016 Little Big Town tune about a break-up while 15-year-old Brown, whose never had a boyfriend, struggled to connect to the lyrics written by Taylor Swift. After Shelton sided with Duski, Adam Levine and Stefani tried to rescue Brown. Stefani won her over in the end by telling her, “There something about your innocence that I would want to work with.”
Knockout Round: vs. Aaliyah Rose (April 4)
Stefani pitted her two 14-year-old girl singers against each other. Brown opted for the 2007 Patti Griffin folk tune “Up to the Mountain,” which was inspired by the final speech given by Martin Luther King, Jr. before he was assassinated in 1968. The original “American Idol” champ Kelly Clarkson had covered this to much acclaim on a 2007 charity episode of that talent competition. Brown did herself proud, structuring the tune so that it built to an emotional climax. As Rose got her start as a YouTube star with her covers of Meghan Trainor tunes it made sense for this teen singing sensation to pick Trainor’s 2015 top 10 hit “Like I’m Gonna Lose You” as her knockout song. After Stefani went with Brown, her fellow Shelton used his one steal on Rose.
Blind Audition – “Sexual Healing” (February 27)
After an injury ended his dream of playing in the NBA, this 29-year-old Atlantan turned to music. He had barely begun crooning the Marvin Gaye 1982 hit “Sexual Healing” when Levine turned his chair. Keys followed closely behind, soon followed by both Shelton and Stefani. JChosen, who gave a new spin on this old classic, surprised everyone when he went with Stefani.
Battle Round: “I Was Made to Love Her” vs. Kenny P (March 20)
Both artists struggled to connect with this 1967 Stevie Wonder track. Fifty years ago, this tune hit No. 2 on the Billboard Hot 100. On Monday, it didn’t sizzle when sang by either of these artists. But Stefani had to pick one of them to go on to to the knockout round and she went with JChosen. None of the other three coaches chose to use one of their two steals on Kenny P who leaves the competition.
Knockout Round: vs. Brandon Royal (April 10)
JChosen liked the sound of “Without You,” which had been a huge hit worldwide in 2011 for French DJ David Guetta and Usher. Stefani counselled her artist to find the sweet spots in the song that could show off his voice and he aced this song that he dedicated to his ailing mother. Royal, who hails from the Virgin Islands, tried his luck with this 1980 classic by Bob Marley and the Wailers. JChosen was the winner, praised by all the coaches for his song choice, while Royal was faulted for trying to sing a song so associated with one artist.
Hunter Plake (Steal from Alicia Keys): 80%
Blind Audition: “Carry One” (March 13)
The pop band fun released “Carry On” five years ago and this 20-year-old from Baton Rouge, LA managed to make his one voice sound just as strong on this powerful tune about perseverance. Keys and Stefani both wanted to mentor him but he went with Keys as he likes that she writes the songs she sings.
Battle Round: “Dancing on My Own” vs. Jack Cassidy (March 27)
This pairing might have been the last of the night, but it was the first in which two of the three other coaches fought to get the loser for their team. Inexplicably, Keys chose to showcase her two remaining male artists with this 2010 hit tune by Swedish dance diva Robyn. After being denied three full performances in a row, we saw Cassidy and Plake give it their all. Keys opted to keep Cassidy, who sounded stronger in the choruses, while Stefani opted to use her second and final steal on Plake.
Knockout Round: vs. Johnny Gates (April 3)
Plake explained that his father had influenced him to sing the power ballad “I Want to Know What Love Is,” which had been a No. 1 for Foreigner back in 1984. Sitting at the keyboard, Plake personalized this song and delivered a winning performance. Surprisingly, Gates chose Lady Gaga‘s 2016 track “Million Reasons,” that had done just so-so on the charts. And he didn’t accompany himself on the guitar, which left him looking forlorn. While Keys praised him, she didn’t opt to use her steal when Stefani named Plake as the winner of this knockout.
Troy Ramey: 1%
Blind Audition: “Wild World” (March 6)
This 32-year-old New Yorker sang “Wild World,” a plaintive tune written and recorded by Cat Stevens back in 1970. It first appeared on the fourth album, “Tea for the Tillerman,” by this English singer-songwriter. He penned this song as words of wisdom to a lover who is leaving him. Ramey sang it in tribute to his late father and had all four coaches vying for him; he chose his favorite, Stefani.
Battle Round: “Angel Eyes”vs. Jozy Bernadette (March 27)
The Jeff Healey Band had a big hit in 1989 with this track off their first album, “See the Light.” We didn’t get to see much of this match-up on the show. Watching it online, Ramey has the edge over Bernadette in the duet as he conveys the emotion underlying the lyrics.
Knockout Round: vs. Stephanie Rice (April 10)
As this was the last knockout of the series, we knew that Keys would steal one of these artists. Rice delivered a low-key version of “Safe and Sound,” a collaboration between Taylor Swift and country duo The Civil Wars that been featured in the 2012 movie “The Hunger Games.” Surprisingly, Ramey took on Sia‘s 2014 Top 10 hit “Chandelier” and made this vocal showcase his own. After he won Stefani over with his rendition, Rice ended up on Team Alicia Keys.
Quizz Swanigan (Steal from Alicia Keys): 1%
Blind Audition: “Who’s Lovin’ You” (March 2)
At just 13, Swanigan is the youngest artist this season, having taken advantage of the rule change this year to lower the age minimum. This Little Rock, AR native’s rendition of the 1960’s Motown tune “Who’s Lovin’ You” was reminiscent of the young Michael Jackson. While his deep, textured voice had both Keys and Stefani turning, it was Keys who won him over in the end.
Battle Round: “Titanium” vs. Felicia Temple (March 20)
Temple spoke of her personal connection to this 2011 Sia song, which she had used as inspiration when undergoing treatment for cancer. However, she could not overcome the desire by Keys to mentor Swanigan. However, Shelton liked what he heard from Temple – “You can just hear the warmth and that rounder tone that she has” – and stole her away for his team.
Knockout Round: vs. Chris Blue (April 3)
Blue went with “Superstition,” a 1973 No. 1 for singer/songwriter Stevie Wonder. It worked well for him, especially after Keys counseled him to concentrate on conveying the lyrics rather than showboating. Teen talent Swanigan opted for “Chains” by Nick Jonas, a one-time member of a boy band who released this track when he went solo in 2014. After Keys finally chose to go with Blue, Stefani stole Swanigan as she was impressed when he had combined song and dance so effortlessly.