In the first two Knockout rounds of “The Voice” last week, coach Alicia Keys pitted three pairs of her artists against each other. She had to choose one singer in each duet to take on to the live shows. Her last pairing (Jack Cassidy versus Vanessa Ferguson) will perform on the April 10 episode. That night, Keys will also get a chance to steal one of the rejects of the other three coaches.
Keys lost her only season of “The Voice.” Which of her artists to survive the knockouts so far do you think could win her the competition this season? Below, a description of what each of these three did to get her attention. Be sure to cast your vote in our poll and then sound off in the comments section.
Blind Audition: “Tracks of My Tears” (March 14)
When Blue sang, Keys was the only coach still in need of an artist. The Knoxville native, 26, sang the blues with his rendition of “Tracks of My Tears,” the 1965 hit for Smokey Robinson and the Miracles. Even though no other coach was contending for this talent, he is a good fit with Keys.
Battle Round: “Adorn” vs. RJ Collins (March 21)
Singer/songwriter Miguel had a big hit in 2012 with this chart-topping soul song. Blue dominated the duet while Collins struggled to connect with the lyrics. Gwen Stefani left no doubt which artist she preferred, gushing to Blue, “I don’t even know if I was listening to your voice, because I was so mesmerized by your body.” Not surprisingly, Keys picked him. And with no other coach wanting to steal Collins, he left the competition.
Knockout Round: vs. Quizz Swanigan (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. Thirteen-year-old 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.
Ashley Levin (Steal from Blake Shelton)
Blind Audition: “Let Him Fly” (March 2)
This 23-year-old Miami native delivered a stellar blues-tinged rendition of Patti Griffin‘s 1996 track “Let Him Fly.” Keys, Blake Shelton and Stefani all turned after she was a good ways into the song and Shelton convinced her that he would be the best fit for her style.
Battle Round: “How Blue” vs. Casi Joy (March 20)
This pairing might have been the last of the night, but it was the first in which all three of the other coaches fought to get the loser for their team. Joy and Levin were both outstanding as they crooned Reba McEntire‘s 1984 No. 1 country hit. Before revealing his choice, Shelton acknowledged he had made a mistake with this match-up: “I told you girls from the second I heard you singing together, I wish I hadn’t.” After he opted to take Joy to the knockouts, the others touted for Levin, who went with Keys in the end.
Knockout Round: vs. Lilli Passero (April 3)
Levin tackled “Fancy,” a 1969 hit for Bobbie Gentry that Reba McEntire had made her own in 1991. She decided to add some soul to this country tune and the combo worked wonders. Passero took on “Tears Dry on Their Own,” a 2007 R&B hit for Amy Winehouse, and was a revelation. Keys struggled with her decision before choosing Levin. After Adam Levine and Shelton made their case to Passero, she opted to become part of Team Adam Levine.
Blind Audition: “Runaway Baby” (February 27)
Despite only being 16, this California girl has been singing for years. Her version of the 2010 Bruno Mars hit “Runaway Girl” had all four judges hitting their buttons. They were surprised to discover that this big voice was coming out of such a little girl. After each made an impassioned plea for her vote, she chose to work with her idol, Keys.
Battle Round: “Tightrope” vs. Missy Robertson (March 2o)
As with Shelton’s first battle, this one pitted a woman against a teenager. However, while Brown struggled with her song, Villaranda soared when singing Janelle Monae‘s 2010 soul track, which was featured on the third season finale of “90210.” By comparison, Robertson was subdued and did not inspire any of the other three coaches to want her for their teams.
Knockout Round: vs. Dawson Coyle (April 4)
Coyle went with “Demons,” a 2013 hit for the rock band Imagine Dragons. It worked well for him, especially after Keys counseled him to concentrate on conveying the lyrics. Villaranda opted for a pop version of “Two Black Cadillacs” a 2012 country No. 1 for Carrie Underwood, the 2005 winner of “American Idol.” After Keys finally chose to go with Villaranda, Coyle was hoping for a steal from Shelton but it was not to be.