“The Voice” moved on to the Knockout rounds last Monday and Tuesday and finished with them this Monday. These are the final pre-taped episodes of the competition that cull the 32 remaining artists down to 20 for the live shows. The four coaches — Alicia Keys, Adam Levine, Blake Shelton and Gwen Stefani — no longer picked the songs that their artists perform in match-ups against each other. However, they did get to declare a winner of the sing-off and each can steal one of the rejects of the other three.
On last Monday’s episode, Levine and Stefani did just that when they plucked up Lilli Passero and Quizz Swanigan respectively (vote for which was the better choice of those two here.) Likewise, last Tuesday, Shelton chose to use his steal on Stefani’s cast-off Aaliyah Rose (vote for whether that was the right choice here.)
That left only Keys with a steal to use on this Monday’s episode. As she was presenting one of the knockouts, that meant she had six chances to steal. She left it to the last match-up, when she threw a lifeline to Stephanie Rice from Stefani’s team. Rice’s rival, Troy Ramey, took on Sia‘s 2014 Top 10 hit “Chandelier,” made this vocal showcase his own and won the vote of his coach.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.”
Was Rice the right choice? Keys took a pass on five artists before then. Below, take a read of our review of their performances and then weigh in with your choice as to the best of the six possible steals by voting in our poll and sounding off in the comments section.
Blake Shelton: Andrea Thomas (“Cry”) who lost to Lauren Duski (“When You Say Nothing At All”)
Duski went with “When You Say Nothing At All,” a 1995 country hit for Alison Krauss that Irish singer Ronan Keating turned into a pop hit in 1999 when it was featured in the film “Notting Hill.” It worked well for her, especially after Shelton counseled her to concentrate on conveying the lyrics. Thomas opted for a pop version of “Cry” a 2002 country No. 1 for Faith Hill.
Adam Levine: Davina Leone (“Toxic”) who lost to Jesse Larson (“The Letter”)
Larson rocked the house with “The Letter,” a 1967 No. 1 for The Box Tops that Joe Cocker covered in 1970. His singing was matched by his guitar playing. As Leone got her start as a YouTube star with her covers of Britney Spears tunes it made sense for this teen singing sensation to pick Spears’ 2004 top 10 hit “Toxic” as her knockout song.
Adam Levine: Malik Davage (“Rock with You”) who lost to Mark Isaiah (“Love Yourself”)
Davage had a good time with “Rock With You,” which had been a hit for his idol, Michael Jackson, back in 1979. Levine had warned him to make sure that we could hear every word of the lyrics and he tried hard to deliver on his promise to do so. Isaiah went with “Love Yourself,” a 2015 No. 1 for Justin Bieber. Under the guidance of his coach, Isaiah worked on structuring the tune so that it built to a climax and on the night, he wowed all the coaches with his powerhouse performance.
Gwen Stefani: Brandon Royal (“Redemption Song”) who lost to JChosen (“Without You”)
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.
Blake Shelton: Caroline Sky (“At Last”) who lost to Aliyah Moulden (“Before He Cheats”)
Moulden connected with the crowd with her rendition of Carrie Underwood‘s Grammy-winning “Before He Cheats.” With the guidance of her coach, she gave this 2005 country tune an edge. Sky tried her best with “At Last,” the 1941 big band tune that Etta James made her own in 1960. Even though she did a decent job, her coach opted for Moulden, who had been with his team from the blind auditions.