In the first two Knockout rounds of “The Voice” last week, coach Blake Shelton pitted two pairs of his artists against each other. He had to choose one singer in each duet to take on to the knockout rounds. And he stole one artist for his team from rival coach Gwen Stefani. His other four artists – Malik Davage, Mark Isaiah, Jesse Larson and Davina Leone — will perform on the April 10 episode.
Shelton has won five of his 11 previous seasons on “The Voice.” Which of his artists to survive the knockouts so far do you think could win him the competition this season? Below, a description of what each of these three did to get his attention. Be sure to cast your vote in our poll and then sound off in the comments section.
Blind Audition – “Blue” (March 1)
Saving the best for last on this episode, Joy was the only one of the seven acts seen that got the support of all four judges. She put her own spin on the 1958 country classic “Blue” by Bill Mack that won LeAnn Rimes a Grammy in 1996. While Joy was open to trying different genres, in the end she chose to go with Shelton, her favorite country singing star.
Battle Round: “How Blue” vs. Ashley Levin (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 made their case for Levin, who went with Keys in the end.
Knockout Round: vs. Felicia Temple (April 3)
Joy connected with the crowd with her rendition of Maren Morris‘ Grammy-winning “My Church.” With the guidance of her coach, she gave the 2016 country tune an edge. Temple tried her best with “My Heart Will Go On,” the “Titanic” theme song that had been a worldwide hit for battle round mentor Celine Dion in 1997. Shelton had stolen Temple from Keys and she tried hard to show him and us that he had not made a mistake. Even though she made this iconic song her own, her new coach opted for Joy, who had been with his team from the blind auditions.
Aaliyah Rose (Steal from Gwen Stefani)
Blind Audition: “Rise Up” (March 6)
Stefani was the only coach impressed by this 14-year-old from Provo, UT who delivered a stirring version of “Rise Up,” a track from Andra Day‘s 2015 debut disc “Cheers to the Fall.”
Battle Round: “Treat You Better” vs. Savannah Leighton (March 21)
Viewers were denied more than a few seconds of these two artists singing this 2016 Shawn Mendes pop hit. “The Voice” producers should have listened to the lyrics and treated them better. Stefani went with Rose. With no coach throwing her a lifeline, 16-year-old Leighton, who had wowed in the blind auditions with Katy Perry‘s 2013 hit “Unconditionally,” was gone for good.
Knockout Round: vs. Brennley Brown (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, “because she’s got this incredible presence; she’s got this old voice to be only 14 years old, and it’s just fascinating to me.”
Blind Audition: “Take Me to the River” (March 13)
This Richmond, VA native made Al Green‘s 1974 hit “Take Me to the River” sound like a contemporary tune with his unique song stylings. The 29-year-old went with Shelton over Adam Levine as he liked his endorsement of his sound.
Battle Round: “In the Midnight Hour” vs. Josh Hoyer (March 27)
Shelton pitted two of his strongest artists against each other on this 1965 hit for Wilson Pickett. Not surprisingly, TSoul connected with this similarly styled song as that of his blind audition and was Shelton’s pick. Although Stefani praised Hoyer neither she nor Levine used one of their steals on him.
Knockout Round: vs. Enid Ortiz (April 4)
Ortiz had gotten Shelton to turn for her in the blind audition with “All I Ask,” a track off of Adele‘s Grammy-winning album “25.” She returned to that disc in this round and went with the No. 1 tune “When We Were Young.” While she delivered an emotional rendition of this ballad, TSoul stole the show with his powerhouse performance of the 1962 Otis Redding classic soul song, “These Arms of Mine.” With Shelton choosing to take TSoul to the live shows, Ortiz needed Keys to thrown her a lifeline but it was not to be.