It’s kind of a shocker that Monday’s knockout match-up of Hunter Plake vs. Johnny Gates actually sent one of those terrific artists home. Coach Gwen Stefani had two of her top male stars against each other, probably hoping that one would be stolen by “The Voice” rival coaches Adam Levine, Blake Shelton or Alicia Keys. After Hunter sang “I Want to Know What Love Is” and Johnny took on “Million Reasons,” she chose Hunter as the person who would compete on her team in the Season 12 live rounds beginning April 17. But that means Johnny’s journey is now over (watch their knockout performances below).
Our writer Denton Davidson ranked this battle as a great one on Monday. He says, “If there is an artist on this season I could imagine on the radio right now, it would be Hunter who gave a soul-stirring performance of a Foreigner classic. His emotional delivery and recognizable tone once again stood out while keeping his authentic sound intact. Following him with a recent Lady Gaga tune was Johnny, who I have considered a frontrunner since his blind audition. The charisma he has on stage is tough to compete with, but this battle was as close as it gets. Gwen may have shocked some people when she chose Hunter as the winner, but I believe she made the right call. But I also believe the remaining coaches missed out on a great steal in Johnny, and instead sent him home early.”
Be sure to read through our recent power rankings of all four teams: Team Adam, Team Alicia, Team Blake, and Team Gwen. You can also tour through each original team’s photo galleries within these same articles.
The NBC bio for Hunter: “Hunter was influenced by church and music from a young age by his family. His dad was in the Christian rock band Brother Brother and he’s been leading worship since he was 14. ‘The Voice’ is his first time performing outside of church. Recently married, he records demos with his brother in his home studio. He lost his home, church and car after the Baton Rouge floods and is currently living with his parents in Lafayette, helping repair the church in his spare time.”
The NBC bio for Johnny: “Johnny started pursuing music at 18 when he was asked to join the band Runaway Saints because he had awesome hair.” They performed locally in Rhode Island and moved to Nashville in 2008. Nathan Chapman, a Taylor Swift producer, took them under his wing, but after multiple album setbacks, Johnny moved to Los Angeles. Not long after moving, he opened for Rod Stewart for three weeks on a Midwest tour. The band is currently on a break, but Johnny continues to play around the L.A. scene.”