Kelly Clarkson forced to pair up 3 artists in ‘The Voice’ knockouts after Cody Ray Raymond withdraws from competition [WATCH]

During Monday’s episode of “The Voice,” Kelly Clarkson paired up Kymberli Joye, Zaxai and Natasia Greycloud in the second knockout round of Season 15. It was a rare three-person knockout since blues singer Cody Ray Raymond had to withdraw from the reality TV competition for personal reasons. Kymberli took on “The Middle,” Zaxai wowed with “Cruisin'” and Natasia sang “Tennessee Whiskey.” After a brief deliberation, Kelly advanced both Kymberli and Zaxai to the live shows, but Natasia’s journey wasn’t over yet. Watch Kymberli’s “The Voice” video above and read the coaches’ comments below.

“Kymberli, I’m lucky I ended up with you on my team,” Kelly readily admitted, referring to the moment in the blind auditions when she blocked Jennifer Hudson from getting Kymberli. “I can press a button faster than Jennifer. That’s my superhero power — distraction. The song was so wordy, but you slowed it down, even put some other stuff in there. That’s just a testament of how innate your skill is.”

“Natasia, you are a force,” Kelly continued. “You have an incredible voice. The higher head voice stuff is flawless. And Zaxai, Mariah Carey and I in rehearsals, we were already like, oh my gosh. And then you came out here — what?! You are incredible.” After picking both Kymberli and Zaxai, Blake Shelton jumped in at the last minute to steal Natasia for his team, explaining, “Going into the live playoffs I need some females on my team, so I’m in shock that I was able to get Natasia.”

In his “The Voice” live blog, our recapper John Benutty had this to say about the knockout: “As a gospel singer, Kymberli decided to do something a little different for this round with ‘The Middle’ by Zedd, Maren Morris and Grey. Her choice to show off her diversity impressed Mariah, both in her song choice and in the variety of notes she hits throughout the song. In order to honor his father, Zaxai chose Smokey Robinson‘s ‘Cruisin’ for his first performance as a member of Kelly’s team. Though she thought the classic voice lane was a good for Zaxai’s voice she did seem a little hesitant in her confidence in him.”

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