The Voice Season 3 Knockout Round 2 Recap: Christina Aguilera and Blake Shelton Make Some Harsh Cuts
Oh, knockout rounds, how we hardly knew thee. We only started getting to know each other, and just like that, they’re over. Things were great, maybe moved a little fast, but we had some great high notes, some fun times, and even a squeak of approval from Cee Lo’s lady friend, Lady Bird.
Things have been getting personal but pretty soon we really get serious, because next week it’s on to the live rounds, and that means contestants are playing for keeps.
But, we still got to have a little bit of fun with the last of the knockout rounds tonight, so why don’t we enjoy it while it lasts?
Here we go:
Devyn Deloera vs. Laura Vivas
Devyn Deloera and Laura Vivas were hand picked by coach Christina Aguilera for the first knockout pairing of the night. Hoping to kill it with a Whitney Houston classic, Devyn went with “I Have Nothing,” and rocking some crimped hair and impressive voice trills, she called to mind a (healthy) ‘80s era Whitney with her performance.
Meanwhile, firecracker Laura Vivas salsa stepped her way across the stage with Marc Anthony’s “I Need To Know.” With a fire that was bordering on angry, her aggressive performance was only outdone by her (bilingual) vocals, earning her a “Caliente!” and requisite leer from coach Cee Lo Green.
Christina, however, admitted that she had a “connection” with Devyn, and chose her (to the shock of her fellow contestants backstage).
Adriana Louise vs. Celica Westbrook
Next up were another pair of similar sounding songstresses, Adriana Louise and Celica Westbrook. It looked like the coaches were hoping to get their artists to do some of their dirty work for them, forcing to them sing even harder to stand out from other artists in the same genre.
Adriana was ready to shake it up, moving from her usual pop songs to power ballad with Kelly Clarkson’s “Already Gone.” Of course, the necessary outsinging by her coach in rehearsals did nothing to calm her nerves, but that’s standard team prep for Xtina. In the ring, Adriana brought her best, killing her version of the song, and even getting fellow teammate De’Borah Garner, backstage, to exclaim that she “felt that.”
Celica meanwhile, went for a pop tune with a twist, calling on Justin Bieber’s “Never Say Never” to hopefully take her to the next round. At performance time, the different take on the song made it nearly unrecognizable, and we’re not sure if that was a good or a bad thing.
Post performance, Blake Shelton played it cool, calling both a bit “pitchy” (earning a WTF? look from Adam) but Christina didn’t seem to notice as she tapped Adriana to move forward.
The first matchup of opposites came in the form of Alessandra Guercio and Dez Duron, in a “battle of the heartthrobs” as coach Blake Shelton put it. While Alessandra was saved from Team Adam by Christina, she was still having some issues bringing that voice to the next level. Singing Rihanna’s “Take A Bow,” Alessandra gave it her best shot, and turned out a pretty stellar showing.
Meanwhile, fangirl-favorite Dez Duron knew his strengths, and played them up with his choice of Lionel Richie’s “Stuck On You.” His voice carried the song for sure, but one long stare at coach Christina pretty much put him over the edge, and he sailed through to the live rounds.
Chevonne vs. De’ Borah
Next up, was a battle of personalities as much as it was of voices, with Chevonne put up against De'Borah Garner. Formerly of Team Cee Lo, Chevonne knew she had to switch it up, and chose Billy Idol’s “Dancing With Myself” in a bid to keep it fresh. In the ring, Chevonne certainly lived up to her Lady Gaga esque performing roots, giving a high energy, over the top performance that quickly turned into a whirlwind of red hair and bedazzled leather.
De’Borah went a bit more serious, going with The Fray’s “You Found Me.” Starting out much softer, and then revving up to a power finish, De’Borah answered Chevonne’s performance with that unique touch she somehow always seems to pull out of her back pocket.
Even after the performance, Chevonne was still riding that performance high and had a bit of sass left for Cee Lo, reminding him that she was in fact a former member of his team (one for Chevonne!), and then pretty much ignoring him on her exit after losing to De’Borah. No hard feelings, Chevonne.
For Christina’s last knockout, we had Aquile and Sylvia Yacoub. Sweet-voiced Aquile chose another song known for its honey toned vocalist, “Grenade” by Bruno Mars. Clearly Aquile knew what he was doing because his effortless performance was not only completely solid, but totes heart melting.
Hoping to get on her coach’s good graces, Sylvia chose to go with Christina’s own “Fighter.” Bold choice yes, especially when Christina felt the need to remind her who really owned the song all through rehearsals. Well clearly Sylvia took a page out of her inspiration’s book, storming on stage in a glittery number with a foot stamping performance. It was clear that she couldn’t quite top the original, and ran out of breath at various points, but she managed to pull it together by the end and earn some impressed nods from Christina.
After a pretty spot on impression by Cee Lo of Randy Jackson (whose name apparently means nothing to Blake Shelton), Christina got serious and went for Sylvia over Aquile, rounding out her poptastic quintet.
Gracia Harrison vs. Liz Davis
Meanwhile, on team Blake’s farm, we were back to those samesies style pairings, as he pit blond country bombshells Gracia Harrison against Liz Davis, who took two very different approaches to their knockout round.
Gracia decided to shift gears and instead of falling back on her country roots chose “Don’t Want To Miss A Thing” by Aerosmith. It was a pretty rendition, sure, but it lacked some of the fire that the coaches needed at this point. And enter Liz.
Liz went a bit more strategic with her song choice, going with “Gunpowder and Lead” by Miranda Lambert aka Mrs. Blake Shelton. A gamble for sure, but one that really paid off because her head shakes and kick-ass ‘tude brought her over the edge, and into the live shows.
Next up were the two rockers with questionable hair, Rudy Parris and Terry McDermott. Rudy felt it was necessary to recapture his youth on The Voice stage with his choice of Chris Brown’s “Forever.” This isn’t exactly the picture we call to mind when thinking of him, but once in the ring, Rudy tried his best, even if “double your pleasure, double your fun” sounded a bit strange coming from him.
Terry didn’t quite get so out of character with his choice of Paul McCartney’s “Maybe I’m Amazed.” And for his part, that was probably the right choice, because the song was a great fit for his classic rock voice, and both the audience and coach Blake could tell he was more than comfortable on stage.
Blake appreciated Rudy taking a risk but ultimately was more impressed by Terry’s ridiculous talent, picking the Scottish import for the live rounds.
Collin McLoughlin vs. Michaela Paige
The next battle was between former Team Adam’s Collin McLoughlin and Michaela Paige. As a new member of Team Blake, Collin made every effort to fit in with his new team (even sporting a matching denim shirt and jeans to Blake’s own). Singing The Script’s “Break Even,” he did well, if not fantastic, struggling a bit with his falsetto but clearly having a great time up there, which goes a long way.
Michaela was on the younger end of the spectrum, but despite her lack of years, her voice went right up against Collin’s as she sang Pat Benatar’s classic “Love Is a Battlefield.” It’s really hard to go wrong with that song, because honestly as it fits into almost any romantic comedy montage, so it was no surprise that coach Blake went with Michaela over Collin in the end.
For the next round, Julio Cesar Castillo took on Blake’s “steal” MarissaAnn. Julio wanted to step out of his mariachi style box, and go with something far more mainstream, in the form of Justin Bieber’s “Somebody To Love.” In the ring, Julio looked like he was concentrating a little too hard on getting every word right rather than his overall stage presence, making the vibe a little stiff.
Even though she’d been cast off from Team Christina, MarissaAnn still wanted to prove her powerhouse capabilities, and possibly make the diva regret her decision with her choice of “Lady Marmalade” which, oh yes, Christina also recorded during her Moulin Rouge days. Strutting on stage with her interpretation, MarissaAnn certainly made her point, hitting those same notes like a pro, earning a Christina Aguilera trademark “feelin’ it” finger roll from her chair.
Blake, meanwhile didn’t feel the same, telling them both that he had “more invested in Julio,” choosing him over the mini Christina.
Cassadee, who knows a thing or two about making it in Hollywood from her “Hey Monday” band days, chose to draw from her Top 40 background, taking on Adam Levine’s, oh, we mean Maroon 5’s “Payphone.” She started out a little shaky, but pulled it together by the end, earning a polite golf clap from Adam.
Suzanna didn’t go for broke with this round, choosing the low key “Could You Be Loved” by Bob Marley, which seemed liked an odd choice but Suzanna thought she had enough personal flair to make it work. It was a hard song for the “competition environment” as Christina rightly pointed out, and while passably pleasant, wasn’t enough to win it, earning her the Blake boot in favor of Cassadee Pope.
Well, it was fun while it lasted but goodbye sweet knockout rounds. Next week, things get serious with the live shows!