The Voice 2013 Live Recap: The Knockouts Begin! (10/28/13)
Season 5 of The Voice maybe be done with the battle rounds, but the fight is just beginning! October 28 marks the first round of knockouts with coaches Adam Levine, Christina Aguilera, Cee Lo Green, and Blake Shelton looking to whittle their teams down to the strongest of the strong performers. In the end, they'll cut down by half to prepare for live shows.
Seeing as we left battles with arguably the strongest Top 32 to date, there are some tough choices ahead! Plus, for the first time in the show's history, each coach enters knockouts with one steal a piece. Sounds like a perfect recipe for drama.
So are you ready to begin? Good. Remember, keep refreshing this page throughout the show for up-to-the-minute recap news.
To start knockoffs, Team Christina pairs Amber Nicole against Josh Logan. During her practices, 17-year-old Amber adds some of her own personal flare to Jessie J's "Mamma Knows Best", a tune she picked because "I feel like this song was made for me." Xtina supports the choice, just advising Amber to watch how sharp she is and to move around the dance floor a bit more.
Amber's opponent, Josh Logan, also goes for a character-infused number: Stevie Wonder's "Living For The City". Christina wants him to get out of his own head while singing but overall compliments his take on the classic. Who will win? It seems pretty evenly matched to us at this point...
After a strong showing by both contestants, the coaches have nothing but praise for the two. "I keep discovering you, bro," Cee Lo says of Josh after complimenting Amber's "great song choice." Adam agrees the singers are evenly matched, calling Xtina's choice a "tough" one. Blake (reluctantly) praises Christina's teaching abilities. "It's called being a great coach," she says before picking Josh as the winner of this first knockout round.
But never fear! Not one but two coaches throw a steal down for Amber: Cee Lo and Blake. Both want her badly on their respective teams with Amber ultimately choosing Cee Lo and "breaking the cowboy's heart," as host Carson Daly so helpful puts it. Thankfully, no one belts into a rendition of "Achy Breaky Heart".
Cee Lo gets his first taste of Season 5 knockouts with two powerhouse female performers. Kat Robichaud tackles Alanis Morissette's classic "You Oughta Know" giving it all the kicking, growling, and scratching we could hope for in the iconic rocker chick anthem. Monica Leigh counters with a sultry version of Ray Charles's "Hit The Road Jack." Will Kat's powerful vocal beat out Monica's soulful number? Cee Lo looks to thoroughly enjoy each performance, wiggling weirdly during both.
"That was amazing. You're both crazy good singers," comments Adam, saying Kat's demented rock star look scares him at times. "I don't think we've ever had two more talented and sexy girls on the stage at the same time," Blake adds, ultimately picking Monica for her entrancing talent. "Man, this is a tough choice," Xtina chimes in before Carson sends it back to Cee Lo.
The winner? "I don't want to lose either one of you," he says, which is nice and all but unfortunately doesn't happen. Kat's the winner and Monica heads home.
Blake's first knockout round features Holly Henry and Nic Hawk, a pairing the country star made because of their individual ability to "add their own twist to what they're singing." Holly shows she's not afraid of a challenge by picking the vocally taxing Radiohead classic "Creep." She loves its "haunting melody" and wants to showcase her range as a singer.
On the other end of the vocal spectrum, Nic takes on "Genie In A Bottle" by the one and only Christina Aguilera. The song's been drastically rearranged from Xtina's original hit. During performances, Christina looks to approve of the changes, doing a quick "Genie" choreograph from her seat. "You just brought me down memory lane," she says during critiques, complimenting both on their bravery on stage.
When we get to Blake, it's clear the coach has had a long think on which contestant to pick. "I'm happy and I'm sad right now because I don't think there's a better display of two artists who have a better idea of what they want to me," Blake says.
At the end of some hemming and hawing, Nic's the one moving on to the live shows. Holly's sent packing but not before Christina whispers some encouraging advice in her ear. Everybody's a winner!
"This is a battle of power," Adam says of his knockout contenders, Ashley DuBose and Tessanne Chin. Both women got all four chairs turned during auditions so we know they can already pack a punch. Ashley picks Train's "Hey, Soul Sister" to showcase the "fun, upbeat side of me" while Tessanne opts for Kelly Clarkson's "Stronger."Unfortunately for Tessanne, her practice session with Adam is anything but strong with her voice needing some TLC. Despite the rough start, Adam's confident the knockout will be a good one.
Wearing bright yellow, Ashley adds some sunshine to the stage giving a warm, cheery performance. It's a stark contrast to Tessanne's amped up number, which, honestly, kind of blew Ashley out of the water. As Cee Lo put it, Tess was "a lioness" and it's kind of hard to beat a lion.
"This is tough but it's time to move forward," Adam says. His pick for live shows? Tessanne.
"My heart was beating so strong right now," she tells the camera as Ashley walks off with a smile on her face.
It's a girl power kind of night! Briana Cuoco and Shelbie Z. face off in Team Blake's second knockout round. Briana picks "Don't Speak" by No Doubt while Shelbie Z. turns to a tried-and-true favorite, Carrie Underwood's "Last Name". "I win every time I sing that song," Shelbie Z. says of her song choice. But will she this time?
Christina compliments Shelbie Z.'s confident performance while she points out Briana had a few issues with the vocal. Cee Lo concurs and so does Blake saying it was a simple case of Shelbie Z. out-singing Briana. As sad as we are to see Briana go, we have to give Shelbie Z. props for really bringing it when it mattered.
Guess she was right about that Underwood song being a surefire hit.
Adam wants emotion during this knockoff round, pushing contestants Grey and James Irwin to their limits. Wedding singer Grey picks "Already Gone" by Kelly Clarkson (what we say about it being girl power night?). For his part, James decides on The Script's "Breakeven."
Clearly listening to their coach, Grey and James go in for the tears during their respective songs. So whose heart will Adam break tonight?
"Man, you left the door open a little bit for James," Blake says of Grey (you kinda did, girl) while Christina throws down some heavy-duty singing jargon and Cee Lo notes the warmth of James's voice. Adam was impressed by both, calling them "fantastic" before deciding to take Grey to the next round. "She could easily get [to the very top]," Adam says as his new teammate heads backstage and James waves goodbye.
There's only room for one country artist on my team, Christina says, hence her duel between Destinee Quinn and Olivia Henken. Both ladies rock a similar pop-rock-country vibe and have equally dissatisfied situations that they'd rather not return to if knocked off The Voice (Destinee performers at a biker bar; Olivia works for her grandma).
For her knockout showing, Destinee performs "See You Again" by Carrie Underwood (was there an American Idol lady artists theme nobody told us about?) while Olivia sings Linda Ronstadt's "You're No Good".
"It's really strong on both sides," Adam says, to which Blake (surprisingly) agrees. "Destinee, you operate on emotion," Christina says. "Olivia, we've all been guilty of letting our nerves take over at one point or another." The dead heat between the two sends Christina for a loop. "Can Shakira come back, please?" she jokes. "This is hard."
Eventually, Xtina goes for Olivia. Sorry, Destinee! And sorry, Shakira. We miss you, too.
For the final voice to voice competition of the night, Cee Lo has Cole Vosbury and Jonny Gray give it their best shot. Thankfully, the boys aren't being judged on their ability to grow hair; that would be an unbreakable tie.
Trying to make a little-known number — "Let Her Go" by Passenger — his own, Cole brings out the guitar during his performance. It's a good choice and his soulful crooning has even his competitor swaying in his seat.
Jonny takes a totally different approach by picking a hit by the Beatles: "We Can Work It Out". His twang lends the classic a singular Jonny flavor but his stage presence leaves a little to be desired.
"These are my two biggest regrets right here," Adam says. "I think you're both spectacular so I don't care who he picks because I'm picking the other one." Well, that's nice but does Adam live up to his promise? Yes, and of course Blake can't let that go. Both coaches hit their big red buttons and we love it.
"Stay with me here. We're good over here, you and me," Adam says when he sees Cole's eyes straying to Blake. The country legend plays up his down-to-earth roots, which ultimately wins over Cole. Well, at least Adam still has his electric powered moped.
What did you think of tonight's knockouts? Did your favorite contestant advance to the live shows? Sound off in the comments below!