The Voice 2013 Live Recap: The End of the Knockout Rounds! (4/30/2013)
As quickly as the knockout rounds began they will be coming to an end tonight on The Voice 2013. Last night’s episode chopped Adam Levine and Shakira’s teams in half, eliminating some impressive talent in the process.
Tonight Team Usher and Team Blake Shelton will be in the hot seat as they battle for their musical lives. This episode is so epic, NBC has extended it to make two hours of knockout rounds goodness.
The winners will go on to the live shows where America will finally be given the opportunity to vote their favorites through to the next stages of the competition.
So don’t miss a moment of tonight’s episode starting at 8 p.m. ET on NBC and running for two hours!
We could call this a battle of country crooners, but almost every artist on Team Blake Shelton is a country crooner. First Blake pitted singer-songwriter Savannah Berry against seasoned performer Justin Rivers. Oddly, both artist opted for pop hits with Savannah singing Justin Bieber’s “As Long As You Love Me” and Justin singing Miley Cyrus’s “The Climb.”
Honestly both performances were extremely underwhelming, and though Justin had more opportunities to let his voice shine, we couldn’t fully respect a grown man singing Miley Cyrus in a seemingly unironic way.
Usher noted Savannah’s ability to “transcend” genres, but gave the knockout to Justin, and most of the other coaches agreed. Blake, admitting that Savannah was his favorite going into the competition, shocked Savannah by picking Justin
Up next was a battle of beauty when Usher put former model Josiah Hawley against hair stylist Jess Kellner. Wanting to show off his more vulnerable side, Josiah picked Amy Winehouse’s “Back to Black.” But Jess had a story to tell as well and opted to sing James Morrison’s “You Give Me Something.”
Josiah’s performance was about as underwhelming vocally as those that have come before. But he wore a tight black T-shirt, so most of America will probably forgive him. Unfortunately Jess struggled with what we can only hope was a poor song choice. Her breath control was shaky and she frequently struggled with pitch, reaching for high notes.
We couldn’t have agreed more with Adam Levine when he said he felt like the two contestants should have done each other's songs. Blake said Josiah’s performance seemed a bit “calculated” ... whatever that means, naming Jess the winner.
Usher said he felt like Jess could have given it a bit more, and complimented Josiah’s transition into more of a “bad boy.” Ush ultimately decided to move Josiah forward as a tearful Jess left the ring empty handed.
Calling Holly Tucker’s voice a “gift from the Gods,” it seemed pretty clear that Blake came into this knockout pairing with a clear bias. The former marching band member decided to sing Tim McGraw’s “Live Like You Were Dying,” which Blake tried to call a daring choice considering Tim is a man and Holly is, well, not. We might buy that reasoning if every other artist to perform tonight hadn’t already done the same thing.
In fact, Luke does the same thing when he picks Katy Perry’s “Teenage Dream.” Did we mention homeboy is a former Dalton Warbler? Unfortunately, Luke thought he could sing about someone putting their hands on him in his skin tight jeans while wearing metallic pants and stay on Team Blake.
Adam begged Blake to make the right decision, clearly favoring Luke, but Usher didn’t like that Luke transitioned the song into R&B.
Blake sited Luke’s lack of “rangy” (sure, that can be a word) skills in his mellow performance, and sided with Holly for the win. Adam refused to accept Blake’s decision, continuing to call him an idiot and Shakira happily agreed. Waka waka.
These pop powerhouses were ready to duke it out for the title. Sassy former model Audrey Karrasch picked Lil’ Wayne’s “How to Love,” and Ush was desperate for this singer to get intimate. So intimate that he stood less than a foot away from her in rehearsals. Could we please trade places, Audrey?
Michelle wanted to trade intimacy for intensity singing P!nk’s “Raise Your Glass.” Her energy got so high that she had to pump it up with some push ups in rehearsals and Ush worked out alongside her!
When it came time for the actual performances, Audrey struggled with breath control and diction, and Michelle’s energy lit up the stage. Maybe the model could have benefitted from some of her competitor’s workout routine.
The coaches really fed off Michelle’s energy with Blake saying he felt as if Michelle had won the lottery moments before hitting the stage. Ush liked Michelle’s enthusiasm and decided to send her on to the live shows.
Claiming that Danielle and Taylor were both young (duh) and had confidence issues, Blake Shelton decided to put them against each other. Umm, Blake, have you heard Dani’s giant voice? That’s not shy.
Danielle decided to show just how confident she was when she picked power ballad “Jesus Take the Wheel.” Taylor didn’t quite convince us of her confidence when she picked Rihanna’s “Russian Roulette,” saying she wanted to show off a “softer side.” Haven’t all of her sides been soft thus far?
Once again, Danielle showed off her mature sound while juxtaposing it with her meek appearance. And though her higher notes had power, Taylor’s weak start and pitchy low notes made us want to “pull the trigger” and send her home.
Apparently Blake Shelton agreed and quickly moved Danielle forward.
Ush decided he could only focus on one R&B singer moving forward so he decided to put his two hip hop hopefuls, C. Perkins and Vedo, up against one another. Singing Chris Brown’s “She Ain’t You,” C. Perkins struggled to hit some of the melodies in rehearsals.
But C. might as well start writing out his full first name (Spoiler alert: It’s Craig) because Vedo’s singing “Everything I Do (I Do It For You)” … aaand cue the waterworks.
C. “Crotch-Grabber” Perkins gave a semi-memorable performance about wanting another woman while being with someone else (classy, Chris Brown). As if Vedo didn’t already have this one sealed, C.’s voice cracked at the very end of his performance, solidifying his fate.
Then Vedo took to the stage in a heavenly white shirt and blew us away. Seriously, there aren’t enough tissues in all of Walgreens to handle the situation we had as Vedo looked up into The Voice’s spotlights (read: heaven). We were almost too emotional to listen to the coaches’ commentary, but then Shakira started bouncing in her seat bopping her perfectly curled hair.
Blake was quick to question what C. stood for (umm, amateur hour, BS), proving he doesn’t understand any language (Spanish, hip hop, English) except country. Adam told C. Perkins that Vedo clearly stole the win and Ush agreed, naming Vedo the winner.
In one of his first really country pairings, Blake Shelton picked Memphis, Tenn. singer Grace and Oklahoma natives The Swon Brothers. Grace picked Tina Turner’s “I Can’t Stand The Rain” to show off her soulful side, but Blake was worried about some of the lyrics getting lost in her Southern drawl.
As the only remaining duo left in the competition, The Swon Brothers opted to sing Uncle Kracker Dobie Gray’s “Drift Away.” And we wanted to ... drift away from cliché competition songs.
Unfortunately, Grace’s knockout round struggled and we’d like to think that with a different song choice she might have advanced. Blake’s heart rested with his Okie buds and he advanced the duo to the live shows.
Blake was excited to have a bunch of downhome ... honkey tonk ... tobacco chewing ... (and some other rednecky adjectives) country artists moving into the live shows. Umm, congrats?
One of the most drastically different pairings was also the last of the night. Team Usher’s Latina steal, Cáthia, opted to sing Kelly Clarkson’s “Mr. Know It All” for her first song in English on the show.
And soulful Ryan wanted to show more of a rocker side to his sound picking Gavin DeGraw’s “I Don’t Wanna Be.”
When it came time for the actual performances, Cáthia shocked us with her powerful song and falsetto riffs, proving she still deserved a spot in the competition.
Ryan may have come in as a competition favorite, but you wouldn’t know that from his knockout performance. Clearly rock is not his strong suit. Vocally leaping from painful note to painful note, we cringed as Ryan attempted to “get down.”
Usher seemed shocked that Adam was not impressed by Ryan, thinking that the tattooed rocker might be trying to throw him off. But thankfully Ush came to his senses and went with his steal over his former coach favorite. Cáthia was the final contestant to fill out Usher’s team for the finals.
What did you think of tonight’s performances? Weigh in below!