“The Voice” on Monday night aired its first knockout rounds of the fifth season.
There are a few key differences between the knockout rounds and the battle rounds we witnessed the previous few weeks. Though teammates are still paired two at a time, each artist sang a hit of his or her choosing. And unlike the battle rounds, these performances were not duets.
In the knockout rounds, each of the four coaches — Adam Levine, Blake Shelton, Christina Aguilera and Cee Lo Green — has one save he or she can use.
Here’s what happened on Monday’s episode:
Amber Nicole and Josh Logan opened the knockout rounds for Team Christina. Amber was first up with the Jessie J song “Mamma Knows Best.” Josh responded with Stevie Wonder’s “Living for the City.” Adam said Amber’s performance was an “incredible package,” but Josh showed a lot of range with his vocals. Blake added that Josh has improved with each round under Christina’s tutelage. Christina declared Josh to be the winner. Cee Lo and Blake both jumped in and tried to steal Amber. She chose to team up with Cee Lo.
Team Cee Lo’s Kat Robichaud faced off against teammate Monika Leigh. Kat covered Alanis Morissette’s “You Oughta Know.” Monika put a cabaret-type spin on Ray Charles’ “Hit the Road Jack.” Adam favored Kat because she was a “natural.” Blake wondered if the show has ever hosted two sexier artists on the stage at the same time. Cee Lo thought Monika’s talent was “lost in translation.” Kat advanced, and Monika went home.
Holly Henry, 19, and Nic Hawk of Team Blake squared off. Holly belted out the Radiohead single “Creep.” Nic infused a reggae sound into Christina’s dance-pop hit “Genie in a Bottle.” Christina applauded both for their display of bravery. Adam joked that he misses his old contestant Nic and goes to sleep thinking about him. Blake said it was a tough decision for him to make because Holly and Nic are such different artists. He picked Nic, and Holly was eliminated.
Ashley DuBose was matched with Tessanne Chin for Team Adam. Ashley sang Train’s “Hey, Soul Sister,” while Tessanne performed “What Doesn’t Kill You (Stronger)” by Kelly Clarkson. Cee Lo said Tessanne has a “lioness”-type quality about her. Adam went with the artist he felt was the strongest: Tessanne. He said goodbye to Ashley.
Team Blake’s Briana Cuoco — sister of The Big Bang Theory star Kaley Cuoco — and Shelbie Z were placed in the next knockout round. Briana channeled her inner Gwen Stefani with No Doubt’s “Don’t Speak.” Shelbie countered with Carrie Underwood’s “Last Name.” Blake expressed his opinion that Shelbie simply out-sang Briana and is a more accomplished vocalist. Briana is gone from the competition.
James Irwin and Grey both made a bid to advance for Team Adam. Grey delivered her rendition of Kelly Clarkson’s “Already Gone.” James performed The Script hit “Breakeven.” Blake said Grey gave James the opportunity to shine; he thought James won the round. Christina complimented James on his “rich tone.” Adam said both did a fantastic job. Grey triumphed over James.
Team Christina’s Destinee Quinn was opposed by Olivia Henken. Destinee was up first with Carrie Underwood’s “See You Again.” Olivia followed with Linda Ronstadt’s “You’re No Good.” Adam called it dead even. Blake agreed, though he noted that both had problems with their vocals. Christina admired Destinee’s emotion, yet she felt her and Olivia let their nerves take over. Olivia moved on in the competition, and Destinee was dismissed.
Cee Lo artists Cole Vosbury and Jonny Gray met in the final knockout round of the night. The scruffy Cole played his acoustic guitar on “Let Her Go,” by the British artist known as Passenger. Jonny offered his take on The Beatles’ “We Can Work It Out.” Blake argued that Cole had more control over his performance. Christina supported Jonny. Cee Lo named Jonny the winner. Adam and Blake then tried to use their save on Cole. Jonny picked Blake as his new coach.
The knockout rounds continue on NBC Tuesday night with a two-hour episode that begins at 9 p.m. Eastern time.