Ding, ding, ding. Last night was the start of the knockout rounds, the part of "The Voice" when the coaches cut their teams in half to determine who will represent them in the live shows.
Each contestant will go head-to-head in a vocal duel with one other member of their team singing a song of their choice. If the coach likes them they get to stay. If not, they end their journey.
But another coach can hit his or her big red button to get the contestant that was sent home in a steal. For the first time in the show's history, each coach has a chance to gain one final contestant in a steal during the knockout rounds.
Team Christina: Amber Nicole (“Mama Knows Best” by Jesse J) vs. Josh Logan (“Living for the City” by Stevie Wonder)
The night's first battle was 17-year-old Amber Nicole versus 24-year-old Josh Logan. While Amber brought the house down with her version of Jesse J’s “Mama Knows Best,” Josh showcased his soul and vocal range with the Stevie Wonder classic “Living for the City.” The judges were impressed by the performances, but Josh won his spot on Team Christina. Amber got CeeLo and Blake to push their buttons to get her in the steal. Amber chose to break the cowboy’s heart by going with Team CeeLo.
Team CeeLo: Kat Robichaud (“You Oughta Know” by Alanis Morissette) vs. Monika Leigh (“Hit the Road Jack” by Ray Charles)
Kat and Monika were the perfect example of picking the right songs for the right moment. Team CeeLo’s Kat showcased her larger-than-life vocals, rock edge and leg kicks while Monika chose a song that showcased a bluesy side of her — but not as much talent — with the Ray Charles classic “Hit the Road Jack.” All of the coaches agreed that Kat delivered a strong performance, and Monika had a little more to work on. At the end of the battle between CeeLo’s “very sexy girls,” Kat was chosen to move on.
Team Blake: Holly Henry (“Creep” by Radiohead) vs. Nic Hawk (“Genie in a Bottle” by Christina Aguilera)
It was time for two of Team Blake’s most unique and unconventional contestants to square off. A shy Holly Henry sang Radiohead’s “Creep” while boisterous Nic Hawk put a new twist on Coach Christina’s hit “Genie in a Bottle.” The coaches agreed Holly had good vocal range, but a lot of nerves, while Nic owned the song and the stage. Coach Blake had the final decision, and chose to keep Nic Hawk on his team for the live show, sending a very upset Holly Henry home.
During one of the best knockout battles of the night, Coach Adam put two of his best voices against each other. Ashley Dubose chose to showcase her vocal range with the Train's “Hey Soul Sister.” She delivered a performance that didn’t do too much or too little, but just enough to stand out. Tessanne Chin chose Kelly Clarkson’s “Stronger,” which was the perfect song for her. Coach CeeLo was a fan of Ashley’s “coffee and cigarettes” vibe, and Coach Christina was blown away with Tessanne and her vocal capacity. Coach Adam however selected Tessanne.
Team Blake: Briana Cuoco (“Don’t Speak” by No Doubt) vs. Shelbie Z. (“Last Name” by Carrie Underwood)
The objective for Team Blake’s Briana Cuoco and Shelbie Z.: Bring the passion. After Blake won her in a steal, Briana wanted to show off a slower, edgier side with No Doubt’s “Don’t Speak.” During rehearsals Coach Blake had to remind Briana that her performance needed just the right amount of cake and icing (good one, Blake). Country vocalist and former pageant queen Shelbie chose Carrie Underwood’s “Last Name.” While all of the coaches agreed Shelbie owned the Carrie Underwood song, and Briana could have given a little more with her performance, it was up to Blake, who ultimately agreed with his fellow coaches and chose Shelbie.
Although Briana didn’t win "The Voice," she is still winning at life. She gets to work for one of the funniest sisters in the world.
Team Adam: Grey (“Already Gone” by Kelly Clarkson) vs. James Irwin (“Breakeven” by The Script)
Team Adam’s Grey and James Irwin delivered two of the night’s slower performances. Cruise-ship singer Grey performed Kelly Clarkson’s “Already Gone” to showcase her various vocal range and strengths, while James Irwin not only picked a song that would show off his talent, but also had a special meaning to him. Coaches Blake and CeeLo agreed there were minor pitch problems between both contestants. The final decision was up to Coach Adam, who chose to keep Grey for the live show.
Team Christina: Destinee Quinn (“See You Again” by Carrie Underwood) vs. Olivia Henken (“You’re No Good” by Linda Ronstadt)
According to Coach Blake, both girls were consistently good and bad. Coach Christina recognized that nerves got the best of both contestants and when it came down to making her tough decisionm she asked if Shakira could come back and do the show. In the end, Olivia Henken won.
Team CeeLo: Cole Vosbury (“Let Her Go” by Passenger) vs. Jonny Gray (“We Can Work it Out” by The Beatles)
Cole chose Passenger’s “Let Her Go," a song that not very many people are familiar with, but delivered a performance that made everyone in the room fall in love with the song. Former airman Jonny Gray performed a Bob Dylan-esque version of The Beatles' “We Can Work It Out.” Coach Adam agreed that he would press his button for whomever CeeLo chose to send home, leaving both Cole and Jonny with hope that they will move on. In the end, Jonny won a spot on Team CeeLo.
Adam and Blake both pressed their buttons to steal Cole. After an intense minute to think it over, Cole chose Team Blake.Copyright © 2015, The Baltimore Sun