Finally! Seasons 9 of The Voice’s Knockout Rounds are here. During these performances, singers are once again paired up with a fellow teammate. However, this time around each artist gets to choose his or her own song to sing. In the end their coach – Adam Levine, Gwen Stefani, Pharrell Williams or Blake Shelton – decides which artist in each pairing gets to stay and perform in the Live Rounds. Each coach is also given one “steal” during this round to save an artist from another team that would otherwise be out of the competition.
Not only did we move on to a new segment on the show this week, but also Rihanna was introduced as this season’s key advisor. In this role, Rihanna helps out members of each of the four teams as they prepare for their performances.
So here are the knockout performances from tonight:
- Team Adam
Andi and Alex vs. Blaine Mitchell
The first performances of the night were from twin sister duo Andi and Alex and Blaine, who Adam stole from Blake’s team in the Battle Rounds. Andi and Alex decide to sing Keith Urban’s “Stupid Boy.” Both Adam and Rihanna are impressed by their angelic harmonies. However, Adam makes one of them get rid of her guitar so that she can have an equal presence on stage to her sister.
Meanwhile, Blaine chooses to sing “Hold Back The River” by James Bay. During Rihanna claims that Blaine is “sick” and that she “lives for” his crazy hand movements. His strong rock vocals make him an actual contender for his battle against the twins.
In the end, Blaine makes the bigger splash in his performance. It is clear that being on the brink of leaving last week gave Blake just what he needed to make it to the Live Rounds. Thus, Adam keeps Blaine and sends Andi and Alex packing. Unfortunately, none of the coaches were blown away by the sisters’ performance, and they all keep their steals for later in the knockout rounds.
- Team Gwen
Braiden Sunshine vs. Ellie Lawrence
Next is 15-year-old Braiden Sunshine, the youngest competitor left in the running. He opts to sing Michael Buble’s version of “Feeling Good.” Both Rihanna and Gwen try to get him to loosen up during rehearsals and embrace the “theatrical” song. They also try and convince him to slick his hair back for the performance, which Gwen claims he refused to do last time.
Up against Braiden is Ellie Lawrence, who chooses to sing “Cool For The Summer” by Demi Lovato. Gwen tells her she is the “popstar of [her] team” and, therefore, she needs to let out her inner sassiness.
Braiden takes the stage with his hair slicked back (looks like Gwen and Rihanna were able to get their way). He showed off his strong, bluesy vocals and seemed to come out of his shell as the song progressed. Unfortunately, Ellie didn’t have as good of a performance. Her vocals were constantly flat, and the whole song felt karaoke, especially in comparison to Braiden’s performance minutes before. Not surprisingly, Gwen ends up saving Braiden and Ellie is sent home.
- Team Blake
Blind Joe vs. Barrett Baber
The next pairing was between Team Blake’s Blind Joe and Barrett. Blake explains that it only seemed “fair” to pair the two up, as they are his resident “veteran country singers.”
Barrett decides to sing “Colder Weather” by Zac Brown Band, as he believes he can connect to the song on a very personal level. During rehearsals, Rihanna tells Barrett that he should stop being “polite” when performing and be more fearless. On the other hand, Blind Joe chooses “Don’t Let Your Babies Grow Up to be Cowboys” by Waylon Jennings and Willie Nelson. Rihanna is blown away by his rehearsal and expresses how “sexy” she thinks he is when he performs. Soon after, Joe is seen off-camera with a big grin saying “doesn’t get much better than Rihanna calling you sexy.”
In the end, the judges were all impressed with Barrett’s performance and the emotions he evoked in his vocals. Thus, Blake decided to keep Barrett and Blind Joe was sent home.
- Team Pharrell
Amy Vachal vs. Madi Davis
Pharrell decided to pair up Amy with Madi, as they both have delicate yet powerful voices.
16-year-old Madi decides to sing “A Case of You” by Joni Mitchell, as she sees Joni as a model for who she wants to be as an artist. Rihanna coerces Madi to “round off” her vocals so that they are more powerful and after some practice, she successfully does so.
Amy is a soft-spoken singer and therefore “Sunday Kind of Love” by Etta James is completely fitting. The song is the perfect vehicle for her jazzy, angelic tone. Rihanna decides to take away Amy’s guitar and tells her to embody the song with her stage presence. Amy reveals that she is intimidated by the prospect of trying to feel sexy on stage like Rihanna wants her to.
During the knockout performances, Amy gives a good performance but, unfortunately, there was no huge standout moment. On the other hand, Madi’s performance was much more dynamic. Therefore, Pharrell ends up saving Madi. Fortunately, Blake and Adam push their button to steal Amy. She eventually ends up choosing to join Team Adam.
- Team Blake
Chance Pena vs. Ivonne Acero
Blake’s second pairing was between Chance and Ivonne, both of which he stole from other teams during the Battle Rounds.
During rehearsals, Chance belted out “Demons’ by Imagine Dragons. He says he identifies as a folk singer but wants to show that he has range. Rihanna advises him to be weary of singing flat during the verses, as his voice tends to do so when he sings in his lower register. Meanwhile, Ivonne decides on “Part of Me” by Katy Perry for her performance.
Unfortunately, Chance pretty much digs his own grave, as his song choice is unable to showcase his vocals, and he seems to be rushing throughout it. Ivonne puts her own spin on Perry’s hit song and wins over Blake. Thus, Chance is sent packing.
- Team Adam
Jordan Smith vs. Viktor Kiraly
The last pairing of the night was between Adam’s Jordan and Viktor. Jordan decides to go for it and chooses to sing “Set Fire to the Rain” by Adele. However, in the rehearsals, Jordan proves he has the powerhouse vocals that the song requires.
Viktor decides also to challenge himself with “I Ain’t Got You” by Alicia Keys. He has trouble in rehearsal getting out of his head and tries to stop focusing on the practicalities of the song and think more about the meaning behind the lyrics.
Furthermore, even with an Alicia Keys song Viktor is unable to outshine Jordan’s incredible range and power. Thus, Adam ends up picking Jordan to stay on his team. Fortunately, Viktor proved himself enough to earn a spot on Gwen’s team.
That’s it for tonight. You can watch as the Knockout Rounds continue on The Voice tomorrow Tuesday, October 27.