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The Voice – It’s a Hard Knockout Life

The knockout round is new to The Voice this season, and I had a good feeling about it. The executive producers did a good job this year of spicing up the show without changing it too much or taking away what viewers originally liked.

In the knockout round, singers from the same team would compete singing individual songs (so, different than the duels), with only one moving on.

Can we talk about all the Taylor Swift and Carly Rae Jepsen being sung on the show this season? It’s like every contestant is trying to cater to a core audience of Jill Mader, TV Blogger and tween girls. Thanks for thinking of me, guys!

Team Adam

Joselyn Rivera singing “Love on Top”
I like this Beyonce song a lot, and it really showed off Joselyn’s voice. She was a good steal for Team Adam, and even though the songs were very quick, I thought the performance did a lot to show off her skills.
Kayla Nevarez singing “Shark in the Water”
I vaguely knew this song (from a TV promo for Degrassi, sadly) but it’s catchy. However, it didn’t sound as good as Joselyn’s song. It was fun and I like Kayla, but Joselyn outsang her and deserved to move forward.
Winner: Joselyn Rivera

Joe Kirkland singing “Mean”
I loved this song choice. It was risky and fun at the same time and showed the ability to think outside the box. The teen girls in the audience LOVED it, which makes me think this kid knows how to pander to voters. I’m on board. I mean, he’s gotta be better than One Direction, right? (OMG, maybe if he gets famous Taylor can date him! She’s dumped the Kennedy, after all.)
vs. Bryan Keith singing “Everything I Do (I Do It For You)”
Ugh. Am I at a bad wedding? I hate this song. Brian Adams gets played too often on Canadian radio, and his only good song is “Summer of ’69″. (Hello, hate mail!) I thought Bryan’s pitch was off (something he has in common with Brian Adams! Ha! Hello, more hate mail!) For me, Joe easily won this.
Winner: Bryan Keith (Boooo!)

Amanda Brown singing “Paris (Ooh La La)”
I have really, really liked Amanda so far and I think she’s been somewhat of an underdog. Only Cee Lo turned around for “Valerie” at the blind auditions, and then she got matched up against someone really good for the duels and was stolen. I like her diverse song choices. Amanda was oversinging a lot, I thought, but she was using her limited time to show off her voice. She is a fantastic singer.
vs. Michelle Brooks-Thompson singing “Spotlight”
I like Jennifer Hudson, but I always thought this song was a bit boring. I don’t think it showed off as much personality as Amanda’s choice did. They’re both wonderful singers, but on a creative, personal basis I appreciate Amanda’s style more.
Winner: Amanda Brown

Loren Allred singing “You Know I’m No Good”
Loren nailed the sultry vibe of this song. She’s beautiful, she can sing, and I loved how she ended the song. I think she took the advice Adam gave her and ran with it, delivering a great performance that differed enough from Amy Winehouse’s original to stand out.
vs. Nicole Nelson singing “If I Ain’t Got You”
Nicole can definitely sing, but she falls into the same R&B powerhouse category that Amanda and Michelle did. The song was a little bit of a copycat of the original, and I had a feeling that Adam might go for Loren to create a more diverse team.
Winner: Loren Allred

Melanie Martinez singing “Bulletproof”
This was an interesting song choice for Melanie. Since she did “Toxic” so well I figured she could do it, but it makes her seem like a one trick pony. Melanie’s stock is in her weirdness, not her singing ability and that bothers me a little. I was surprised by parts of it, but I didn’t think it was anything special.
vs. Sam James singing “Walking in Memphis”
Ugh. I do not care for this song, and it is SO overdone. It’s a great way to seem like a typical bar singers, that’s for sure. Sam sounded, you know, fine. But I feel like you can see a similar performance in about seven different bars in Halifax on a Saturday night. Plus he didn’t open his eyes once.
Winner: Melanie Martinez

Adam’s team is looking really strong now. I really like Amanda, Loren and Joselyn.

Team Cee Lo

Avery Wilson singing “Yeah 3x”
Ugh. I think I just threw up in my mouth. Nothing makes you feel sicker than finding out a song you liked is by Chris Brown, huh? I tried to keep that disturbing fact from my mind when Avery performed, because I think he’s a prodigy. This was nowhere near as good as “Titanium” was, but I’d love for Avery to become a huge R&B star and entirely replace Chris Brown from the pop music scene. I asked that of NeYo and he failed. Anyway, I think Avery’s dancing might have taken away from his vocals.
vs. Cody Belew singing “Jolene”
I love this song and was excited to hear Cody sing it – but I was also disappointed that he was up against a frontrunner like Avery. He did really well, I loved his rendition. It was a difficult choice – Cody won this round, but I thought Avery would win based on his previous stellar performances.
Winner: Cody Belew (Wow. I am shocked. Avery’s performance wasn’t great, but he’s a crazy talented kid. I hope his phone is ringing off the hook with record execs right now.)

MacKenzie Bourg singing “Call Me Maybe”
Carly Rae again, Mac? OK. Well you won’t have a problem with me – I love CRJ, I almost dressed as her for Halloween. (I didn’t, because it would have been regular Jill, holding a telephone.) I liked this rendition (it’s probably closer to the one Carly Rae herself originally wrote) and I just dig this little Harry Potter kid’s style.
vs. Daniel Rosa singing “Back to December”
I mean, “We Are Never Ever Getting Back Together” is more of the moment, but this is pre-taped so we’re singing about Taylor Lautner instead of Jake Gyllenhaal. It was a sweet performance, but it didn’t compare to MacKenzie’s.
Winner: MacKenzie Bourg

Terisa Griffin singing “Saving All My Love For You”
This was a much better fit for Terisa’s voice than the Gloria Estefan song Blake stuck her with in the duels. It was a little too expected, but it was good.
vs. Trevin Hunte singing “Against All Odds”
This is an overdone song on reality TV singing shows, so I wasn’t excited about it. But Trevin sang really well, so putting aside my personal beefs with song choices, it was a good performance. I didn’t have really strong feelings on this one, but I loved seeing the sweet, close relationship between Terisa and Trevin.
Winner: Trevin Hunte

Mycle Wastman singing “Don’t Let The Sun Go Down On Me”
This is another supremely overdone song on shows like this, and Mycle’s performance was pretty vanilla. I just didn’t think there was anything special about it.
vs. Nicholas David singing “Put Your Records On”
And then there’s Nicholas, who is all special, but is he a great singer? I like him, but I’m not sure he can go much further than this. I found myself wishing that they hadn’t been paired together, because I wanted both singers from the next pairing to stay.
Winner: Nicholas David

Caitlin Michele singing “Bring Me To Life”
Evanescence was a pretty predictable song for Caitlin, and while it was one she sounded great on there was nothing unique or exciting about it.
Diego Val singing “Are You Going My Way”
Vocally, this wasn’t Diego’s strongest performance. But it was fun and energetic and I think the guy is born to be a rock star. I liked both Caitlin and Diego, but I had to take Diego here. I just like the guy.
Winner: Diego Val

Cee Lo has a very cool team, but I’m really surprised it doesn’t include Avery. I really thought he might win it. Cee Lo has some quirky singers, but I don’t know if he has anyone that has what it takes to win the whole thing.

What did you guys think of the first knockout round episode? I liked how quickly we moved through performances, and I’m excited to see Team Christina perform tomorrow.

The Voice – It’s a Hard Knockout Life

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