The Voice 2016 – Live Blog and Recap – The Knockouts, Part 3 (VIDEO)
Welcome to the live blog and recap for The Voice 2016, “The Knockouts, Part 3”! Coaches Adam Levine, Blake Shelton, Christina Aguilera, Pharrell Williams and host Carson Daly set out to find the next great singer!
The Knockouts come to the end as the coaches finalize their teams for the live playoffs! Miley Cyrus is back as key advisor for the final Knockouts of the season!
But who will advance? Who will be eliminated?
Keep it locked right here, as I’ll be updating with commentary, results, and videos as soon as they become available!
Let’s get this show on the road!
-It’s the final round before the live playoffs! I can’t believe it’s already here, honestly. But I’m more than ready for it. On that subject, let’s get going with tonight’s first Knockout round match-up…
TEAM ADAM LEVINE: BRIAN NHIRA VS. NATE BUTLER
-Brian is stoked to be working with superstar coaches, while Adam is downright stunned by how good Brian is, and how lucky he is to have taken him from Pharrell. He feels Brian is special, as evidenced by his version of “Grenade” by Bruno Mars. I’m not crazy about the song choice, but Miley seems to love it, singing along with Brian during the rehearsal. Nate, meanwhile, will be singing “Let’s Stay Together” by Al Green, which is a much better song choice, even though I don’t like Nate’s voice as much as Brian’s. Don’t get me wrong, both are terrific singers. But I think this battle might disappoint a bit. Anyway, Miley tells Brian he needs to inject more of his own personality into the performance, while Adam tells Brian he needs to dig deeper into the vibe of the song. It seems clear who’s going to end up winning this battle, from the edit.
-Brian Nhira sings his take on “Grenade” by Bruno Mars, and I like it. I’m not blown away or anything, but Brian’s tone tells me he has huge, Matthew Schuler-esque potential in this competition. Seriously, “Grenade” has never been my favorite Bruno Mars song, but I liked the way Brian finessed this song, delivering the aggression of the track without compromising the smoothness of his vocals. Nate is up next, and his version of “Let’s Stay Together” by Al Green is surprisingly soulful, on the one hand. But on the other hand, it’s not necessarily a knockout performance either. His voice is good, to be sure. But it’s just not going to be enough to overcome Brian, unless Adam is on the same sort of crazy pills that caused him to pair Owen Danoff against Ryan Quinn.
-Blake felt Brian set the stage on fire, so much so that he felt bad for Nate. But then Nate came out and was a complete badass! So he’s torn on this one. Christina loved Brian, but was surprised by the amount of soul Nate displayed. Pharrell agrees with Nate’s soulfulness, although he thinks Brian was a 10/10 in every category. Adam gives it up for Nate, saying he made Al Green proud with his version. He notes that while Brian is new to his team, he did an outstanding job. Adam makes his choice…
BRIAN NHIRA WINS THIS KNOCKOUT!
-After the performance, Nate thanks Adam for the opportunity, admitting that he didn’t even think he’d make it this far.
TEAM BLAKE SHELTON: BRITTANY KENNELL VS. MARY SARAH
-Mary freaks out upon meeting Miley Cyrus, and tells her a story about how she broke down crying after seeing Miley in concert as Hannah Montana. Mary will be singing “You Ain’t Woman Enough to Take My Man” by Loretta Lynn, which is an amazing song for her voice. Mary already kind of reminds me of a young Loretta Lynn, so this is a great song choice. Miley loves how Mary performs the song, and Blake compares it to hearing a young Patsy Cline cover Loretta Lynn. Miley encourages Mary to go for moments, by bringing out the growl in her voice. She thinks Mary could be a good thing for country music, but doesn’t want her to lean too hard on her traditional country sound. Brittany’s mentoring session doesn’t go as smoothly, as it doesn’t seem either Blake or Miley is all that crazy about Brittany’s choice of “You’re Still the One” by Shania Twain. That said, Miley has some good pointers about how to make it her own, even singing a few lines from the song while Blake flips out about hearing “Miley singing Shania.” I mean, she DID slay it just then.
-Mary’s version of “You Ain’t Woman Enough to Take My Man” is really good, although she didn’t really listen to Miley’s advice, from what I heard here. It was still a great vocal, but I think I agree with Miley, in that Mary leans a bit on her traditional sound, and that runs the risk of making her sound old fashioned and irrelevant. With that said, I hope she advances regardless, because I really like her, and I want to see her evolution in the competition. Brittany is up next, and this was just the wrong song choice for her completely. Her voice is SO sleepy here, like it’s coated in molasses or something. I’ve been a fan of Brittany throughout the competition so far, and while her tone is consistent here, she is SO much better than this.
-Christina thought this was a well-matched pairing, and says she loved Mary’s song. She couldn’t find anything wrong in it. However, for Brittany, she felt the performance lacked punch. Pharrell agrees, saying he didn’t feel the emotion of the song from that performance, whereas Mary delivered “sass” and a fuller range of emotions. Adam thought Brittany was great and subtle, noting that she did a lot to make it her own. But he feels she got a bit overpowered by Mary Sarah, which is why he’s picking Mary for this one. Blake praises Brittany for how she worked on pulling out her vibrato, which really helped. He then praises Mary for bringing a classic voice with a youthful country sound. He makes his decision…
MARY SARAH WINS THIS KNOCKOUT!
-Blake is sad to see Brittany go, but he feels something special happens every time Mary is onstage. Backstage, Mary can’t contain her excitement, in what just might be the cutest backstage celebration yet. For her part, Brittany admits that this isn’t the result she was hoping for, but she plans to keep pursuing music regardless. Best of luck to ya, Brittany!
TEAM CHRISTINA AGUILERA: BRYAN BAUTISTA VS. TREY O’DELL
-So, as a half-Dominican/half-Puerto Rican singer (Wepa!!!), Bryan admits he has a deep love of reggaeton, so he’ll be singing Justin Bieber’s “Sorry,” which has a similar vibe. Miley didn’t think it was too over-the-top, but she wants to see more from him. Christina agrees with Miley, saying that Bryan’s choices are good, but that he needs to show more. On the second run-through, both Miley and Christina are really impressed by his change, particularly his KILLER falsetto. Meanwhile, Trey will be singing “I Live” by OneRepublic. Christina is actually really impressed by Trey from how he tackles his runs. Miley and Christina want him to work on his confidence though, since this is about presentation. So they suggest adding a microphone stand to steady him, and it works wonders. Christina points out the improved confidence, although she warns against too much vibrato. Miley admits the same happens to her sometimes, and that can make a voice sound pitchy. So it’s all about keeping it nice and smooth.
-Bryan’s version of “Sorry” is pretty terrific. Seriously, I didn’t think it sounded great in rehearsals outside of the falsetto, but this is a great performance. I just wish the emotion reached his face a bit more, since he’s grimacing throughout half the song. Still, I can’t front on this vocal at all. This was just killer. Trey is up next, and while I like his tone a lot, this vocal is all over the map. There’s a lot of vibrato here, and it leads to some pitch issues, since I’m not entirely sure he’s on-pitch. That said, it’s clear that a lot of it was nerves, judging by how his hands were shaking at the end. I like Trey, but I don’t think this was his best. Still, I think he’s someone who could grow a lot more with a little more mentoring.
-Pharrell praises Bryan for what he brought to a well-known song, while noting that Trey had some nice moments in his vocal. That said, he’s got to give it up to Bryan. Adam is impressed by Bryan’s range, and would pick him for the win, although he notes that some of the issues in Trey’s voice will be ironed out with time. Blake praises former team member Trey, but feels he’d give this one to Bryan. Christina knows Bryan has a lot more experience than Trey, but she was impressed with how cleanly he ended the song. But with that said…
BRYAN BAUTISTA WINS THIS KNOCKOUT!
-Trey plans to keep working in school and in music, feeling that there are big things ahead. That’s a great attitude to have.
TEAM PHARRELL WILLIAMS: ABBY CELSO VS. CAITY PETERS
-Abby is overjoyed to meet Miley Cyrus, and says she never expected to be standing here, in a million years. However, she struggles with tears when reflecting on how much she wishes she could share this with her mother, who’s passed away. She knows her mom is with her in spirit though. Abby will be singing “Rich Girl” by Hall and Oates, and Pharrell is impressed by the lower tone of her voice, comparing her to singers such as Brandy, Beyonce and Miley. Miley gives suggestions on how to structure her runs to give them more punch. It’s a great mentoring session, and I think it illustrates why Miley just might end up surprising a lot of people as a coach next season. Meanwhile, Caity will be singing “Leave Your Lover” on Sam Smith, and it’s a great song for her, considering she loves the low notes of her voice. Caity says she loves singing soulful music, so she wants to show off that side of her voice. But Miley suggests a more nuanced approach, warning that indulging the low notes could hold her back. She admits she may have overwhelmed Caity with too many notes, but that’s kind of what Miley is there to do, isn’t it?
-Abby goes first, and while I preferred the rehearsal version, I still think this is a great performance, loaded with character and personality. Seriously, Abby has tons of skill, not just as a singer but as an engaging performer. And yet, as much as I adore Abby and loved that performance, I think Caity just blew her away with her version of “Leave Your Lover”. This is an outstanding vocal, and the best of the night so far, in my opinion. It’s so nuanced, and shows the full range of her voice, from the high highs to the low lows. This was just gorgeous.
-Adam praises Abby, but he loves the smoothness and uniqueness of Caity’s lower register and says he’d go with her in this battle, since she has different shades of color in her voice. Blake gets on Adam’s case about the shades of color in his hair, before giving it up for both girls. But, much like Adam, Blake picks Caity. And so does Christina. Pharrell says there’s no denying the way Abby takes control of the stage and delivers all that vocal power, while Caity delivers an emotional and spiritual power. He compares it as a choice between Storm and Wonder Woman. He makes his decision…
CAITY PETERS WINS THIS KNOCKOUT!
-Caity is shocked, but happy to continue working with Pharrell. Back in the studio, Abby thanks Pharrell, saying she’s been humbled by this experience. Pharrell admits this was a tough choice because he wanted Abby to remain on the show, but he felt Caity offered more of an emotional connection.
TEAM ADAM LEVINE: JESSICA CROSBIE VS. LAITH AL-SAADI
-Adam is excited to work with Jessica, since she’s a great singer with an “ethereal” kind of voice. She’ll be singing “Wake Me Up” by Avicii featuring Aloe Blacc, and while Miley gets into the song by singing along, they feel she needs to open up more in order to show them how she stands out. Adam feels she should elongate some of her notes and show off her tone. She’s at 99%, but he wants her to show up at Knockouts at 110%. Laith, meanwhile, is stoked to continue working with Adam. For her part, Miley wishes she could have a beard like Laith. He’ll be singing “In Your Eyes” by Peter Gabriel, one of Adam’s favorite songs. He wanted to do something less growly, and wants to show a different side of himself. Adam can appreciate that, but feels he should give more of his distinctive growl. He suggests Laith sing the song in the original key, in order to force him to strain for the notes, since it’s beautiful. He wants to feel the same chills from Laith that he feels from hearing Peter Gabriel sing those first few lines.
-Laith is up first, and I’m impressed. Adam’s suggestion to sing in the original key was a great suggestion, because it really brings out the power and the grit in his voice, which gives a new feeling to this song. It’s not my favorite vocal of the night, but it’s my favorite vocal I’ve heard from Laith. Jessica is next, and she starts out by taking Adam’s advice a little too literally. She elongates notes, but chooses the wrong ones to elongate, which has the result of having her rushing to catch up with the music. I love her tone on this, and I think she sounds gorgeous. But the performance just sort of loses steam towards the end, lacking any sort of emotion or passion. I have no idea what happened there.
-Blake thought Jessica sang the song pretty well, but thought Laith steamrolled the song, so he’d give it to Laith. Pharrell thought Laith showed a lot more range, but thought the emotions didn’t reach the heights they’re used to from him, noting he only reached 75-80%. He felt Jessica did deliver those emotions though, so he’d give it to Jessica. Christina praises both singers on their range and versatility, while Adam seems torn on whom to pick. He says he’s going to choose based on something he can’t really ignore, which is his gut feeling that there are great things they can do, moving forward…
LAITH AL-SAADI WINS THIS KNOCKOUT!
-I guess I’m surprised, but not really all that shocked, if that makes any sense. Laith is unique and engaging, so it makes sense Adam would choose him.
-We then get a brief montage showing how Adam completed his team, as…
CAROLINE BURNS DEFEATS KATHERINE HO with her version of “Human” by Christina Perri. Poor Katherine, she got Rebekah Samarin’d. This is only the second time in the history of the show where a performer who’s made it to the Knockouts has ended up having all three performances montaged. It’s incredibly disrespectful, and I have no idea why they do it. At least rotate somewhat, so people aren’t getting montaged in back-to-back performances. So lame.
TEAM CHRISTINA AGUILERA: JOE MAYE VS. KATA HAY
-Joe is excited to meet Miley, saying he wants be like her. He’ll be singing “Earned It” by The Weeknd, noting how he plans to flip the song. Miley is impressed by how growly and rock-styled he made this version, especially since The Weeknd’s version is still so fresh in her mind. But Christina warns Joe about how he transitions out of the runs. She also wants to see more passion, telling him he should start out as “a sexy panther” but be a lion by the end of it. Meanwhile, Kata will be singing “Why Haven’t I Heard From You?” by Reba McEntire, a country track with a rock edge that allows Kata to also explore her blues capabilities. Miley feels the song was made for Kata, and the compliments leave her feeling humbled. Christina offers a suggestion for Kata to swing the guitar around her back halfway through, and just grab the mic and work the stage. It’s good advice, and I’m interested to see how it pans out.
-Joe is up first, and it’s smokey and smooth. Unfortunately, his falsetto isn’t as good here as it was in rehearsals. But even then, I can’t front on Joe’s talent. He’s got such a great tone, and he does a tremendous job of injecting passion and soul into the performance, following Christina’s advice of starting out like a panther but ending like a lion. Hell, he finishes on his knees! This was badass! With that said, Kata really stole the show with her performance. It was a total package type performance, delivering a solid, gritty vocal with an engaging amount of stage presence.
-Pharrell loved how Joe took the song to the next level, but says he can’t front on Kata. Adam thinks everyone is showing what they’re made of, but feels Kata just destroyed it. Blake feels Kata’s personality fills the room, but says Joe is the revelation for him, noting how he came alive at the midway point of the song. Christina thinks both singers bring showmanship. Although she thought the beginning needed work, she felt Joe’s performance ended strong. Meanwhile, she thought Kata brought a lot between her guitar, her stage presence, and her vocal prowess. Christina makes her choice…
KATA HAY WINS THIS KNOCKOUT!
-Backstage, Kata shares a tearful hug with her father in one of the sweetest moments of the season. But back in the studio is where the big stuff happens, as…
BLAKE SHELTON STEALS JOE MAYE!
-Blake has wanted Joe since the blind auditions, and feels his team needs the diversity Joe will offer. Backstage, Blake congratulates Joe on advancing to the live playoffs.
WATCH AND DISCUSS: Joe Maye and Kata Hay Stun In Final Knockout of The Voice 2016 (VIDEO)
-And that’s a wrap! But what did you think of tonight’s show? Sound off in the comments!
Until tomorrow night, thanks for reading and hanging out!