The Voice 9 – Live Blog and Recap – The Knockouts Premiere, Part 2 (VIDEO)
Welcome to the live blog and recap for The Voice 9, “The Knockouts Premiere, Part 2”! Coaches Blake Shelton, Adam Levine, Gwen Stefani and Pharrell Williams are getting help from a very special key advisor for this round, as multi-time Grammy winner Rihanna joins the show to work with the coaches and artists for this stage of the competition!
Tonight, the Knockouts rage on! But it’ll be a tall order for tonight’s show to top last night’s positively stellar round of Knockout battles! Could the winner be part of tonight’s lineup? And will any of these contestants be stolen? Each coach gets just one steal for the Knockouts, and only Blake and Pharrell have steals remaining!
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!
-We open with the coaches discussing tonight’s show, and Gwen saying she wants to have a smile headache by the end of the night. Blake then rubs Adam’s head and makes a wish — namely, that Adam regrows his hair. Judging by The Voice coaches’ appearance on The Tonight Show last night, he already has.
TEAM GWEN STEFANI: KORIN BUKOWSKI VS. SUMMER SCHNAPPEL
-Korin absolutely flips when she sees Rihanna. And she’s singing “All I Want” by Kodaline, and the judges like it, but Gwen feels she isn’t getting enough emotion from Korin, so she suggests the girl take off her glasses. I don’t know why she’s obsessed with making people removed their glasses, since she did the same thing to Braiden Sunshine last night. That said, Korin doesn’t look as suddenly lost and awkward as Braiden did (although, to his credit, he did get over it pretty quickly and end up delivering one of the best Knockouts of the night). Summer sings “Little White Church” by Little Big Town, in an impressive performance at the rehearsal. However, Gwen feels Summer needs to be a little bit clearer with the story of the song, and Rihanna agrees, telling her to get sassy and less smooth. This is one of Rihanna’s favorite country songs, and she wants Summer’s attitude to match it, saying she should be singing it as if she’s saying, “You can’t get this. Not until there’s a ring on this finger.” I LOVE RIHANNA SO MUCH, YOU GUYS.
-Korin starts out, and I really enjoyed this. Not as much as her previous performances, mind you, but I definitely think she’s someone who could go far, if given the right songs. She’s growing as a performer and a storyteller, and it’s compelling to watch. Summer is up next, and I’m honestly a little disappointed. She was so great in rehearsals, but this felt like too much, like she focused far more on the performance and all her little movements than on the vocal. She just sounds off-key at times. That said, she has a great tone, so I wouldn’t completely write her off. After all, she’s basically Gwen’s only chance at competing with Blake for the country demographic.
-Adam praises Summer for her spunk, and says he’ll take her down to the little white church, if only to avoid getting his ass whooped by her. However, he’d pick with Korin, because he feels like he’d be able to do more with her. Gwen notes she’s already tearing up with anxiety here. Blake thinks both acts sing very well, but states that Summer is an entertainer, so it all boils down to what Gwen is looking for. Pharrell praises Korin for her falsetto and for conveying the message of her song, and then calls Summer a firecracker. Gwen is torn, recognizing what a great performer Summer is, and noting how charming Korin is, stating that she feels a connection with her. Gwen ultimately decides to go with her gut, and pick the person she feels she can do the most with, going forward. I think the choice is clear here…
KORIN BUKOWSKI WINS THIS KNOCKOUT!
-Gwen feels Korin is “busting out of her cocoon”, and Korin excitedly embraces her family backstage. Summer thanks Gwen for “taking a chance on a country girl,” and that’s it for her, as none of the coaches steal here. However, Carson never noted that she was available to steal, so I’m guessing this Knockout was filmed after all the steals had been used. Otherwise, I think Blake might have been wise to consider stealing her to add to the strength of his country team.
TEAM ADAM LEVINE: DUSTIN CHRISTENSEN VS. KEITH SEMPLE
-Dustin is thrilled to be singing for Rihanna, particularly a song like “Free” by Zac Brown Band. However, while Rihanna absolutely loves his voice, she thinks he’s hitting the vibrato too early. She tells him to just sing through the lines and let the vibrato come in naturally, rather than forcing it. Adam loves that advice, and lets Rihanna know what a wonderful coach she is. And she REALLY is. Keith is up next, and he notes that he wants to win this Knockout especially badly, since his wife is pregnant yet again, so he now has FOUR people depending on him. Keith will be singing “I Want To Know What Love Is” by Foreigner, and Rihanna gives him some great advice about opening up the notes in order to sell the song. And hot damn, Keith sounds JUST like the original recording! Keith talks about some of the difficulties of pronouncing “is” with his accent, so Rihanna advises him to spell out the word phonetically, like she does in the studio, and sing it like that. I’m really looking forward to this battle, because Rihanna had some awesome advice for both artists.
-Dustin kicks off the Knockout, and while I felt like he was forcing the vibrato in some places, his tone is just outstanding. This guy has all the tools to be a dark horse in the competition, with that grit and passion to his voice, and his expressive face, which basically tells the entire story of the song. I really enjoyed this. Keith is up next, and seriously, it’s blowing my mind how much he sounds like the original track. At least until the end, when he adds a KILLER falsetto. I couldn’t possibly have been more impressed by this. Keith, all the way.
-Blake says Dustin has a very warm sound that he enjoys, whereas Keith had some really big notes that he also loved, so he gives it up for both men. Pharrell felt Dustin was a great communicator, whereas Keith had a bit more fight to his performance. So he puts it down to a choice of whether you want the storyteller or the fighter. Gwen loved both men, particularly praising Keith for his vibe and energy. Adam tells Dustin he’s a wonderful and amazing singer, and compares Keith to Babe Ruth. He feels both men showed completely different growth, so much so that he’s no longer sure of what he is going to do (Adam: “I had an idea, and now I don’t”). Ultimately, he just goes with his gut…
KEITH SEMPLE WINS THIS KNOCKOUT!
-Keith embraces his family backstage, as Dustin thanks Adam for the opportunity. He is not stolen, unfortunately. Adam hates having to see Dustin go, but feels Keith just had that something extra. And I agree. Best of luck to Dustin though. He gave it his all.
TEAM PHARRELL WILLIAMS: DARIUS SCOTT VS. MORGAN FRAZIER
-Darius loves Rihanna, and wants to learn lessons in showmanship from her, since she’s got stage presence and confidence for days. He’ll be singing “On Broadway” by George Benson, and Rihanna is instantly impressed with his ability to go up and down the scales with his runs. However, she never wants him to be flat on those runs, so he’ll have to be mindful when he’s going for them. Pharrell notes how important it is for Darius to convey the song with his performance. For his part, Darius is desperate to win this battle, since it’s his last shot to work with Pharrell in the lives. In a cute moment, Pharrell lets Rihanna know how great she is at coaching, but she says it makes her uncomfortable when people say nice things, so he tells her she sucks. Great stuff. Morgan runs into some of the same problems as Darius, however, during her rehearsal, as Pharrell feels she’s concentrating too much and not selling the story or working the stage. She’s singing “Even If It Breaks Your Heart” by Eli Young Band, a song that made her cry the first time she heard it. She cries again here, when Pharrell gives her positive reinforcement. I love Pharrell so much, you guys.
-Darius is up first, and this is a really great song choice for him. As Pharrell said during the rehearsals, it’s a classic song, but Darius is making it sound very unique and current. And those runs…hot damn, those runs. He’s got insane vocal control to go along with his deep, smooth tone. I was really impressed her, although I wasn’t exactly surprised that he’d be this good. Morgan was an eye-opener though. I didn’t love the vocal itself, but I saw a fight and a fire in her that I hadn’t seen before. It really made me look at her in a whole new light. This wasn’t her best, but she IS a damn good singer, and I think the right coach could work wonders with her. Seriously, she could be someone who surprises a lot of people.
-Gwen loves Darius and even offers to be his stalker, saying she has no idea how he does what he does. She was also deeply moved by Morgan’s performance, particularly when she looked up to the sky at the end of the performance. Adam calls Darius the most ridiculous vocal mechanic he’s ever heard in his life. And yet, after Morgan performed, he felt himself leaning towards choosing her. Blake thinks everyone is stepping up their game for the Knockouts, and Darius is one of the people who’s stepping up most, using his vibrato to actually change notes. He also has praise for Morgan and her tremendous with her vocal. Pharrell compares Darius’s voice to two saxophones (Blake: “You’re so saxy!”), while also applauding Morgan for doing exactly the things he wanted her to do. But he knows which artist he’s going to pick…
DARIUS SCOTT WINS THIS KNOCKOUT!
-Darius can’t believe he’s made it to the Top 20, celebrating backstage. Back in the studio, Morgan starts saying her goodbyes when…
BLAKE SHELTON STEALS MORGAN FRAZIER!
-Morgan fights back tears, while Blake notes that he’s been waiting to get Morgan back. He recalls having won this show before with someone who was stolen from him whom he later went on to steal back. In short, he thinks Morgan has the potential to blow some people away. And you know what? I agree.
-And that’s a wrap on tonight’s show! To recap, here are the results…
Team Adam Levine
Keith Semple def. Dustin Christensen
Team Pharrell Williams
Darius Scott def. Morgan Frazier (Blake Shelton STEALS Morgan Frazier!)
Team Gwen Stefani
Korin Bukowski def. Summer Schnappel
What did you think? Did the coaches make the right choices? Sound off in the comments!
And for more on The Voice, check out the Top 20 spoilers for the live playoffs here!
Until next time, thank you for hanging out and reading!