Tonight's episode of "The Voice" was the second and final night of the infamous Knockout Round. I am without my better recapping half, and am thus growing more and more bitter towards this "Sandy" I keep hearing about.
Tonight's show cut both Christina and Blake's teams in half, leaving them each with only five contestants heading into next week's live rounds. The decisions were not too surprising, but there were a few wildcards thrown in.
Let's see who is moving onward!
Devyn DeLoera vs. Laura Vivas
Devyn: "I Have Nothing," Whitney Houston
Laura: "I Need to Know," Marc Anthony
On team Christina, there's not much need for explanation of her pairings, since almost every member of her team is a "strong pop singer." Devyn wants to use her Whitney song choice to get across how important it is for her to be on this show. During rehearsals, Christina tells Devyn not to let her nerves overpower her. Christina also tells her to throw in some hand gestures.
I don't think we've been formally introduced to "fiery Latin pop singer" Laura Vivas until tonight, but she beat out Beat Frequency during the battle rounds, so I'm already cheering for her. Her voice is pretty intense, and she wants her song to show her "latinaness" so she plans to take a page from the book of Julio Cesar Castillo and do a verse in English and a verse in Spanish.
Devyn performs first and sounds good but a bit breathy. Also, her hair is huge and full of secrets. Her outfit makes her look like Sandy from "Grease," and I know these shows were probably filmed three years ago, but it just seems to be in poor taste, amirite? The hand gestures that Christina encouraged definitely seem forced, but when she gets down on her knees by the end of the performance, she seems to have rid herself of the nerves.
Laura brings some salsa moves to the stage and is very serious about it. Everything about her is pretty intense, and I think she scares me. Her salsa moves are so hardcore that I feel like she is going to break herself or something doing them. Her voice sounds good, though?
Cee Lo tells Laura she is "caliente" in his pervy Cee Lo way. He tells her that her performance was grand and one of the best he's seen. Uh, okay. Blake says that Devyn did a great job on the tough task of taking on Whitney.
Coadge X-Tina says that Laura really surprised her but Devyn did an amazing job without much coaching. Christina chooses Devyn because she says that she can benefit more from her coaching and she has more of a connection with her.
Winner: Devyn Deloera
Adriana Louise vs. Celica Westbrook
Adriana: "Already Gone," Kelly Clarkson
Celica: "Never Say Never," Justin Bieber
Christina says that she paired these two ladies because they are both powerful pop singers ... as opposed to the rest of the members of Team X-Tina?
Adriana chooses a ballad instead of an upbeat song in order to show her emotions. Christina warns her not to "stick too much to the script" and then shows her how it's done on her red lips microphone stand. Celica chooses Bieber because she's 16 and it seems appropriate. While I don't think that's a good enough reason to choose the song, there has definitely been a lack of Bieber on this show, so I'll take it.
As Adriana performs, I realize that we are receiving many more comments from Christina's team as they watch on backstage than we did last night. Quite the peanut gallery. Adriana really nails the last note of the song as Christina instructed her to do. Celica's performance is much softer and more subtle, but I am surprised by how much I enjoy hearing a female vocal on this song. Adriana awkwardly bounces along on her stool in the background as Celica really comes into her own by the end of the song.
"Another tough decision!" Carson tells us. Adam says they both had different strengths, but Adriana really has the "Team Christina voice." Blake says they both had pitchy moments as well as redeeming moments, and then Adam tells him that he's been too mean. Blake then tells Adam that he's not pitchy, he's BITCHY! MEEEOW! Claws out, boyz!
Christina tells Adriana that was her strongest performance yet and she managed to calm herself. She tells Celica that she brought the "feistiness" that Christina asked of her and she appreciates that. She's proud of both of her ladies, but chooses Adriana. Celica gets teary-eyed and Christina calls her "sweet pea" and asks her not to hate her. Aw?
Winner: Adriana Louise
Alessandra Guercio vs. Dez Duron
Alessandra: "Take a Bow," Rihanna
Dez: "Stuck On You," Lionel Ritchie
Christina pairs these two singers because they have different styles, so she wants to compare and contrast. So she is pairing them for the opposite reason of the rest of her pairings? Wouldn't you want to keep two different people on your team? Ugh, this show is getting confusing.
Alessandra was stolen by X-Tina from Adam during the battle rounds. She wants to sing this song because she "really feel[s] it." Christina tells her not to be afraid of the unique characteristics of her voice, mainly her rasp. Dez is another returner from Season 2 and wants to change things up a bit with his song selection so that he can connect with it more. I think Christina just wants to bone him.
Alessandra looks straight out of Jersey for her performance. She went full poof! There's a bit too much head shaking going on (watch the poof!) and her voice doesn't sound as good as it's sounded in the previous rounds. She seems to be trying a bit too hard and is maybe focusing too much on walking in shoes that are likely both too high and too big for her. Dez sounds great and has such an adorable smile. I think him and Christina are eye-f***ing.
Adam says that they're both super talented, but chooses Alessandra (again, because he's an ass, and he just feels bad about not picking her in the battle rounds). Blake says that he can't choose. No one is offering coadge Christina much help here.
Christina says it's a hard decision, for a change, but ends up going with Dez (because she hopes to bone him).
Winner: Dez Duron
Chevonne vs. De'Borah
Chevonne: "Dancing with Myself," Billy Idol
De'Borah: "You Found Me," The Fray
Christina says that both of these ladies are energetic performers, but I bet she put them together because they both have one name. Chevonne was stolen by Christina from Cee Lo, and Chevonne says that she's over the battle round drama and ready to just have some fun. Christina says that Chevonne is definitely "willing to give it her all" but they have a lot of work to do. Chevonne then says that Christina gave her really specific advice, which I'm sure is not something she received on Team Cee Lo, seeing as no one ever understands what he's saying. De'Borah chooses this song because she says God found her when she was going through hard times. She is committed to doing everything that Christina tells her to do.
Chevonne's performance is really fun, and she definitely is dancing with herself. She's going pretty wild all over the stage, so much so that we see Sylvia Yacoub legitimately exclaim "Oh!" while watching on from backstage. Apparently Chevonne has really adopted that whole Gaga individual thing. Deb sounds a little shaky at the beginning of her performance, but once she gets to the chorus she sounds amazing. She is also dressed like Urkel on prom night, and I love it.
Cee Lo says that he would gladly have both of them on his team, and Chevonne quickly fires back by saying "I WAS on your team." Damn, girl! Adam says he's never seen stage presence like what they have, but chooses De'Borah, who apparently also goes by DeBo? Love it.
Christina says that Chevonne was unafraid to jump off the ledge and do her thang, but De'Borah really controlled her performance and rehearsed it incredibly well. She goes with DeBo.
As Chevonne and Christina chat and say their goodbyes, Cee Lo continues to call out to Chevonne to say bye, and she totally blows him off. Maybe if his legs weren't so tiny, he could have chased after her. Nonetheless, the exchange, or lack thereof, is awesome.
Aquile vs. Sylvia Yacoub
Aquile: "Grenade," Bruno Mars
Sylvia Yacoub: "Fighter," Christina Aguilera
Christina says both of these contestants always put their heart and soul into their performances, so she wants to see who connects more with the audience. Aquile chooses his song because he wants to be able to show his passionate side rather than the smooth performances we've been seeing. He wants to sing it like he means it. Sylvia chooses this song because blah blah blah she's a kiss ass.
Aquile sounds great during his performance, but it still sounds a bit too smooth. I don't hear the fire that he talked about bringing during his rehearsal. Sylvia, on the other hand, definitely has the fire, but it's a bit more than I would like. She is marching all over the stage and she sounds good but her moves are way too intense for me. I am most definitely frightened by her. She also loves a good poof in her hair, but then again, who doesn't?
Cee Lo does a Randy Jackson impression instead of giving legitimate feedback. Blake says that he would go with Sylvia.
Coadge X-Tina says they both chose challenging songs and was impressed by how well they both did, but goes with Sylvia, and it's not surprising, because if there's one thing Christina loves in this world, it's herself.
Winner: Sylvia Yacoub
Gracia Harrison vs. Liz Davis
Gracia: "I Don't Wanna Miss A Thing," Aerosmith
Liz: "Gunpowder and Lead," Miranda Lambert
Blake says that he puts these two country ladies together because his goal has always been to bring a country singer to the finals, and the best way he knows how to do that is to "not split the vote." This has to be the most honest and legitimate explanation for a Knockout pairing yet. Only took us three hours!
Blake tells Gracia that he is worried about her song choice because he thinks it will be hard for her to stay true to who she is (a country gal!) while singing a rock and roll song, but Gracia seems excited about singing a non-country song in a country way, even though it's risky. Liz, however, goes straight up country, and also tries to kiss some ass by singing ANOTHER song by Blake's wife.
Gracia definitely sounds amazing as always, but the performance does not seem very country at all, unless you count the fact that she's wearing cowboy boots. I feel like Gracia can do better. I never thought I'd say this, but I want to hear you yodel, girl! Liz, who seems to be sporting a lot of leather, goes full country with her performance. She gets a bit sexual onstage, and absolutely kills the last note.
Christina says she'd go with Liz because of the song choice, and Adam says that he too didn't think Gracia's song choice was the best, but would still choose Gracia because he thinks she has much more to offer as a vocalist.
Coadge Blake tells Gracia that he is also confused by her song choice and thinks that Liz has a better grasp on who she is and what she wants to do as an artist. He chooses Liz, and Adam shakes his head in disapproval. Judgey McJudgerson over there!
Winner: Liz Davis
Rudy Parris vs. Terry McDermott
Rudy: "Forever," Chris Brown
Terry: "Maybe I'm Amazed," Paul McCartney
Blake put these two together because they're both rockers, but he says that Rudy is a "real artist" and that Terry has a real challenge ahead of him. Rudy chooses a Chris Brown song. WHAT? It's so sad. It's the epitome of a dad trying to be cool and fit in with the young kids. This is totally what Phil Dunphy would do if he auditioned for "The Voice." Actually, no. Because any man with a daughter should not sing Chris Brown. WHY DID PEOPLE CHOOSE NOW TO BE SO FORGIVING? I hate it. Blake also seems skeptical of the song choice because he thinks it will be difficult for Terry to channel the young energy.
Terry, on the other hand, chooses not only a song that suits him perfectly, but it's also a song that he's sang many times before with his band. Smart man. I could also just listen to him talk all day. It's like watching 'Brave.'
Rudy's performance makes me uncomfortable, as expected. It's weird. Just really weird. On a somewhat unrelated note, I feel like Rudy would make a great Old Deuteronomy in the musical Cats. Terry comes out killing it from the first note of his performance. You can definitely tell that he's experienced with this song, which really helps him shine.
Christina tells Rudy that she doesn't see how he connected with his song choice at all, and tells Terry that he's "no joke" and she would choose Terry all the way. Cee Lo says that he's amazed by Terry and his stage presence. Adam tells Terry that he is "crazy good" and wants to see him go very far in the competition.
Coadge Blake agrees with the other coadges and says that Rudy didn't connect with the song, and that Terry has a defined path. He goes with Terry. I feel bad for Rudy because I feel like he chose his song to try and fit in with the young audience and it totally backfired. Oh well, he has a cute grandson to go play with.
Winner: Terry McDermott
Collin McLoughlin vs. Michaela Paige
Collin: "Breakeven," The Script
Michaela: "Love is a Battlefield," Pat Benetar
Blake says that these two both have great command of their tone and pitch, and that's why he paired them together. Collin, the ex-grad student who everyone supports, was stolen by Blake from Adam. He chooses his song because he thinks it represents what he's trying to be as an artist. Blake tells Collin that his falsetto is "really cool" but does have some concerns during rehearsal as well. Michaela chooses her song because, obviously, it's perfect for her. Blake tells her to be selfish and take her moment in the spotlight. Her hair is so high up at rehearsals. She went full Jimmy Neutron.
Collin sounds good during his performance, but not good enough to go to the live rounds in my opinion. This is the Knockout Round ... go big or go home! Michaela is totally in her element for her performance and Blake definitely seems to be enjoying it more than he enjoyed Collin's. She has an incredibly strong voice for someone so young and seems like the clear winner to me.
Christina says that Michaela had a genuine connection with her song choice and she loved seeing her perform. Cee Lo says that Michaela seems like she can do "just about anything." Adam, of course, allows his guilt to get the best of him and says that he's rooting for Collin because he's "so flawless."
Blake says that he heard both good and bad in both of their performances, and in the end he has to go with Michaela. Back to grad school for Collin, hopefully.
Winner: Michaela Page
Julio Cesar Castillo vs. Marissaann
Julio: "Somebody to Love," Justin Bieber
Marissaann: "Lady Marmalade," Patti LaBelle
Blake chose these two because they're both young and he wants to see "who's got what it takes." Julio chooses Bieber (two Biebz performances in a night!) because it is out of his comfort zone, but struggles with it during rehearsals. Marissaann, whose name looks like the Twitter handle of an 11-year-old and is impossible to type, was stolen by Blake from Christina during the battle rounds. She chooses this song to show off her vocals and get the crowd into it.
Julio, though dressed identically to Bieber, seems uncomfortable during his performance, and you can definitely tell that he is not used to singing a song like this. He seems nervous and it's making me nervous, but once he hits the chorus he pulls it together and sounds great. Marissaann sounds amazing throughout her entire performance, and totally kills it. I do, however, think it's wildly inappropriate to have a teenager singing this song, but hopefully she takes Spanish in high school.
Christina says that she loved hearing Marissaann deliver on such a challenging song. Coadge Blake says that it was dead even (que?? I disagree.) but ultimately goes with Julio because he has invested so much more time in him than Marissaann. He says that Marissaann just didn't do enough as a stolen contestant for him to keep her around. Agree to disagree, Blakey. Still love ya, Juli.
Winner: Julio Cesar Castillo
Cassadee Pope vs. Suzanna Choffel
Cassadee: "Payphone," Maroon 5
Suzanne: "Could You Be Loved," Bob Marley
Blake paired these two ladies together because they both have such distinct voices and know how to bring the audience into their performances (because according to the Knockout Rounds, this is the ONLY thing that matters). Cassadee chooses a song by Coadge Adam because she says it has the perfect range for her and it will get the crowd going. She makes some changes to the song, though, and Blake says that can make her sink or swim. Suzanna chooses a much more mellow song, and says that she needs to create a big stand out moment since the song doesn't have one on its own. Blake warns her not to try to overpower the band.
Cassadee's performance is off to a rocky start but by the time she gets to the chorus, it's pretty amazing. Suzanna sounds great throughout the performance, and I love the rasp in her voice, but the performance seems pretty boring. Also, her outfit. Oy.
Christina says that she has favored Suzanna in the past, but her song choice wasn't really meant for a competition and Cassadee's interpretation of the song was amazing. Adam says he was impressed with her singing his own song, and that makes him choose her (cocky).
Blake says that "this is a war" but Suzanna's song choice hurt her. The choice was too laid back whereas Cassadee took a chance and did amazingly, so he chooses Cassadee.
Winner: Cassadee Pope
Tune in next week for three nights of live rounds! See ya never, social life!
"The Voice" airs Mondays and Tuesdays at 8 p.m. ET on NBC. Next week the first of the live rounds will air Monday, Wednesday and Thursday at 8 p.m. ET.
Follow Chelsey Etkin on Twitter: www.twitter.com/savedbythechel