Last night’s show marked the beginning of the knockout rounds. In this round, the artists choose what songs they will sing, and all of them are guest mentored by Miley Cyrus, who will be a coach next season. While I will admit I was a bit skeptical, Cyrus’ advice was on point throughout. As far as the knockout performances, there were some really good ones, and to my surprise, three of the coaches used their steals tonight, leaving Blake Shelton as the only coach with a steal remaining for the remainder of the knockouts.
So let’s take it from the top.
The first knockout pairing featured Angie Keilhauer and Paxton Ingram from Team Blake. Keilhauer’s song choice was “Take Your Time” by Sam Hunt, while Ingram chose “Hometown Glory” by Adele. Keilhauer thankfully didn’t do much of the talking part of the song, but I also thought her performance was weak in spots. Ingram shone throughout his performance. He was solid all the way through. In the end, Blake chose Ingram as the winner, and I agreed with his choice.
Knockout pairing number two featured Owen Danoff and Ryan Quinn from Adam Levine’s team. Owen’s song choice was “She’s Always A Woman” by Billy Joel, while Ryan sang “Drops Of Jupiter” by Train. I really liked both of these guys so far in the competition, and I was afraid that one of them might be going home too soon. Owen’s performance of the Joel classic was very well done. Ryan’s vocal seemed effortless to me on the Train song, but what I considered effortless, the coaches deemed as not being as invested in the song. In a surprise to me, Adam chose Owen as the winner; but Ryan was stolen by Christina Aguilera.
The third knockout pairing of the night pitted Hannah Huston against Malik Heard from Pharrell Williams’ team. Hannah chose “House Of The Rising Sun” by The Animals as her song, and Malik took on “Isn’t She Lovely” by Stevie Wonder. Having seen Hannah’s performance from the leak dropped by NBC, I knew she was going to bring the house down, and that’s exactly what she did. To these ears, it was the best performance of the night, meaning that Malik, talented though he is, was going to have to knock his performance out of the park to win. He gave it his all, but in the end Pharrell chose Hannah as the winner.
The next knockout pairing of the evening featured Katie Basden and Lacy Mandigo from Team Blake. Basden chose “Gypsy” by Fleetwood Mac for her song, and Lacy went with “Zombie” by the Cranberries. I thought Katie’s performance was flawless. Lacy sounded a bit rough in the beginning, which I would attribute to nerves. And the “yodeling,” while a part of the song, did not do her any favors. I picked Katie to win this knockout, and Blake agreed. Lacy was given new life when she was stolen by Pharrell, as she picked him over Adam who also tried to steal her.
Next up were Alisan Porter and Daniel Passino from Team Christina. Porter chose “River” by Joni Mitchell, while Passino chose “Ain’t Too Proud To Beg” by the Temptations. I admire Daniel’s guts in taking on such an iconic song, but unfortunately, he couldn’t do enough to derail the Porter express. Porter, was again flawless in my opinion, leaving no doubt that she is still the front-runner in this season’s competition. Aguilera chose her as the winner, beyond a shadow of a doubt.
The final knockout pairing of the evening showcased Emily Keener and Shalyah Fearing from Team Pharrell. Keener chose another Joni Mitchell song, this time it was “Big Yellow Taxi”, while Fearing went with “A Broken Wing” by Martina McBride. NBC’s CET™ (aka the Crack Editing Team) gave away that the loser of this pairing would be stolen, so technically it didn’t matter who ended up winning. As far as the performances, I thought Shalyah was better than Emily, though that didn’t match what Williams thought. He chose Emily as his winner, but Shalyah was stolen by Levine to end the show.
Overall, I thought this first night of knockout round performances was pretty good. If you have an opinion, leave it in the comments. As always, you can follow me on Twitter at @mindpinball for real-time reactions (Eastern Daylight Time). Thanks for reading.