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The Voice: Season 9, Last of the Knockouts, 11/2/15

November 4th, 2015 · No Comments

by Lyn Jensen

Personal emergencies have left me no time to recap Survivor or TAR this past week, but I did get time to find out which singers survived the knockout rounds of The Voice, Season 9. Next week comes the semi-finals when viewers begin voting, but Monday night showed us what field they’ll be voting for:

1.  Team Adam:  James Dupre vs. Shelby Brown. After being so hot to stock Team Adam with country singers during the auditions, Adam’s determined to cut one of his two remaining singers with country appeal. Dupre makes a bold choice by singing Blake Sheldon’s “It Would Sure be Cool if You Did,” not only because he’s singing it in front of Sheldon but because Blake himself notes, it’s a laidback choice for a knockout song. Celeb guest advisor Rhianna tells Dupre his deep vibrato-like low notes give him a great country-singer voice, plus she advises him to pick out someone in the crowd to sing to. Brown isn’t strictly a country singer but she selects a country superstar’s hit, too–Carrie Underwood’s gospel-flavored “Jesus, Take the Wheel.”  The performance shows off her soaring heartfelt vocals. She may have more color in her tones than Underwood, and Dupre may have more color in his tones than Sheldon. After the performance Blake finds Shelby a little sharp but Adam picks Shelby anyway and nobody steals James.  Maybe Adam thought Brown was who could benefit more from his coaching but I think Dupre was the singer more likely to win.

2. Team Pharrell:  Mark Hood vs. Siahna  I’m. Pharrell calls them his two “old soul” types–not so much about any genre, but about the singers’ styles and personalities. Hood gives the R&B standard, “Stand by Me” a more contemporary treatment. Pharrell and Rhianna agree, there aren’t many soul singers now who can sing this kind of song. Siahna jazzes up an Amy Winehouse song, “Back to Black.” She has a mature voice, and a pretty one, but she’s just too inexperienced to compete with this field. Pharrell likes both singers’ showmanship, and adds Siahna completely charmed the room. However, Pharrell picks Hood and nobody can steal I’m. Pharrell explains afterwards Hood’s the storyteller of the two.

3.  Team Gwen:  Jeffrey Austin vs. Kota Wade. Gwen calls them rock-soul, but I’d say Wade’s a bluesy version of Taylor Swift while Austin’s a teen idol type. Austin does a romantic ballad, Adele’s “Turning Tables,” underscoring his bedroom-wall potential. During rehearsal Rhianna advises him to round out his vowels, find his sweet spot. Wade’s song is Heart’s hard-rocking “Barracuda” although she says she idolizes Gwen–and a Gwen song probably fits her better. Wade’s risky song choice almost pays off–Gwen says even she can’t sing “Barracuda” and calls Kota a “firecracker.” Gwen keeps Austin, however, and nobody steals Wade.

4.  Team Blake:  Emily Ann Roberts vs. Nadjah Nicole. Does Blake want a sweet country girl or a sweet soul girl? He’ll most likely take the country girl, right? Nicole sings an Alicia Keys song, “Woman’s Worth.” Roberts sings “Cowboy Take me Away.” Blake likes the way Roberts inhabits a country subgenre–a combination of mountain and mainstream country.He thinks, given the right songs, she could be a country-radio star for twenty years. That may explain why Blake keeps Roberts, despite the fact that he has another of her type in Morgan Fraizer. No one steals Nicole, despite the fact that Pharrell’s got a slot open and Nicole is probably the better singer of this match-up.

5. Team Blake:  Zach Seabaugh defeats Chris Crump in a mere soundbyte.

6. Team Pharrell:  Evan McKeel vs. Tim Atlas. Teen idol type McKeel makes an unexciting song choice–he was much better at his auditon, where he sang classic Stevie Wonder with a white-soul twist. Atlas makes a worse song choice, though, “Torn,” a woman’s song about laying naked on the floor. Evan is the better singer in this unimpressive pair of performances, and that’s who Pharrell keeps. All the other judges have used their steals but Atlas was one of the more expendable contestants of this season anyway.

7.  Team Gwen:  Riley Biederer vs. Regina Love. Pity any singer matched against the powerhouse Love. After she sings “Midnight Train to Georgia,” forget about another singer being in this knockout. Any fan who’s viewed The Voice for two seasons or more knows the last pairing means the last steal. Gwen keeps Love and Biederer returns to Team Pharrell where she used to be. Pharrell thinks he’s got a potential pop star in 19-year-old Riley, but I think he should’ve used his steal on Nadjah Nicole–or James Dupre.

Going into the live semi-finals next Monday (Tuesday was a recap):

Team Adam:  rock singers Keith Semple and Blaine Mitchell, country rocker Shelby Brown, jazz crooner Amy Vachal, and falsetto-voiced character Jordan Smith.

Team Blake: various types of country-flavored singers in Zach Seabaugh, Emily Ann Roberts, Morgan Fraizer, Barrett Baber, and Ivonne Acero.

Team Gwen:  R&B powerhouse Regina Love, two crooners in Jeffrey Austin and Viktor Krialy, versatile teen Braiden Sunshine, and  Korin Bukowski, the one character voice to survive Gwen’s decisions about who to cut from her team.

Team Pharrell:  R&B singers Darius Scott and Mark Hood, teen idol type Evan McKeel, jazz-flavored Madi Davis, and You Tube star Riley Biederer.

Tags: Reality TV · The Voice