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The Voice: Season 10, Knockout Rounds, 3/28/16

March 29th, 2016 · No Comments

by Lyn Jensen

Featured artists:  Alisan Porter, Ryan Quinn, Paxton Ingram, Owen Danoff, Emily Keener, Hannah Houston.

Could bringing Miley Cyrus to The Voice work out as well as (LOL) putting Nicki Minaj on the Idol judging panel three seasons ago?  As a celebrity guest advisor on Monday’s episode, Cyrus gave us a preview of what she’ll be like when she becomes a team coach/judge on Voice season 11. She’s cheerful, wears clownish costumes and talks a mile a minute, but she doesn’t add much substance.

Whoever hires the judges wasn’t the only one making dubious decisions as knockout rounds began last night. Contestants and coaches alike made bad moves, hinting how this season may be an underwhelming one. For the knockout rounds, two contestants sing solos, then the judges keep one and cut one. Except judges can use one steal, and three judges were quick with their button pushes:

1.  Team Blake: In one of the simpler decisions of the night, the country judge matches two singers he calls his fighters, Paxton Ingram vs. Angie Keilhauer. Paxton’s R&B, Angie’s someone we haven’t seen much of. Her bio says she’s a cruise ship singer. Paxton sings Adele’s “Hometown Glory,” wringing out all he can from the notes. Angie sings “Take Your Time,” but not that well. Pharrell and Adam both praise Paxton over Angie. Blake keeps Paxton. No one steals Angie.

2.  Team Adam:  In one of tonight’s big coaching blunders, Adam pairs two of his more promising male vocalists, Owen Danoff vs. Ryan Quinn. Both are in Adam’s stylistic territory. Quinn has a similar voice, and Danoff is the son of Bill Danoff who had a hit with “Afternoon Delight” in the seventies. Unfortunately Danoff makes an ill-advised choice with “She’s Always a Woman,” and sings it like he doesn’t know what he’s singing about. (At least he could pick out a woman in the audience to sing to.) Quinn makes an unfortunate choice, too, singing “Drops of Jupiter” like a Vegas standard. Then–third mistake–Adam keeps Danoff, the inferior vocalist, while Christina rushes to steal Quinn. It may be smart to keep Quinn in the competition but now she can’t go after anybody else.

3.  Team Pharrell:  The R&B judge says he’s matching two of his soul singers, Malik Heard vs. Hannah Houston, but I’d say calling Houston “soul” is a stretch. She’s more country-pop. Heard sings Stevie Wonder’s “Isn’t She Lovely” and sounds just like Wonder. Houston sings about herself being a “poor boy” ruined in “The House of the Rising Sun” (yes, really, you figure it out). Maybe Pharrell thought Heard sounded too much like Wonder because he keeps Houston, and nobody steals Heard. (If Adam had kept Quinn, maybe Christina could’ve stolen Heard.)

4.  Team Blake:  Time to match up two of the country judge’s pretty young women, Lacy Mandigo vs. Katie Basden. Lacy sings “Zombie” for her grandfather, a veteran–so at least she does understand it’s about war, not zombie trendiness. Katie sounds like a cross between Stevie Nicks and Trisha Yearwood on “Gypsy.” Blake thinks Katie fits a nineties-throwback country style, so he keeps her. Pharrell steals Lacy, even though she’s plainly the inferior vocalist, and now he can’t steal anybody, despite several more promising possibilities still on the board.

5.  Team Christina:  Another bad coaching decision, as the Real Xtina pairs Alisan Porter vs. Daniel Passano. If Alisan is this season’s number-one seed, shouldn’t she be paired with someone more disposable, like Kata Hay? Passano is opera-trained, and Christina had success with a similar talent (Chris Mann) in season 3, but doesn’t that make him her likely number-two or number-three seed? Alisan must think this show’s airing near Christmas, because she sings a Joni Mitchell Christmas song, “River.” Daniel turns in one of the season’s best performances with “Ain’t Too Proud to Beg” but the judges all praise Alisan more. Christina keeps Alisan, while Adam and Blake decline to steal Daniel.

6.  Team Pharrell:  Two teenage girls who have “old souls,” is how Pharrell explains why he paired Emily Keener vs. Shalyah Fearing. Emily gets folksy with “Big Yellow Taxi,” which in rehearsal gets Miley babbling about showing her Joni and we need a little Joni. Shalyah gives Martina McBride’s “Broken Wing” some gospel and R&B overtones.  Adam thinks Shalyah won the match-up, and Pharrell appears to be leaning Shalyah–until he keeps Emily. Adam immediately steals Shalyah. Only Blake can steal anyone–and we’re only through the first half of knockouts.

Tags: The Voice