The Voice Knockouts Recap: Larceny and the Real Girl [Updated]

The current, ubiquitous single by Taylor Swift, international music superstar and the best guest coach in The Voice‘s seven season history — gay blasphemy coming atcha in 5, 4, 3, 2… — by just a nose over Cher, champions the concept of “shaking it off.”

Heart-breakers gonna break, break, break, break, break/ And the fakers gonna fake, fake, fake, fake, fake/ Baby, I’m just gonna shake, shake, shake, shake, shake/ I shake it off, I shake it off

It’s an excellent, albeit simplistically worded, life philosophy, and yet at this moment in my relationship with NBC’s reality singing competition, I just cahhhhhhn’t.

Instead, after Adam Levine’s shameful yet utterly predictable elimination of soulful stunner Toia Jones — because, apparently, he’s torn by the conundrum of “what you’ve heard, versus what you hope to hear in the future” — I’m channeling Wyclef feat. Mary J. Blige’s “911.”

Someone please call 911 (pick up the phone yo)/ Tell them I just been shot down/ And the bullet’s, in my heart/ And it’s piercin through my soul (I’m losin blood yo)/ Feel my body gettin’ cold

I know, I know, we go through three or four utterly absurd Voice injustices every season. Isn’t it time, though, for NBC to install a “Viewer’s Save” for the Battles, the Blinds, and the Knockouts? That way, the competition could extend the dream of a preternaturally talented performer such as Toia and also ensure a more satisfying, season-long viewing experience for those of us at home who are clearly more invested in truth, justice and soulfulness than People magazine’s soon-to-be-dethroned “Sexiest Man Alive.”

OK, end of rant. A lot of great singing, great decision-making and great advice — damn, Taylor is one insightful young artist — occurred over the course of tonight’s two-hour telecast. And I’m pretty sure not even Toia herself would want my recap to consist entirely of a screed against the man who did her wrong.

On that note, let’s get to ranking tonight’s Knockouts from least- to most-promising winner:

6. Team Adam: Damien (“How Do I Live” by LeAnn Rimes) defeats Toia Jones (“Crazy in Love” by Beyoncé) | Um, so you’ve got a grown woman working every corner of the stage, throwing every part of her body from her hair to her spleen into the music, and crushing it in every department from syncopation to intonation to holleration, and yet you choose the guy who offers up a verrrrrry sleeeepy Trisha Yearwood cover that tells the world his personal best will probably get him no higher than 10th or 11th place? Oh, Adam, it’s time to take a season off, dude.

5. Team Blake: Jessie Pitts (“Your Song” by Elton John) defeats Tanner Linford (“Calling All Angels” by Train) | In the battle of Knockoff Ellie Goulding vs. Fifth Place at the High School Talent Show Who Needs His Parents to Tell Him to Start Focusing on His Studies, the winner was… whichever more potent Team Blake members get to steamroll Jessie in the Live Playoffs. [Insert Sad Trombone here.]

4. Team Blake: James David Carter (“You’ve Got a Friend” by James Taylor) defeats Griffin (“As Long as You Love Me” by Justin Bieber) | I didn’t hear anything particularly wrong with James’ plaintive, twangy James Taylor cover, but when the best adjective your performance can conjure up is “nice,” you’re going to have to dig a little deeper in the coming weeks. Lucky for James, his rival Griffin’s tinny-sounding twist on Justin Bieber didn’t give him the momentum to sneak through the crack left in the Knockout Rounds door.

3. Team Gwen: Bryana Salaz (“Heart Attack” by Demi Lovato) defeats Sugar Jones (“Love on Top” by Beyoncé) — Sugar stolen by Pharrell | Going in, this matchup seemed about as exciting as a bag of raw almonds to a trick-or-treating second-grader. But to my surprise, both women showcased terrific technique and plenty of soul. too. Pharrell got the better end of the bargain by stealing Sugar — who scrambled up Beyoncé’s octave-scaling mountain without breaking a sweat, and trumped her rival by working the stage with gusto. Bryana, though, who befitted greatly from Taylor’s advice not to start and end the performance cranked up to 10, still comes off a little like the not-quite-ready-for-primetime belty-divas of Team Xtinas Past, but that aside, I can’t say she hit a single bad note on Demi Lovatos’s whiny anthem. Can either of these women actually win? Probably not. But with the right song selection — and an increased focus on originality — one or both could survive past Thanksgiving.

2. Team Pharrell: Luke Wade (“Rich Girl” by Hall & Oates) defeats Taylor Phelan (“Rather Be” by Clean Bandit) — Taylor stolen by Adam | Clearly, all three of Pharrell’s rival coaches were salivating over the prospect of snapping up one of his two strongest team members — why make them go head-to-head? — but to my ears, Luke was the unexpectedly easy winner. I could’ve gotten lost in his chipotle-smoked tone and intrinsic groove for a full hour — even if Pharrell had a point that perhaps a 25 percent reduction in vocal acrobatics would’ve made him even better. Taylor, meanwhile, exposed some weaknesses in breath support and pitch control as he worked the stage during “Rather Be,” but his Blind Audition remains one of the high points of Season 7, so I’m not giving up on him yet (even if his choosing Adam over Gwen and Blake leaves him at the capricious mercy of He Who Must Stop Wearing Bowling Shirts).

1. Team Pharrell: DaNica Shirey (“Saving All My Love For You” by Whitney Houston) defeats Katriz Trinidad (“Superwoman” by Alicia Keys) | To paraphrase the great philosopher Sade, DaNica’s a smooooooth operatoooor — a smooooooth op-ahh-ray-tahhhh. I mean, the way she wrapped her silky voice around Whitney Houston’s classic ’80s ballad about a smitten mistress gave me the same kind of feeling as climbing into luxury bedding at a high-end hotel. Yes, Pharrell will need to prove DaNica’s an equally natural fit for modern radio — just no Emeli Sande, please — but that glory not on “old fantasy-yyyyy” was 50 shades of great. I still figured Pharrell would choose note-perfect but emotionally globulus Katriz — because youth trumps almost everything in the music biz these days — but instead, he made like a Disney princess ballad and let the 15-year-old belter go. I mean, in the spirit of total honesty, until the kid realizes she’s more suited — lyrically — to Britney’s “I’m Not a Girl, Not Yet a Woman” than she is to Alicia Keys’ “Superwoman” — then perhaps the crushing setback of elimination – and the emotional aftershocks — will prove the most important building block to date of her fledgling music career.

On that note, it’s your turn. What did you think of Monday’s Knockout Rounds? Take our poll below, then sound off in the comments!

Comments are monitored, so don’t go off topic, don’t frakkin’ curse and don’t bore us with how much your coworker’s sister-in-law makes per hour. Talk smart about TV!

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  1. Christian says:

    I feel like Bryana could pull a “Jacquie Lee” and blow us all away in the Live Shows. I mean isn’t she her twin or something. Anyways Bryana was my favorite with Luke coming in a close second.

  2. Bryana was definitely my favorite of the night! Those soft moments of Heart Attack were beautiful and she made it her own. Taylor definitely coached her well. Brb, gonna buy that on iTunes.

  3. Jeff Marley says:

    I loved Danica and Toia!!! Sad that Toia didn’t get a steal. 😔

    • Adake says:

      Forgot to mention Danica. She was terrific tonight. Her look was way better and her Voice was “wow”.

    • analythinker says:

      I was trying to reply you a couple weeks ago, but it didn’t go through, after several attempts I just gave up.

      Anyway, I’m with you on the DaNica train!

  4. Adake says:

    Thanks Michael for posting these so quickly. Overall, agreed with the knockout winners except preferred Taylor over Luke. Very happy he went to Adam’s team. James on Blake’s team is great too. I thought Damien beat Toia even though I really like her. Too bad Pharrell saved Sugar over Toia. Surprised Gwen didn’t try to steal her or Katriz.

    • Adake says:

      Michael, I’d suggest you go back and watch Toia’s performance again. She was literally out of breath at times. Adam was NOT shameful for picking Damien’s more solid, heartfelt performance over hers. I agree with Angie’s post that Toia may have shot her self in the foot with her song choice. But I really liked Toia’s previous performances and wish she had been stolen.

      • lori says:

        Completely agree. I also thought there wasn’t as much challenge for her in the range of the song. I do think she should have been stolen though.

        • MSJ4321 says:

          I liked Toia’s PERFORMANCE a lot, but felt like her voice wasn’t “unique” enough to say she for sure should have won. (Not that Damien’s was, either.) This season I’m totally looking for a new kind of voice, not just a good voice. Does that even make sense? :-)

      • Mads Mom says:

        Ana, I agree with you. Toia worked the stage well and worked hard, but the song was keyed too low for her voice and she sounded out of breath and flat too often. She’s great, but that song was not great for Toia.

      • Tom22 says:

        I was really impressed with Damiens performance. I’m not really fond of Toia’s methods but I could see others liking her… Damien is a guy to watch the way he did it tonight in my book.

    • MSJ4321 says:

      Have to say, Taylor Swift is doing great as a coach. She is giving the singers very specific, honest pointers that can help them right away. I’m a little older than her demographic, but think she’s a very smart young lady.

    • Couldn’t agree more with preferring Taylor over Luke. I just don’t get all the love for Luke’s singing. To me the guy sounds like he needs a lozenge and to rest is voice for a while. A long while.

  5. Ana Andrade says:

    I agreed with most of the decisions made except one. Toia should have been stolen instead of Sugar. Toia handled a Beyonce song better than Sugar.

    • Adake says:

      Completely agree Ana. Another mistake by Pharrell, along with pairing Luke and Taylor. Now Jeanne or Menlik will advance. Why didn’t Gwen steal?

      • Jaszy says:

        Uh, that was definitely not a mistake. Listen to her performance again. She was incredible! I thought she should’ve won that battle, but I’m ecstatic that she got stolen. She can really sing…Love love love Sugar Joans!!!! I was literally gushing over and over during her performance, especially towards the end when she cranked it up even more! Whoo!
        She deserved that steal. It was not a mistake AT ALL to me!
        Go Sugar!

  6. Cagney says:

    I share your outrage, Michael. Shocked that no one stole her – I think if Parrell had a steal he would have stolen Tola. Rooting for my hometown girl Danica.

  7. JM says:

    That Adam didn’t pick Toia was predictable–that no one stole her was not. A classic case of ‘What were they thinking??????’ And Blake’s reason for not picking her- well, that’s never stopped him before…

    • Adake says:

      I actually got why Blake didn’t pick Toia. Pharrell being fixated on Sugar and Gwen not hitting her button was the mistakes of the night.

      • Jaszy says:

        Pharrell was right to be fixated on Sugar. She’s way better than most people give her credit for. She just proved that in that performance!
        I just hope she proves so many of you wrong and makes it far.

  8. kevin says:

    No man, straight or gay should be quoting Taylor Swift lyrics. Please stop. By the way, heard her new CD. While the song called Bad Blood is supposedly about Katy Perry, Katy should sue Taylor for stealing her sound.

  9. Andres says:

    I agree with your list, although i would switch Luke and DaNica. My favorites were Bryana,James, Luke, and DaNica(not in that order). All of them really surprised me in a really cool way.Jessie, Sugar and Taylor were meh. I am really gonna miss Toia, I had fun watching her. Tanner and Griffin were my least favorite tonight. Tanner was just not ready and Griffin just choice a terrible song choice. I love that there were noticeable improvments in the knockout round, mostly seen in Bryana. I just need tommorw to come so I can see Troy and Annita.

  10. David H says:

    IMHO, Damien is being victimized here. Did Toia light up the room? Absolutely. That said, wasn’t Damien smooth? Didn’t he pull at your heartstrings? Don’t blame him for Adam’s choice. He did what he was supposed to do.
    On another note, I liked Luke and Taylor tonight. However, Luke was a bit choppy. Taylor needs a little more practice maintaining his breath support while he’s moving. (That’s me being nitpicky though.)

    • Gailer says:

      I liked Damien more.

    • Angie_Overrated says:

      I thought Toia won as well as most of the people here, but you’re right that we shouldn’t take that out on Damien. Dude sang really well. It was a bit of a forgettable performance for me, but technically speaking, it was very good.

    • Adake says:

      Not sure what you mean about Adam’s choice. Damien picked his song (as did all the contestants) and Adam wisely chose him over a very good Toia.

  11. Kaba says:

    Every person I like somehow ends up on Adam’s team…and I cannot stand Adam.
    I don’t think I can forgive Pharrell for such an utterly stupid knockout pairing.

    Oh, and DaNica was boring as hell, but Katriz was worst.
    Shout of to Pharrell for wasting a steal if you ask me.

    • Jeff Marley says:

      What did you think about the disappointment that Toia didn’t win or get a steal?

      • Kaba says:

        What’s new?
        Like, would it even be The Voice we’ve come to know and (I suppose) love if the steals were actually always sensible?

    • Andres says:

      Yeah I thought that was a waste.

    • nurul says:

      It’s weird but I agree with you. I just hope Adam will not waste such agood talent. Taylor has some star quality. Honestly though I wanted him to go with Blake because Blake had always supported Taylor from the start but yeah, it would be an odd pairing lol.

      And I really, really don’t understand why would Pharrell save Sugar. Ugh I’m not a fan of her growling. She does it too much

      • Jaszy says:

        I’ve made it my goal to comment on every diss against Sugar Joans, since she is my newly appointed favorite.
        I understand completely why he chose her. She’s amazing and her personality is to die for. She just seems so fun and sweet.
        Recognize the amazing talent in Sugar, people….PLEASE!

  12. sheba says:

    I am utterly baffled by your praise for Toia. She was flat through the verses and had a hard time keeping up with the song. There were some nice vocal fireworks at the end, but that does not make up for being unable to sing the darn song. She did herself in by picking Beyonce. Damien won by default.

  13. Kim Moores says:

    Vodka is the choice of drink for tonight after I sat through Taylor picking Adam.

  14. Kim Moores says:

    Can someone explain to me what is so appealing about pretty, yet bland voiced DaNica?
    I’m not on the Katriz train but holy cow I don’t see what’s so amazing about this woman. Watch her get the boot at top 8 at the latest.

  15. Angie_Overrated says:

    Not a bad night (excluding Jessie Pitts… that was an artistic abomination).
    Favorite pairings were the bookends opening the night and closing the night with dashes of mediocrity strewn throughout the center.
    I said it once before, and I’ll stay it again now: Danica needs to learn how to interpret a song. She sang a beautiful carbon copy of the original. Same phrasing. Even the same damn dynamics. Oh, but she threw in two runs! Yeah, doesn’t count. Talented singer, but I’m not totally on board with her just yet.

    • Kaba says:

      It’s “different” Angie.
      You know how this stuff goes.
      I’m glad I’m the only one who finds there to be nothing special about DaNica’s performances. All she does is add runs. It’s not even soulful in the slightest.

    • Sharon says:

      The runs felt tacked on. She has such a lovely voice, but I agree the interpretation is wooden and derivative. Maybe if they messed up her hair and put her in a flowing caftan she could be inspired to let go?

    • analythinker says:

      Haha, I may be on board because I sing like that too, lol. Not that I sing professionally anymore, but I tend to imitate the original.

      Anyway, strange song choice for Jessie! But it’s Blake…

      • Angie_Overrated says:

        Oh nice, you sing? Which genre?
        It’s hard not to imitate some of the original, but when it’s basically a 1:1 reconstruction with 2 new runs, I’m less likely to get excited. Beautiful voice though.

        • analythinker says:

          And of course that one went through, heh. I even changed browser, still couldn’t post.

          I totally get where you’re coming from about runs, but maybe Pharrell asked her to keep some of the runs intact? Adam gave the same advice to Toia because he thought the song wouldn’t have the same impact on the audience if the runs were modified. But I get the “making songs your own without changing the well-known, expected parts” formula. It takes some skills ;)

          Oh and I was in a band, mostly pop-rock.

      • Kate says:

        It wasn’t really that strange of a song choice for Jessie since Ellie Goulding (who Jessie seems to be attempting to imitate) has quite a famous cover of the song.

  16. Rowan says:

    I loved Bryana, she’s so sweet and just happy to be there. Of all of the teens/younger contestants, she’s my favorite. I was sad that Toia went home because she slayed Crazy In Love! Oh well. Jessie is SO inauthentic to me. She’s a nice girl, but tries too hard to sound like Ellie Goulding and other artists with that affected tone. When she sang in her full voice? There was no fake, quirky tone. It’s not natural, she needs to be her own artist. Not a poor man’s Ellie Goudling.

  17. Sharon says:

    I loved Taylor Swift’s insightful suggestions, and for the most part the contestants appeared to work hard to follow them. It was great to see that many performed better than we have seen before, though some of the song choices left me cold. I am tired of hearing Beyonce songs in every episode, and I think the song choice didn’t help Toia tonight. And while Luke and James (James David?) both did a fine job of their chosen songs, I kept thinking they were odd choices for the battle rounds.

    • Gailer says:

      I agree about the Beyoncé songs…

    • analythinker says:

      Was about to comment on the Beyonce songs. Too. Much.

    • Angie_Overrated says:

      Have to agree, Sharon. It worked a lot better for Sugar since her voice is high and light like Beyoncé’s, but Toia shot herself in the foot with that choice. Wrong style for a voice that has that “frying pan in the face” kind of power. I wouldn’t mind a Beyoncé catalog moratorium on all these shows. Except keep last week’s Halo, cuz that was amazing.

    • JM says:

      Yes. In the article on the song choices, I posted ‘Beyonce – yawn’. Enough already. And can we add Whitney and Mariah, too?

  18. Christian says:

    Am I the oy on that thinks Damien wasn’t that bad?

  19. Angie_Overrated says:

    If only Ms Swift was here last season to coax Bria Kelly from using her guitar as a lifeless prop hanging from her neck. I actually jumped up out my chair and squealed when she suggested to ditch the guitar. Best guest mentor EVER! Hire the woman now and break this streak of crappy female mentors. The girl knows what she’s talking about.

    • Christian says:

      Yikes! I remember her. I was like the only one who liked her in a live setting, until I watched back her performances and I realized I was dumb. Yeah most disappointing contestant ever.

    • analythinker says:

      I have to agree with you on that. She may not be the best singer out there, but she just understands how it all works, very commendable.

    • Kaba says:

      Now if only that was the only problem Bria had.

    • Kate says:

      I hate myself for agreeing with you on Taylor Swift’s skills as a mentor, only because I can’t stand Taylor Swift. She can’t sing anything more than 3 notes and often they are flat, but she would probably make an excellent producer.

    • bobsaccmanna says:

      Totally agree about Taylor, absolutely the best guest mentor in Voice history. And smart ass funny too, loved her line to Adam when he said he was part Cyborg “that sounds like a conversation for like, never” and telling the other Taylor that his guitar was a “teddy bear”
      All you have to do is look at Taylor Swift’s last couple of Grammy performances to see that despite her limited vocal ability, she knows what to do stage to get crowd excited and brought all of that knowledge to the mentoring sessions.

    • JM says:

      Thank you, Angie, for showing some appreciation for Taylor. I’m really tired of all the Taylor bashing. Give credit where credit is due.

  20. Tori says:

    The only people I saw capable of winning the season were Bryana and Taylor.
    Taylor gave a bad knockout…but if he keeps delivering like with Sweater Weather and Breakeven he’ll sail to the finale.
    Bryana came out the woodwork and proved that Taylor Swift’s mentoring is rather impeccable.
    Damien won’t win. Luke, while he sounds nice and all, won’t win, and no way on God’s green earth is Sugar winning this competition.

    • daezyg says:

      I think Luke has a shot at winning, Taylor has a good shot at making it to the finals, Bryanna might win with the right coaching, and if Sugar wins, I’m no longer watching.

  21. Britney says:

    I totally understand why Katriz lost her knockout.
    But wow, I really love the tone of her voice at the very least.
    She sounds incredibly lovely.

  22. Angie_Overrated says:

    James is like a slightly stale sugar cookie from 7-11. It still tastes good, but it ranks pretty low on my list of preferred desserts. Meh, he’s ok, but that was super unexciting stuff he threw at us tonight.

    Just watch, he’ll be final 3.

    On a more positive note, I loved Bryana and Sugar after not caring for either of them up until this point. That was some fancy singing.

    • Send Your Hate Here says:

      Luke Wade wins the most improved award. This guy is a serious contender right now.

    • Sharon says:

      I have James higher up on my dessert menu — he’s at least a vanilla custard. :) I just think “You’ve got a friend” was no friend to him. And “Rich girl” was also a bad idea for Luke. It made me notice a vocal mannerism that I haven’t seen before (a kind of choking off mid-note). But full disclosure, I like almost nothing from the Hall & Oates songbook. Little Bryana, on the other hand, made a smart song choice and soaked up the mentoring/coaching like a seasoned pro.

      • Angie_Overrated says:

        I mean, he’s got a pleasant voice, right? But the difficulty level of everything he’s sung has been crazy low, so he loses technical difficulty points in my book. I’m not sure if he’s got more firepower in there. If this is all he’s got, I’m definitely not interested.

        • Sharon says:

          Agreed. James has a warm tone and some vocal depth (I think), but he’s playing it safe and sounding the same every week, worrisome this early in the contest. That should lead to an early exit, but we’ve seen people get pretty far on this show and AI when they take that approach, especially if they’re country artists.

    • AlyB says:

      I agree with you on Bryana Angie though there’s something a little pageantry about her. She has a great voice though so I’m hoping some good mentoring can quash that quickly. I just don’t get the fascination with Sugar. I didn’t think she should have been there and tonight’s performance did nothing to dissuade me from that impression. I’m still floored that Pharrell was that enthusiastic about stealing her.

      • Angie_Overrated says:

        I say this as someone who has not been at all impressed with Sugar thus far, but what she was doing technically speaking was outstanding singing. Josh Kaufman from last season could do the same thing where he and Sugar have the ability to effortlessly flip into head voice without missing a single beat. I wasn’t paying that close of attention, but I don’t think she had a single wonky note despite all the gear shifts a song like that requires. Props!
        Now about those hats….

        • MC says:

          Great point. It’s interesting how some singers (e.g., Sugar) can bring an amazingly controlled and on point performance and still be very underappreciated by the general public. It seems that the blandest singers are the ones that inevitably garner the most praise on these boards. Also, DaNica hit a few nice notes, but it was a very unimaginative cover that still pales in comparison to the original. I’m not a huge Whitney fan these days, but her first album is still a masterpiece in my book.

          • Jaszy says:

            Well, I am proud to say that I am definitely NOT in the general public, because I very much appreciated Sugar Joans. This girl….there’s something about her…

      • Jaszy says:

        I totally get the fascination. What do you not see?…. cause I saw EVERYTHING in that performance from Sugar. She blew me away. She missed not a single note, gave oomph and feeling, cranked it up near the end, that ending was incredible! Something about her tone when she was singing high stuck out at me, it kind of sounds like she’s rolling through the high notes. If found her growls tasteful. She doesn’t growl as much as Haley Reinhart did (I LOVED HALEY REINHART ON AMERICAN IDOL!). Sugar’s performance was one of my favorite performances this season! I truly mean that. She’s my new fav! Hopefully, she will go far. I’m so excited now! Give me some more Sugar!

  23. Britney says:

    I’m gonna be rather annoyed with Pharrell if all his team ends up being nothing but soulful belters. Like yeesh, did you hear how much of a boner he had over Sugar Joans over how soulful she is?
    Having the ability to project soul into a performance is great and all but wow what’s with the omitting of other styles from the looks of it. I’m pretty much certain his final 3 are going to be nothing but R&B soul singers, which will bore me to no end. Please with the variety.
    It’s the same issue I had with Usher last season. How a good variety of different singers that were strong in their own regard, but ruined it by picking soulful over anything else time and time again. Though, at least he won.

  24. Daniellew says:

    Not gonna lie… Tanner’s song made me cringe. lol

    Loved Danica and Bryana!

  25. Garr says:

    Seriously , Adam you sent Toia home. I think all the judges this year are tone deaf.

  26. Timmah says:

    This season seems very karaoke to me. Where is the artistry?

    • Kaba says:

      It doesn’t strike me as any different from past seasons. Particularly the knockouts.

      • Timmah says:

        I guess you’re right. That’s probably why no one from the show has been successful afterwards.

        • Angie_Overrated says:

          The days of people becoming famous from reality singing shows are more or less over. Viewership is falling through the floor for all these shows, but Idol in particular. Now these folks will have to build their careers the old fashioned ways: either lots of hard work with the .0001% chance of making it, or be hot and sleep with a recording exec.

        • Kaba says:

          The reason that nobody is successful is because the Voice flat out refuses to extend any sort of interest toward the contestant aspect of the show.
          Why are there montages when they can afford to plop up recap episodes? When they can just knock off all the no-chair turns?
          Why are there montages when a good 2 minutes could be knocked off the coaching and final decisions of battles and knockouts?
          It’s honestly amazing to me they still have the patience to give us a cluster of performances once the live shows begin considering how vehemently against giving artists time the show is to begin with.
          I’m surprised the live shows haven’t been broken into 3 episodes a week. 2 for singing and 1 for results. This way the coaches can talk all they want.
          Such a deplorable formatting.

          • Sharon says:

            Good analysis, Kaba. And the perennial time-wasting “after the break” and “before the break” segments drive me mad. They’ve even started to play with us with the editing. Did you notice in one “coming up” segment they talked about the other three coaches hitting their save button and then they showed a quick shot of Damien’s face? If I don’t want them to waste air time with those stupid segments, I sure don’t want them to waste air time on moments that didn’t even happen!!!

          • Sara says:

            This is to Sharon: Well, your last comment shows the producers simply cannot win in regards to the “coming up” segments. For several seasons (I was going to say years, but it has only been on for what? 3.5 years?) they have gotten a lot of flack for being too transparent with what was coming up in those segments. It seems the past couple of episodes that they have switched it up, but now people are complaining about “moments that didn’t happen.” No winning, I suppose.

          • Timmah says:

            It does seem to me that the show is more about promoting the coaches and mentors careers more than anything else.

  27. Kaba says:

    JDC is a combination of all our male winners ever and Danielle Bradbery
    Pleasant and solid voice that’s bland as all high hell + 30+ year old man.
    He’s going to be a force to be reckoned with.

  28. analythinker says:

    I can’t post!

  29. SK says:

    I’m expecting a lot of crap for saying this, but I wish Katriz had won that knockout.
    I simply can’t get behind DaNica >.>

    • tvlover44 says:

      i feel exactly the same way! i closed my eyes during some of danica’s performance just to see if i enjoyed the sound without the visuals, and nope – i just do not enjoy her tone at all (even if i recognize that many others do). i thought katriz stepped it up, but i think pharrell went with danica because he genuinely believes she will go far. personally, i infinitely prefer toia’s tone and style. (and i’m starting to wonder if the coaches are basing their decisions to cut black women singers who sing soul/r&b upon previous voting trends – whatever the reason, it’s depressing the hell out of me, as my favs keep being dropped.)

      • Kyle Perry says:

        Adam has had a history of choosing plus-sized black female r&b vocalist in the prelims and throwing them under the bus at the first opportunity in the live rounds. I suspect some issues given his somewhat anorexic frame. Unfortunately with these shows where teens/tweens are the primary voters your not going to wind up with a plus-sized black female R&B singer winning or getting far into the competition, no matter how talented they are. Heck I bet Aretha Franklin or Patti Labelle would have been tossed off early as well…let me guess, too much “screaming” and too many runs. *eyeroll* Little wonder the music scene in essence sucks with the overall “taste level” currently in place.

  30. Beatriz says:

    Love Taylor. Luke is also great. It was the best knockout of the night.

  31. OhMy says:

    I don’t know — that just felt grim to me. The show is going downhill I fear. There want one performance worth a listen to.

  32. JW says:

    If you downloaded Toia’s version of “Crazy in Love”….how often would that be your choice to play next month or next year or five years from now? Probably more like never. As good as she might have been…..that’s not the rendition that gets played. Damien’s version of “How Do I Love” might get some play, he did something that was different, real. That says something more about who they are as artists and their potential as national touring and recording artists.

    • schmed says:

      Totally agree. Toia wins the Beyone Impersonator award hands down, and I wish someone had stolen her, but you (and I mean you, Slezak) can’t vilify Adam for thinking Damien might have more potential to be more, let’s say, surprising.

  33. Sara says:

    I really liked what Jessie Pitts did with “Your Song.” It was like a mix between the Ellie Goulding version and the Ewan McGregor version from Moulin Rouge. It made it much more interesting than the karaoke, cookie cutter version of Ellie Goulding that I thought Jessie was going to do.
    Now, talking about karaoke, cookie cutter versions, that’s all Toia did with “Crazy in Love.” It really felt like she didn’t follow Taylor Swift’s surprisingly awesome advice. Toia did a perfectly delightful impression of Beyonce as Sasha Fierce. Damien won that for me for his heartfelt and more unique performance. I have liked Toia since her blinds, but there was something missing from this performance for me. I’m sad she’s gone, but Damien won that one to me. Pharell shouldn’t have wasted his Steal on Sugar, but rather should have saved it for Toia. That’s the big shame of the night.
    Loved Luke. Have loved Luke since his blinds. Can’t wait for more from him. Nothing more needs to be said.
    That’s my take of the night other than that they need to stop letting the contestants sing Beyonce. Like the War Doctor said, NO MORE!

    • I really like Jessie as well. I don’t get why Michael dismisses her so easily. Her tone reminds me of Caroline Penell (I can never forgive Ceelo for his half-a$$ed coaching that led to her early exit). She is a welcome tone among the shouty over singing of a lot of this years contestants. I am not impressed with vocal acrobatics from teenagers.

    • Jaszy says:

      I don’t believe Pharrell stealing Sugar was a waste. I completely disagree with you. She sounded WAY better than Toia did on her song. Toia didn’t even sound like the Toia we’ve briefly come to know. It was as if she was ‘putting on’ a certain style and tone to her regular voice. To me, Toia sounded affected. Sugar did not! Sugar sounded like Sugar from start to finish and she was, like Adam said, “unbelievably amazing.”
      I loved that song choice. She took a huge risk, because that song has an even higher range than Crazy in Love. Sugar killed it!

  34. Ami says:

    Still don’t understand why Pharell would put both Luke and Taylor in this knockout. I would love to see both go through with him.

  35. christopher bee says:

    I´ve enjoyed Luke, DaNica and Suger (she and her Dad Joe Pizzulo are awsome). ´A little bit letting down by Toia (just not unique enough) and Damien (Man, really that snoozefest?).

    Taylor should be coming back strong, depends on the mostly questionable song choices by Adam. Miss Swift did an positive impression as coach, loved the quirky oneliner with Adam.

  36. Static says:

    Slezak, you should really stop doing the Knockouts in this format. It makes sense in the Battles, since each performance is done by both artists, but here they’re entirely separate performances and I just can’t deal with seeing Toia in last and Katriz 1st. Rank everyone individually!

  37. Roxie says:

    I don’t understand what the big to do about Luke Wade is. There is a white dude on the Voice almost every season that sings Blue Eyed Soul like he does, so I don’t think he is special at all. Usher’s contestant that won last season, Josh Kaufman, also had a Blue Eyed Soul vibe and I think he is better than Luke Wade. I also thought Luke’s version of Rich Girl was kind of a trainwreck. Taylor Phelan’s performance didn’t blow me away either, but he is definitely more unique and interesting than Luke and I would have chosen him as winner because of that.

  38. Carola says:

    Gotta say I was super impressed with Swiftie as a mentor! She is good and sassy!
    Loved her on the show and would´t mind her being a coach for a season.
    My favorite was Luke, loved his tone..

  39. MSJ4321 says:

    Love you, Slezak! Hubby’s and my exact comments last night (and not for the first time) were: “Tanner’s parents need to point him in a different direction . . . studying, perhaps.” :-)

  40. Cher says:

    OMG…Toia Jones not being chosen is DISGRACE!!!! The fact that she murdered Beyonce’s “Crazy in love” is crazy!!!

  41. John Anthony says:

    I think Bryana is a major possibility to end up in the top five but there are several other young ladies who will give her a lot of competition for the top spot. I do think one of the ladies will win this season. I can’t see a future super star in this season’s group of male singers and that’s what The Voice needs to gain on American Idol. Blake has two possibilities since the country vote is so strong especially with Reagan James and you can’t underestimate the other young lady on Blake’s team born and raised in Nashville. One thing she has that some of the finalists do not. A crystal clear melodic and rhythmic tone and great stage presence. These two are really dangerous and both could end up in the final five.

  42. Chaya says:

    Between the show and you, I’m going crazy. James Taylor did not write You’ve Got a Friend, Carole King did. I wish the performers on the show knew the difference between a song writer and a performer.

  43. Lloyd says:

    I have never listened to Taylor Swift and don’t really know much about her except that she gets a lot of hate and ridicule online, so I was very pleasantly surprised with her mentoring. She’s smart and perceptive. She’s also either really tall or every contestant is really short.
    6. “Being on team Adam is really the best thing that has happened to me IN MY LIFE.”? Oh come on now, Damien… >.> I feel he overdid the emoting – it was almost like a caricature. As for Toia, choosing “Crazy in love” didn’t seem like a smart move, but she did perform it really well. It’s just that there wasn’t a whole lot of melody to that song to begin with. Adam’s explanations didn’t sound believable at all. It just seems to me coaches mostly stick to singers they had from the beginning and if you get stolen once, you’re probably going to get booted in the next round.
    5. Tanner is 17? Wow, he looks 12. :p I guess this is going to work for him in 10-20 years. I preferred his performance to Jessie’s, but the fact he looks like a little child makes it difficult to take him seriously.
    4. Blake was right – that song isn’t a vocal showcase at all, and I don’t feel the changes James made to it mitigated that. I don’t like Griffin’s tone that much, but at least what he did was more interesting. Seeing him rehearse that hand-wave motion made it feel unspontaneous and awkward when he did it live, though. :P
    3. Bryana sang it really well, but it didn’t really engage me on any level. I don’t know why. She has talent, but I feel she just needs more experience. Sugar made some changes to the song, and it’s cool and commendable that she made her own twist on it, but her growls weren’t that pleasant to my ears. She seemed more believable than Bryana conveying the emotion, though.
    2. Luke is obviously very polished and talented, but there’s just something unappealing about his voice to me. And true, Taylor had breath problems, I guess making him putt down his teddy-bear/guitar threw him off. Overall, his performance was noticeably weaker than Luke’s.
    1. DaNica sure sounded like a pro there. A great performance and her voice is so smooth and pleasant. Katriz sang it well, but Michael’s right – a tiny 15 year old girl singing “I’m a superwoman” doesn’t sound very believable.

    • Angie_Overrated says:

      Yeah, dude. Tanner looked like a second-trimester fetus holding a microphone.

    • Timmah says:

      Taylor looks tall because almost everyone in show business is tiny.

    • MC says:

      I totally agree with everything you said in number six. You can see Damien sweating and laying on a thick coat of emotional frosting, while Toia made it look relatively easy. People who watch this show tend to like the sweaty, over-emoting singers. I much preferred Toia and people are forgetting that she was emphasizing the “crazy” in this song. She was never out of breath and she delivered a very dynamic performance while dancing in a “crazy” manner. Pretty impressive, if you ask me. Was it the perfect song choice? I was okay with it because it’s a fun song. Some folks are saying that Toia should have chosen a ballad, but that would have been boring (and also criticized by many folks).

  44. Tony says:

    I loved Katriz performance. More than Danica. Also Damien may have been outsungmbut but I think he understands better that people vote with their hearts not their ears.

  45. Jake O says:

    I don’t get all the hype surrounding Luke Wade. He sounds exactly like Sam James from S3

  46. Jake O says:

    Tuesdays battles are
    Mia Pfirmann vs Castronovo
    Winner is Mia Pfirmann
    Taylor John Williams vs Troy Ritchie
    Winner is Taylor John William’s
    Then Elyjuh Rene against Ricky Manning winner is elyjuh and Ricky stolen by Blake

    • MC says:

      Thanks. I’ll probably just check them out on YouTube. Mia has some interesting upside and could be a surprise contender going forward. We apparently have to wait until next week for Reagan James.

  47. Emmy says:

    I honestly thought that Sugar Jones was terrible and can’t believe Pharell wasted his steal on her…and I think that Katriz definitely deserved to be stolen, she is only 15 year’s old and she held her own with Danica (yes Danica is better but Katriz is almost as good and with the right coaching she would be unstoppable)

    • Emmy says:

      Oh, and forgot to say that Katriz is also fifteen times better than Bryana (who I also think is good)

    • Jaszy says:

      Sugar Joans was not terrible…at all. She was pitch perfect throughout the whole performance. She was soulful, obviously. She gave character and emotion to the song. I felt it from her. She was giving her all, in my opinion.

  48. daezyg says:

    Am I the only one who doesn’t get the Sugar love? Girl’s got chops, but they just don’t sound pleasant to me. Pharrell wasted a save, a save that could’ve went to Tola. Girl was on FIYA tonight! Yeah, she was out of breathe, but she still lit up the stage more than most of the performers tonight.
    I also loved Taylor Phelan tonight, but that just may be my preference for indie guys. Speaking of Taylor’s, Taylor Swift surprised me tonight. I didn’t expect her to be that good of a guest mentor, but she’s actually pretty amazing. Still, my favorite will always be Chris Martin.

    • Jaszy says:

      I’m for Sugar all the way! I love her voice! She should’ve won the knockout, in my opinion. Her getting stolen was not a waste, not at all. She deserved it, truly.

  49. Christian C says:

    You might be amazed to here that out of all the artists who sand last night, Jessie is the highest on iTunes!

  50. Ms Mel says:

    I am not going to put anyone down due to their performance level. Hoewever, Damien is an amazing artist. He truly showed his versatility throughout the season. He has stepped out of his comfort zone and flawlessly executed R&B, Rock, and Country. The man is bad!!! Good luck to all of the remaining contestants. This is not Adams first redeo he know greatness when he see it. Both artist were great someone had to go home. I am glad it was not Damien.