The Voice Knockouts Recap: Swift Every Voice and Sing [Updated]

It was the best of mentors, it was the worst of injustices for The Voice‘s final set of Season 7 Knockout Rounds.

On one hand: Can we get a “hip-hip hurrah!” to celebrate the keen insight and serious commitment displayed by megastar Taylor Swift as the Knockouts mentor for all four teams? You might want to shake, shake, shake the sound of her latest, crazy-ubiquitous hit single from your eardrums, but you’ve got to admit a future Voice cycle anchored by her and Pharrell Williams might be the only way Blake Shelton will ever get to take a season off.

On the flip side, what did Rebekah Samarin do to the show’s producers to get relegated to the dreaded montage treatments for the Blind Auditions, the Battle Rounds and the Knockouts? One wonders if she secretly replaced the contents of Blake’s “special cup” with Folgers Crystals, or perhaps wrote a series of scathing Amazon reviews for Touched by an Angel — the mid-90s family-friendly hit starring Mark Burnett’s wife, Roma Downey.

I know it’s a little quaint of me to cry “it’s not fair!” over the behind-the-scenes machinations at a reality singing competition, but seeing how Rebekah clearly had enough talent to advance this deep into the Season 7 proceedings, you’d think at least one of her performances could’ve been shown in full (and in favor of one of the umpteen “this is what you just missed before the break”/”here, let us spoil exactly what’ll go down after the break” teases.)

Would this be an inappropriate place to bastardize the old Edmund Burke adage: “The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for recappers to say nothing”?

The Voice - Season 7Actually, don’t answer that. Instead, let’s get to the business of ranking tonight’s Knockouts from least- to most-promising winner:

7. TEAM BLAKE: Taylor Brashears (“Landslide” by Fleetwood Mac) defeats Allison Bray (“Sin Wagon” by Dixie Chicks) | Taylor’s lilting, perfectly pretty performance clearly trumped Allison’s overzealous, intermittently sharp effort, but the winner will need to rediscover some of her “You Ain’t Woman Enough” Blind Audition moxie if she has any hope of surviving the Live Playoffs.

6. TEAM GWEN: Ryan Sill (“Miss Independent” by Ne-Yo) defeats Beth Spangler (“Too Little Too Late” by JoJo) | Pharrell hit the nail on the head: Somehow, Ryan needs to discover the emotion of his lyrics, while Beth needs to realize she’s more twang-pop than R&B. But in a battle of iffy performances, I can’t blame Gwen for leaning toward the contestant who best incorporated the mentor-session advice.

5. TEAM ADAM: Matt McAndrew (“Drops of Jupiter” by Train) defeats Rebekah Samarin (“You Give Me Something” by James Morrison) [Shown in montage, with only Matt allowed to sing.] | Matt sounded pretty solid on an extended snippet of “Drops of Jupiter” — even if his quavery tone still hits my ear like a popcorn kernel in a tooth — but without a single note of Rebekah’s performance as a comparison, the overall experience was fairly infuriating.

4. TEAM ADAM: Chris Jamison (“[Sittin on] the Dock of the Bay” by Otis Redding) defeats Blessing Offor (“Your Body Is a Wonderland” by John Mayer) | Chris needs to be careful not to overestimate the power and precision of his falsetto — Justin Timberlake, he is not — but he showcased a terrific lower register and a smooth sense of rhythm on a soul classic that was a lot less shocking than Adam kept indicating. By comparison, Blessing’s Muzak-ization of John Mayer’s ode to one female’s form, felt sexless and labored. I mean, when you’ve got to implore the audience, “You can clap louder if you want,” it’s pretty clear the other guy’s got it in the bag.

3. TEAM BLAKE: Reagan James (“Hit ‘Em Up Style” by Blu Cantrell) defeats Grant Ganzer (“Apologize” by One Republic) | As a veteran American Idol watcher, I flinched a little at Reagan’s choice of a super-tricky R&B jam that has killed the competitive dreams of many Hollywood Week performers. Imagine my surprise, then, when she handled the rapid-fire lyrics and swooping high notes with the ease of a raptor picking off a chipmunk. Plus, as Pharrell noted, her outsized swagger is beyond her years — even if, as Gwen hinted, her baggy genie pants and “secretarial pool gone wild” blouse were also a combo you’d expect to see on someone 20 years older. [Side note: Gwen’s suggestion that Reagan wear sweatpants for her next performance, however, landed as close to Coach-on-Coach sabotage as anything we’ve seen since Christina dumped verbal pig’s blood on Adam’s guy Tony Lucca in Season 2.)

2. TEAM GWEN: Anita Antoinette (“Rude” by Magic) Vs. Craig Wayne Boyd (“Can’t You See” by Marshall Tucker Band) — Craig stolen by Blake | Best steal of the Knockouts, bar none, since it would’ve been an unspeakable crime if either Anita or Craig got eliminated at the exact moment they proved they had a chance to win the entire competition. Indeed, Anita brought real funk and charisma to her reggae anthem — while bringing to vivid life the lyrics about a suitor getting shut down by a future in-law in the quest to put a ring on it. Craig, meanwhile, the recipient of the most necessary makeover in Voice history, delivered “Can’t You See” with more religious-level fervor than Adam’s got tattoos — making us feel the desperation of a man who’s got to get out of a bad romance. Sure, Blake stealing him back wasn’t a big shocker — but the real twist might be that suddenly Craig’s looking more viable than James David Carter, the man who beat him in Battles, no?

1. TEAM PHARRELL: Jean Kelley (“Chandelier” by Sia) defeats Menlik Zergabachew (“Could You be Loved” by Bob Marley) | Don’t get me wrong, Menlik brought above-average grooviness and a gruff, gorgeous tone to his Bob Marley cover — even though his “I dropped out of high school for this” story arc continues to vex me. But as Taylor herself noted from the first few notes of Jean’s rehearsal, the underdog vocalist’s aching, piano-driven twist on Sia’s massive hit was downright revelatory. When the coaches began using less-than-superlative words to weigh in on Jean’s exquisite effort – Gwen muttered about a “weird mixture of styles” while Blake actually declared himself Team Menlik — I stood up and prepared to hurl my flat screen out the window. Thankfully, the commercial and artistic sides of Pharrell’s brain proved themselves to be in good working order, though, and he handed the win to the women whose knees buckled from the weight of the words she was singing. (And no, no electronic equipment was harmed in the production of this recap. Whew.)

On that note, it’s your turn. What did you think of Season 7’s final set of Knockout Rounds? What the heck does the show have against Rebekah Samarin? 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:

    Poor Rebecca! Listen to her studio recording of “A Case Of You. It is just beautiful.

  2. Riana says:

    iTunes totally spoiled the results.

    • Tom22 says:

      You don’t need to look you know. I live on the west coast and never know what happened as I stay away from media sources that might disclose what i’m about to watch a few hours later.

  3. Jeff Marley says:

    Can’t wait for the playoffs!!! I really loved anita, reagan, Craig, and Jean!!! Also I really hope that danica makes it into Pharrell final 3!!! 😃😃😃

  4. Adake says:

    No real surprises in the contestants chosen tonight. The coaches were loyal to their original contestants. Was disappointed not to see much of Matt McAndrew (boo NBC on montage- poor Rebekah) but glad he made it to “lives”. Blake stealing Craig back – so predictable. I’d rank the teams in terms of strength 1-5 as follows: 1.Team Adam, 2. Team Pharrell, 3. Team Blake and 4. Team Gwen. Since all four teams have members that can win, this season is definitely up for grabs. On to the “lives” and cutting each team down to three.

    • Christian says:

      I think Gwen has a stronger team than you think.

    • Angie_Overrated says:

      Train forever remains one of my least favorite groups. As soon as I heard his montage clip, I ran screaming because the last thing I wanted was to get that stuck in my head. Like last Xmas when I had Justin Bieber’s Little Drummer Boy stuck in my head for days. I was a suicidal mess that week.

      • MC says:

        Train is okay, but I voted for Matt in my top three just based on that brief snippet. Jean was excellent and I had been looking forward to her rendition of “Chandelier.” She did not disappoint me. I also voted for Reagan, who was delightful. Chris and Craig also
        did very well. Taylor Brashears sang under the notes a little too much on “Landslide,” but she is very talented when tackling more traditional country tunes.

      • The Beach says:

        Ear worms are indeed a dreadful thing. I woke up in the middle of the night and again upon waking the next morning with “All about that bass”…a song I hate…running incessantly through my head and it continued all day. Just hateful !!

        • Oh God I hate that song!

          • I was just looking at the amount of comments! A little over 100 comments. I remember last year on the worst season of AI there were 800 or more comments on most of the pages. Are people just getting tired of these singing competitions?And before the contestants on the voice always “charted” very high on I Tunes. At the top of the charts usually. Now at way lower numbers on the charts! Its weird this season! In fact when I look its always the same 8 or 9 of us people commenting over and over. LOL Its kinda sad compared to other seasons!

  5. Tom says:

    Ugh, I feel bad for poor Rebekah, wherever she is right now. Probably kicking her TV set in frustration. I listened to her iTunes clips, and she has a lovely voice! I have no idea why the producers thought it best to give her the shaft like that. Just because they knew she’d be eliminated doesn’t mean it’s fair to hide her away. Oh well. Good luck, Rebekah, since The Voice certainly wasn’t the break you were hoping for.

    In other news: Jean slayed “Chandelier,” I’m in love with Anita’s voice, and I’m cheering for Reagan and hope she goes far.

    • JM says:

      Yes, Jean slayed alright, i couldn’t understand the indecision on everybody’s part; it was clear too me who won. I know i was ready to slam the TV if Pharrell didn’t pick her.

    • Tom22 says:

      There is likely more to the story. I could see one round being cut in favor of overall show performance quality but having three rounds cut leave me thinking that it might have been a contract dispute from a prior agent or publisher looking for some cut of the value she’d bring to the show or something odd. Keeping her off the air could have been a “go pound salt” reaction to an overreaching manager or label with a 360 deal.

    • Jennifer J says:

      Cough, Kristen Merlin, cough…she ended up doing just fine, though I still harbor resentment for her not making it to the finals. And I don’t even like Country! She was by far one of the highlights of last season and she was SO GOOD on the tour.

  6. analythinker says:

    Actually I was a little surprised that Blake stole Craig back, just because he seemed to have made up his mind about having just ONE male country artist on his team. Let’s see if he’ll have to let go of one in the first live playoff.

    • Angie_Overrated says:

      Craig is an infinitely better singer than Mr. Winnie the Pooh. Good call on Blake’s part.

      • analythinker says:

        I personally agree! More personality too. But when I saw that clip of James jammin’ with Little Big Town, I thought maybe Blake picked him bc James seemed to blend in better in the country world.

        • Angie_Overrated says:

          I have a weird feeling Craig will go deep into this competition. He’s got the vocal chops, so I support this. James is just not that good. I have very low expectations for James. And if Craig can continue this Brad Pitt circa 2012 restyling thanks to Ms. Stefani, he can go far this season.

          • analythinker says:

            I actually MUCH preferred Craig than Anita. Idk why, maybe it’s her nasaly tone. I’d agree that she’s unique though.

          • Angie_Overrated says:

            I like Anita, but I”ll eat my shoe if she wins. She’s not a performer, and you can tell she’s very shy and awkward. Not a good quality to have in a vocal competition.
            But back to your point, I think Craig beat her too. Not by much cuz I did like her, but I think he won.

          • Tom22 says:

            The Re-Styling was very important and Blake wasn’t the one to push it hard enough.
            On that subject… these Kohls clothes are getting me down. The contestants look crappy in some of these prints and stripes of the Kohls’s quality.

        • sheba says:

          That’s what I thought too, but after watching tonight’s episode, I wondered if Craig losing that battle was a set-up to cue the makeover. He must have been resisting it. It would have been really strange for Blake to try to give him a makeover, so perhaps the producers decided it would go down easier if Gwen did it. It was odd that she kept saying that she wanted a country artist before she stole Craig since she’s about as far from country as you can imagine.

          • analythinker says:

            Lol, that’s a funny theory, but could be true!

          • Shannon says:

            What happened is that Gwen stole Craig and then afterwards the producers asked her to film a clip where she says that she wants a country singer. All those behind the scenes clips are done after the filming is finished.

          • Sara says:

            I kinda think that Gwen and Pharell are secretly working with Blake against Adam. Or at the very least have been making backstage deals about contestants and steals, especially with Craig.

          • Sara says:

            An addition to my thoughts that Gwen and Pharell are secretly plotting with Blake in regards to steals, I am totally fine with what happened with Craig. But I definitely think that Gwen and Blake made some sort of deal that she would steal Craig and that he would get to steal him back. I mean, they even showed the two of them talking and Blake outright saying he was waiting on his steal for his guy. Call me a conspiracy nut, but it made no sense for Gwen to take him. But she did a great job with his makeover! I’m just glad that both he and Anita went through. That was the best round in the knockouts for me.

          • analythinker says:

            Actually Sara, I don’t agree that it made no sense for Gwen to steal Craig. I thought she might have wanted to steer Craig more into rock, proven by her “enthusiastic” tweet “wait til you see what Craig and I prepared for the knockout” or something like that. Which puzzled me that she ended up pairing him with Anita and letting him go. I’d agree there’s conspiracy to a degree, but it’s not a stretch for her to steal him.

        • Adake says:

          I think James is the better singer, am pretty sure Blake and Adam think he is too based on their comments. But Craig deserved the steal tonight. Perfect fit on Blake’s team but I think Gwen’s makeover and suggestions helped.

      • JM says:

        Agree. Didn’t understand why Blake chose James over Craig the first time around.

        • Craigs personality shines more, and his new look is great! He is better on stage at getting the crowd into it and I love his gritty singing voice! He has a really cute kid too! Yaaay! Oh Funny, did everyone notice Gwen got Craigs hair done exactly about the same length as her husband Gavin? Same length and cut except Gavin wore his in a pony tail during the show.

      • Scott says:

        Yeah I agree about that meow. In the beginning of the season I thought james was way stronger, but my opinion changed tonight.

      • Scott says:

        Angie, I love your opinions, maybe it’s because I agree with you most of the time, lol. But who are your favorites?

        • Angie_Overrated says:

          Thanks, Scott!
          Favorites… hmm… I’ll preface this by saying I don’t love this season, but I’d say probably Jean was an early favorite for me and still is. There’s a bunch of them that I think are interesting and/or talented but don’t necessarily love. That list would include Craig from tonight, Luke Wade, Sugar Jones, and Taylor Phelan. Last season I had much more clearly defined favorites.

      • Exactly I think Craig might end up to be a front runner. I loved his energy and love that song and the way he sang it! I like Taylor Brashears too! I like her confidence and that was a beautiful performance of Landslide! Its crazy because I am not really a country fan, but Im hoping Craig is more country rock!There is one country song I absolutely love and it has never been performed on any of these shows and its “Seminole Wind” by John Anderson.

  7. Angie_Overrated says:

    I don’t get Reagan. Her voice is objectively awful, but for whatever reason it works. She reminds me a bit of Bjork. Bjork’s voice is unarguably grotesque and painful to listen to, yet I own every album and track she’s ever cut. It’s a conundrum, for sure.

    • Jeff Marley says:

      So she is both good and bad for you?

    • analythinker says:

      I think she’ll go far, and there’s also the fact that Kelly Clarkson endorsed her on Twitter.

      • Angie_Overrated says:

        Yeah, dude. I just don’t get it. That voice is anti-dope, but for some reason I quasi-like her. I think?

        • analythinker says:

          Well, it shouldn’t come as a surprise that I agree with you. I was prepared not to like her, but then it worked. Oh well.

    • JM says:

      You’re right, Angie. She is definitely the singer that has me scratching my head every time– (Was that performance good, bad or ugly? Scratch, scratch)

      • Angie_Overrated says:

        Remember those commercials a year or so ago for the Cosmopolitan Hotel/Casino in Vegas where the gist was “so wrong it’s right” and they had funky music playing with random costumes, wacky people, little ladies walking giant great danes, etc? Reagan is so that.

    • skrable2 says:

      Thank you. This explains exactly how I feel

    • Tom22 says:

      It might be that she’s got great lyrical interpretation in terms of modulating volume and note color in ways that make sense to words and individual phrases poetically. (i’m never sure about “meaning” of a song but I know the meaning of “sun on my shoulders” or something like that.. and I can tell when a singer isn’t really trying to bring words to life).
      Her runs felt like logical themes-and-variations more than many others who tend to throw runs in as indulgences (well she’s not entirely immune but they made sense to me where they were put and in relation to her others). It all felt right even though she spoke some phrases and didn’t always ring notes with a crisp voice etc. Rhythm is important part of musical artistry and that was a high difficulty rating for sure in terms of rhythm and annunciation.
      On top of that she’s got a positive attitude and like a smile, you the words and notes sound differently with a positive light behind them (even sad songs suggest gain rays of hope through the despair etc)
      Just some thoughts of why I think she sounded pretty good.

      • Tom22 says:

        I could spend a bunch of time on it picking out things other people might not hear but stuff like saying the word “cheatin” with a little bit of a “spitting” sort of phrasing like you were spitting on the cheater… and an instantaneous(too short for most ears I bet) of trill in the word “style” slightly Eva Gabor-like, then her runs in the phrase “spinning” weren’t going up and down so much as around .. a type of spinning of notes and elliptical wobbling timing (rather than graceful spin which it wasn’t the place for and later towards the end she used a logical run that spun downward as if a person was swooning, which made sense there. How much she pulled that sort of thing off is a matter of opinion…I’ll put it this way though.. her voice itself didn’t shine much in that song… there was only one or two places where it slowed down enough to show a smooth voice and it wasn’t particularly beautiful but there but still logical (sort of whiny at a place where whiny could work but could have chosen beautiful instead. which I would have preferred). Fun to hear, not quite good enough to buy to listen to instead of the original band.

  8. Ana Andrade says:

    My thoughts:
    7. I’m not really into country. That being said, I preferred Allison over Taylor.
    6. I felt both were pretty even. O can see why Ryan won though.
    5. Matt sounded good in what they showed. But what about Rebekah? I wanted to hear her too.
    4. Chris won that easily.
    3. Reagan was amazing. I liked Grant too but you could tell he was nervous.
    2. Both were great. I preferred Anita but was happy Craig was stolen.
    1. I was expecting Menlik to win but Jean really surprised me. She did Chandelier really well. Way better than Kat Perkins in my opinion. Not that I have anything against Kat :)

  9. DarkDefender says:

    Taylor Swift has just really won me over… And her catchy songs.
    I think Jean Kelley is brilliant. She reminds me of a very young Bette Midler.

  10. analythinker says:

    Oh and gotta say Adam’s picks are nothing but predictable. I’ve been right since the beginning of the show, every single time, including the Joe Kirk vs Alessandra battle, even though Joe was a four-chair turn.

  11. JM says:

    I got my wish! I forget who asked last Tuesday, but someone asked who Blake’s final steal would be, and i replied that i hoped it would be either Anita or Craig because i like them both. So happy it worked out.

  12. Kim Moores says:

    Didn’t expect to love Jean that much, she can be a real contender.
    I don’t see Anita winning, but I think she’ll prove to give good performances.
    Blake needs to ditch JDC and get on board CWB.
    That Grant kid…poor guy. That was literally just embarrassing to watch. Boy looked whiter than Hitler’s dream for the German future. So scared and soooo crappy sounding.
    Reagan was very good.
    I honestly think we have a good top 20.

  13. CK says:

    I’m going to have to give Blessing a nice long slow clap for unintentionally making Taylor Swift mentor him on a John Mayor song.

    • lizzieB says:

      TOTALLY made the night for me. Pretty awkward stuff but it was fun as heck to watch.

      Also some of the song choices tonight had my eyes rolling. ‘Too little too late’ and ‘miss independent’? And then there’s Train of course.

  14. Hart says:

    Loveee Jean Kelley’s performance tonight! It’s kind of surprising that Gwen has more than half of her original team going to the live show. I thought that her team was weak, but it’s been proven otherwise with their constant development!

  15. Scott says:

    Wow Jean was awesome tonight. I’ve always liked her but she really stepped it up. Pretty satisfied with the top 20 for the most part, a few disappointing eliminations but a good group overall.

  16. Timmah says:

    Going into tonight, I thought Reagan was the one to beat. But Jean is emerging as a contender. Taylor Brashears is kind of interesting too. I don’t really care for any of the male voices, they all sound kind of alike to me.

  17. Normandy says:

    The triple montage of Rebekah Samarin just shows you how little the showrunners give a damn about the contestants. There’s a rumor that Mark Burnett doesn’t care about producing a star, he just cares about a hit TV show. The montage is completely disrespectful and a slap in the face, especially when tomorrow there’s a flipping “best of” recap show!

    What did Rebekah do to deserve this? Refuse the advances of one of the producers?

  18. AlyB says:

    Jean, Craig, Reagan, Amita & Matt were phenomenally good. I’m just sorry we didn’t get the whole Matt/Rebekah round. There’s so much fluff they can cut out so the montages are just so unnecessary. Taylor is just a revelation as a mentor. She nails their weak spots & offers such concise, executable correction. I can’t wait to hear them sing live & hope these 5 at least make the final cuts. From what I’ve seen so far, they’ll be getting my votes and are likely to be putting out iTunes i want to buy.

  19. Tyler Kohrs says:

    Also, out of spike Blake should have just stole Rebekah so that then she could get some air time! lol

  20. Robin Dortch says:

    Totally not fair to Bekah! Such a disappointment by The Voice!

  21. Angie_Overrated says:

    Eternal Taylor Swift love even though I still think she can’t sing worth poop. Girl was the greatest guest mentor ever.
    “Please take the jacket off. I’m so distracted by the fringe.”
    Not only was that sage advice, but did anyone notice how he immediately sounded better too?! The fringe was holding him back in more ways than one.

    • analythinker says:

      YES. I even tried as much as listening to her new album, 1989, but not my type of music (I’m prob too old for that, heh), so still pass. But Taylor for coach! (Idk how much this would cost tho.)

    • David H says:

      Can sing on key (check). Has good breath support (check). Enunciates her words (check). What am I missing? Seriously, just because her style doesn’t suit you, it doesn’t mean she can’t sing.

      • Angie_Overrated says:

        Has good breath support? Are you punking me, dude? Do you even understand what breath support means in singing?
        She can’t sing. Get over it. But after this stint of hers on The Voice, I realize now she has skills I never knew she had.

  22. Dauris Boney says:

    Craig Wayne Boyd nailed the whole show. A true down to earth vocalist. He’s going to be hard to beat. Goog Luck CWB!!!!

  23. Sara says:

    I had a real issue with Jean Kelley’s performance, which probably puts me in the minority. But it felt so contrived!!! And she was so focused on making it dramatic (even though she admitted during the rehearsal footage that she didn’t really have much of a connection to the subject matter) that a lot of her notes felt incomplete and/or dropped off. Further, it dragged more than I thought it should have, again because of her over-dramatizing an already dramatic song.
    I knew that Menlik wasn’t going to make it to the live playoffs, but I don’t think that Jean’s performance was a runaway success. In fact, it actually turned me slightly against her, when I had previously been a fan.

  24. Lori says:

    Hey NBC – how can we vote – you don’t allow us to hear all of the singers. Infuriatingly disappointing. You call this a singing contest? What I witnesed this yeas has been more like – week after week – NBC playing games with us all – and worst of all playing cruel favoritism games with these (better deserving) musicians.

  25. Simon Vivier says:

    Rebekah Samarin makes Kristen Merlin look like a producer favorite. Seriously, what the hell was that? It was the same with Grant, but at least we finally got to hear him tonight. He sounded super nervous and probably not quite ready for lives, but I think there’s something really interesting about him.

    My favorites from the top 20:
    Team Adam: Chris, Taylor
    Team Gwen: Anita, Ricky
    Team Pharrell: Luke, DaNica, Jean
    Team Blake: none :P

  26. juju says:

    Finally we will see them singing live.. I guess some of the most promising contestants are : Bryana, Mia and Reagan. Voters like young talented contestants literally.

  27. Sharon says:

    I asked my husband who his pick was, and he said it’s the first season nobody stands head and shoulders above the pack for him.

    We both thought Craig’s performance was a revelation – not just the best vocals we have heard from him so far, but impeccable phrasing and timing, too. And while I was glad to see the fringes gone and the hair tamed on face and head, I really disliked his actual haircut, which looked like one of those awkward I’m-growing-my-hair out situations. But that’s a minor detail.

    Taylor Brashears did a reasonably nice job, but showed the vocal equivalent of feet of clay. I think she wanted to show a softer side, but she needed a Patsy Cline ballad or the like.

    Finally, another round of applause from me for Taylor Swift. I really appreciated so much about her mentoring, but her standout advice for several contestants was having them drop down into their lower range a little more. It gave us an evening with more singing and less shrillness and shrieking.

  28. Static says:

    Jean was a pleasant surprise! I had her pegged as a powerhouse vocalist but she might just be the most emotionally potent singer in the season’s bunch. Anita sort of fell flat for me–the faux-reggae song did not do her justice–but the sexy-ass dancehall moves put me back on her bandwagon. Craig, on the other hand, is completely fine and completely not my cup of tea. I would rather Menlik get the steal but that’s a bit of a nitpick in a night full of spot-on decisions. Though I must ask: How is run-of-the-mill Ryan Sill still here while the likes of Troy, Toia and Maiya were shown the door?

  29. JDT says:

    I think a lot of the Voice is set up. I am glad that Craig made it. If you read about him, he’s pretty much a professional. Not in the big leagues. He tours over 200 days a year. I think it sucks that some of them that made the top 20 didn’t get shown performing. And one more thing, I think Adam is worthless as a coach and extremely overpaid. (can you say juxtaposition?….his favorite word) He has made more doing the Voice than he did touring. (He makes more than anyone on there) Blake and Pharrell are great as coaches….they actually care.

    • jag says:

      Perspective really matters. While mentoring is to improve contestants, the styles how to get their differs. IMO Blake is more of a parental approach, means pleasing more than commenting, Pharell is all about the persona and how it shells out on the stage, Gwen oh well the hair the clothes and the performance and Adam is about experimentation and pushing boundaries. What he does is picking unconventional artists in contrast with his styles. that’s why he comes as pushy rather than nurturing.While the rest is on their own bandwagon. Blake may stray with his styles but his coaching remains as not argumentative. Again im not defending Mr. Levin but this coaches have given more than the coaches or judges on the other shows.

  30. Dana Ernest says:

    I don’t see anyone from last night’s performances being a top contender except for Jean Kelley, unless they make some huge improvements. The best performances were last week: DaNica, Ricky, Sugar Jones, Luke Wade, etc. I don’t know how Anita and Craig could ever win this. They each do one style very well, but don’t have any range or versatility.

    • JDT says:

      If you look back at the previous winners, none have become big stars. Last years winner, that pretty Jamaican woman with the incredible voice (sorry, can’t think of her name) she put an album out several months ago and apparently didn’t do well. It’s getting harder all the time since people don’t buy many cd’s. Their money is made touring.

      • Jeff Marley says:

        Her name is Tessanne chin, and I think the the problem was that capital records didn’t promote her. Otherwise tessannes album was one of my favorites of 2014!!! 😃😃😃

        • JDT says:

          Jeff, thanks!!! Tessanne. Have brain fog. I loved her. IMO she is a professional. Up in the league with Celine Dion. She has a cool song she did before the Voice, done in Jamaica. Totally different look and song. Look it up on You Tube if you haven’t seen it!

      • Timmah says:

        I think Taylor Swift said it best last night when she talked about the difference between a singer and a performer. The winners of the The Voice have generally been great singers, but dull performers.

  31. Eidi says:

    I wonder if the producers called Taylor Swift as a mentor due to the large amount of Taylor contestants this year.

  32. Mar says:

    Jean Kelly’s performance was absolutely mesmerizing. And I agree with the author of this article. I would have thrown my flat screen out the window too, if Pharrell hadn’t declared her the winner of that round. It wasn’t even close. I look forward to hearing her sing again

  33. Lloyd says:

    7. You could see on Allison’s face during Taylor’s performance and the comments that she wasn’t confident things will go her way. Allison’s performance was good – gritty and rough, but Taylor’s voice was more enjoyable and she seemed to have more control.
    6. Ryan reminds me of a character from a teen movie whom the female protagonist leaves for a resident bad boy. He just seems very bland and straight-laced. Not even his voice is enjoyable to me. Not sure why the coaches kept praising it. He reminds me a little bit of Spencer Lloyd from AI13. He so doesn’t belong in the live playoffs. As for Beth, I was taken aback by her makeover, it was kinda distracting for me. Her singing was fine, although she sounded somewhat insecure. Would have gone with Beth.
    5. If I counted correctly, we had 28 seconds of Matt’s singing (yes, I counted) and 0 of Rebekah’s. It really seems like someone on the production team hates her.
    4. That’s one weak and unpleasant falsetto, Chris. Please, do not use it in public again until you develop it. As for Blessing, his constant smiling didn’t really fit the mood of the song; there was no nuance. Nice tone, though.
    3. I don’t remember Grant at all – did they montage all of his performances until now? He seems much more likeable than the usual teen contestants that come on this show, for some reason. “Apologize” has been sung too often on reality singing competitions, though. I’m kinda sick of that song. I think Grant sang it well enough, though at the beginning he sounded like his mouth was full of pudding. And I hate it when contestants choose to cut some lyrics so that the end result doesn’t form a coherent whole. I actually didn’t like Raegan’s performance very much. Beautiful voice, but those runs and embellishments… meh. And she keeps freaking me out for the same reason Lauren Alaina used to freak me out. A 15 year old who looks close to 30. P.S. Did Blake and Taylor Swift seriously not know how you should pronounce/spell “memento”? O.o I am disappointed.
    2. Ew, Craig is one of those parents who kiss their children on the lips. Please, people, do not do that. OK, now that I’ve gotten that out of the way, the singing: great voice and he really took the advice from the mentoring session and sang to the audience. I hate “Rude”, so I couldn’t really enjoy Anita’s performance, but I guess she sang it well. She has an interesting voice.
    1. I kinda felt Menlik’s rendition was too similar to the original. The guy is definitely very talented and has a lot of potential, and considering he’s only 19, he has plenty of opportunities still to grow and improve. As for Jean, I felt it was a performance best listened to, but not looked at. The way she changed it was interesting, her voice and singing were good, but the way she moved was kinda… irritating and not believable.

    • Tom22 says:

      just got to reading this and I liked your points: 7 I’d add that there still seemed like a personal barrier where Allison wasn’t quite an open book enough for a singer… “right at you” less than “i feel this way”…feelings are complex, even anger takes parts disgust, part revenge, part shock, part wishing it wasn’t so.. too one dimensional.. melody and note coloring allows those nuances…Taylor showed a fair bit of wonder and musing about wisdom 6. I think MS and Pharell were onto something. Ryan knows who he is and has some charm but a bit shy about letting it out in a way that he’s entitled to say what he feels …Beth might have been better in some ways but she just isn’t that good at what she feels she’s good at and I doubt she’s got time to learn something else (Casadee pope was very good at what she liked and was able to also do well at what Blake saw country-wise…easier to coach ryan to break out of a shell than hope for basic top to bottom sense of music improvement. 5. Rebekah thing is perplexing..took wile a guesses elsewhere. 4 Didn’t like that falsetto either but I did feel like Chris is a performer who has something he wants to share without inhibition…Blessing has just done it all too many times and seems to have set responses and old tricks he’s used a thousand times that are just too packaged in his own mind to come off as freshly relating his emotions to an interpretation (emotionally guarded?) 3. Grant had something charming about him that he brought musically but as judges mentioned he hasn’t quite developed his own sound… I disagree with you on the embellishments being gratuitous for Reagan.. they all painted the words they related to and there was a progression of emotion in the song with variations of her embellishments playing directly on prior ones in a consistent story … not randomly. (wrote more elsewhere here)2. Close minded judgement and seeing perversion where both parties had not a glimmer of it in their hearts reminds me of Michael and too many others here seeing something sexual about putting a 12 year old dressed as 12 year-olds do on ones shoulders…still baffled about 50% of america’s weird perversion in seeing something perverted where there was no sexual dynamic between participants. Craig was great, I like Anita a lot but was with you..don’t think the song is great or relatable for me… not sure the band and her connected 100% there but band had too many songs to do this week to get them all customized and they overall did a terrific job of giving us interesting and good accompaniment that also allowed the singers to take the forefront. 1. Menliks was too similar and also not as good… I wasn’t that impressed with anything about it but other people saw more.. I didn’t mind looking at Jean (yes it was a pain-face that bothers me in many singers but she’s good enough looking and her eyes were warm/soft to draw balance it out. I think the lead in set us up to expect too much and I bet she performed it better in practice…she was actually slightly stiff and I think occasionally had flashes of preoccupation with what would come next hit her….but that is petty criticism.. it was very good.
      I should be working on other stuff instead of procrastinating in comment sections.

      • Lloyd says:

        Lol, thanks for the reply as lengthy as my comment. :) Just to clarify – I never said kissing your children on the lips is perverted per se, just that it is a practice best avoided. I would have hated it if I had my first kiss with a significant other and it reminded of the way my mom kissed me, or something else along those lines.

  34. Sheryl says:

    This situation is my biggest pet peeve with The Voice. Instead of watching the performance of someone who “made it”, we see repeats and boring trailers. I think everyone selected in blinds, or who loves up to Knockouts, deserves to have their performance televised.

  35. Ruiroxo says:

    “since Christina dumped verbal pig’s blood on Adam’s guy Tony Lucca in Season 2.” Really Michael Slezak… Really… Come on!!

  36. Anicole says:

    Had the pleasure of seeing Anita live a few years back. You haven’t seen anything yet!

  37. Angie_Overrated says:

    The new TVline message board technology is severely lacking stuff indeed. I’m running through their lost advertising revenue in my head if this problem is still here when Idol comes around…

    • Tom22 says:

      While I’d like to flatter myself I don’t think people come for the comments -that- much to really miss a portion of posts that didn’t quite make it to pixel-print ; )

      • Angie_Overrated says:

        I’m not in this industry, but I’m fairly certain a huge chunk of their revenue comes from people posting in the comments section and refreshing the page. I honestly don’t know the economics of it, but I’m relaying what I’ve been told by people who do know what the economics of it are.

  38. Dj says:

    Loving me some Reagan James. I’m from Texas and I heard her on the Kidd Kraddick morning show about a year ago she was great then. I bet Scooter Braun is kicking himself for not signing her.

  39. Kaba says:

    It’s literally impossible for me to post.
    if by some chance this is visible I’ll be amazed.
    Like…it happened occasionally with the old format, but I literally don’t even try anymore because the new format is plagued with this “duplicate comment” yet it’s not visible anywhere nonsense.

  40. Name That Tune says:

    Call me old-fashioned, but I’ll take the grit and grime of Craig Wayne Boyd any day.

    Liked Blessing, thought Chris singing “On the Dock of the Bay” was incredibly dull.

  41. Viajero says:

    I certainly agree with the voters in your poll on the top 4 performances of the evening, though my personal favorites were Jean and Reagan because of the way they did something different with their songs that worked in a major way. I think this was Jean’s breakout moment, just like Ricky Manning has his breakout moment in the previous episode. We’ll have to see if either one can keep it going in the next round.

    I really can´t rank the teams as for the first time in several seasons, I think all four teams are going into the lives with potential winners.

  42. Matt says:

    Am I the only one who didn’t agree with a single one of Gwen’s knockout round decisions (aside from her steal)? As far as I’m concerned her steal is the only one with any hope of winning… if he even makes it to top 20, which I don’t even think is a sure thing.

  43. Ami says:

    Interestingly, ALL the steals either coming from Pharell’s or Gwen’s team (yes, I know Craig originally was from Blake’s team, but he did come over to Gwen’s for a short time).

    Team Adam: Taylor Phelan (Pharell’s)
    Team Gwen: Ricky Manning (Pharell’s)
    Team Blake: Jessie Pitts (Gwen’s)
    Team Pharell: Sugar Joans and Jean Kelley (Gwen’s)

  44. Wendy says:

    Craig is amazing…SO glad he’s back with blake…

  45. jag says:

    This is the first time for me to really cant decide the winning team. The greats are evenly distributed per team. I didn’t expect Gwen to make the right choices but she got 2 great artists. Even Blake is not boring anymore. It’s good that early favorites slowed down and the underdogs pick up their phases. It really evens the field. Adam as usual has the ups but flukes happened. Pharell’s team has some of the weakest like Gwen so maybe the’ll have the lesser number of artist for the top 8. My bets on Ricky, James, Chris, Reagan, Luke, Taylor P., Briana, and Jean. Then we’ll have the votes.

  46. Caitlyn says:

    After last season, I really hope someone interesting and/or that has a chance to be a star, wins the show. My hopes are with Reagan, and I’m in complete agreement with Angle_Overrated … I don’t even know why I like her so much, but I do. This is not a prediction … more like a hope for the finals: Reagan, Craig and Luke.

  47. Shelly says:

    Can’t believe Pharrell and Gwen let Menlik go and kept Anita with her goofy dance moves. He’s waaaaay more marketable, and with some further mentoring, could be great.

  48. colton says:

    alison kiled it ,hugh loss to the show

  49. cristina says:

    The best singing competition! And most wonderful coaches! I appreciate Adam total commitment to his team he is just an extraordinary human being and coach! Pharraell is also very competitive. Love love love the show

  50. Eric says:

    I want Gwen Stefani wins the voice Gwen Stefani is pretty