What is a Knockout Rounds episode of The Voice without the sound of Carson Daly busting a blood vessel in his brain while screaming “WE’VE GOT A STEAL!!!!”?
We learned the answer to such an unthinkable question on Tuesday night’s pithy (and Steal-free) one-hour installment, which reinforced the eye-popping depth of Team Xtina, reminded us that it’s never a wise idea to write off Team Blake, and cemented my overall feeling that Miley Cyrus will be a reasonably good coach when she joins NBC’s reality singing competition on a full-time basis next fall.
(Still, while Miley is definitely winning me over, could someone please explain to this ready-to-be-put-out-to-pasture recapper why she would wear that ill-fitting blue plush heart as a bustier — especially since, unlike Adam’s ridic pink hair, it’s not even being used for comic relief?)
While you focus on answering one of the more vexing questions of our modern times, allow me to count down this week’s Knockout Rounds results in order from least- to most-promising winner:
3. Team Pharrell: Moushumi – Halsey’s “New Americana” defeats Nick Hagelin — Robin Thicke’s “Lost Without You” | I loved Moushumi’s Blind Audition cover of “Wicked Game” so much that I am not ready to dismiss her as a potential front-runner. But despite her beautifully airy tone on the verses, it felt like she put a lid on her emotions and never really brought to life the soaring chorus of “New Americana.” Nick’s gorgeous falsetto made this the closest Knockout of the night, but the way he struggled to keep up the quick cadence on parts of the verses sealed his fate — even though he’d have made a much better steal than Monday night’s Lacy Mandigo or perhaps even Ryan Quinn.
2. Team Xtina: Tamar Davis – Sam Smith’s “Lay Me Down” defeats Maya Smith — Alicia Keys’ “No One” | Tamar’s got incredible range and projection — both of which made her the obvious winner of her Knockout – but I thought she overbaked the chorus a little. You don’t need to pass a gallstone to let me know you’re deep in heartache, OK, Tamar? And on Xtina’s super deep Season 10 bench, you won’t be able to make any missteps going forward. Lucky for Tamar, Maya was consistently sharp for at least half her performance, making Xtina’s decision a no-brainer.
1. Team Blake: Adam Wakefield – Sam Cooke’s “Bring It on Home to Me” defeats Peyton Parker — Dixie Chicks’ “Traveling Soldier” | Xtina’s got a “country crush” on Adam (whatever that means) and it’s not hard to understand why. He’s got the kind of grit and growl to be a legitimate country-charts contender, but a deep well of soulfulness that allows him to sound totally convincing tackling the legendary Sam Cooke. Don’t be shocked if he winds up in the finale. Against Adam’s effortless excellence, poor Peyton’s half-dozen flubs proved deadly — which isn’t to say the gal doesn’t have some chops of her own!