‘The Voice’: Caity Peters Stands Out In Final Knockout With Sam Smith’s “Leave Your Lover”
Praise the lord — or Carson Daly or whoever — because Monday night was the last night of The Voice Knockout Round. Snaps to coaches Blake Shelton, Christina Aguilera, Pharrell Williams and Adam Levine for choosing contestants up to this point, but let’s hand it on over to America now. If there’s one thing that our country’s really been excelling at lately, it’s voting intelligently.
Going into the last night of the Knockout Round, Blake was the only coach holding a steal. If he’s using any sort of strategy, he’ll use it to poach a Team Christina member, since she’s really killing it this year. To the Lives or bust…but not before the Knockout Round’s final hurrah. Here’s who made it through one last night of comparing and contrasting arbitrary pairings.
Team Adam: Brian Nhira vs. Nate Butler
Adam puts pop singer Brian Nhira, his Battle Round steal from Team Pharrell, up against soulful singer Nate Butler. Brian goes for a challenge and sings “Grenade” by Bruno Mars. It’s a big moment for him, and he adds a lot of growl and ad lib to really own it. Nate, by comparison, gives a stiff performance of Al Green’s “Let’s Stay Together.” It’s vocally solid, but doesn’t hold up to Brian’s performance.
“Brian came out here and poured gas on the stage and dropped a match on it,” says Blake. “You had this smoothness to your voice and you had this falsetto that you go to with ease,” he tells Nate.
“Brian, your energy was on a 10. Your voice was on a 10. Your way to leave me in the dust was on a 10,” says former coach slash Olympic figure skating judge Pharrell.
“You were so good tonight. I’m finding out in this moment just how special you are,” Adam tells Nate. “You accomplished what Bruno accomplished, which was you sang the crap out of it,” he tells Brian, borrowing one of Blake’s worst Blake-isms.
Singing the crap out of it for the win: Adam advances Brian.
Team Blake: Brittany Kennell vs. Mary Sarah
Blake really cut down his female country singers since the Blinds, and is about to cut one more when he pairs modern country singer Brittany Kennell and classic country singer Mary Sarah. Bundle of energy Mary Sarah sings Loretta Lynn’s “You Ain’t Woman Enough (To Take My Man),” and owns the stage (as always). Brittany sings fellow Canadian singer Shania Twain’s “You’re Still The One.” She eases up on her Gwen Stefani-esque vibrato a bit, but it’s not impressive enough for this point of the competition.
“I couldn’t find a mistake in it. You made me believe it. It was a solid performance,” Christina tells Mary Sarah. “In the Knockout Round, I was looking for a little more of a punch,” she tells Brittany.
“Yours was great and it was subtle and it was different. I think you did a lot to make it your own, but I think you got a little overpowered here by Mary Sarah,” Adam tells Brittany.
“Mary Sarah exudes that personality that you saw on stage with her vintage but still youthful country sound,” says Blake.
It’s no surprise when Blake gives it to Mary Sarah.
Team Christina: Bryan Bautista vs. Trey O’Dell
Welcome to Team Christina, Trey O’Dell! Sadly, it’s fixing to be a short stay, because you’re up against rising star Bryan Bautista. The former Team Blake member sings OneRepublic’s “I Live,” which is a yawn of a choice that he does nothing to improve. Bryan sings Justin Bieber’s “Sorry,” and even though it’s pretty straightforward, he blows the coaches away with his full upper register and falsetto tones toward the end.
“You entertained, dude, you brought it on all levels from the bob to sneaking in the high levels,” Pharrell tells Bryan.
“You have so many more tools in the shed than most people,” Adam says to Bryan.
“You have to have really good rhythm and accuracy. You are so versatile,” Christina tells Bryan. To Trey, she says, “You got more and more solid as you progressed during the song, and I loved the ending.”
It’s not even close. Christina advances Bryan.
Team Pharrell: Abby Celso vs. Caity Peters
Abby Celso goes up against four-chair turner Caity Peters in Pharrell’s final Knockout. Abby sings “Rich Girl” by Hall & Oates, which is a little shaky to start but it’s eventually fun in a crowd-pleasing karaoke way. Caity sings Sam Smith’s “Leave Your Lover,” which has less energy but more subtle impact.
“The confidence and the strength that you perform with is pretty hard for anyone not to notice,” Adam tells Abby. “The smoothness and the uniqueness of your lower register is really cool, And then when you kind of stab at those higher things it’s equally beautiful,” he tells Caity.
“You did come out here very spunky, kind of sassy,” Christina tells Abby, but adds, “I was missing a few different textures.”
“There is no denying the way that you take control of the stage and just give people all of that vocal power that you have,” Pharrell tells Abby. “Where you didn’t move physically, you moved spiritually,” he tells Caity.
How can Pharrell turn down spiritual movement? He advances Caity.
Team Adam: Jessica Crosbie vs. Laith Al-Saadi
It’s an interesting pairing when Adam puts pop singer Jessica Crosbie against bluesy Laith Al-Saadi. They are so different from one another that they’re impossible to compare. Jessica, a steal from Team Pharrell, sings Avicii’s “Wake Me Up” competently, but Laith is a force to be reckoned with when he sings Peter Gabriel’s “In Your Eyes.”
“I thought you sang it pretty good,” Blake says, (barely) praising Jessica. “Your vocals are incredible. You steamrolled that,” Blake tells Laith.
“You did display a lot of range, but emotionally we didn’t get to the soaring heights that we’re used to with you,” Pharrell tells Laith. To Jessica, he says, “You have a beautiful voice and I think you did show more range.”
“You might have been jumping the gun as far as what you wanted to accomplish with the song choice rather than thinking, ‘What can I do that I know is going to bring the house down?’” Adam tells Laith, in some uncharacteristic criticism. “We could hear the goodness in there, but it couldn’t really come out,” he tells Jessica, continuing the criticism kick.
Despite his criticism, he advances Laith.
Team Christina – Kata Hay vs. Joe Maye
The final Knockout of the season – and the one where Blake gets the chance to use his steal – is between pop singer Joe Maye and rocker Kata Hay. Joe sings The Weeknd’s “Earned It,” and the typically strong singer struggles in the beginning. He should really send a thank you note to the backup track for filling some holes until he can come alive. Kata rocks Reba McEntire’s “Why Haven’t I Heard From You?” and dominates with her best performance thus far.
“We saw you absolutely just destroy it,” Adam tells Kata.
“The beginning is something to be worked on a little bit more,” Christina tells Joe. “I smile every time you take the stage with your presence and adding the guitar now,” she tells Kata.
Christina struggles to choose, but eventually picks Kata. Blake, in turn, steals Joe.
“I think what I saw develop just within that one performance is enough for me as coach to go, ‘Man, this guy’s got it in him,’” he says.
Ouch. In a triple-run of un-televised performances, Katherine Ho unceremoniously joins Team Adam, wins a Battle and loses her Knockout to Caroline Burns. Katherine’s fifteen minutes of fame was, collectively, about 27 seconds of montage. That’s a trifecta of reality TV snub right there.
The moment we’ve all been waiting for – those Live Rounds – are coming on Monday! It’s two days of performances leading up to a total blood bath of eliminations on day three. Get those text-to-vote fingers ready!