‘The Voice’: Taylor Swift Continues To Mentor, Anita Antoinette Slays With “Rude” Cover As Knockout Rounds Wrap Up
Barefoot choreography with Taylor Swift! Steal vs. Steal Knockout on Team Pharrell! Gwen Stefani de-fringing a contestant with a mandatory makeover! A lone, untelevised performance on Team Adam Levine! An episode-ending steal from Blake Shelton!
The final night of the Knockout Round had just about everything one could hope for to get them through te last episode until the Live Rounds — everything, perhaps, except for Taylor Swift’s cat, which was mysteriously absent during her entire Voice tenure.
While we can only hope that fur ball Olivia Benson rides Tay Tay’s elbow crook to a surprise Live Rounds appearance, we now know for sure which contestants will be showing up when The Voice goes live next week. Head below to see who rounded out the Live teams!
Team Blake: Allison Bray vs. Taylor Brashears
Taylor Swift really channels her inner Usher while mentoring Team Blake’s Allison Bray and Taylor Brashears. Instead of requesting pushups, however, Taylor has Allison practice her strutting. “Let’s do an experiment and take our shoes off,” she says when Allison rehearses Dixie Chicks’ “Sin Wagon,” advising her to, “Just be, like, more sloppy.”
Swift has (the other) Taylor find a person in the audience to sing to for her performance of Fleetwood Mac’s “Landslide.” “I just put all my ex boyfriends in the audience,” says Taylor B.
“Oh, I do that all the time,” Taylor S. agrees. #TaylorBonding. Taylor’s mellow song choice shows a softer side for the first time, which proves to be impactful. Even without her high heels, Allison is pretty sharp in her upper register.
“I’ve always wanted you on my team,” Pharrell tells Taylor, adding, “Today, Allison, I completely understand it.”
“To come up there and command the stage like that, I’m pretty blown away,” Gwen tells Allison, but adds, “Sometimes with the power notes you have to reign them in a little bit.”
“You do have amazing control, and you do have that amazing authentic country sound,” Coach Blake tells Taylor. “Allison, you have that ability to project.”
The winner, naturally, is authentic country. Blake advances Taylor to the Lives.
Team Gwen: Beth Spangler vs. Ryan Sill
“I thought I was going to pee my pants,” a cappella enthusiast Ryan Sill declares upon meeting Taylor Swift. Luckily, he is able to hold it together against former Team Adam contestant Beth Spangler. Ryan attempts to unleash his inner swag with his performance of Ne-Yo’s “Miss Independent,” while Beth shows her R&B side with JoJo’s “Too Little Too Late.”
“When you get way up there sometimes it can get a little squirrelly. Trust me, I’m Captain Squirrely.” Adam Captain Squirrely tells Beth.
“Your tone is incredible,” Pharrell tells Beth. “Ryan, incredible voice,” he adds, calling both “incredible” performers evenly matched.
“When Ryan looked at me at the end of the performance, it was just this rewarding, incredible feeling,” says Gwen. “Beth, I thought you did everything right. It’s amazing to watch how much power you have.”
Noting that Ryan listens and does everything she says, Gwen advances him to the next round. Beth is not as lucky with a steal as she was in the Battles.
Team Pharrell: Jean Kelley vs. Menlik Zergabachew
Pharrell pairs his two steals – both from Team Gwen – when he matches Jean Kelley and Menlik Zergabachew. Jean sings Sia’s “Chandelier,” earning total girl crush status from Taylor Swift with her dramatic rendition. Taylor and Pharrell tell Menlik to open up a little bit – specifically his eyes – in his performance of Bob Marley’s “Could You Be Loved.” Jean is the clear standout, but the coaches are torn.
“Jean, that was like a haunting performance,” says Gwen. “Menlik, you really have shown a lot of growth because your personality keeps coming out more and more.”
“When you sing it’s like this real interesting combination of deep anxiety and a sense of relief,” says Adam, perhaps still coming down from wedding jitters.
“Jean, you’re just like a Broadway play on stage,” says Pharrell. “Menlik, you were just like in your own world, and who can argue with that?”
Menlik, sadly, will have to be in his own world off The Voice stage, as Pharrell picks Jean.
Team Adam: Blessing Offor vs. Chris Jamison
Adam pairs soulful singer Blessing Offor with young hopeful Chris Jamison in his final Knockout. Blessing switches genres to sing John Mayer’s “Your Body Is A Wonderland,” but gives it a classic R&B vibe. Chris takes on Otis Redding’s “Sitting On The Dock Of The Bay.” Though the hit was released decades before the 20 year-old contestant was born, he really connects with it onstage.
“I love how you just pour yourself into a song,” Blake tells Chris.
“Blessing, you had the crowd going,” says Pharrell, but adds, “There were places where it was a little pitchy.”
“You have this rare ability to sing whatever you want,” Adam tells Blessing. “Being a 20 year old singing ‘Sitting on the Dock of the Bay?’ That’s courageous,” he tells Chris in a bit of an overstatement about the reality television contestant’s bravery.
Courage overcomes all, as Chris advances above Blessing. #NotBlessed
Team Blake: Grant Grazer vs. Reagan James
The young’uns duke it out when Blake pairs 16 year-old Grant Grazer and 15 year-old Reagan James. Grant puts all of his emotion on stage with his performance of OneRepublic’s “Apologize,” and Reagan keeps it upbeat and quirky with Blu Cantrell’s “Hit ‘Em Up Style.” Grant’s performance betrays every bit of his 16-year old nerves, though, and Reagan proves herself to be one of the most confident performers on the show.
“Reagan, the swagger you have onstage is crazy,” says Pharrell.
“You were super nervous, but that’s fine,” Adam tells Grant (even though it’s totally not fine). “Reagan, you freak me out a little bit, because you’re the exact opposite of that.”
“Grant, the nerves got to you a little bit,” Blake agrees. He tells Reagan, “You can take any song and just sprinkle some Reagan on it, and it could be whatever you want it to be.”
Without much internal debate, Blake advances Reagan.
Team Gwen: Anita Antoinette vs. Craig Wayne-Boyd
In the final battle of the knockouts, Gwen pairs Anita Antoinette and Team Blake steal Craig Wayne Boyd. Anita is known for her soulful performances, and Craig’s wardrobe is known for having an epic fringe game. Perhaps that is why Gwen focused most of Anita’s coaching on stage presence, and most of Craig’s coaching on working her makeover magic.
“I would be so excited to make you look like I’d want you to look if I made out with you,” Gwen tells Craig. Though scenes from the makeover montage are not shown, one can only imagine that it is Clueless-esque.
Yes, by the time Craig hits the stage to sing Marshall Tucker Band’s “Can’t You See,” his hair and beard have been trimmed to Stefani approval, and his fringe is nowhere to be seen. He really belts out the song, meaning that his power didn’t exclusively lie in his suede jacket after all.
Anita sings Magic’s “Rude,” and has a commanding and playful stage presence. It appears to remind Gwen of Gwen, so one can guess where this is going.
“You have certainly come out of your shell” Adam tells Anita. “You just took that song and wrestled it to the ground,” he says to Craig.
“You just kept jabbing people with these unexpected, super confident notes,” Pharrell praises Anita.
“Craig, my favorite thing about what you did tonight was how you started off so in control on the mic stand, and then you walked around and commanded the whole audience,” says his coach. To Anita, she says, “You just came so far, it’s shocking to me.”
Despite the new approved look, Gwen passes on Craig and advances Anita. Never to fear: Craig’s former coach Blake steals him right back. “It couldn’t have worked out any more perfect than it did,” the country coach declares.
Untelevised: Just one performance didn’t quite make Monday’s televised cut. Adam advances Matt McAndrew over Rebekah Samarin. Sorry for the abbreviated screen time, Matt: NBC had to spend precious commercial minutes trying to make anyone care about State Of Affairs with Katherine Heigl.
And with that, the Live Rounds teams are set! Any bets as to which team stands the best chance when put up to the vote?