‘The Voice’ Knockout Rounds, Pt. 1: Don’t Tell Me ‘Cause It Hurts
"The Voice" Season 5's first Knockout Rounds — that final phase of the competition before we at long last get to the live shows — took place this Monday. And while the episode featured some elements of awesomeness (several '90s hits, a couple of Kelly Clarkson hits, and the introduction of one Steal per coach, which added an extra layer of intrigue), there were disappointments as well. Two promising young contestants inevitably fell by the wayside, and I'll be missing them in next week's Live Playoffs. One Steal per coach is not enough!
Here's what went down in the Knockout Rounds this Monday:
TEAM XTINA: Amber Nicole vs. Josh Logan
Amber was a (deserved) surprise winner in the Battle Rounds over Timyra-Joi, since her first audition was never shown in full. Meanwhile, Josh, a veteran of the mid-2000s Mark Burnett production "Rock Star: Supernova," had seemed like a frontrunner from the beginning. This one was going to be interesting.
So Amber came out and killed it on her song choice, Jessie J's "Mamma Knows Best," a total diva showcase if there ever was one. She had sass, spunk, oodles of character and confidence, and she even had her coach Christina Aguilera rocking out in her red chair. Why wasn't Amber's audition ever shown? I want to see it. I bet it was great.
Josh followed with Stevie Wonder's "Living for the City." It was a real vocal workout for sure, and he certainly nailed the tough song. But I wasn't living for it; vocally, he may have impressed, but I wasn't excited by his performance. I felt like I'd seen moments like this on "The Voice" many times, and that 17-year-old Amber was more fresh and fun, the total pop package.
Christina, of course, picked Josh. Sigh. I don't quite get his appeal. Thankfully, Amber didn't need to worry, as she continued to morph from montaged underdog to frontrunner herself, when both CeeLo Green and Blake Shelton went in for the Steal. This was a little surprising — after all, this was only the first Knockout of the episode, and like I said, each coach only gets one Steal to play with — but it was no surprise that Amber chose to join Team CeeLo. And I bet Amber will continue to surprise "Voice" viewers, and Xtina's loss will be CeeLo's gain.
STEAL: Amber moves to Team CeeLo
TEAM CEELO: Kat Robichaud vs. Monika Leigh