‘The Voice’ Knockouts, Pt. 1: Apples vs. Oranges, Rotten Decisions
Did Midas Whale get knocked out?
Did Midas Whale get knocked out?
I am sure once they found out, however, they were as shocked--or annoyed--as I was.
Adam Levine and Shakira's contestants competed in Monday's Knockouts, and I honestly could not figure out how these coaches decided to pair up their players. These Knockout pairings were bizarrely random. A teenage rocker boy against a thirtysomething Nashville vet. A sweet country teen against a quirky folk-rock duo. A male soul crooner against a Latina pop starlet. A MuzikMafia country-blooze badass against an R&B diva. A tough-as-nails rock chick against a former child star. And so on. And there were no Steals, no Saves, no safety nets of any kind, left lying around to help out the contestants who didn't win. But I guess that's why it's called a KNOCKOUT Round, right?
There were times when I really wished that the Knockout Rounds did have Steals--especially when it came to the first round on Team Adam. Some of the coaches' decisions made sense, and yes, I knew that at this stage of the game, I'd have to say goodbye to a few of my favorites. But a couple of Monday's Knockout decisions, notably by Adam, practically knocked me right out of my chair--and knocked the wind right out of my sails.
Here's how Monday's Knockout Rounds went down…
Amber Carrington vs. Midas Whale
I had no idea why Adam would pit two very strong, and very different, players against each other like this. (Oh, that Adam Levine…his mind works in mysterious, and sometimes flat-out stupid, ways.) So Amber did Avril Lavigne's "I'm With You," a song that meant a lot to her because it reminded her of her deceased mother, and while she sang the hell out of it, it wasn't unlike something I'd heard before on "The Voice"; I was getting serious Cassadee Pope flashbacks up in here. Midas Whale, on the other hand, took a risk with their highly original take on Stevie Wonder's "Higher Ground," and it was like NOTHING I'd ever heard on "The Voice" before. It was a bit shambolic, sure, but the energy level in the studio absolutely elevated when they began their onstage hootenanny. But Adam picked Amber. My heart absolutely broke. I'd really been rooting for the Midas boys and had been looking forward to all the exciting, wacky things they could get up to on the live shows. Sigh. Will a duo ever make it to the Live Playoffs on "The Voice" again? Now Team Blake's Swon Brothers, who will compete in Tuesday's Knockouts, are Season 4's only duo hope.
Amy Whitcomb vs. Caroline Glaser
Neither of these girls gave perfect performances. Neither of them were my picks for Team Adam's overall top four, which is why I was scratching my head like an actress in a Selsun Blue commercial over some of Adam's pair-ups. But of these two, Amy definitely was the stronger singer. She started off wobbly--as a former "Sing Off" contestant accustomed to singing in an a cappella group, she must have been struggling with nerves as she went solo. But she went with a much more challenging song choice (the Animals' "House of the Rising Sun," compared to Caroline's "Little Talks" by Of Monsters & Men), and as Blake put it, the performance "ended a whole lot better than it started." Even Caroline looked scared and threatened when Amy nailed those power-notes, and such a reaction was understandable. She should have been skerred. Caroline's performance was bleaty and whiny and affected; I still don't understand the hype about this girl. She's not that good a singer, and this show IS called "The Voice." But Adam picked Caroline, of course. Maybe Amy should just go back to NBC's recently renewed "The Sing-Off," a show that actually gives her screentime.