‘The Voice’ Knockouts, Pt. 2: Hard Knocks
Luke Edgemon gets knocked out
Luke Edgemon gets knocked out
All around me, my Season 4 favorites were being cast aside like Christina Aguilera and Cee Lo Green's old wigs. Savannah Berry! Jess Kellner! Luke Edgemon! Grace Askew! All gone, gone, gone--as the winner of a certain other singing competition might say. It was enough to make me curl up in a fetal position in one of those big, comfy red chairs and despondently suck my thumb, wishing all this "Voice" insanity and inanity would just go away--or at least wishing that these Knockout Rounds had Steals. Or Saves. Or Wild Cards. Or something!
Sheesh. Well, at least a few strong contestants did make it through to next week's top 16 Live Playoffs. Here's how Tuesday's Knockout Rounds went down…
Savannah Berry vs. Justin Rivers
Savannah became a frontrunner the minute she auditioned, while Justin's Blind Audition and Battle Round were montaged this season. So Justin seemed to be going into this Knockout at a disadvantage. No wonder he flashed an "I'm totally screwed" grimace when he found out that Savannah would be his Knockout opponent. Interestingly, both "country with a pop twist" contestants went full-on teen-pop with their song choices: Savannah did a countrified version of Justin Bieber's "As Long as You Love Me," and Justin covered Miley Cyrus's "The Climb," a song I would love to never hear on any singing show ever again. I especially don't need to hear Justin Rivers' version ever again. Savannah really did her own thing with her tune; I loved that she was playing guitar, and I loved how her voice was so full of grit. "You display as much straight-up artistry as anyone I've seen on the show," said Blake, and I had to agree with him. Justin's "The Climb," conversely, was bland vanilla fluff that made Miley's original seem positively punk-rock. His vocals were solid, but there was nothing distinctive or artistic about his performance. Even without considering the two singers' extreme screentime discrepancy, it seemed clear who would emerge victorious in this case. Right? Um, WRONG. Blake let Savannah go instead, in a major upset. I was hoping that when Blake said "Justin" had won, he was referring Savannah's Justin Bieber cover. But he wasn't. My poor brain is still boggling over this bad, bad call.
Holly Tucker vs. Luke Edgemon
Luke, a former "American Idol" contestant and "Glee" Warbler, was my favorite on Team Blake (and he was my favorite on Team Shakira, before Blake stole him). So I was worried. Two patterns had already been established on "The Voice" this week: the coaches were foolishly pitting their strongest contestants against one another, and frustratingly few of my favorites were surviving these Knockouts. I was already mourning Luke's early exit before he even got onstage--especially once I saw what a great job Holly did. The girl sounded like an Opry pro. Still, I rooted for cool Luke, whose soulful, yacht-rocky, slow-jammy Katy Perry cover was so unique and unexpected. Adam loved Luke's performance…but unfortunately, Adam didn't have the ability to steal Luke once Blake predictably ditched him. I was sad, but not surprised. I had no reason to assume that Blake would choose a jazz-handy pop/rock maverick who sang a gender-flipped "Teenage Dream"--and wasn't even one of Blake's original team members--over a (very good) traditional country girl who covered Tim McGraw's "Live Like You Were Dying." Sigh.