The Voice recap: Snoop Dogg arrives and a singer makes Kelly Clarkson cry as the Knockouts begin

Maggie Fremont
·8 min read

The D-O-Double-G has arrived at The Voice to be season 20's mega mentor, and he is endearingly excited. Snoop Dogg loves the concept of the show. Besides being an artist and producer, he's a big-time music fan, and he's looking forward to working with the contestants. Maybe he can help ease the pressure a bit since a lot is riding on this round; whoever wins moves on to the Live Playoffs. And with each coach only allowed one save each, there are even fewer spots available. Let's see what Snoop and our remaining singers have in store for us as we kick off the Knockouts.

Team Kelly: Ryleigh Modig, "Use Somebody" by Kings of Leon vs. Corey Ward, "Already Gone" by Kelly Clarkson

You know who's excited to hang out with Snoop Dogg all day? Kelly Clarkson. "I can't even believe my life," she says. And that's before he gifts her the same jacket he's wearing. The queen of jackets is given her very own! She tees up this Knockout for the mega-mentor: Ryleigh is sweet with a punk edge and excels at the intimate moments in songs. Corey is all emotion. This is a tricky song choice for Ryleigh because, as Kelly points out in rehearsal, it doesn't have a lot of those intimate moments that make her shine. On top of that, she's going against Corey, who's singing a Clarkson song. Or, as Snoop would say, "sanging" it. Corey's interpretation of the song brings Kelly to tears: Where she sings it in an ethereal way, using her higher register and falsetto, Corey is all gut and emotion. Even Snoop says he had to push a tear back into his eye because he doesn't want to cry on television. The actual performance pretty much goes the same way: Ryleigh isn't able to connect as much, and Corey just lays it out with this song.

Winner: Corey Ward!

Steals: Ryleigh should feel very good about her performance because all three of the other coaches try to steal her once she's up for grabs. She decides to join Team Legend.

Team Blake: Ethan Lively, "Help Me Hold On" by Travis Tritt vs. Jordan Matthew Young, "She Talks to Angels" by The Black Crowes

You might think Blake Shelton and Snoop Dogg would be a strange pair, but Snoop calls them "blood brothers" and also explains his love for country music — he's recorded with Brad Paisley and Willie Nelson, among others. Snoop is just a fan of music, full stop. He's excited to hear Blake's countrified Knockout, in which he's paired Ethan Lively, the 17-year-old with the clear classic country voice, and Jordan Matthew Young, who is country but more on the blues/rock end of the spectrum. Neither is the most exciting Knockout we'll see, and Snoop does note that Ethan's vocals are a little off. Blake suggests working on finding the pocket. Jordan's vocals sound on point, but he's a little stiff. Snoop tells him to "find that Snoop Dogg about [the song]." Whatever that means, it works because, after the performance, all the coaches praise Jordan for his "soulful" vocals and for leaning into that rock side of himself. It's not that they don't love what Ethan can do, especially for someone his age, but as John Legend puts it, Jordan was simply the more "compelling" of the two in this matchup.

Winner: Jordan Matthew Young!

Steals: n/a

Team Legend: Ciana Pelekai, "Cuz I Love You" by Lizzo vs. Pia Renee, "What the World Needs Now Is Love" by Jackie DeShannon

Ciana isn't messing around with this song choice. She normally does big ballads, so taking on this Lizzo song is a challenge. In rehearsal, John and Snoop tell her she needs to work on the verses — the rap sections need to be more rhythmic. Honestly, who better to have as a mentor when you're having issues with rapping than Snoop Dogg? Ciana's other problem is Pia Renee is just so good. She informs the guys that her mother passed away right before Battles, so the emotion is still really raw, and this song is dedicated to her. Again, Snoop says he has to hold back his tears. John instructs her to stay up in her higher register longer. This is going to be a tough choice for John because both women are leaving it all out there on the stage. Kelly does note that Ciana has some pitch problems, probably due to lack of breath, she says, and Nick thinks that those verses still got lost. But Pia moves them all with her authentic emotion and her control over her instrument. John applauds Pia for delivering all of that raw emotion without ever "getting overwhelmed" by it and tells her she was "remarkable."

Winner: Pia Renee!

Steals: n/a

Team Nick: Dana Monique, "Nutbush City Limits" by Ike & Tina Turner vs. Keegan Ferrell, "Just My Imagination (Running Away With Me)" by the Temptations

Nick Jonas and Snoop Dogg have actually hung out before when the JoBros went on Snoop and Martha Stewart's show. What a truly wild sentence. Anyway, they're old pals. They like what Keegan is doing with this throwback, but it's a little lackluster at the moment. And it's a lot lackluster when compared to Dana Monique, who is, as Nick calls her, "electric." Unless Dana doesn't show up, I don't see how she doesn't win this Knockout. And this is pretty much what the coaches say after the performances. Keegan has an easy-to-listen-to, sweet tone, but Dana Monique is Dana Monique. Kelly says she "sang the hell out of that song," Blake thinks she might have a little too much talent, and it isn't fair, and John tells her she should be performing on all the biggest stages in the world. The choice seems pretty obvious, but Nick does tell Keegan that his higher register sounded great, which isn't nothing! Still, his critique of Dana's performance was mostly him thanking her for being on his team so I think you know which way this is going.

Winner: Dana Monique!

Steals: n/a

Team Legend: Victor Solomon, "My Girl" by The Temptations vs. Gean Garcia, "Afterglow" by Ed Sheeran

Snoop Dogg is loving what Victor Solomon is doing with this Temptations' song. So much so that he wants to sing background for him. Well, really, he wants to dance background for him. We all have our dreams. Victor sounds so good in rehearsal; Snoop congratulates him for making this classic song sound like this was the first time he's ever heard it. Gean will really have to bring it in this matchup, and Snoop suggests he make the song a little more dynamic and end with something big. They decide to engage the audience with a little clapping section. Honestly, that is the most exciting part of this performance. Although Gean's vocals sound great, the rest of it falls a little flat, especially coming after Victor, who brings the house down with his smooth tone and all-in choreography. Nick tells Gean that he needed to bring more "urgency" to his performance and that Victor really made that song his own. Kelly can already see Victor on tour. John tells Gean that he "was in [his] zone," but Victor just so completely owned his performance from top to bottom.

Winner: Victor Solomon!

Steals: n/a

Team Blake: Pete Mroz, "Before You Go" by Lewis Capaldi vs. Andrew Marshall, "I Won't Give Up" by Jason Mraz

Well, what a twist this Andrew Marshall story is getting. You may recall that in his Battle round, all of the coaches, including his own, Nick Jonas, said out loud that Andrew clearly won, but Nick proceeded to choose Raine Stern based on her previous performances. Then Blake swooped in and gave Andrew a ride into the Knockouts with his steal. Andrew has another tough matchup here since he's singing against Pete Mroz, Blake's buddy from the days of yore. This is a weird song choice for Pete, but he wants to do everything he can to show that he's a more modern-sounding singer. Kelly's right when she tells him he just makes everything seem so easy-breezy and "effortless." She also thinks Andrew's falsetto is "magical." John thinks Pete was "more compelling on the lower end of the song," and Andrew "got footing on the higher end" so the whole thing is kind of a draw. Blake thought they both stepped up and had "great moments." So what's a coach to do?

Winner: Pete Mroz!

Steals: Oh, you guessed it: Andrew Marshall is going back home to Team Nick. What a ride this kid is having.

TEAM STANDINGS

TEAM KELLY: Corey Ward

Still to perform: Avery Roberson, Gihanna Zoë, Savanna Woods (Four-Way Knockout), Anna Grace, Kenzie Wheeler

TEAM LEGEND: Ryleigh Modig (steal), Pia Renee, Victor Solomon

Still to perform: Zania Alaké, Rio Doyle, Carolina Rial (Four-Way Knockout)

TEAM NICK: Dana Monique, Andrew Marshall (steal)

Still to perform: Devan Blake Jones (Four-Way Knockout), Jose Figueroa Jr., Zae Romeo, Raine Stern, Rachel Mac

TEAM BLAKE: Jordan Matthew Young, Pete Mroz

Still to perform: Connor Christian, Cam Anthony, Emma Caroline (Four-Way Knockout)

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