Melanie Martinez and Sam James compete in the Knockout rounds on "The… (Tyler Golden/NBC )
You had to be a serious fan of talented singers, impervious to constant updates about super storm Sandy and the insanely strong winds and rain buffeting your windows, and lucky enough not to be in an evacuation zone or without power to catch "The Voice" on the East Coast on Monday night, when the Knockout rounds were knocked onto a secondary, unannounced channel from their usual NBC perch.
And if you did manage to track the show down, you were treated to a workmanlike episode in which the coaches paired off their teams' 10 remaining contestants in order to pare them down to five for the live show.
"No steals, no saves, no second chances," Carson Daly reminded us.
Basically, it was like the battle rounds in previous seasons, only the performance-prep preamble was kept to a minimum and the singers stepped into the spotlight solo with songs they themselves had selected.
Monday night saw two teams – Team Adam and Team CeeLo – take the stage with some unexpected song choices and some commensurately unpredictable results.
Here's who Adam Levine paired up, and who he kept:
Joselyn Rivera, "Love on Top" v. Kayla Nevarez, "Shark in the Water"
Winner: Despite having come to Levine's team as a steal, Rivera emerged on top. Levine credited her win to her song choice, which he said was "so ambitious" he realized she was ready to "swing for the fences."
Joe Kirkland, "Mean" v. Brian Keith, "(Everything I Do) I Do It For You"
Winner: Kirkland was fun to watch, but Levine chose Keith, with whom he said he connected "emotionally" and whom he felt showed promise. Christina Aguilera, though, noted that Keith may have won the battle with one incredible note.
Amanda Brown, "Paris (Ooh La La)" v. Michelle Brooks-Thompson, "Spotlight"
Winner: This one really could have gone either way, but Levine chose Brown, another new arrival to his team, because he thought he could be a better coach to her and help her push herself further.
Loren Allred, "You Know I'm No Good" v. Nicole Nelson, "If I Ain't Got You"
Winner: What initially seemed like a no-brainer – the wedding singer who hadn't really distinguished herself against the earthy early favorite – took a startling turn when Allred rose to the challenge with her Amy Winehouse number, proving that she was, in fact, quite good. Shelton dubbed her "a star," and Levine shocked even himself by picking Allred. "I was pretty sure I was gonna choose Nicole," he later admitted.
Melanie Martinez, "Bulletproof" v. Sam James "Walking in Memphis"
Winner: Martinez, but you knew that was going to happen the minute James repeatedly pronounced "Memphis" during rehearsals in a way Levine said sounded like a disease. Levine said Martinez's "unique voice" tipped the balance.
And here's how the Team CeeLo action went down:
Avery Wilson, "Yeah 3X" v. Cody Belew, "Jolene"
Winner: Surprisingly, Belew took it, but really only because Wilson tried to dance as well as sing and the exertion affected his breath. CeeLo Green said it was because Belew was more "out of the box."
MacKenzie Bourg, "Call Me Maybe" v. Daniel Rosa, "Back to December"
Winner: "This is crazy," Green cutely said, referencing Bourg's chosen song (which would have seemed fresher if we hadn't already seen him perform a Carly Rae Jepsen song on the show) while contemplating his decision. Ultimately, Green got Rosa to admitted it wasn't his best and handed the win to Bourg.
Terisa Griffin, "Saving All My Love" v. Trevin Hunte, "Against All Odds"
Winner: Hunte, who made Green weep and say he'd heard "the grace of God" in his voice. Making his win particularly poignant was the fact that Griffin had apparently served as Hunte's mentor during the show. Aw.
Mycle Wastman, "Don't Let the Sun Go Down on Me" v. Nicholas David, "Put Your Records On"
Winner: David, not that there was ever any doubt he'd take it. Green called him a "natural mystic" and said he has something "you can't explain." He's right. David may be my favorite in the whole competition, at this point.
Caitlin Michele, "Bring Me to Life" v. Diego Val, "Are You Gonna Go My Way"
Winner: Val, for reasons only CeeLo Green may entirely understand. He said he felt there was "something special" about Val.
So going into the live rounds, Team Adam will be mostly women (Rivera, Keith, Brown, Allred, Martinez) and Team CeeLo entirely men (Belew, Bourg, Hunte, David, Val). Interesting.
What do you think of the coaches' choices?
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