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'The Voice' recap: Knockouts halve Teams Adam and Shakira

April 30, 2013|By Amy Reiter
  • Shakira and Adam Levine on "The Voice."
Shakira and Adam Levine on "The Voice." (Trae Patton / NBC )

It's the Knockouts, that instant elimination round sandwiched between the Battles and the live shows, on "The Voice" this week. On Monday night, in the first of two back-to-back two-hour shows that will trim 32 contestants to only 16 (four from each team) to compete for viewers' votes next week, Teams Adam and Shakira took the stage.

The coaches paired up their contestants, two by two, coaching each on a song of the vocalist's own choosing and then, after watching the contenders perform in front of the audience, the cameras and the other coaches, selected one singer from each pair to make it through, sending the other home. 

Adam Levine paired amusing folk duo Midas Whale, whom he dubbed a "show favorite," with 19-year-old up-and-comer Amber Carrington, a singer he called "the biggest surprise" on his team. She chose Avril Lavigne's "I'm With You," which winner Cassadee Pope made a mark with last year. Carrington said the song, for her, was about embracing the future after her mom's recent death from breast cancer.

Carrington's powerful rendition bested Midas Whale's unexpected, unconventional take on Stevie Wonder's "Higher Ground." Even though she admitted, after Blake Shelton had expressed admiration for her voice, that she'd wanted to give Shelton a hug from the beginning of the competition, Levine decided to put Carrington through, contending she had a good shot at the win.

Shakira grouped 17-year-old "Voice" returnee Garrett Gardner with country-folk singer Tawyna Reynolds because, she said, they were "two of the most unique voices" on her team. Gardner sang Alex Clare's "Too Close," accompanying himself on guitar, and continued to show growth and, Levine said, "staggering" progress."

Reynolds yodeled and sassed her way through the Pistol Annies' "Hell on Heels," prompting Shelton, whose wife, Miranda Lambert, fronts the Pistol Annies, to compliment her song choice but wonder if maybe the yodels weren't too much. Shakira took the blame for the overly yodely delivery, but gave the match to Gardner, saying she saw a star in him.

Levine matched "powerful" Amy Whitcomb with "subtle" Caroline Glaser, whom he'd stolen from Team Blake during the Battle Rounds. Whitcomb tackled the classic folk ballad "The House of the Rising Sun," starting a little shaky but ending impressively. Glaser showed off her quirkily appealing tone and indie-folk interest with "Little Talks" by Of Monsters and Men.

Shelton gave the round to Glaser, Usher to Whitcomb. Levine complimented Whitcomb's pitch in her upper register and Glaser's "magical quality," but said, disappointedly, that both had been better in rehearsal. Ultimately, the coach decided to put Glaser through to the next round, later saying that, while both women had promise, Glaser had just been a little further along in her development as a singer.

Shakira pitted high-voiced dude Kris Thomas against Cuban living doll Mary Miranda in order to see which of them could connect and move an audience better with a song. Thomas crooned Louis Armstrong's "What a Wonderful World," delivering a few runs that Usher, in particular, seemed to enjoy. Miranda, meanwhile, tried her hand at the Police, in English, singing "Every Breath You Take," with peculiar results. Mysteriously, Levine preferred Miranda's performance, while Usher called Thomas' voice unlike any other artist's and declared himself "impressed." Shakira was more simpatico with Usher. She sent Thomas through, and Miranda home.

Levine then paired former Michael Jackson background singer Judith Hill with Team Usher steal Orlando Dixon, saying it was a chance for both singers to shine. Considering that Hill is probably the clearest favorite for a win at this point, that meant curtains for Dixon, pretty much no matter what.

Hill turned in an emotional performance of an unexpected song, Willie Nelson's "Always on My Mind," which she dedicated to her recently deceased grandmother. Dixon sang K-Ci and JoJo's "All My Life," alas, not terribly impressively. After the other coaches fell all over themselves praising Hill, Levine gushed a little more in her direction – "brilliant!" "stellar!" "incredible!" – and put her through and Dixon out of his misery.

Then, from Team Shakira, it was Karina Iglesias (who had herself fallen to Hill before Shakira picked her up and dusted her off) and Monique Abbadie, both "powerhouse Latinas," as their coach termed them, but in very different ways. "I want to see who has the most versatility and range," Shakira said.

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