The Voice recap: The Four-Way Knockout is upon us
Who deserves the final spot in the Live Playoffs?
It’s the final night of the Knockouts, which means not only do we get to see the (almost) full slate of artists heading into the Live Playoffs, but we also get the Four-Way Knockout, in which each coach’s save from the Battles will sing their faces off for the final spot in the next round. Before we get to that though, let’s talk about our final two Knockouts. Kelly Clarkson is the last coach with a steal left, so this actually won’t be too much of a nail-biter.
Team Kelly: Marisa Corvo, “If I Could Turn Back Time” by Cher vs. Tanner Gomes, “Real Good Man” by Tim McGraw
Well, that’s a name drop, Marisa Corvo. She casually mentions that Diane Warren, who wrote Cher’s “If I Could Turn Back Time” is a close friend and encouraged her to audition for The Voice. It’s a huge song, which is great for Marisa to show off her stuff, but in rehearsals, Kelly and Usher want to hear more of Marisa and less of an imitation of the original. In her performance, Marisa brings the power and the second half of her performance is especially great. John Legend calls her “hard to deny” and Blake Shelton can’t believe how big her range is. Tanner Gomes, Kelly’s country boy, goes a different route: He gives us a cowboy party song. Kelly and Usher want him to push the performance value even further (uh, yeah, “the Usher Eyes” work). It’s a new side to Tanner and it is perfectly deployed at this stage in the competition. His vocals are great, but the fact that he’s still showing new tricks is very enticing.
Winner: Tanner Gomes
Team Legend: Cami Clune, “I Put a Spell on You” by Screamin’ Jay Hawkins vs. John Holiday, “All By Myself” by Eric Carmen
Usher’s face when John Holiday hits the money note in “All By Myself” pretty much sums it up. Any time he has performed thus far, my note is “John is unreal.” He is! Both John Legend and Usher do agree, however, that John’s playing it safe, emotionally speaking. He needs to be more vulnerable. Cami Clune, however, has a little more work to do than that: When she first performs for the guys, they think the arrangement doesn’t sound modern enough and it’s really lacking Cami’s artistry. They want less theatrics and more Billie Eilish. Both of Team Legend’s final artists step up in their performances. Cami gives the coaches a haunting, fully-in-control performance that has Kelly on her feet and which John Legend calls “artful” and “well-executed,” as well as “flawless,” so, he liked it. But then John Holiday opens his mouth and the coaches are mesmerized. Blake says that “as a fan of music and of this show, he love[s] [John], but as a coach trying to win this thing, he hates him. His own coach, John Legend, loved how thoughtful every choice he made was and reiterates that he’s never heard anyone sound like him before. Both John and Cami are so different but both great at what they do — there’s not really a bad choice here.
Winner: John Holiday
Steals: Never fear, Cami Clune lands safely on Team Kelly.
Team Blake: Taryn Papa, “Cry” by Faith Hill vs. Team Legend: Julia Cooper, “i wish you were gay” by Billie Eilish vs. Team Gwen: Larriah Jackson, “One and Only” by Adele vs. Team Kelly: Ryan Gallagher, “Time to Say Goodbye” by Andrea Bocelli and Sarah Brightman
As Chandler Bing might say, could these four contestants be any more different? Taryn has a soaring country voice, Julia’s got an alt-pop, highly stylized thing going on, Larriah is a pop/R&B power vocalist, and Ryan is an opera singer. Everyone very much sticks to their lane for this four-way knockout, which seems smart because you want to show the audience exactly who you are as an artist. Taryn sounds technically great on her Faith Hill song, but there is a lack of connection. Julia displays an insane amount of control over her vocals in a song with so much going on. Larriah proves once again that she can hang with vocalists twice her age. And Ryan goes hardcore opera (is that a thing?), nailing that big final note. Honestly, this comes down to personal musical genre preference. We’ll find out who gets voted into the Live Playoffs when The Voice returns.
Team Kelly: Desz, Madeline Consoer, Tanner Gomes, Cami Clune (steal)
In the Four-Way Knockout: Ryan Gallagher
Team Gwen: Payge Turner, Ben Allen (steal), Joseph Soul, Carter Rubin
In the Four-Way Knockout: Larriah Jackson
Team Legend: Tamara Jade, Bailey Rae, Chloé Hogan (steal), John Holiday
In the Four-Way Knockout: Julia Cooper
Team Blake: Worth the Wait, Sid Kingsley (steal), Jim Ranger, Ian Flanigan
In the Four-Way Knockout: Taryn Papa