To make it this far, the contestants might have won their battle round, but they haven't won the war! And that is why tonight is all about the knockout factor, taking both Team Adam and Team Shakira from eight artists down to the four who will represent them in the live rounds. The pressure is on!
First things first, before we dig into tonight's match-ups, I just have to give shout-outs to a few things: 1) Adam's suit. We already know that he's pretty, but it never hurts to flaunt it, amirite? 2) Shakira's tasteful cleavage. Somewhere, I hope that Christina is taking notes. And finally, 3) The back-up vocalists. I'm not sure where they stand during performances, but some of the back-up harmonies tonight really made the performances shine, so kudos to those behind-the-scenes gems. Maybe they should try out for the show next season.
Alright alright, let's find out which contestants are capable of delivering the TKO.
TEAM ADAM: AMBER CARRINGTON VS. MIDAS WHALE
The songs: Amber chooses "I'm With You" by Avril Lavigne, and Midas Whale chooses "Higher Ground" by Stevie Wonder
The knockout: Adam teams "the biggest surprise" on his team with the quirkiest duo, and the result makes for a very entertaining battle. Amber kicks things off by taking a pop rock song and giving it a country feel. Adam's biggest piece of advice is confidence, which Amber exudes on stage (in part thanks to her new dye job and killer eyeshadow). Vocally, Amber hits a home run. And yes, I think she's better than Cassadee Pope.
Following Amber, Midas Whale finds a way to put the "Midas touch" on Stevie Wonder's classic, putting down their guitars and yet still inducing a lot of head bobbing from the judges. As much as I love what these guys do, it's obvious that Amber has the stronger voice. That being said, I would probably buy their CD before I would buy hers. Sorry, I would "download" their CD first. Ugh, I miss the '90s.
The verdict: Blake compliments Midas Whale's energy and moves, but he also claims to like Amber as much as he can't stand Adam, "and that is a lot." Usher and Shakira both love Midas Whale's originality, but it seems like everyone is leaning toward Amber. And despite the "personality" and "spirit" of Midas Whale, Adam chooses Amber as his first representative in the live shows.
TEAM SHAKIRA: GARRETT ARDNER VS. TAWNYA REYNOLDS
The songs: Garrett chooses "Too Close" by Alex Clare, and Tawnya selects "Hell on Heels" by Pistol Annies
The knockout: In the battle of originality, Garrett is the raspy powerhouse. But Shakira limits him to only one growl for the entire performance, which falls a little flat for me. Maybe more growls would make Garrett feel more lively? You tell me.
For Tawnya, Shakira wants nothing but sassiness and as many yodels as she can fit into the song. So yodel Tawnya does, in yet another performance that I find underwhelming. Am I alone in this?
The verdict: Despite Coach Shakira wanting to "disappeara" — good one, Adam — she has to stick around to defend all of Tawnya's yodeling when Blake calls her out on it. Hey, Usher likes the yodel, you guys. But regardless, Shakira chooses Garrett as the winner because he continues to surprise her. She thinks he's a star, and Blake seems to agree.
NEXT: Adam pairs two best friends against each other