The Voice recap: Knockouts Begin

In the knockout rounds, the coaches begin weeding out their weakest singers
Ep. 11 | Aired Oct 28, 2013

OUT WITH A BIG BANGĀ Kaley Cuoco's little sis (and personal assistant) sang No Doubt's ''Don't Speak,'' with every power vocal run in her being. But it wasn't enough for Briana to advance to the live rounds.

NBC

TEAM ADAM: ASHLEY DUBOSE VS. TESSANNE CHIN
Songs: Ashley sings "Hey Soul Sister" by Train; Tessanne sings "Stronger" by Kelly Clarkson
Battle: This is another predictable battle pairing. Though Adam frames it as "a battle of power," we all know Tessanne is the frontrunner in the whole competition. Ashley goes meek with her song choice, in her attempt to show her sillier, lighter side. But it's going to take more than a quirky side to dethrone Tessanne, who outsings her and possibly even Clarkson's original version. Though both garnered four-chair turns in the blinds, Tessanne's range and stage presence are too much for Ashley. Adam chooses Tessanne. Also, can we talk about Tessanne's unfortunate beehive-mom hair? I love her, but she needs a new 'do.

TEAM BLAKE: BRIANA CUOCO VS. SHELBIE Z.
Songs: Briana sings "Don't Speak" by No Doubt; Shelbie sings "Last Night" by Carrie Underwood
Battle: In rehearsal, Briana, as in her Voice tenure thus far, over-sings every note. Blake had an apt metaphor, "too much icing and not enough sugar." Shelbie reveals that her Carrie Underwood song is her singing contest secret weapon, so she's intimately familiar with it. In performance, Briana again tries to vocal run every word and Shelbie is more controlled and poised. Coach Blake chooses Shelbie. Post-battle, Briana says she had doubts about her No Doubt song. Not that it's any consolation, but she did have the best outfit -- loved that vampy lip and black bustier!

TEAM ADAM: GREY VS. JAMES IRWIN
Songs: Grey sings "Already Gone" by Kelly Clarkson; James sings "Breakeven" by The Script
Battle: Grey pulled some nifty technical trick that had her fully belting a note to transitioning to a falsetto that really impressed the judges. James is a fine enough singer, but next to a Kelly Clarkson power ballad that is actually sung well, he's a goner. Coach Adam chooses Grey.

TEAM CHRISTINA: DESTINEE QUINN VS. OLIVIA HENKEN
Songs: Destinee sings "See You Again" by Carrie Underwood; Olivia sings "You're No Good" by Linda Ronstadt
Battle: There's only room for one country princess on Christina's team. Both girls have muscular voices, but Destinee is more yodel-ly in the big notes and Olivia just sounds like Carrie Underwood to me. In battle, neither deliver a clean performance. Blake says Destinee sang flat while Olivia went sharp. Coach Christina chooses Olivia.

And the final battle of the night...

TEAM CEE LO: COLE VOSBURY VS. JONNY GRAY
Songs: Cole sings "Let Her Go" by Passenger; Jonny sings "We Can Work It Out" by The Beatles
Battle: It's a battle of style doppelgangers! Cole and Jonny both have long brown locks and a penchant for wide-brimmed outback hats. Both also have folk-rock voices with particular quirks. Cole's best moment is that sweet high note he hits at the end of "Let Her Go." Initially I took Jonny's shaky vibrato as a sign of a weak voice, but tonight the signature tremor in his voice kind of grew on me. In a bold move, Adam ruins Carson's and NBC producers' hopes of an inordinately long cliffhanger by spilling that both Cole and Jonny were his blind audition regrets and thus whatever happens, he will steal the remaining guy. Coach Cee Lo chooses Jonny. Adam and then Blake try to steal Cole, who is seduced by Blake's dimples, I mean -- earnest speech.

Parting thoughts:

- Do you guys have a frontrunner this season? For me, it's totally Tessanne, but having a favorite so early on kind of takes the excitement and spontaneity away from watching. Is there anyone left who can really challenge her?

- Who are your surprising survivors? I'm shocked that Christina chose Josh over Amber Nicole and that Nic made it this far.

- I missed Cher's amazing technicolor wig and straightforward advice this episode! Also, which coach has done the best job so far in terms of instruction and overall criticism?

Sound off in the comments!


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