Pop superstar Mariah Carey joins “The Voice” on Monday as Knockouts start in Season 15. Singers with such overwhelming talent don’t always know how to help others who don’t, so will Carey be a great advisor to the remaining artists?
Battle rounds are now over, so decisions for the coaches will be tougher than ever for this season. Anybody winning in the Knockouts will advance to the live shows beginning November 12. Coaches for this autumn season are reigning champ Kelly Clarkson, British “The Voice” coaching winner Jennifer Hudson, six-time coaching champion Blake Shelton and three-time winner Adam Levine. Each coach will have one steal and one save during this round.
One SPOILER ITEM: Team Kelly artist Cody Ray Raymond has dropped out of the show for personal reasons.
As we’ve done for several seasons, we have extensive and exclusive coverage of every episode of the Emmy-winning program on NBC. Follow along with our live updating blog below and make your own comments about the best and worst performances, plus those all-important steals. If you’re a little behind on this fall’s episodes, you can catch up with our previous analysis by clicking any of the following links for Battle Rounds: Monday, October 15, Tuesday, October 16, Monday, October 22 and Tuesday, October 23.
And now enjoy our live updating recap for Night 1 on Monday, October 29 below:
8:00 p.m. – Mariah tells us that the reason she wanted to do the show is because when she started there weren’t shows like this that offered mentors for young artists. To say that she is a legend isn’t enough–these artists are so lucky to be advised by one of the most iconic singers of the last 25 years. Plus, she was GREAT on her season of American Idol, right?!
8:03 p.m. – The first knockout of the season was Keith Paluso vs. Tyke James from Team Adam. Keith joined Adam for the first time this season, but Tyke has been with him since the blinds. For their songs, Keith chose “You Are the Best Thing” by Ray LaMontagne and Tyke went with “Ring of Fire” by Johnny Cash. Mariah called Keith’s voice raw and authentic, but advised him to ease into the song more while Adam encouraged Tyke to bring more energy to his performance.
8:07 p.m. – In their performances, Keith sang in a smooth, deep register and came off as super authentic in his connection to the lyrics. Tyke’s energy was pretty low, but in a weird way it actually made the song sound completely new. Both guys got praise from all judges, but Tyke seemed to intrigue them more because of his surfer vibe. In the end, that was enough for Adam to stick with Tyke initially, but he hit his Save to keep Keith, too. But Kelly hit her Steal, leaving it up to Keith to make the final decision.
8:15 p.m. – After hearing from both coaches, Keith decided to jump teams yet again and joined Team Kelly! He said that her energy is infectious and she said he’s a potentially unstoppable storyteller. Is this going to be the match that Keith needed to go all the way??
8:21 p.m. – Kelly had the next match up of the night with three artists: Kymberli Joye, Zaxai and Natasia Greycloud. Because Cody Ray left the competition, these three will all sing against each other and two of them will stay while only one will leave. For her song, Natasia went with “Tennessee Whiskey” by Chris Stapleton in order to show off the blues in her voice. Mariah loved what Natasia did in rehearsal, telling her that her voice cuts through best when she’s at the top of her register but pushed her to do something big at the end of the song to give it a little more to the audience.
8:25 p.m. – As a gospel singer, Kymberli decided to do something a little different for this round with “The Middle” by Zedd, Maren Morris and Grey. Her choice to show off her diversity impressed Mariah, both in her song choice and in the variety of notes she hits throughout the song. In order to honor his father, Zaxai chose Smokey Robinson‘s “Cruisin” for his first performance as a member of Kelly’s team. Though she thought the classic voice lane was a good for Zaxai’s voice she did seem a little hesitant in her confidence in him.
8:30 p.m. – Kymberli was the first to sing in the knockout, delivering upon her promise of staying in her big voice and showing off the vocal acrobatics that only she can achieve. In the second performance Natasia rose the bar that Kymberli had set by showing off her own ability to get to the power notes. And last Zaxai pulled it back from the bigger vocals of the girls and served up something more sensual and subtle that managed to not be any less engaging than theirs, especially when he left it all on the stage at the end of the song!
8:41 p.m. – Adam called Zaxai’s falsetto “ill” and though he really liked Natasia he thought that she may have been outmatched by Kymberli. Blake wasn’t very helpful in basically saying that it was an impossible choice and any way Kelly went she was leaving someone behind that deserved to stay. Jennifer was perhaps most enthusiastic about Zaxai, but was complimentary of the women as well. In her decision to keep two, Kelly stuck with Kymberli (“she’s a force and will be in the finale”) and….
8:49 p.m. – … Zaxai (“he did some crazy things tonight and he’s the dark horse”)! That left Natasia available to be stolen by Blake who was in need of some female artists for his own team. He felt lucky to be able to get such a great singer over to his team.
8:50 p.m. – For Jennifer’s first knockout we saw MaKenzie Thomas (“a skilled singer”) and Mike Parker (“a smart singer”). After signing a Mariah song for her last performance, MaKenzie switched it up this time with “How Deep Is Your Love” by the Bee Gees but changing it around to be just her voice and the guitar. After her initial rehearsal, Mariah had tears in her eyes and you could tell she was genuinely moved by her talent. Mike went outside of his comfort zone by flipping The Script‘s “Breakeven” into something more pop. Jennifer loved the song choice because it showed his vulnerability and passion, but Mariah saw his nerves showing despite understanding that he has great stage presence.
8:55 p.m. – In their knockout, Mike left the nerves at home and managed to give a confident and fully-realized performance, but at the end of the day he was utterly out sung by MaKenzie who honestly gave an unexpectedly delicate performance that proved you don’t always need huge notes in order to knock it out of the park.
9:02 p.m. – Kelly was clearly in favor of MaKenzie’s performance, but she thought Mike made a really smart choice with his song to show off his authenticity. Adam loved Mike’s tone and said he’s come a long way while Blake was impressed by the growth that MaKenzie has shown in coming back for another season. Jennifer got to choose though and she went with MaKenzie!
9:09 p.m. – Radha and Reagan Strange were up next for Team Adam with the idea that they had a lot to learn from each other. Radha was the brave artist that chose Mariah’s own song “I’ll Be There” to sing, and because Mariah knew what it takes to sing such a difficult song she knew exactly where Radha had to make changes. Her advice was similar to Adam’s, change it up so that it’s her own but to also use the original Jackson 5 version as a reference, too. Reagan’s choice was Robyn‘s “Dancing on My Own,” a song she felt resonates with the audience really well. Mariah loved that Reagan kept it natural and she didn’t overdo it, even going as far as saying it reminded her of how she sounded when she first started out.
9:14 p.m. – In Radha’s performance she managed to switch between her chest and head voice as the song requires, but overall it came off a tad bit lifeless when compared to Reagan’s performance. Reagan took the pop dance song and slowed it down to something much more vulnerable that matched her own youthfulness. Radha’s vibrato reminded Blake of Gwen Stefani and Jennifer of Celine Dion, but they both loved Reagan just as much. Kelly admitted that Reagan’s song selection was absolutely perfect and so gave her the edge. Adam agreed with Kelly about Reagan’s choice and so he kept her, adding that it he can’t fully explain why he loves her so much.
9:26 p.m. – But in order to not send Radha home, Adam used his Save on her! He admires her power and knew that having her in the lives would give them a good jumping off point.
9:31 p.m. – For Blake’s knockout he paired Katrina Cain against Funsho. Funsho went with “Earned It” by The Weeknd this week because he feels it tells his own story. Mariah advised him to go lighter in the start of the song so that when he goes deeper at the end it has more of an impact. For her song, Katrina chose “Don’t Let Me Down” by The Chainsmokers and Daya. For her, Mariah and Blake encouraged her to play with the melody so that it fits her unique electro pop style.
9:34 p.m. – In her performance, Katrina did bring her specific style to the song and put together a solid rendition, but Funsho brought a ton of passion and delivered one of the most sultry performances of the night. Kelly was captivated by Katrina, but was equally into Funsho’s confidence and swag. For Blake, he felt like Katrina never got full control of the song whereas he was blown away by his composure especially in the face of criticism from Mariah. With that in mind he had no way to go but to keep Funsho for the lives!
9:44 p.m. – Team Jennifer had the last knockout of the night between Patrique Fortson and SandyRedd, both of whom chose huge and wildly popular songs this week. Patrique tried his hand at Aerosmith’s “I Don’t Want to Miss a Thing” as a dedication to his dad (it’s his favorite song) and SandyRedd went with “Dangerous Woman” by Ariana Grande. Mariah’s notes for Patrique were to pay attention to the pacing of the song even giving his specific advice about where to take certain notes at the end of the song. With SandyRedd, Mariah thought she could sing anything and Jennifer loved how rock-n-roll the rendition was.
9:49 p.m. – Patrique was up first with a towering performance that took the song into a whole new stratosphere, but I particularly liked how he brought it all the way down at the end and capped it off in a cute little pocket. SandyRedd also succeeded at taking her song to new heights, injecting this angry rock vibe into it that provided room for her on-stage persona to just, well, explode. She was incredible. Needless to say, the entire panel of coaches was blown away by both of them, making it clear that neither was going to get eliminated. Jennifer got first choice at the two of them, ultimately going with Patrique! In order to keep four chair turn SandyRedd in the competition, Jennifer hit her Save and so she got to keep both of them!
10:00 p.m. – Who was your favorite performer of the night? And what was your favorite moment from Mariah? Should she join the cast as a coach next season? (The answer is yes, but feel free to elaborate in the comments!)
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