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Blake Shelton’s Last Steal Ever on THE VOICE 23 Knockouts Week 2 Recap

Pictured (l-r): Rachel Christine, Holly Brand -- Photo by: Tyler Golden/NBC

It was the second week of “The Voice” season 23 Knockout round.  The newly Playoff Pass allowed each coach to choose one artist per team to bypass this round and go straight to the Playoff round.  Those artists – Manasseh Samone, Ryley Tate Wilson, D Smooth, and Mary Kate Connor supported their fellow artists from their seats in the audience.  The “Queen of Country,” Reba McEntire was back for another week as the Teams’ Mega Mentor.  She gave the artists some solid advice.  

Coaches Kelly Clarkson and Blake Shelton each had their Steals left in this round and used them during Monday’s episode.  Blake, who’ll end his time as a coach on “The Voice” after this season, meant it was his last Steal ever that came at the very end of the show.  The first team for the Knockout was Team Niall with EJ Michels and Michael B.

Pictured: (l-r) D. Smooth, Manasseh Simone, Ryley Tate Wilson, Mary Kate Conner — Photo by: Tyler Golden/NBC

EJ MICHELS vs. MICHAEL B. (Team Niall)

Pictured: (l-r) EJ Michels, Michael B. — Photo by: Tyler Golden/NBC

Niall Stole EJ Michels from Team Blake.  He was the only chair turn for Michael B.  He paired the two because they’re his two big, rangey singers.  Michael B. lost it when he realized the Mega Mentor is Reba McEntire.  He’s also from Oklahoma.  During their rehearsals, Reba told Michael B. “your subconscious drives the whole boat.”   She said the songs that they selected “are so different.”  EJ Michels sang “Trip Switch.”  EJ was the frontman of a band called “Foreign Figures.”  EJ said “The Voice” is his opportunity to take his solo career forward.  

Michael B. chose a song “When You’re Gone’ by Shawn Mendes.  He said he is familiar with the feeling of grieving a relationship.  Right now, he’s in a happy relationship.  Niall called Michael B a Pop singer with “unbelievable drama to his voice that can really sell a song.” He siad he shows off all parts of his range. 

Chance said EJ has an energy that “was so personal.”  He told Michael B that the ache wasn’t there in the beginning but finished strong. He went with Michael. B.  Kelly told Michael B. that this was a really great avenue for him.  She told him that his powerhouse voice is “captivating.”  She told EJ that she’s never heard that song but will be covering it on her talk show.  Blake told EJ he finally got to see an entire thing without making him do a Battle.  He thought that Michael B was solid “all the way through and consistent.  He went with Michael B.

Niall said EJ has a lot of diversity and everything he puts his hands on turns to gold.  Michael B. is “a dark horse.”  He said Shawn Mendes would be over the moon with Michael B’s version of his song.  Niall chose Michael B.

KNOCKOUT WINNER: Michael B.  Niall said Michael’s voice is unbelievable and he’s “really excited” for Michael in the Playoffs.   


Chance said Jamar is someone who has a deep knowledge of himself.  He goes up another octave to his head voice. Chance said Jamar goes into a space of feeling-out the song.  Reba said she was blown away by so many talented people.  Jamar sang “Cruisin.'”

Magnus put his own spin on “Ordinary People ” song by John Legend.  After their Knockout performances, Kelly reacted that Jamar can sing “some baby making music.”  She said his guitar enhances his music.  She told Magnus that it’s hard not for him to sound like a John Legend imitation.  She went with Jamar.  Blake said when Magnus performs he has a handful of imagination.  His voice is “huge” and went with him.  Niall said Magnus is so “round, big and powerful.”  He’s attracted to someone who can tell a story.  So, Niall went with Jamar.

Chance said Magnus has a special identity as a vocalist.  Jamar has a completely different wheelhouse.  Chance had a tough time making a decision.  Chance asked, “can we go to a commercial?”  And the show did!  After the commercial break, Chance picked a winner.  It was Jamar!

KNOCKOUT WINNER: Jamar Langley.  Chance said Jamar “is a very seasoned artist” and has an unspoken confidence when performing. Blake said he didn’t use his Steal because he has his eye on someone coming up.


Pictured: Grace West — Photo by: Tyler Golden/NBC

Neil said being in Reba’s presence is “a life highlight.”  Grace was super nervous over meeting Reba.  She chose a Dolly Parton song.  Grace said Dolly has inspired her a lot.  Grace chose “Here You Come Again.”  Blake said this gives Grace a chance to be playful and show a side of her that we haven’t seen yet. 

Neil saing “Taking it to the Streets” by Doobie Brothers.  He said it’s almost like a gospel song disguised as a Rock song.  This song is a St. Louis song, where he’s from.  Neil said all of the performances so far have pushed him to be a better performer.  Blake said this is the perfect “next step for him.”  

Reba advised having background vocals for this.  Blake agreed because that part of the song is “so signature.”  Reba told Blake that she wouldn’t know which one of them to pick because they’re similar but different. 

After their Knockout performances, Niall said they both “smashed it” and Neil took the song to a different level.  He told Grace that she’s one of his favorites and can’t wait to hear her after the show.  He leaned towards her. Chance said the pitch is always there with Grace, “which is dope.”  He loved Neil’s stage presence.  He went with Neil.  Kelly loves the versatility that Neil has and his ‘control is the reason this show exists.’  She said with song selection, Neil “nailed it” and went with him.

Blake said it’s the last time that he has to do this.  He said they both deserve to be there.  He chose Grace.

KNOCKOUT WINNER:  Grace West.  He said she has “this old school Country voice and thinks she’s going to be a star in Country music.  

STEAL: Kelly pushed her Steal for Neil at the very last second.  Kelly said she’s excited to work with Neil because he can sing anything.


Pictured: Ross Clayton, Jerome Godwin III — Photo by: Tyler Golden/NBC

Jerome is a Gospel soul singer.  Ross said he couldn’t handle seeing Reba.  She’s he and his mom’s hero.  Jerome chose “Someone You Loved” by Lewis Capaldi.  Niall said Lewis is a good friend of his.  “It’s nice he’s taking a step back and singing one of the biggest ballads” of this time.  Reba called Jerome “a great talent” singing that big at only 20-years-old.  She said it hurt her heart when she heard those lyrics.

Jerome said back at home, he was struggling with the choice of dentistry vs. music.  Ross chose “Dirty Work” by Steely Dan.  He knows the song frontwards and backwards.  He said his dad was playing this album all the time.  His dad passed away when Ross was 12-years-old.  Ross said as soon as he hears this song, he’s sitting with his Dad again.

Reba said Ross is “a great stylist” and if she was a record executive, that’s what she would look for.  Jerome said Ross’ voice sounds studio ready live.  Niall said this Knockout will come down to whoever sells their individual song the best and connects with him and the people. 

After their Knockout performances, Niall said Ross “kind of edged it out” because the song was so personal to Ross.  He leaned towards Ross.  Kelly said Ross continues to blow her away.  She said with Jerome, it was like a wall was up. But, his vocals were incredible.  Blake said it felt like Jerome was still putting the song together.  He loves the Oklahoma twang that Ross has.

Niall said Jerome put everything into it.  But he did get a little pitchy in the first verse and it knocked his confidence a little bit.  Ross has that tone that cuts through and knows that there’s more in his back pocket. 

KNOCKOUT WINNER:  Ross Clayton.  Niall loves how pure Ross’ voice is and thinks he could win.  It was a tough decision for Niall.

TIANA GOSS vs. SORELLE (Team Chance)

Pictured: (l-r) Sorelle, Tiana Goss — Photo by: Tyler Golden/NBC

Chance Stole Tiana in the Battles.  Chance said Tiana has “a very distinct vocal” that is angelic.  The Sorelle sisters said they were in amazement watching Tiana.  Chance advised Tiana to tell a story with the song.  Reba told Sorelle that she was also part of a singing group with her sister and brother.  Sorelle chose “Blame it on the Boogie” by the Jackson 5.  They said growing up they had karaoke songs and this was their go-to song. They put their own spin on the song and wanted to show that they are capable of filling-up a stadium.  Reba said Sorelle is as “cute as a button” and she fell in love with them. 

Reba loved not only Sorelle’s harmony, but also their dance moves!  Reba said she was thoroughly entertained.  Tiana said she has to make sure her vocals are “on point” after hearing Sorelle.  Reba said Tiana needs to amp up her performance with feeling.

Tiani chose “God is a Woman” by Ariana Grande.  Kelly said Tiani has an ethereal way of singing.  And Sorelle, she would have never picked this song!  Very nice surprise.  Blake said Taina is not as rare as Sorelle.  They sound like they’re being autotuned.  Niall said with Sorelle, “It’s the shock every time.”  And, with Tiana, they had their history from when she was on his Team and he has a lot of love for her.  He’s a big fan.

Chance said Sorelle always performs well.  Tiana , the song is her style and she’s an awesomely talented vocalist.  Sorelle has something that this show doesn’t have and they’re willing to try extra stuff to keep being different.

KNOCKOUT WINNER:  Sorelle.  Chance said Sorelle completely blew him away.  “They have beautiful blends and they have a stage presence that sucks the audience in every time they get up there.”  


Pictured (l-r): Rachel Christine, Holly Brand — Photo by: Tyler Golden/NBC

Holly and Rachel were BEYOND to see Reba!  Holly said her family is obsessed with Reba.  Reba told them she’s already a fan after watching their Battle round.  Holly chose the song “Blue Moon of Kentucky,” the LeAnn Rimes version. She picked this song because she grew up doing bluegrass and it was the first song she sang.  Holly yodels in the song.  Reba said Holly took the song to different places that she hasn’t heard before. Kelly said Holly is a competitor and came to play with this song!

Rachel chose “Rhiannon” by Fleetwood Mac.  Kelly said Rachel is the dark horse on her Team.  She has so much more room to grow, Kelly said and that’s exciting.  Reba liked how Rachel caressed and talked to her microphone.

After their Knockout performances, Blake said the Knockout round sucks.  He said Holly has great yodel.  He said Rachel did an awesome job having to follow Holly’s yodel.  Chance said he had never heard the Fleetwood Mac song before.  Holly blew him away and she has perfect pitch and stays with it throughout the song.  She killed the whole thing and her whistle note was the cherry on top.  

Niall called Rachel’s performance “bullet proof.”  They got to see what Holly is all about and that whistle note at the end, people don’t realize how hard that is.

Kelly said they both picked perfect songs.  She said Holly belted on that one part. Rachel reminds her so much of herself when she was young.  Kelly said to follow Holly, she doesn’t know if anyone could do that and not feel shaken.  Kelly said musically speaking, they are both in her lane.  It was the toughest Knockout for Team Kelly.  

KNOCKOUT WINNER: Holly Brand.   Kelly said she’s like a Country girl that hits Mariah whistle notes. She stands out and she thinks everyone will be afraid of her in the Finals. 

STEAL:  Blake Stole Rachel! 



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