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It’s the Toughest Twist on THE VOICE 22 KNOCKOUTS Week 1 Recap

Pictured: (l-r) Bodie, Kevin Hawkins, The Dryes -- Photo by: Elizabeth Morris/NBC

The only round that was revamped this season on “The Voice” is the Knockouts round.  The Teams were split into groups of three by their coaches, instead of the usual two artists going against each other during this round.  Also different about this round is that the coaches mentored their artists instead of bringing in an outside “Mega Mentor” like in seasons past.  The coaches had to choose to keep only one artist from each Knockout group.  Luckily, the Saves and Steals were still in play!

The longest running coach on the show Blake Shelton reacted to this new Knockout format by saying, “this is the toughest twist they’ve thrown at me.  I’ve never felt more pressure as a couch in 22 seasons.  I quit.”  John Legend said, “the stakes are as high as they can be.”  Camila said  “it’s really important that all of these artists showcase their talents because it’s the last time before the live shows.”

Gwen Stefani said “It’s really important for me to get this one-on-one time with my Team.”  Blake said, “It’s going to be the most competitive Knockouts ever.”  Blake’s Team performed first.  


Pictured: (l-r) Bodie, Kevin Hawkins, The Dryes — Photo by: Elizabeth Morris/NBC

Blake grouped Kevin Hawkins,  Bodie and The Dryes.  “They’re all my big vocalists and that’s why they’re paired together,” said Blake.  Blake said not having a mentor gives him a chance to get to know his artists better.  Blake said Bodie is a producer, he’s a writer and an artist. Bodie sang “Better Now” by Post Malone.  Blake thought it was a great choice because it’s right in Bodie’s lane. 

Kevin Hawkins chose “This Woman’s Work” the Maxwell version.  Blake said Kevin stayed in his falsetto way up there.  Kevin said the song is a shout out to his grandmother who is 84-years-old and she’s lived through women’s rights.  “That’s why I connected with the song so much,” said Kevin.  Blake said part of him thought it was too much falsetto.  He advised Kevin to drop into his chest more.  Blake told him that America is starting to decide who their favorites are right now even though they’re not voting yet.  “It’s a good time to stand out.”

The Dryes sang “Chasing After You” by Maran Morris and Ryan Hurd.  Blake said it’s right in their wheelhouse that they couldn’t have chosen a better song.  The surprise to Blake was that “Derek was a WAY better singer” than he originally gave him credit for.

Blake told his Team that it’s good news that all three of them can be Stolen.  After their Knockout performances  Balke said they were all incredible, two of them were supposed to suck. Camila said Kevin hit all the notes.  Bodie was rhythmically “on point” and it sounded like a record.  She was vibing and felt like she was at a concert.  She told Blake “good luck!”  She said she would probably pick Bodie, then they have to Steal everyone else.  

Gwen told Bodie that doing a Post Malone song is almost impossible,  But he did it.  Kevin to go from high notes to low notes was excellent.  It was her favorite performance of The Dryes.  She said they go to another level that you didn’t know they could get to. 

She said it was thanks to great coaching by Blake Shelton.  John said Bodie was able to pull off this rhythmic style and loved his execution of the song.  Kevin, John said, felt a little disjointed because he was going from falsetto to chest voice so much.  The Dryes low baritone, they rocked it and it felt like the right choice to say “we deserve to be in the Lives.”

Blake said John wasn’t wrong.  In rehearsal, Kevin was 80% in falsetto and Blake told him to go more into “full voice.” So, Blake took responsibility for that.  Blake said with The Dryes, the guitar player (Derek) stepped up and sang.  Katelyn is unbelievable.  With Bodie, they’ve never seen someone like him, because it sounds like he’s recording in the studio, but he’s live.  It was such a tough decision for Blake that he wanted to “quit” the show! 

Pictured: Bodie — Photo by: Elizabeth Morris/NBC

KNOCKOUT WINNER: Bodie.  Blake said at the end of the day, Bodie has something special about what he does and there’s no one like Bodie on the show.

STEAL – Gwen and Camila pushed to Steal Kevin Hawkins! Gwen said his performance was flawless and  his style and energy, they would be great together.  Camila said when she feels something in her heart, she can’t let that go and she likes someone with the whole package. 

Coach – Gwen Stefani.  Gwen actually Blocked John to get Kevin in the Blinds.  She thinks Kevin is one of the strongest singers.  Kevin said he chose Gwen because she was the first one to turn for him.


Pictured: (l-r) Chello, Morgan Myles, Orlando Mendez — Photo by: Elizabeth Morris/NBC

Morgan chose “What the World Needs Now.”  Camila said she thinks people are going to fall in love with Morgan “because she’s so real.” Camila loved how Morgan showcased the soul part of her voice. 

Chello chose “Hold On” by Justin Bieber.  Camila said the song he did in his audition to this song couldn’t be any different.  Chello said there’s a lot of themes of selflessness throughout the song and it made him think of his grandma.  Growing up she was his best friend.   Camila told Chello that he doesn’t need to do high belting notes and advised him to just be Chello.

Orlando chose the song “Live Like You Were Dying” by Tim McGraw.  He did the song as a tribute to his Uncle who supported his music. He was in the hospital when Orlando auditioned for “The Voice.”  He said his Uncle embodied perfectly what the song is about.  Camila said Orlando has such a swagger to his voice.  Camila told him the weight of that emotion is powerful and it’s driving him.  Being vulnerable and sharing that,  it will be Orlando’s most powerful performance Camila predicted.  She’s looking for unique “standout artists.. firecracker artists” said Camila.

Gwen said Chello had such a different performance than that last and it was nice to show a different side to him.  Gwen said she was Blocked by Morgan.  “Some of the movements were like every lyric and were a little “pageantry” and she’s not.  She thought Orlando won.  John said it was his favorite of Chello’s performances. Orlando could have been “a little singier.”  It felt like he was doing what he was supposed to be doing.  Blake said Orlando went a little Nicolas Cage on it at the end.  He said it was “damn good.” Blake said with Morgan, vocally, her performance was great. Although Blake said the world needs love, “it needs tough love.”  He thought she did great vocally.   He chose Morgan.  

Camila said Orlando the song has a special meaning to him. Morgan, Camila beat herself up and admitted to telling Morgan to punch the air, and give big hand gestures.  Gwen said it wasn’t all bad.  She told Chello that he is so unique and there’s no one like him.  People fall in love with the whole package of him.

KNOCKOUT WINNER:  Morgan Myles.  Camila said everyone is so talented.  She had to go with Morgan because there’s nothing that she can’t do. “She’s a true artist,” said Camila.   John commented that he thought Orlando gave the best performance, but thought Morgan has been great throughout the season.


John said they are right there, close to being how they need to be as artists.  Parijita chose “I’d Rather Go Bind.”   John said she’s soulful and heartfelt.  “Who knew there were high school kids in Maryland who are singing blues.”  John loved the emotion that she put into it and advised her to knockout those big notes at the end.  Parijita is 17-years-old and still in high school.  She said John’s coaching is motivating her to make it to the Live rounds.

Valerie Chose “Weak”  by SWV.  She said the song reminds her of her husband who makes her weak in the knees.   Valarie said she’s 41-years-old and to make it to the Lives means everything to her.  She’s worked so hard.

Peyton chose “Forever After All” by Luck Combs.  Peyton sang the song for his wife and baby.  John said he loves the spiritual and cultural connection between Country and R&B.  He called Peyton “a special singer.”  John advised him to do some melody changes.  John called it his closest pairing and anyone of them could win.  He wants to see who will step it up. 

After their Knockouts performance, Blake said Parijita seems like she’s been doing this for 20 years and he’s just blown away by her.  Blake added, “Peyton sang the hell out of that song.”  But, his body language was like he didn’t know what to do.  He was walking back and forth on stage.  Blake said Valarie had a solid performance.  He went with Parijita.  Camila saw maturity and fire from Parijita.  Camila loved Valarie’s song.  Based on this performance, she chose Parijita.  Gwen said she doesn’t understand how Parijita is 17 and she’s so impressive.  Gwen told Peyton that his vocals were so beautiful.  But, he does “too many curls” and she would save them up (for special moments) because his vocals are ridiculous.  She called Valarie “such a pro.”

John said everyone is right about Parijita.  She owned the lyrics and conveyed the song.  With Valarie, the wailing was so good.  Peyton, his footing wasn’t good  in the beginning,  but when he started wailing, it was so good.   His tenor voice “is really good.”

KNOCKOUT WINNER:  Parijita.  John chose her because of the combination of her stage presence and beautiful tone.  She’s the one he felt the most confident going into the Lives with.


Destiny chose “Impossible” by Christina Aguilera.  Gwen said it’s “one of the most impossible songs to sing!”  Gwen said she watched Destiny “really grow today.”  Destiny said she thought about how she gave more to people who didn’t give it back and it hurts.  She hopes the song can help other people with the same experience.  Destiny said it’s important for her to deliver the song in an emotional way.  

Kique chose “Hey Ya!” by Outkast.  Gwen said it felt that the song came from so deep inside of him that “it felt natural.” He wanted Gwen to see that he’s not just a singer but also a musician.  Rowan is 16-years-old.  She said last year she was in a band and performed all around.  She chose “Vienna” by Billy Joel.  Rowan likes the song which she interprets as living in the moment.  

Gwen said whoever works with her is ready for the Lives. “The Lives is next level” said Gwen.   After the Knockout performances, John reacted that Kique, OMG, it was audacious and “beautiful job”  He told Destiny that she gave everything she had…vocals could have been better. Rowan had haunting notes, and was powerful.  Balk told Rowan that she’s starting to come onto the radar.  He said he would pick Kique.  Camila said she couldn’t believe that they are all teenagers.  She thought Destiny’s performance was great.  Camila said Kique did a song on the cutting edge of a song that was cutting edge.  She called it Inception. 

Gwen told Destiny that she shocked her today and she “just goes for it.”  Rowan did bring the emotions in her face, and she grew.  Gwen said when she saw the song choice from Kique she was “so mad”  But, she saw that he went back to the melody, and it was “so good.”  

Pictured: Kique — Photo by: Elizabeth Morris/NBC

KNOCKOUT WINNER: Kique.  Gwen said it was “a really hard decision.”  Kique killed it.  He’s a unique type of artist and she can’t wait to see what he does next.   

STEAL – Blake pushed to Steal Rowan Grace.  She said he loves her voice and she’s “an incredible addition” to his Team.  




Pictured: (l-r) Ian Harrison, Morgan Taylor, Omar Jose Cardona — Photo by: Elizabeth Morris/NBC

Morgan Taylor chose the song “I Got You (I Feel Good).”  She sang it in a Jazz, soul style.   Ian Harrison sang “Cough Syrup” by Young the Giant.

Omar chose “Radioactive” by Imagine Dragons. Omar said he loves the song and it’s perfect for him right now because he said he’s stepping into a new place in his life. He said it reminds him of his brother who he used to sing with and he is his biggest supporter.  John said Omar’s “soul twist is rare.”  The next level is his body and being in the moment.  John said of Omar that “he’s doing things with his voice that most human beings can not do.”

Blake reacted that he felt like he just now discovered Morgan.  Ian did “a solid job.”  Blake found most impressive about Omar was that huge gasp of air that he took and it didn’t end with gasping and coughing. He went with Omar. Camila said Omar “got lost in the sauce a couple of times” and he knows how to tame the dragon. Gwen said Ian has amazing tones. With Omar, she wants to see more and throw more at him.  

John said Ian sounds like he should be making alternative records.  Morgan is opening people’s eyes to how amazing she can be.  Omar was holding back at the right moments, and unleashing the dragon.  John told them, “all of you are completely different” and they were walking in their purpose.

KNOCKOUT WINNER:  Omar.  John said “it’s become clear that Omar is one of the best singers we’ve seen on the show this season.” 


Pictured: (l-r) Eric Who, Jaeden Luke, Reina Ley — Photo by: Elizabeth Morris/NBC

Eric sang “Exes and Ohs.”  Camila called Eric one of the best entertainers and singers of the season.  Camila said “I can’t wait for people to see more of him.”


Pictured: (l-r) Bryce Leatherwood, Jay Allen, Kate Kalvach — Photo by: Elizabeth Morris/NBC

Blake called it “an interesting group” because Bryce does Country, Kate is Pop and hometown girl.  Then Jay is the new guy which he Stole from Gwen.  It got him in trouble with Gwen.  Jay picked a song dedicated to the love of his life, “Pray for You.”  Blake said what makes Jay so special is how serious he takes his performances.  

Bryce Leatherwood chose “Colder Weather” by Zac Brown Band.  Bryce said he grew up listening to the song.  Him and his dad were close.  Bryce said “being out in L.A. you connect to the song because you long for home and long for family.”   Blake called Bryce “solid hardcore Country.”  

Kate Kalvach chose “Anyone” by Justin Bieber because it reminds her of his husband.  Blake said he can’t think of anyone else this season that sounds like Kate.  Blake reminded them that there’s a Steal. 

John and Camila both got on their feet when Kate sang.  Camila said she did it in an emotional and tasteful way.  Camila told Jay that something went wrong.  He said “yes” because his fiance was in the audience and he got distracted.  Gwen said Jay left her and that was emotional for her.  She loved that song for him and he’s super gifted.  Kate blew her away and Gwen chose Kate.  Joh said Bryce’s voice is warm and inviting.  Kate, what a revelation and he went with her.

Blake said Bryce has the greatest gift of all because he doesn’t have to do anything at all and people like him.  Bryce had a pitch issue, and Jay shouldn’t have looked over there . Lol. 

KNOCKOUT WINNER:  Bryce Leatherwood.  Blake said he’s as Country as they get and he knows how to work with that guy.  “He has a connection with people. People love him,” said Blake.

STEAL – John and Camila pushed to Steal Kate.  John said it seems that Blake doesn’t have a Save and he knew one of them would Steal her.  “Kate, you were incredible and I’d love you to be part of my Team.”  He told her she is so deserving of being in the Lives.  Camila said her voice brings her to tears.  Not literally yet.  Camila asked Kate, “don’t you want to be part of the first Camila Cabello crying gif?” She said (in video game terms) she can take her from level 10 to 30.

Coach: Camila Cabello. Kate chose Camila because of their history.  



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