“The Voice” season 23 artists reached the Knockout round. All, except four of them who are the Playoff Pass artists. They include: D Smooth, Mary Kate Connor, Ryley Tate Wilson, and Manasseh Samone who all watched from a section in the audience. In the Knockouts, each coach has only one Steal. This will be the last Knockouts that Blake will coach. The coaches have legendary Mega Mentor Reba McEntire to help advise their Teams. She had thirty-five number one Singles, among many other accolades. Kelly said Reba is “the ultimate story-teller hands-down.”
It’s a full circle moment for Blake Shelton because Reba was Blake’s Team advisor in “The Voice” season one. Reba said “it’s always a lot of fun to give advice.” She studies people when they perform. She wants to be touched when they sing. “This world exposure for these kids…phenomenal. It’s the opportunity of a lifetime.
Noivas, whose Knockout was first, was one of Blake’s Steals. The artists are picking their own songs during the Knockout round and it’s their chance to show what lane they want to be in.
Noivas was freaking-out when he saw Reba. He said he used to watch her on TV, and Tasha had tears in her eyes when she saw Reba. Noivas chose one of the most iconic songs of all time, “I Put a Spell on You.’ He chose to sing both Nina Samone’s version and Annie Lennox. He said he wanted to bring the feminine energy into it since he’s a girl dad.
Noivas grew up listening to Nina Samone. He studied her and she immersed herself into the music. He wanted to be the vessel and be able to touch everyone. Reba’s reaction to his rehearsal was “holy crap” and she was impressed by his range. Reba said Novias has the range “which is powerful.” Blake said he has stage presence and isn’t afraid to sing what he means. Novias asked what best advice she has ever gotten. She said a woman named Mayborn Axton – Show up on time, be prepared and don’t waste anyone else’s time.
Tasha chose “Take Me to Church.” She said moving from Pakistan to the U.S. was a huge culture shock. Western music is not a big thing in Pakistan, Tasha said. She got into soul and gospel music. She said having lived so many different things, she’s able to emote the story of a song. Reba said “huge voice, great range” and very talented about Tasha.
Blake told Tasha that he was concerned about the key. Blake said this is a tough song because it has the highest of highs and the lowest of low. But, he thought it’s a good song for Tasha because it shows what she’s capable of. Reba said she couldn’t hit a fourth of the notes that they can. So, she was doing more just to be friends with the audience. This is why she was on television because it helped her make people feel like she’s their friend.
Niall said Novias brings it every time and he’s impressed. Niall remembered turning for Tasha and losing. He said Poser would be very proud of her rendition of that song. He chose Tasha. Chance said he was impressed by the control she has in her lower register. Noivas was on Chance’s Team and now on Blake’s. Chance told Novias that he’s a fan of his and leaned towards him.
Kelly told Novias he embodied what the message was about. She told Tasha that she shocked her and sounded perfectly “raw and beautiful.” Blake thought that there was a chance that Novias took the word Knockout literally. He got a little bit “wild” and it scared him. Blake siad he liked it. His talent is “shocking and fearless,” said Blake. He told Tasha that no one was more surprised than him when she chose him.
Blake said it was the toughest decision that he’s had to make so far this season and can sing circles around anyone and has a shot at winning this thing. He was Blake’s last Steal and now he’s going to the Playoffs.
KNOCKOUT WINNER: Noivas. Blake said it was the toughest decision that he’s had to make so far this season and can sing circles around anyone and has a shot at winning this thing. He was Blake’s last Steal and now he’s going to the Playoffs.
STEAL: Niall Stole Tasha. He said she’s the one that nearly got away. After Noivas’ incredible performance, most people would have pooped their pants,” including himself.
Kelly said both Marcos and Ali are incredibly soulful. ALI chose “Best Part” song as a dedication to her parents. Dad was a drummer and her mom was a singer and they fell in love. It’s her dream to be one person’s inspiration and for others that are like her. Kelly said ALI feels and hears the music differently than everyone else. “She just stands out,” Kelly said. Marcos sang “Jesus Take the Wheel” by Carrie Underwood. Marcos said he’s always had a strong relationship with God even after he was told that he shouldn’t.
Marcos said when he came out, he lost his whole family and stopped singing because it was part of an “old life.” He said Kelly has given him the confidence to reboot his dream. ALI said she has to bring her A-Game because Marcos has “that fire” whenever he’s singing.
Reba told him, everything is wonderful, but she didn’t feel it. Marcos said having Reba connect with him on a deeper level got him emotional. Kelly said Reba is the ultimate storyteller and that makes her a great Mega Mentor. She urged them to lean into the storyteller component.
After their Knockout performances, Blake reacted that ALI “is so special” and the way she delivers the song she nails the intention every time. He went with ALI. Niall said Marcos always finds a way to make it work, and ALI always makes songs feel like her own. Chance said ALI is in control and has a grasp of the song. He said so does Marcos. Kelly said Marcos had some pitchy moments. She said she loves both him and ALI for “completely different reasons.”
KNOCKOUT WINNER: ALI. Kelly said every time, ALI delivers and it’s “such a beautiful gift.”
Niall said it’s amazing to be in Reba’s presence and she can pass her wisdom not only to his Team, but to him.
Gina and Kate are Niall’s two “character female singers” which is why he paired them together. Gina said she was very star struck by Reba. She chose “Somebody I Used to Know” as a dedication to her father who was a single father.
Reba gave Gina a tip for pronouncing her lyrics. Niall said Gina has “completely grown.” Kate chose to sing “Call Me” by Blondie. Kate said as a kid she played music video games all day and “Call Me” was one of the songs. While Gina was watching Kate’s stage presence, she hoped to get some of that. Reba also noticed Katr’s strong stage presence.
After their Knockout performances, Chance said he loved the incorporation of the guitar and thought that was her best performance. Kelly told Gina that she got Florence and the Machine vibes from her. She told Kate that this was the lane for her, and she would go with Gina. Blake told Kate that it was so “weird and out there.” He said Kate took it to the next level and went with her. Niall told Kate that she was amazing. She’s a quirky character and that’s why everyone loves her. He told Gina that he wouldn’t have picked that song for her. But, she absolutely nailed it.
KNOCKOUT WINNER: Gina. Niall said Gina is so consistent and the Playoffs is her time to step forward and believe in her ability.
Chance the Rapper put Ray and NariYella together to see who stands in their own identity the best. NariYella chose “Bust Your Windows” by Jasmine Sullivan whom she looks up to. She can relate to being so heart-broken. Reba told her that her singing is “incredible.” She advised her to sing without the mic stand and turn into that character in the song.
Ray chose “Lately” by Stevie Wonder. He said he had just gone through a breakup and heard this song. His brother flew out from across the country to help him get through the breakup.
During rehearsal with Reba, Ray said he wanted to work on being a communicator and storyteller. Chance said he hoped that Ray would show off his intention. Reba said it will come down to what Chance needs for his Team.
After their Knockout performances Kelly told NariYella that she’s “so gifted.” She said it’s hard for anyone to beat that song that Ray sang. Kelly went with him. Blake said NariYella is holding back and Ray sounds like a 90s singer. Blake went with Ray. Chance told Ray that he “really smashed it.” He liked that NariYella focused on the attitude over belting.
KNOCKOUT WINNER: Ray. Chance said it’s who can give a knockout performance, and Ray did that. He showed his ability to shapeshift. Chance was a one-chair-turn for Ray and Ray wants to show him that he made the right choice.
Kylee was beyond excited to see Reba. Walker said never in his wildest dreams did he think he’d be face-to-face with Reba. Kylee said she felt like an outcast, so she chose “All By Myself” by Celine Dion. She always felt like an outcast in school. Being on “The Voice” she feels included and loved.
Reba said she thought Kylee was going to have a little bitty voice, but holy crap. That wasn’t the case. Reba told Kylee that she really touched her heart. She got emotion out of her. Blake said it’s important for Kylee to get on people’s radar.
Blake said he knows people who knew Reba before she was Reba. They lived one town over from each other. Walker chose “I Ain’t Living Long Like This” He said he lived in a town where the city limit was a mile. Walker sang a rocked-up version of the song. Blake said he’s going to have to show what he’s capable of vocally.
After Kylee’s stellar performance, Kelly was shocked, “where did that come from!?” Then, Walker had to follow that! Niall reacted that was two completely different ways to take the roof off. Chance said Walker’s pitch is always perfect. Kylee completely blew him away. He heard some pitch, but she was so into it that she didn’t let that derail her.
Kelly said Walker was on fire and that is his lane. She told Kylee that not only can she conquer a Celine Dion song and those Mariah riffs. She not only can deliver that song, but it shows that she’s capable of winning.
Blake said it’s easier to define what Walker does. Kylee is a Pop diva. He based his decision off of what happened in that moment during the Knockout.
KNOCKOUT WINNER: Kylee. Blake said Kylee sang the hell out of that song and you want someone who will swing from the fence and lay it all out there.
Kala was a Steal on Team Kelly and Kelly said she wanted to put her against one of the strongest people on her Team to see how she stands up. Cait chose “All the Man that I Need” by Whitney Houston. Cait said she’s finally experiencing the love that she’s talking about in the song. She dedicated it to her boyfriend.
Kelly said it was “a little sharp.” Reba said for Cait to pick a Whitney Huston song, “she’s brave” and knows that she’s going to blossom. Kala was a little intimidated and at 24-years-old, doesn’t have a whole lot of experience under her belt. She sang “Iris” by the Goo Goo Dolls. Reba said she got chills and Kelly cried while Kala was singing. Reba told her she tells a great story when she sings. Kelly advised Kala to give a little “ache” while singing.
Kelly predicted that this will be her hardest Knockout.
Blake said with Cait, there were a lot of sharp notes which could have been from nerves. Kala has a lot of dynamics and went with her. Niall said Kala’s storytelling ability is amazing and went with her. Chance said Cait smashed that and “took that round by the throat.” He went with Cait. Kelly said he agreed with Chance. Kala is one of her favorite storytellers and neither one deserves to go home. She said they’re both different singers and they both impressed the hell out of her.
KNOCKOUT WINNER: Cait. Kelly said Cait loves the challenge and tackling it every kind of way. She’s one of the strongest singers on her Team but also in the competition.
STEAL: Both Blake and Chance pushed to Steal Kala. Blake said one of us was clear that you were the winner and one of us was painfully clear that you were not. Chance asked if she remembered when Blake turned for her in the Blinds (he didn’t), and he tried to Steal her in the Battle.
Kala went with Team Chance. He said she added a smoother take to his Team. Chance claimed that he used “tactics” and “strategy” when he went with Cait, but Stole Kala.