The Voice's First Knockout Round: Adam and Cee Lo Go Halfsies

By MaryAnn Sleasman

Oct 30, 2012

The Voice S03E17: “The Knockout Rounds, Part 1”

This isn’t a secret, but I really don’t care for the "knockout" rounds on The Voice. They have the unique distinction of moving too quickly, but still feeling monotonous. The format is too similar to the battle rounds, with two musicians from the same team sharing the stage to compete for their mentor’s favor. Oh, they’re not singing duets this time so it’s totally different? No, look, I love those yoga skirts from Old Navy and I have like six of them in different colors and I won’t argue that the black skirt and the brown skirt are different on the surface, but when you get right down to it, they fit exactly the same.

The differences between the knockout rounds and the battle rounds are so small that it’s hard to get too excited for them. However, in practice, the knockout competition moves so fast, blowing through two teams in one night, that it’s hard not to feel like you just ran a marathon after the credits roll.

On Monday, Team Cee Lo and Team Adam cut their teams in half. Here’s how:


Joselyn Rivera vs. Kayla Nevarez

I actually preferred Kayla’s rendition of “Shark in the Water” to Joselyn’s “Love on Top,” but that was probably the point. Adam chose to move forward with Joselyn because “Love on Top” is an objectively harder song to perform than “Shark in the Water” and her willingness to take on that kind of risk when she didn’t have to showed she has confidence in her ability, as well as a willingness to be challenged.

Joe Kirkland vs. Bryan Keith

Okay, with this one I have no explanation for disagreeing with Adam—whose choices usually match up with my own so closely—outside of pure taste. Kirkland sang “Mean” and I enjoyed his performance even though I am SO over Taylor Swift. Keith performed “Everything I Do” and it was great, totally, but I was just more into Joe. Christina pointed out that he has such pretty eyes in what was certainly the most enlightened observation of the evening. She brings so much to the decision-making process, doesn’t she? Adam was unswayed and stuck with Bryan.

Amanda Brown vs. Michelle Brooks-Thompson

I was ambivalent during this battle, or knockout, or... whatever. Both Amanda and Michelle rocked “Paris (Ooh La La)” and “Spotlight,” respectively. I was prepared for either outcome to Adam’s decision, I’m just not entirely sure how he MADE his decision and I wish we could get a litte more insight into Adam’s thought process than ten seconds of groaning and hair-pulling before he seems to randomly spout a name as though the internal “Eeny Meanie Miney Moe” he had going on in his head had finally ended. Michelle was favored by most of Adam’s fellow judges. Adam himself said he was more in tune with how to coach Michelle due to Amanda arriving on his team late in the game through The Steal...but then he picked Amanda. I’m not mad, Adam. Just confused.

Loren Allred vs. Nicole Nelson

I was totally bummed to see hippie chick Nicole sent home, but once Loren brought the crowd to its feet with her Amy Winehouse cover, it was game over.

Melanie Martinez vs. Sam James

Both performances were flawed—Martinez was breathy, James couldn’t pronounce “Memphis”—and yet they were both very enjoyable. In the ONE Adam battle last night where he and I saw eye-to-eye, Adam went with Melanie while I cheered from the sofa. She’s just that awesome. However, moving forward, I AM a little bit concerned that her breathy coffee-house style isn’t going to stand up to the belters on Team Xtina once teams start competing with one another.


Avery Wilson vs. Cody Belew

You guys, Avery Wilson was almost shockingly bad during his performance of “Yeah 3X,” like, mediocre karaoke bad. He seemed super nervous, which is an especially sad way to see someone make an exit on The Voice, especially if you're someone who proved to be consistently awesome in every round leading up to your departure. With that in mind, I’m not sure that Cody Belew’s “Jolene” was particularly mind-blowing, so much as it was simply better than what Wilson offered. It was decent, though.

MacKenzie Bourg vs. Daniel Rosa

MY PRECIOUS! Harry Potter, I mean, MacKenzie Bourg, gave “Call Me Maybe” the John Mayer treatment. Honestly, despite my creepy-old-lady love for Mr. Bourg (Call me. Maybe?) I wasn’t floored by the cover, mostly because I stopped thinking of John Mayer as SO DREAMY around the same time I decided prom is totally lame, and now I just find everything about him grating. BUT STILL, MY PRECIOUS, and, as Blake pointed out, the fact that MacKenzie essentially rewrote the entire song to make it fit his stylistic choice was mucho impressive. Daniel Rosa, meanwhile, gave an admirable performance of “Back to December.” Yes, more Taylor Swift. For a second there, I got excited and thought he was doing a Sugarcult cover because two of their song titles got scrambled in my brain. I was disappointed, but Daniel did well. Cee Lo went with MacKenzie mostly for the whole “rewriting the entire song” thing and participants of The Voice Drinking Game lamented their future sobriety without Rosa’s guaranteed waterworks to look forward to.

Terisa Griffin vs. Trevin Hunte

That was just a cruel pairing, Cee Lo. I mean, I didn’t want to have to choose between them, and my opinion doesn’t even matter. Why would you DO that to yourself? Terisa’s “Saving All my Love for You” was phenomenal, but then Trevin’s “Against All Odds” came along and totally blew it away. There was no question about who Cee Lo would pick, but The Voice opted to cut to commercial anyway because the editors think we’re dense or something.

Mycle Wastman vs. Nicholas David

This was another one of those “I’ll-be-okay-with-either-contestant” battles. I just LIKE Mycle and Nicholas. Mycle went with “Don’t Let the Sun Go Down on Me,” while Nicholas offered “Put Your Records On.” Cee Lo went with Nicholas, citing “something about him.” Which is accurate.

Caitlin Michelle vs. Diego Val

Well, I guess I’ll have to find someone else's hair to be envious of. My Florence + the Machine channeling girl Caitlin was sent home following her “Wake me Up Inside” Evanescence cover. Mostly, I didn’t realize that Evanescence was still the tunage of choice for angsty women with deep dark souls—I kind of burned out of that phase around the time John Mayer got banned from my car stereo. Regardless, I still preferred Michelle’s performance to Diego Val’s “Are You Gonna Go My Way” cover. Cee Lo, however, opted for Diego. Apparently, my spidey senses were off last night.

Heading into live rounds, the teams are as follows:

Team Adam:

Bryan Keith
Loren Allred
Melanie Martinez
Amanda Brown
Joselyn Rivera

Team Cee Lo:

Trevin Hunte
MacKenzie Bourg
Nicholas David
Diego Val
Corey Belew

Wow, you guys. Team Cee Lo is a total sausage fest. Weird.

What did you think of Monday’s eliminations?

  • Comments (13)
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  • AdaHui Oct 31, 2012

    Add your comment...Normally, my picks are very similar to Adam's but this season, he went all weird on me and I got 3 out of 5 wrong so I"m not entirely excited about Team Adam as much as I was when there was 16. Michelle just rocked the socks out of that song and should have made it - not that I have anything against Amanda. The one that did make me mad was Loren getting chosen over Nicole. I have a feeling she's gonna be a one-time stunner and quickly fall by the weigh-side. Nicole would have sweetly hung in with consistency.

    Cee-Lo, I'm used to him picking the ones I never go for. Avery did horrible and Cody's was emotionally beautiful so I was for that. Mackenzie's rendition was fabulous, I enjoyed that immensely although I liken it more to a Jason Mraz than a John Mayer. Love love love Trevin! And I would have chosen Mycle and Caitlin just for personal preference.

  • KiraPet Oct 31, 2012

    I'm probably one of the very few here but I cannot stand it when Trevin goes into his high voice, which he does all the time, so I was super disappointed when Ceelo chose him over Terisa. Also super disappointed that Ceelo decided to be a complete idiot and choose Diego over Caitlin, who by the way sang Bring Me To Life by Evanescence. Caitlin was one of the ones who caught my eye from the start but oh well. I have a feeling team Ceelo will not be winning this season.

  • modernfamily120 Oct 31, 2012

    I think that Adam made great decisions. Cee Lo, however, did not. First of all, his third knockout was too good and his fourth was too bad. Also I disagree with his decision on the final knockout for his team.

  • Deadeye666 Oct 31, 2012

    17 episodes....17 EPISODES...and we still havent reached the live shows. Its starting to feel like The Voice started in January and has been going all year. Its not that the contestants are bad this time around or anything...IT. IS. JUST. TOO. MUCH.

    I get it. Experts are saying that in about two or three years most of these kind of show will be gone and they want to milk it for all it is worth until that point. But this is just killing me. Its too much. I really miss the first season. Twelve episodes. Twelve episodes and we were done LOOOONG before anybody could actually get bored with it. Please, for the love of god, cut the size of the teams next season. Please...

    As to the knockout rounds: Meh. Thats pretty much how I feel. I mean, the teams were so big I couldnt really bond with any one individual singer anyway and now that the teams are a bit smaller they just blow through contestants it what feels like two seconds. At least give me some time to get to know them. Its like killing of a character during the first few minutes of a movie and then expecting me to actually care about it. Why would I?? I never even got to know him.

  • starinthem Oct 31, 2012

    I like the knockout rounds-a good way to cut down the teams quickly. Although, I think it would be better if the knockout rounds came before the battle round, makes more sense sense not much coaching is involved and the decisions are made quickly. Yeah Avery was a shoe-in but messed himself up with that song, although I did enjoy Jolene more. I think Cee-lo picked Diego because he wanted an all male team.

  • c07111 Oct 31, 2012

    Was sad to see Avery Wilson go, he definitely chose the wrong song on this one. But wish the coaches would've took a little more of the previous performances in context. Avery has it, he just needs to be coached in the right direction...oh isn't that the premise of the show. Might be in the minority but I found Cody's rendition of "Jolene" not very good...but not bad either...just blah. Some good ppl were let go last night.

  • lightbeings Oct 31, 2012

    Another approach to the knock outs could have been for the respective coaches rating all the 10 singers and the top 5 making the cut.

    This had a potential to bring out some variation in the results.

  • radiumgirl Oct 31, 2012

    Yes! Just change it up SOMEHOW. As they are now, the knockouts just feel like an extension of the battle rounds to me.

  • gwendolynmr Oct 31, 2012

    This may be a bit of a petty complaint but I kind of wish we'd had performances from all four of the teams instead of just doing all the performances from Adam and Cee Lo's teams. Spread the love . . . and difficult choices.

    I didn't really care about most of the outcomes, but I somehow got some dust in my eye over the battle between Trevin and Terisa. Sniff, sniff.

  • radiumgirl Oct 31, 2012

    Not petty at all! I would have liked them to mix it up too. I think doing two teams on night and two teams the next adds to the whole feeling of having too many performances crammed into on episode. Even if they showed the same number of battles as they do now, it would just feel less crowded.

    Terisa and Trevin! Oh dear, here, have some tissues!

  • AndyPaplham Oct 31, 2012

    The outcome of the Diego vs. Caitlin battle was the only thing that really upset me last night. He was just so one-note and Caitlin blew it away for the most part. I don't know. Diego just bores me.

  • radiumgirl Oct 31, 2012

    Meeee too.

  • Smidge032 Oct 31, 2012

    I agree! Even Adam told Cee Lo that he didn't know what he was thinking by picking Diego.