‘The Voice’ Knockout Rounds, Night 1: Making ‘We’ to the Live Rounds

We’ve moved one step closer to a new champ being crowned on The Voice, but there’s still a lot of work left to be done. After the Blind Auditions and the Battle Rounds, singers will once again square off in the Knockout Rounds. We say farewell to Sammy Hagar, Charlie Puth, Joan Jett and Bette Midler as advisors, but each team will get assistance from country reigning couple Tim McGraw and Faith Hill. With each of the coaches having only one “steal” to use, which coach will use it wisely and which will come to regret letting someone special go home? Only time will tell, so let’s get into Night 1 of The Voice Knockout Rounds.

Team Blake

Knockout Round 1: Josh Gallagher vs. Sundance Head

Sundance Head gets to meet with Tim and Faith first. He reveals he’s going to sing “The Climb” by Miley Cyrus, a decision that blows Blake Shelton‘s mind. Tim says he always thought it would be a great country song for a male. Tim loves his pitch, and Faith says that she would love to see him sing the song just by himself with only his guitar as backing. The intimacy definitely works Sundance, as the emotion of the song is dripping out of his voice.

Tim tells Josh Gallagher that he thinks it’s a tackle to take on Brooks and Dunn’s “My Maria.” Josh says he relates to the song and is excited to perform in front of three of country’s biggest performers. Faith questions Josh’s usage of his falsetto on the song, feeling he needs to nail it. Josh actually does shine when it comes to the falsetto during the actual performance. It’s a solid performance and one that gets cheers from the coaches.

Alicia compliments Josh’s fluidity and the timbre of his voice, while Sundance hit notes at the end that really connected. Miley says it feels as though Josh’s effortless nature makes it feel as if he’s already made it, while Miley loved that Sundance covered her song and she loved what he did to make the song his own. Adam says he’s a huge fan of Josh and feels he could go far, even though Sundance came out guns a blazing. Blake has a tough choice and he goes on the performance itself, choosing Sundance. But staying true to his word, Adam jumps in to steal Josh.

Team Alicia

Knockout Round 2: Kylie Rothfield vs. Whitney and Shannon

Kylie Rothfield is the first to arrive for rehearsals, and feels like she can connect with Tim McGraw from the writing side. Kylie chose “Hound Dog,” but the Big Mama Thornton version because it comes from a place of pain and strength. Faith suggests that the guitar felt a little too happy to start off with, and Tim suggests keeping it thick and swampy. And Alicia Keys offers some suggestions on interpretation at different points in the track. Kylie’s performance has that swagger and bluesy vibe that just stands out, giving her plenty of standout moments.

Whitney and Shannon choose Jason Mraz’s “I Won’t Give Up,” a song that has a personal meaning to them dealing with their parents’ split. Faith says she was impressed that it was so together she could tell one voice from the other. Alicia suggests breaking them up on the bridge of the song to give each a chance to shine alone. When it comes time for their performance, the solo moments opening the song appeared a little shaky, while their harmonies proved to be the strong points. In fact, it provided some big moments toward the end that really improved their chances.

Miley says there is no one like Kylie on the show, while Whitney and Shannon’s voices in the choruses give her tingles everywhere. Adam says Whitney and Shannon have gorgeous harmonies, while Kylie was so impactful as a singer and performer. Blake says there’s more to Whitney and Shannon than just being a duo and that each individually are great singers, while Blake says the anger and aggression from Kylie was perfect. Alicia says she’s blessed to have known all of them, and she ends up choosing Kylie to move forward.

Knockout Round 5: Courtnie Ramirez vs. We McDonald

Courtnie Ramirez goes with Beyonce’s “If I Were a Boy,” feeling it’s inspirational and a track that fits with what she wants to do. Alicia suggests finishing her phrases and bringing down her voice a bit. Tim tells her to watch her breathing, while Faith picks out one part of the song to try something different. During the performance, Courtnie starts off soft, but builds to some power notes and really peaks at the end.

We McDonald tells about singing Mary J. Blige in the car with her mom, and “No More Drama” is a favorite. Tim’s jaw hits the ground the first time he hears We sing, while Faith got tears hearing her sing. Faith says don’t think, just sing. For her performance, the rich, full sound of We’s voice takes over and the emotion of Mary J.’s original feels like its radiating through We.

Miley says Courtnie continues to outdo herself with each performance, while We has such growth as a performer. Adam says everyone knows how talented We is and Courtnie is really coming into her own. Blake says We’s talent is ridiculous, while Courtnie’s voice and presence and charisma is special. Alicia just says “Wow” to the fact that both 17-year-olds did so well. In the end, she picks We to advance to the live shows. Adam admits he would’ve stolen Courtnie if he had a steal. Miley and Blake both let her pass.

Team Miley

Knockout Round 3: Ali Caldwell vs. Lauren Diaz

Ali Caldwell chooses to go with Sade’s “No Ordinary Love” in it, feeling it’s a song she can leave her heart and soul in. Miley Cyrus and Faith Hill each find small tweaks to the song, but all are in awe of Ali’s voice. When she hits the stage, it’s a soulful and sultry version that she delivers, with moments of power and a tap dance of notes across a wide range. But when not jumping around, she also delivered some killer power notes.

Lauren Diaz goes with Andra Day’s “Rise Up,” a song that rings true to her. Lauren starts on piano, but Tim and Faith warn her against a move that feels contrived. He suggests finding a power position to sing the song and the has her sell it to the crowd. Miley suggests not pinching the notes and opening up, feeling there’s more power to be generated. Lauren gets first shot at the performance, and while there is power in the song and she has command of the stage, there are also some breathy moments. But she gets stronger as the song continues and is near perfect by the end.

Adam says that Ali could possibly win it all, but he felt so much emotion in what Lauren delivered. Blake says that Ali will go far into this competition, while Lauren had such urgency in her performance. Alicia says she loved Ali’s strategy of taking her voice to different places, while she really felt Lauren had a breakthrough. And as for Miley, she loved that Lauren showed that emotion and let people in, but in the end she chose Ali.

Team Adam

Knockout Round 4: Simone Gundy vs. Dave Moisan

After jumping from Team Alicia to Team Adam with a steal last round, Dave Moisan puts his high vocal register to the test with his take on Sam Smith’s “Like I Can,” which Adam Levine feels is an ambitious choice. He suggests tackling some of the higher notes in his full voice rather than relying on falsetto. Faith and Tim say they could see him thinking during the rehearsal on how to approach the song. Dave gets first shot, and his whispery voice  and occasional high notes in the song mostly hit their mark.

Simone Gundy has a fan girl moment with Faith and Tim, and then reveals her choice of “Midnight Train to George” from Gladys Knight and the Pips. Tim loves her energy, while Faith points out a performance note and offers a song suggestion as well. As for Simone’s performance, it’s smooth, soulful and powerful in all the right spots. This is a case where song choice may have won her this battle, as she felt more in the zone with her pick.

Blake says Dave had a great performance, but Simone really seized the opportunity. Alicia thought Simone’s performance was beautiful, while Dave has such a beautiful voice, but wasn’t sure he picked the best song. Miley says Dave hit all his marks without being overly “perform-y,” while the fighter in Simone shone through. Adam chooses to forget about the past and make his choice based on this performance, which means that Simone moves forward.

Knockout Round 6: Jason Warrior vs. Riley Elmore

Riley Elmore keeps it in his wheelhouse, choosing the Michael Buble song “Haven’t Met You Yet.” Tim feels he’s stylistically different and Adam says that how far Riley goes will depend on his ability to perform to go along with that great voice. Tim offers some suggestions on how to loosen up. Riley’s vocal performance  is on, but he’s still a little stiff in his presentation.

Jason Warrior goes with Luke James’ “I Want You,” a track that will show the R&B side of him while highlighting his range. Faith was amazed by his highest notes, but suggests that there needs to be a bridge to his lower notes. During his performance, Jason feels seasoned and precise and takes command of the stage with a killer finish.

Blake says Jason gets lost in the moment, and he’s a fan of Riley. Alicia loves the playfulness of the Riley’s performance and Jason hit some crazy notes. Miley feels Jason is so genuine as a performer, while she loves the youthfulness of Riley and his voice. Adam says Jason is a great singer and a wonderful human being. He loves both vocalists, but feels Riley is unlike any other performer and picks him to move on. However, there’s no denying Jason’s performance and Blake swoops in to take him.

THE VOICE -- "Knockout Rounds" -- Pictured: Simone Gundy -- (Photo by: Tyler Golden/NBC)
THE VOICE — “Knockout Rounds” — Pictured: Simone Gundy — (Photo by: Tyler Golden/NBC)

The Voice Knockout Rounds Night 1 Rankings

8. Riley Elmore (Team Adam)
7. Josh Gallagher (Team Adam)
6. Ali Caldwell (Team Miley)
5. Sundance Head (Team Blake)
4. Jason Warrior (Team Blake)
3. Kylie Rothfield (Team Alicia)
2. Simone Gundy (Team Adam)
1. We McDonald (Team Alicia)

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