It was a tough night on “The Voice,” as the coaches cut their teams nearly in half with the knockout rounds.
After this round, each coach will have five singers remaining, as they move to the live shows.
Here’s how the night shook out:
TEAM CHRISTINA: ASHLEY MORGAN vs. SONIC
This was a weird pairing, considering they come at this from opposite ends of the musical spectrum. Ashley’s booming version of the Pat Benatar classic “Heartbreaker” was good. However, Sonic’s jazzy take on Alicia Keys’ “A Woman’s Worth” was far more entertaining. “Sonic seems more in Christina’s wheelhouse to me,” Blake says, eventually saying they share “the style of awesome.” Christina said they both delivered really great performances, but gave the edge to Sonic because of her risk-taking.
CHRISTINA PICK: Sonic
SHOULD’VE PICKED: Sonic
TEAM BLAKE: SARAH POTENZA vs. BRIAN JOHNSON
Blake pits his two biggest, non-country voices against each other. Brian was so smooth, but maybe a little too restrained on James Morrison’s “Nothing Ever Hurt Like You,” which wouldn’t really be a problem if he wasn’t going against Sarah. She brought a bit of Annie Lennox’s power to “Wasted Love” by last season’s runner-up Matt McAndrew that was just effortless. “You’re living when you sing,” Christina told Sarah. Adam said the battle was “unbelievably even.” Blake said he picked Sarah because “there’s nobody else like her in the world.”
BLAKE PICK: Sarah
SHOULD’VE PICKED: Sarah (Adam steals Brian)
TEAM ADAM: CLINTON WASHINGTON vs. NATHAN HERMIDA
Clinton struggled a little with the opening of Hunter Hayes’ “Wanted,” but his ending was so powerful that he made a good overall impression. Nathan’s take on Sam Smith’s “Leave Your Lover” was alternately powerful and pretty, an unexpected combination from the 17-year-old that was thrilling. “Nathan just sang a duet with himself,” Blake said. Pharrell said they both had a lot of potential. “I gotta go with my heart,” Adam said, before picking Nathan.
ADAM PICK: Nathan
SHOULD’VE PICKED: Nathan
TEAM PHARRELL: SAWYER FREDERICKS vs. MIA Z vs. PAUL PFAU
With the exit of Antony Riley for “personal reasons,” Pharrell had to create the show’s first three-person knockout round. Mia Z’s take on “Hold On, I’m Coming” was bluesy and cool. She even hit an amazing high note, but it still seemed a little buttoned up.
Paul was a little freer and groovier on the John Mayer version of the Ray Charles classic “I Don’t Need No Doctor,” but didn’t have her technical chops. Sawyer’s vulnerable version of Howie Day’s “Collide,” though, was the best of the bunch. Pharrell called him a natural.
PHARRELL PICK(S): Sawyer, Mia
SHOULD’VE PICKED: Sawyer, Mia
TEAM BLAKE: MEGHAN LINSEY vs. TRAVIS EWING
Blake pits his two steals against each other. His old pal and tourmate Meghan takes on “Natural Woman.” It’s a bad idea to ever draw comparisons to Aretha Franklin, but Meghan’s soulful version is so good, Pharrell gives her a standing ovation. Travis takes on Gavin DeGraw’s “I Don’t Want To Be” and gets swallowed up by the song, falling behind and getting so nervous that he can’t quite control his breath. “I’m so glad to hear you looking at this from a different angle,” Blake tells Meghan before picking her.
BLAKE PICK: Meghan
SHOULD’VE PICKED: Meghan
TEAM CHRISTINA: KIMBERLY NICHOLE vs. KORYN HAWTHORNE
Christina says she pitted Kimberly and Koryn because they have similar voices and she only has room on her team for one of them. Koryn went for broke on P!nk’s “Try” and landed nearly every trick she tried. Kimberly, who sings at The Box in Manhattan, was technically strong, but oddly reserved, on Sting’s “If You Love Somebody, Set Them Free,” which should now go on the list of songs singing competition contestants shouldn’t tackle. The coaches said it was the best of the knockouts so far. “I feel like we just fast-forwarded to the end of the season,” Adam said.
CHRISTINA PICK: Kimberly
SHOULD’VE PICKED: Kimberly (Pharrell steals Koryn)