The final knockout round of “The Voice” had its surprises, with coaches Blake Shelton and Usher having to make tough decisions when previous favorites didn’t quite perform to their potential. What was most interesting, though, was how Usher chose a winner based on the actual knockout round -- not his previous performances -- while Blake clearly picked one of his favorites over the better singer. Yes, Luke Edgemon was robbed.
“Don’t be stupid,” Adam Levine chided Shelton before he made his decision. Shelton didn’t listen.
Here’s what went down:
TEAM BLAKE: Savannah Berry vs. Justin Rivers
“Justin’s taking a big risk by singing a woman’s song,” Shelton says about Justin’s decision to take on Miley Cyrus’ “The Climb.” It’s a weird thing to say considering Savannah’s singing Justin Bieber’s “As Long as You Love Me.” And it’s not like Miley wrote that song anyway. Savannah made her song sound interesting, but Justin made “The Climb” sound huge, holding a note long enough to let producers get a 360-degree shot of him with his hand raised. He had to win.
SHOULD’VE ADVANCED: Justin
TEAM USHER: Jess Kellner vs. Josiah Hawley
At this point, Josiah Hawley and his high cheekbones and even higher hair seems set to go deep into the competition now that it’s up to the audience. He could have gone home because of his OK version of Amy Winehouse’s “Back to Black,” where he was growly and trying too hard. However, Jess Kellner was even worse on “You Give Me Something,” going off key early on and never really recovering.
SHOULD’VE ADVANCED: Josiah
TEAM BLAKE: Holly Tucker vs. Luke Edgemon
Not sure what Blake was thinking, pairing two of his singers that could win the show in one battle. Holly soared on “Live Like You Were Dying,” showing off her unique voice. Luke Edgemon, though, showed off his voice and his cool style by turning Katy Perry’s “Teenage Dream” into a ‘70s soul jam. Usher called it “difficult,” but Shakira and Adam Levine loved it. And Blake did what was expected and picked Holly.
SHOULD’VE ADVANCED: Luke
TEAM USHER: Audrey Karrasch vs. Michelle Chamuel
OK, Audrey Karrasch had a great idea to turn Lil Wayne’s “How to Love” into an alternative song. Too bad she couldn’t pull it off, going wildly off-key and losing her way. Michelle Chamuel held it together better on Pink’s “Raise Your Glass,” which is a tough song to tame.
SHOULD’VE ADVANCED: Michelle
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TEAM BLAKE: Danielle Bradbery vs. Taylor Beckham
Danielle’s version of Carrie Underwood’s “Jesus Take the Wheel” was good, only slight quivers in her otherwise strong vocal. Taylor Beckham, on the other hand, struggled with Rihanna’s “Russian Roulette,” especially in her lower register.
SHOULD’VE ADVANCED: Danielle
TEAM USHER: C. Perkins vs. Vedo
C. Perkins is one of those “Voice” singers who just isn’t quite ready yet. He has so much potential on “She Ain’t You,” he just has trouble holding all his notes and then cracked at the end. Vedo’s “Everything I Do” was poignant and, as Adam said, graceful.
SHOULD’VE ADVANCED: Vedo
TEAM BLAKE: Grace Askew vs. The Swon Brothers
Grace Askew was unpredictable in her version of “I Can’t Stand the Rain,” while The Swon Brothers delivered a straightforward version of “Drift Away.” Once again, he went with the expected.
ADVANCED: Swon Brothers
SHOULD’VE ADVANCED: Swon Brothers
TEAM USHER: Cathia vs. Ryan Innes
Cathia’s “Mr. Know It All” was wonky from the start, singing behind the beat pretty much all the way through, which counteracted some pretty nice notes. She’s lucky that Ryan struggled even more with “I Don’t Want To Be,” picking a key that was too low for him and then screeching some “soulful” notes. It’s too bad because Ryan could have done well on the show.
SHOULD’VE ADVANCED: Cathia