The knockout round is here! And it’s… almost exactly like the battle rounds. What fun. Ok, its not exactly the same as the battle rounds, the pairings are a surprise and the singers choose their songs. So now we get even more random pairings and shitty song choice. So… yay.
First up are the logical, well thought out decisions from Team Adam.
Joselyn Rivera vs. Kayla Navarez “Love on Top” by Beyonce and “Shark in the Water” by VV Brown
Joselyn went the sexy and saucy route with Beyonce’s hit, but it’s hard to out sassy the queen and Joselyn fell short. Kayla made a good choice and the indie hit fit her unique voice (ugh, I sound like Blake. Sorry.) It was a pretty lackluster intiation into this new round and didn’t do much to justify its purpose. Winner: Joselyn.
Joe Kirkland vs. Bryan Keith “Mean” by Taylor Swift and “(Everything I Do) I Do It For You” by Bryan Adams
So at this point it was clear Adam was thinning out the redundancies on his team, so proving versatility (by picking a very unexpected song) is a smart choice. Unfortunately they both made that choice so, its still kind of a wash. Joe has always seemed really generic pop punk to me and this version of “Mean” didn’t do anything to change that opinion. Not that it’s bad, it’s just not my thing. On the other hand, Bryan’s rendition of “(Everything I Do) I Do It For You” felt like it should have a fog machine and a puffy haired girl rolling around on a car accompanying it. Still not understanding the point of this round. Winner: Bryan.
Amanda Brown vs. Michelle Brooks-Thompson “Paris (Oh La La La) by Grace Potter & the Nocturnals and “Spotlight” by Jennifer Hudson
The thinning continues with the diva… battle? Knockout? Whatever. Amanda is a force and one of my favorites, so be warned that from here on out this is biased (shocking, I know). With the performance Amanda proved she can rock just as hard as she can belt and Adam would be a fool to not keep her. Michelle claimed she wanted to deviate from Jenifer’s version, but this sounded pretty similar to the original. She’s a very talented singer, but it was all a little expected. Winner: Amanda. Maybe I’m starting to come around on the Knockout Round.
Loren Alfred vs. Nicole Nelson “You Know I’m No Good” by Amy Winehouse and “If I Ain’t Got You” by Alicia Keyes
And now its time for a girl we’ve never seen before and the mega annoying girl we’ve seen too much of. I can see why Loren has been skipped over before now. She’s a decent singer, but she has the personality of a paint chip. Then she hit the final note of the song and I wouldn’t care if her favorite hobby was cat skinning, she needs to move on to the live round. Nicole is an amazing singer, as usual, but I still can’t stand her. The judging consisted of backhanded complaints of how shocked all the judges were that Loren was any good, but the insults don’t hurt as much when they come with a win. Winner: Loren. (Side Note: Hey, Nicole, your little “wow” face when you didn’t win is the exact reason I’m glad you didn’t. Get over yourself. End Side Note.)
Melanie Martinez vs. Sam James “Bulletproof” by La Roux and “Walking in Memphis” by Marc Cohn
This was a battle between quirky (gag me) and some random dude Adam feels is dispensable because he is under the misguided impression the world needs more breathy voiced hipsters who think an adult acting like a little girl is cute. You could definitely say Melanie made the song her own. You could also say she made it suck. Both are equally true. Sam wasn’t anything special, but he didn’t inspire rage, so win for me. Winner: Melanie.
And that’s Team Adam! Certainly not the strongest team, but still decent. I predict his final member will be Amanda.
Avery Wilson vs. Cody Belew “Yeah 3X” by Chris Brown and “Jolene” by Dolly Parton
Avery thought it would be a good idea to show off his dance skills in this singing competition and learned the lesson every lip syncing starlet has learned before him; singing and dancing at the same time is hard and results in not good singing. Also, Lady had better moves than this kid. Cody basically was handed this competition, but he still brought it on his interesting song choice. It combined everything these judges look for, a good performance of an iconic song that he still managed to make his own. Winner: Cody.
Mackenzie Bourg vs. Daniel Rosa “Call Me Maybe” by Carly Rae Jepson “Back to December” by Taylor Swift
Leave it to Cee Lo to pair up two fan favorites without any regard for what a destructive decision that could actually be come voting time. The joke is on Mackenzie if he thinks “Call Me Maybe” meant anything to anyone. Or maybe the joke is on us because its not a bad cover, a little coffeehouse, but good. Even Daniel can’t help but sing along. Daniel was better than average, but its still his same thing, if you like it its cool, but it’s never anything spectacular. Adam hit the nail on the head when he said the difference in Daniel was his confidence and it definitely did make a difference. Winner: Mackenzie.
Terisa Griffin vs. Trevin Hunte “Saving All My Love for You” by Whitey Housten and “Against All Odds” by Phil Collins
The second her opponent was named Terisa burst into tears because she knew she was being set up to take the fall. Maybe Blake told Cee Lo what a handful she is. I do give her props for her sparkly cast and brining the soul even through her injury (which, Trevin, is an actual problem, not some douche 8th grade teacher you can’t shut up about). There’s a reason Terisa knew she was in trouble; Trevin is amazing and a favorite to win the whole thing. Those are the breaks, kid. Winner: Trevin.
Nicholas David vs. Mycle Wastman “Put Your Records On” by Corrine Baily Rae and “Don’t Let the Sun Go Down on Me” by Elton John
I barely remember Mycle expect that his name is annoying, but his performance was all right. Nothing to write home about and he didn’t expand much upon the original. Nicholas might just be the coolest person in the competition. In fact that isn’t even a completion and neither is this battle. Next please! Winner: Nicholas.
Caitlin Michele vs. Diego Val “Bring Me to Life” by Evanescence and “Are You Gonna Go My Way” by Lenny Kravitz
I was annoyed at first that someone chose Evanescence, but then I remember how good this song actually is and it is certainly suited to Caitlin. Diego was also good, it’s just such a switch to go from pure vocals to rock growl and swagger. I would choose Caitlin, but Diego is good at what he does and there is certainly an improvement when he knows the lyrics. Winner: Diego.
All this time we thought Christina was trying to take over the world with her pop stars and Cee Lo has sneakily built a boy band! Prediction for the final contestant: Trevin. Duh.
Two hours down and I still don’t understand the point of this new round (other than NBC bleeding the cash cow dry). Perhaps another two hours will convince me of its point. We shall see.
– Devin Mainville