The Voice

Kyle Schuesler, Tae Lewis nab steals on The Voice

Anya True and Kyle Schuesler listen to the coaches' feedback on The Voice. Both advanced to the playoffs. (NBC Photo)

Anya True and Kyle Schuesler listen to the coaches’ feedback on The Voice. Both advanced to the playoffs. (NBC Photo)


Eight singers advanced to the playoffs as the knockout round began on The Voice Monday night.

Winning knockout round matches were Asher HaVon, Anya True, Olivia Rubini, Josh Sanders, Nathan Chester and Serenity Arce.

Meanwhile, Tae Lewis opted to join Team Dan + Shay after all three coaches tried to steal him.

And Team Chance might have scored the biggest pickup of the night, stealing Kyle Schuesler from eliminated after a Team Dan + Shay match.

Eliminated during Monday’s episode were four singers, Val T. Webb, Dani Stacy, Frank Garcia and Ashley Bryant. Val and Dani had turned four chairs during the blind auditions.

And, remember, four singers had already nabbed spots in the playoffs via the playoff pass, including Bryan Olesen (Team Legend), Madison Curbelo (Team Dan + Shay), Nadege (Team Chance) and L. Rodgers (Team Reba).

Here’s a recap of Monday’s show.



The match: Asher HaVon vs. Tae Lewis
The background: Asher, 31, turned 3 chairs in the blinds singing Adele’s “Set Fire to the Rain.” He then won his battle with Alyssa Crosby. They performed “We Don’t Need Another Hero” by Tina Turner.
Tae, also 31, turned 2 chairs in the blinds singing Keith Urban’s “Somebody Like You.” He then ‘won’ his battle round match with L. Rodgers, though she received the playoff pass. They performed “We Don’t Fight Anymore” by Carly Pearce (ft. Chris Stapleton)
The songs: “Unbreak My Heart” by Toni Baxton for Asher; “Nothin’ on YOu” by Cody Johnson for Tae.
The feedback: John called Asher’s presence “regal” and praised his ability to sing so low with so much power. But he also had high praise for Tae and signaled he’d steal the singer Reba didn’t advance. Reba said the two singers made her feel like “a proud momma.”
The outcome: Reba declared Asher the winner, saying she thinks he could win. That was the right decision. Then all three coaches tried to steal Tae. Dan complimented Tae’s tenor voice. Tae opted to join Team Dan + Shay.
My take: Given the song, Asher’s performance was long on frills, short on emotion. But the frills were so wonderfully executed, and came so fast and furious as he wrapped up, that it was still a great performance. Tae wasn’t quite as vocally impressive, but delivered what was easily his best performance of he competition to date. An outcome in which they both made the playoffs was well deserved.


Team Dan + Shay

The match: Anya True vs. Kyle Schuesler
The songs: Aurora’s “Runaway” for Anya. James Arthur “Say You Won’t Let Go.”
The feedback: John complimented both of them for excellent vocals. He gave a slight edge to Kyle. Chance gave Anya a slight edge. Reba didn’t venture a preference.
The outcome: Dan + Shay named Anya the winner, because they love the way she sings straight from her heart. Chance immediately stole Kyle, saying he’s wanted him on his team since the blinds.
My take: Really nice singer-songwriter performance from Anya. She has such a nice gentle tone. And she’s channeling lots of emotion. then there’s Kyle, who just has a great voice. I can see him in the finals. He performed with lots of passion too. He was the clear winner of this knockout to me, not to mention one of Season 25’s best.


Team Reba

The match: Ashley Bryant vs. Josh Sanders
The songs: Dee Messina’s “Head Carolina, Tails California” for Ashley. Corey Kent’s “Wild As Her” for Josh.
The feedback: Chance gave the edge to Josh. Dan gave the edge to him as well. John didn’t express a preference. Reba praised both performers.
The outcome: Reba named Josh the winner. She liked his connection to the song. Ashley was eliminated.
My take: Josh’s gritty vocals served him well on this song. He turns in a solid performance of a tune that was a big hit for a former Voice contestant. The big note at the end was a great exclamation point. Ashley was one of the most improved performers from the blinds to the battles. And if she’s nervous here, it’s not showing. She nailed her own big note at the end. And I liked her performance just a little better. That said, male country singers do really well on the show. And Josh has the potential to catch fire if he keeps delivering performances with that much passion.


Team Dan + Shay

The match:
Frank Garcia vs. Olivia Rubini
The songs: Jose Jose’s “El Triste” for Frank. Elton John’s “Tiny Dancer” for Olivia.
The feedback: John complimented Frank on his rich voice. He gave Olivia a slight edge. So did Reba. But Chance gave the edge to Frank. Dan + Shay showed both singers with praise.
The outcome: Dan + Shay declared Olivia the winner. Frank was eliminated.
My take: Frank shows off a surprisingly deep tone and nice stage presence. He performs the entire song in Spanish. This was easily his best performance on the show. Olivia surprised me with the power and tone she showed off on “Tiny Dancer.” Her voice broke on a couple of the high notes. Her performance is the one I’d want to hear / watch again.

Team John

The match: Nathan Chester vs. Val T. Webb
The songs: Elvin Bishop’s “Fooled Around and Fell in Love” for Nathan; Anita Baker’s “Sweet Love” for Val.
The feedback: Shay said he was moved by Nathan’s performance and would give him the edge. None of the other coaches expressed a preference, praising both performances. John called Nathan cinematic and loved the range Val showed off.
The outcome: John declared Nathan the winner, saying he’ll be strong throughout the competition. Val was eliminated.
My take: Both of these are veteran performers. Nathan is delivering a solid vocal and performance. His ending was really special as he finished on his knees holding the mic stand. Val didn’t disappoint, showing off a nice tone, big voice and impassioned ending. I enjoyed Nathan’s performance just a bit better.


Team Chance

The match: Serenity Arce and Dani Stacy
The songs: Miley Cyrus’s “Jaded” for Dani. Rihanna’s “Unfaithful” for Serenity
The feedback: Shay gave Serenity a slight edge. John and Reba seemed to be leaning the same way.
The outcome: Chance awarded the win to Serenity, though he noted it wasn’t techically her best vocal. Dani was eliminated.
My take: This marked out first chance to hear Dani since the blinds because her battle was montaged. I especially liked her voice when the song got softer and her rasp came through. Serenity delivered a passionate performance and offered up a more dynamic performance. But I’m not sure it was as vocally consistent. This was truly a toss-up. I can understand why Chance went with the younger singer.

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