The Voice

The Voice knockouts conclude with 3 winners and a twist

Taylor Deneen, Mac Royals and Brandon Montel listen to coaches' feedback on The Voice. (NBC Photo)

Taylor Deneen, Mac Royals and Brandon Montel listen to coaches’ feedback on The Voice. (NBC Photo)


Okay, partial kudos to The Voice for its new twist.

Of course, being The Voice, it’s being handled in the silliest possible fashion, but it is a step in the right direction.

Season after season I’ve bemoaned the fact that saves and steals are used very quickly by the coaches when each round begins.

That means whether you have a chance to earn one is determined as much by when you perform as by how well you perform.

Take this year’s battles as an example. Five of the eight available steals were used on the seven battles included in the first taping session. Two more were used in the second set of seven battles.

That meant just one steal was available when the final 14 battles were taped.

Seem fair? Of course not.

My suspicion is that no steals or saves remained when the Team Niall knockout that ended Tuesday’s show was filmed. That’s why Julia Roome and Lennon Vanderdoes were eliminated in spite of moving performances.

The new twist assures that every knockout round contestant had a chance to be stolen after the coaches had heard and watched everyone perform.

The silliness came in The Voice showing the coaches calling singers and inviting them back to the show. Then ending Tuesday’s episode as a cliffhanger without sharing the names of the “super save” singers.

Hell with that. Read the next line only if you don’t mind spoilers. John will save Azan. Reba will save Ms. Monet. Gwen will save Lennon. And Niall will save Julia. Which means every artist from that last knockout advanced.

Personally — and I’ve long argued this — I think it would be more dramatic to save all steals and saves until the end of each round, have all at-risk contestants take the stage, then force the coaches to make their decisions.

But I won’t count on that ever happening. Might make the coaches feel a bit awkward. And we can’t have that on The Voice.

On with Tuesday’s recap.


Team Legend

The match: Mac Royals vs. Taylor Deneen vs. Brandon Montel
The background: Brandon, 29, of Memphis, Tenn., turned four chairs in the blinds. So did Mac, 30, of Wrightsville, Ark. Taylor, 23, Midwest City, Okla., was one of the last singers to snag a spot on Season 24 and turned the only two available chairs. Mac was stolen from Team Reba.
The songs: Robin Thicke’s “Lost Without YOu” for Mac, Rufus and Chaka Khan’s “Sweet Thing” for Taylor; SZA’s “Nobody Gets Me” for Brandon.
The feedback: Reba praised Taylor’s vocals and showmanship and gave her the edge. Niall gave the edge to Mac based on his growth. Gwen leaned toward Mac as well, compared his performance to something she’s see on the Grammys. John praised all three artists.
The outcome: John declared Mac the winner, then saved Taylor. Brandon was ellminated.
My take: Mac showed off his impressive range during an assured performance. John said he “looked like a superstar” and he certainly performed with the confidence of one. Personally, I preferred Taylor’s vocal. And she came off as every bit as ready for The Voice stage and offered a bit more vocal dynamics. In other words, I would have switched what John did, declaring Taylor the winner and saving Mac. Brandon showed tons of potential. He just drew into a tough three-way knockout on a team loaded with superb singers.


Team Nail

The match: Alexa Wildish vs. Julia Roome vs Lennon Vanderdoes
The background: Alexa, 34, of Orange County, Calif., turned four chairs in the blinds. Lennon, 27, from Wilmington, Del., turned three. Julia, 13 of Warwick, N.Y., turned two. All three won their battles.
The songs: Cher’s “Believe” for Alexa, Sia’s “Unstoppable” for Julia and Jason Mraz’s “I Won’t Give Up” for Lennon.
The feedback: All three singers drew praise from the judges. Lennon’s performance had Gwen and John in tears. John was tearing up so badly, Reba had to fetch him a handkerchief. Niall called the trio of performances “my favorite moment on The Voice.”
The outcome: Niall named Alexa the knockout winner. He said she has the potential to win the show. And my earlier assumption was correct. No steals or saves remained when this knockout was filmed. Which is as damning an indictment of The Voice’s typical way of doing things as you can get. Wake the hell up, producers!
My take: Wow, Julia. That was easily her best performance on The Voice. And she was just 13 when she auditioned. She performed as though she truly was unstoppable. Lennon has one of my favorite voices on the show. And he did a great job tonight, in spite of a couple of wonky notes once the song swelled. Alexa took a Cher song and made it her own. Most importantly, she made it work with a wonderful singer-songwriter rendition. I probably would have given the win to Julia because I found her performance the most surprisingly great of the three and I know how Voice fans will rally behind a very young contestant.


Team Reba

The match: Jordan Rainer vs. Caitlin Quinsenberry vs. Elizabeth Evans
The background: Jordan, 33, from Nashville, Tenn., earned a four-chair turn in the blinds. Caitlin, 27, of Denver, Colorado, turned two. So did Elizabeth, 22, of Arlington, Texas. Elizabeth was stolen from Team Legend.
The song: “hole in the bottle” by Kelsea Ballerini’s “Hole in the Bottle” for Jordan. The Voice didn’t care to tell us what Caitlin or Elizabeth sang. Or to air as much as a second of their performances.
The feedback: Reba called Jordan witty and so talented, saying she stole the show. And that’s about all the feedback we heard.
The outcome: Reba named Jordan the winner. Caitlin and Elizabeth were eliminated.
My take: You know what makes The Voice look really dumb, lazy and stupid? Airing a one-hour rehash of last night’s show at 8 p.m., then montaging performances in the 9 p.m. hour. I was really ticked off not getting to hear Elizabeth Evans after she was so impressive in the battles. The snippet we heard of Jordan — all of 19 seconds — sounded solid, not great. Follow the links above to learn about original music released by Elizabeth and Caitlin.

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  1. Idol Girl November 15, 2023 at 9:03 am -  Reply

    According to the TV Guide listings, Monday night is basically another recap show – The Road To The Playoffs. Tuesday at 9 is The Playoffs part 1.

  2. TiredofTripe November 15, 2023 at 6:19 pm -  Reply

    Recaps, recaps, recaps.

    More of the coaches empty blathering and their fake showmances.

    More pimping of their Chosen Ones.

    The montaged contestants must feel sad and furious.

    All that time, effort, and money wasted.

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