Keeping up with “The Voice”: The Knockouts, Week One

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Courtesy NBC

Libianca sings “everything i wanted” by Billie Eilish during the first week of Knockouts on The Voice.

Riya Mahanta and Katherine Wu

Before you continue reading, make sure to check out our reviews of last week’s top performances from The Battles here!

This past week, contestants on NBC’s hit reality singing competition show competed in the next round, the Knockouts. 

Ed Sheeran joined our four coaches as a “mega mentor” this week. Since the competitors got to choose their own songs, Sheeran’s job consisted of helping each contestant rehearse for their Knockout performance. 

Without further ado, here are our top five performances of the week.

 

Our Top Five

1. Representing coach Blake Shelton’s team, Libianca gave her soulful rendition of the song “everything i wanted” by Billie Eilish. Her clever note changes kept us excited and wondering where she would go next with the song. Her own spin on this hit single could easily beat the original; we have probably replayed it ten times already. With all her emotion, Libianca beat 15-year-old Hailey Green, who sang “God’s Country” by Shelton.

“It was a master class in vocals…You had me on the edge of my seat, and for that reason, I would pick Libianca,” coach John Legend said, giving his input on who Shelton should choose.

“Libianca, she was having a hard time even getting through the song in rehearsals, and to see her pull it together and do it; that’s incredible,” Shelton said.

2. Also for Shelton’s team, Wendy Moten sang “Ain’t No Way” by Aretha Franklin. Moten’s control was incredible, making her one of the must-see contestants of the entire show. Her competitor, Jonathan Mouton, put up a good fight with “I Can See Clearly Now” by Johnny Nash, but Moten’s technique and range was too hard to beat.

“Jonathan, he blew me away,” Shelton said. “The only problem with that is that Wendy blew the building away, and I fully expect to see her in the finale.”

3. Folk trio Girl Named Tom sang Glen Campbell’s “Wichita Lineman” for coach Kelly Clarkson’s team. During the auditions, this trio prompted all four coaches to turn for them and their stellar harmonies proved they deserved the title of a “four-chair turn” audition. They were paired against Holly Forbes, another “four-chair turn” audition, who we felt also delivered an amazing performance with “Groupie (Superstar)” by Delaney & Bonnie. In our opinion, Forbes was the better individual singer, but Girl Named Tom’s harmonies were too captivating to deny. Luckily, Legend and coach Ariana Grande both used their “steal” on Forbes, who chose to switch to Grande’s team.

“You’re both incredible, okay?” Clarkson said. “I’m strategically going here, with Girl Named Tom [as the winner].” 

4. Joshua Vacanti delivered an emotional performance representing Legend’s team with Harry Styles’s hit song “Falling.” Even though it was a sad song, Vacanti was entertaining to watch and looked like a natural performer onstage. As viewers, we could tell Vacanti put his all into the performance; he was even shaking at one point. His opponent, Sabrina Dias, sang “Photograph” by Sheeran and gave a unique performance in which she played both the guitar and drums. However, we felt as though Dias’s vocals were not as strong as Vacanti’s, and agreed with the coaches’ decision to advance Vacanti. 

“Joshua, you make the audience feel every single word that you sing,” Legend said.

5. The final performance we felt deserved “top five” status was Raquel Trinidad’s rendition of “Valerie” by The Zutons for Grande’s team. Her opponent, Katie Rae, sang “Hold On To Me” by Lauren Daigle. Even though we adore both of these performers, Trinidad showed so much improvement in her quick runs and energy. Luckily, Rae was stolen by Clarkson because of her strong voice and unique tone.

“I used my only steal on Katie Rae because I feel like I don’t have anybody like her on my team,” Clarkson said. “I’ve wanted Katie Rae since the blind [auditions], so I finally got her.”

 

Team Rosters (as of Oct. 26) after The Knockouts, Week One

Team Kelly: Girl Named Tom, Gymani, Jeremy Rosado, Kinsey Rose, Xavier Cornell, Hailey Mia, Katie Rae

Team Legend: Joshua Vacanti, Paris Winningham, Samara Brown, Samuel Harness, Shadale Johnson, Jershika Maple, David Vogel

Team Ariana: Katherine Ann Mohler, Jim and Sasha Allen, Raquel Trinidad, Bella DeNapoli, Ryleigh Plank, Manny Keith, Holly Forbes

Team Blake: Peedy Chavis, Wendy Moten, Lana Scott, Carson Peters, Berritt Hynes, Libianca

 

Next week, the Knockouts are continuing. A sneak peek performance full of suspense and emotion has already been released on YouTube, so you won’t want to miss the episodes’ premiere, but if you do, we’ve got you covered!