'The Voice' Recap: Knockouts Part 2 – Taylor John Williams Stands Out, Gwen Uses Her Steal For Ricky Manning
The Voice knockouts continued Tuesday, with Gwen Stefani using up her steal to grab Ricky Manning from Team Pharrell Williams.
Team Gwen: Taylor John Williams vs. Troy Ritchie
Troy Ritchie walked into rehearsal with Taylor Swift and coach Gwen and brought out his guitar to cover Outkast’s “Hey Ya!” After his first run through, both Gwen and Taylor advised him to distance himself a bit more from the original by performing the first verse and chorus acoustically before launching into the full blown dance track.
Taylor John Williams chose to sing “Mad World,” clearly surprising Taylor Swift – or ‘Swifty’ as she declared herself during rehearsals. Taylor had trouble connecting to the audience and controlling his nervous movements on stage during rehearsal, but he turned it around for the performance.
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Troy won over the crowd, and the coaches, with his slow beginning and his fancy footwork when he broke out into the upbeat half of his performance. But the coaches were also drawn in by Taylor’s impeccable vocals and emotional performance. “Troy, God bless you, cause you’re out of your mind,” Adam said, praising his ability to put on a show. It was a tough decision for Gwen, who loves Troy, but saw Taylor as “a peer” and declared Taylor the winner. Winner: Taylor
Team Adam: Alessandra Castronovo vs. Mia Pfirrman
Alessandra Castronovo came to fight, singing “Next To Me.” In the rehearsals, Adam Levine worried that she was too powerful throughout the song, creating a lack of dynamic. He told her to go home and come up with a big finish to the song, and boy did she find one.
Mia Pfirrman impressed Adam and Taylor Swift with her song choice – Christina Perri’s “Human.” Adam saw it as proof that Mia wanted to “go more raw.”
Blake said he would give the battle to Alessandra because she had the most recognizable voice. Pharrell was impressed with Alessandra’s high notes and controlled runs, but he also complimented Mia’s ability to go for the big notes at the end to prove to everyone that she can really sing. Somewhat surprisingly, Adam declared Mia the winner, citing her control and polished ability. Winner: Mia
Team Pharrell: Ricky Manning vs. Elyjuh René
Elyjuh René came into rehearsals with Chris Brown’s “With You.” Taylor and Pharrell told him to try to let go on stage. It’s one thing to have a great voice, but it’s another to really touch people.
Ricky Manning went a different way, choosing Miley Cyrus’ “Wrecking Ball.” Pharrell encouraged him not to rely on how unique the song is, but to really make the performance about him. Taylor tried to get him to act out the song, and Pharrell warned him not to sit still. “You’re a star. Stars don’t sit still, they twinkle,” he said.
Elyjuh impressed the coaches with his wide range, but Ricky’s emotional performance connected more with the audience and the coaches. Blake even said that Ricky’s performance was the best of the knockouts thus far. It was a tough choice for Pharrell, but he gave the battle to Elyjuh, saying that there was more work to be done. Coaches Adam, Gwen and Blake were all shocked at Pharrell’s decision, so it wasn’t surprising when Gwen pressed her button to steal. “I feel like I just won The Voice,” Gwen said, giving Ricky a big hug. Winner: Elyjuh. Ricky: Team Gwen
The knockouts continue on The Voice Monday at 8 p.m. on NBC.
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