The second half of Knockout Rounds are happening and no one is more excited about it than Carson Daly. He looks like me when I think it's Thursday and realize it's Friday. The Voice is his favorite bloodsport. Cuts this drastic, decisions this brutal, and rounds so heated -- this is what he lives for, if you can call what he does living.
Carson promises a night of surprises, as none of our pre-determined "favorites" are safe. The only favorite I saw go home in the last round of Knockouts was Midas Whale. Let's see how many country artists Blake can keep. His first pairing is Savannah Berry versus Justin Rivers. Justin will surely be eliminated, because who is he?
Savannah chose "As Long As You Love Me" by Justin Bieber to country up. Blake calls it "straight-up artistry" and says it's obvious she's a writer. I mean, Justin Bieber is not a country artist, and she made it a country song. Dacknabbit.
Justin has been montaged twice now, and won his battle against The Morgan Twins, who were at least more memorable for their gimmick. Justin selected "The Climb" by Miley Cyrus to sing. People keep singing this song in competitions, and the only reason I can think of is that it makes them sound better than the original. It is pithy. Justin says it is symbolic of his journey. Any journey, really. It's the climb.
Savannah sings first, and she's doing all the right things. She's connected and torchy and charming. The Unknown Justin takes on the song of a 17-year old girl afterward, and maybe it's a climb but he never gets there. There are some pitch problems, and the moments didn't really shine. I think I know why Blake paired them together.
To my surprise, Usher gives the round to Justin for holding the note very long. Shakira agrees. Adam likes Savannah, but compliments Justin as well. Blake tells Savannah he respects the way she performed the song and tells Justin that he continues to impress because heh, that was a girl song. True to Carson's promise, Blake shocks me by choosing Justin. No. Savannah can't believe it either.
Usher chooses the next face-off. It's Josiah Hawley against Jess Kellner. They are both beautiful. Josiah chose to speed up and clean up "Back to Black" by Amy Winehouse. He makes it almost cheesy. Usher asks Josiah to work harder at telling the story and appearing sincere. He should start singing out of both sides of his mouth if that's the case.
Jess chose "You Give Me Something" by James Morrison. She's singing it to her mother, who was an alcoholic and left her. I think Jess deserves to win this one.