The Voice
The Knockouts, Part 1

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Carla Sparks: A- | Grade It Now!
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The Quarter Quell

Finally, The Voice is doing something I think I can get behind: a sudden death round. Well, the deaths will be neither sudden, nor fatal, but still, get Rockapella up here because this is some kind of lightning round.

This is the brand new "Knockout" round, which cuts each coach's team in half (down to five). No steals, just a way to weed out everyone we've already montaged over and don't care about. Let's get to it. Christina says they are "an exciting phase of the show," and she said it so lazily that we have no choice but to believe her.

The artists choose their own songs this time, trying to communicate what type of artist they want to be. On Christina's team, they have no choice. They will be pop artists. Also, who are some of these people? Just, in general? The first group of ten comes from Team Adam. The first "knockout pairing" (we can't call it a duel? Something a bit more English and less MMA?) is Joselyn Rivera and Kayla Nevarez. This is a wise pairing, because these girls are not that different to any of us watching, except their families.

Joselyn chose "Love on Top" by Beyonce, and seems to be killing it in this weird rehearsal where she sings for Adam on the Battle Stage, a land without time. These songs choices and rehearsals are happening in some parallel universe, but so is The Voice until it does some Fringe-like jump into the live shows. Basically, what I'm saying is more wigs please.

Kayla, the arrogant young killer, chose "Shark in the Water." It's not as impactful as Beyonce, but nothing is these days. Joselyn sings first, as the rest of her team watches from backstage, each waiting for their name to be chosen at The Reaping, or to be sorted into Gryffindor. I really wish there were some kind of Pro Wrestling component here, as the set design would indicate, where other team members could tag in, or at least hit Carson with a folding chair.

As Joselyn sings, Kayla watches from a stool in the corner on stage. How are they supposed to be reacting? Should they be wishing them ill? Joselyn is quite good, and thankfully we don't have to waste five minutes on the coaches telling her that. Joselyn hands the microphone to Kayla, marches over to the stool, and Kayla starts singing. I like this pace.

Kayla has her own style, but I think this song is exposing a lot more of her weaknesses and pitch problems than unique style. Beyonce was, and will always be, a better choice if you want to knock someone out. Joselyn watches appreciatively, which is not the way I would think to watch, while being watched.

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