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'The Voice' narrows Season 12 competition to 20 artists with conclusion of "The Knockout Round"


By Elizabeth Kwiatkowski, 04/11/2017 

The Voice coaches determined Season 12's Top 20 artists after eight singers advanced from "The Knockout Round" during Monday night's broadcast on NBC.

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"The Knockout Round" concluded last night with The Voice coaches Adam Levine, Blake Shelton, Gwen Stefani and Alicia Keys each narrowing down their teams to only five artists.

Winners of this round advance to the show's "The Live Playoffs" in which the 20 hopefuls will perform live on TV for home viewer votes. In previous seasons, America's vote sends two people on each team to the live shows and then the coaches must choose the last person they'd like to see move forward in the competition.

The winners in last night's The Voice broadcast were Team Blake's Lauren Duski from Gaylord, MI, and Aliyah Moulden from La Habra, CA; Team Alicia's Vanessa Ferguson from Greensboro, NC; Team Adam's Mark Isaiah from Mt. Pocono, PA, and Jesse Larson from Minneapolis, MN; and Team Gwen's JChosen from Albany, GA, and Troy Ramey from Sea Cliff, NY.

Each coach is allowed to steal one artist from another team during "The Knockout Round." The artist who was stolen last night was Stephanie Rice from Houston, TX, who went from Gwen's team to Alicia's team.

Monday night's broadcast kicked off with Blake pairing Andrea Thomas with a performance of "Cry" by Faith Hill against Lauren Duski with a performance of "When You Say Nothing At All" by Alison Krauss & Union Station.

Alicia noted that Andrea was singing but Lauren was feeling. Gwen told Andrea that she belongs on the radio, while Adam said Andrea was a "diamond in the rough" but Lauren is likeable because she doesn't fit the mold. Blake regretted pairing these two girls together but ended up choosing Lauren as the winner since honesty and comfort seems to come out of her voice when she sings.

Alicia then matched Jack Cassidy, who sang "Unsteady" by X Ambassadors, with Vanessa Ferguson, who took the stage with "If I Were Your Woman" by Gladys Knight & The Pips. Both artists sang their song on the piano.

While Jack sang with a ton of emotion, Adam admitted his vocals were "a little off," which happens to every great artist. It was apparent Vanessa had won the Knockout after Gwen called her performance "mind-blowing," Adam called it "the recipe for a big win" on The Voice, and Blake said it was "phenomenal" just like "water is wet."

After Blake called it a performance fit for the finale, Alicia declared Vanessa the winner because she certainly rose to the occasion of a Knockout performance.

Adam's team was up next with Davina Leone singing "Toxic" by Britney Spears and Jesse Larson singing "The Letter" by Joe Cocker.

Davina's rendition of "Toxic" was subdued and innovative, but Jesse absolutely blew the coaches away and "burned the house down." Gwen said Jesse commanded the stage and delivered a "magical" performance, while Adam called Jesse "a wizard" and "a maniac" because of his talent.

After Adam explained that Jesse must have a spiritual connection with Cee Lo Green, he named Jesse winner of the Knockout.

Adam also paired up Malik Davage with Mark Isaiah for a Knockout that was barely shown on television. Mark won the Knockout with a performance of "Love Yourself" by Justin Bieber after Adam noted it's "scary" what that kid can do.

Gwen's team then featured a Knockout between Brandon Royal, who sang "Redemption Song" by Bob Marley & The Wailers, and JChosen, who performed "Without You" by David Guetta featuring Usher.

Adam said JChosen crushed a very hard song and has dazzled him since the beginning of the competition. It seemed like the coaches were expecting a more powerful performance from Brandon, as Blake said it needed more "muscle." Alicia loved Brandon's tenderness but got lost in the hype of JChosen's "charming" vocals.

Gwen appreciated how Brandon took his song to a modern place, but she named JChosen the winner because of his courage to sing a song so personal to him. (JChosen's mother recently suffered a stroke).

Blake then paired up Aliyah Moulden with "Before He Cheats" by Carrie Underwood against Caroline Sky with "At Last" by Etta James.

Gwen said Aliyah showed a mature side to herself while Caroline's song choice was amazing because it showed off her gift and flexibility when it comes to music genres. Adam found it "astonishing" how good Aliyah is, and taking into account her versatility, he advised Blake to pick her as the champion. In the end, Blake selected Aliyah as the Knockout winner.

The last pairing of the night went to Stephanie Rice with "Safe & Sound" by Taylor Swift featuring The Civil Wars against Troy Ramey with "Chandelier" by Sia.

Adam reminded the audience how Troy was a four-chair turnaround and someone would have to be crazy to let him go at this stage in the game, even though his performance might not have been as impactful as Stephanie's happened to be.

Alicia complimented Troy for having the "balls" to choose that song, while Gwen found it nearly impossible to choose between them because they perform in different lanes. While Stephanie delivered soul in her performance, Troy has great range and hasn't even showcased what he's capable of yet.

Gwen decided to name Troy winner of the Knockout, but it didn't take long for Alicia to steal Stephanie. Alicia wanted Stephanie on her team because of the artist's unique style and "feel" -- meaning you "can't buy, learn or teach" what she does. Alicia wanted Stephanie from the beginning of the competition.

Below is a list of The Voice's Top 20 artists for Season 12 who will be competing in "The Live Playoffs:"

Team Adam
 
- Mark Isaiah from Mt. Pocono, PA
 
- Jesse Larson from Minneapolis, MN
 
- Hanna Eyre from Laguna Niguel, CA
 
- Josh West from Glendale, AZ
 
- Lilli Passero from Los Angeles, CA (stolen)

Team Alicia

- Vanessa Ferguson from Greensboro, NC

- Ashley Levin from Miami, FL

- Chris Blue from Knoxville, TN

- Anatalia Villaranda from Temecula, CA

- Stephanie Rice from Houston, TX (stolen)

Team Blake

- Lauren Duski from Gaylord, MI

- Aliyah Moulden from La Habra, CA

- Casi Joy from Kansas City, MO

- Terry "TSoul" Pinkard from Richmond, VA

- Aaliyah Rose from Provo, UT (stolen)

Team Gwen

- JChosen from Albany, GA

- Troy Ramey from Sea Cliff, NY

- Chris Blue from Knoxville, TN

- Hunter Plake from Baton Rouge, LA

- Quizz Swanigan from North Little Rock, AR (stolen)






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