Grammy Nominations 2017

'The Voice': Miley Cyrus Continues to Shape Artists in Knockout Round

Trae Patton/NBC
Pharrell Williams and Miley Cyrus on NBC's The Voice during the Knockout Reality round airing on March 28, 2016.

The artists who advance from this round will compete in the Live Playoffs.

Night two of season 10’s Knockout Round brought more tough decisions for The Voice coaches Christina Aguilera, Blake Shelton, Pharrell Williams and Adam Levine. Getting in some practice before her tenure as a season 11 coach, Miley Cyrus continued to guide the artists as the season’s key adviser. Aguilera, Shelton and Levine already used their steals for this round last night. The artists choose their own songs for this round. “Song choices are huge,” said Pharrell. “If you don’t sing the right song, that honestly could send you home.”

Shelton praised Adam Wakefield and Peyton Parker for the first Knockout of the night, calling them his storyteller artists. Parker chose to sing “Travelin' Soldier” by Dixie Chicks, and Cyrus helped her to alter the melody in order to tell her story better and showcase her range. Wakefield doesn’t consider himself to be strictly country even though that is his wheelhouse. Tonight he chose to sing Sam Cooke’s “Bring It On Home to Me.” It was the first time he has sung without an instrument, so he didn’t look very comfortable in his rehearsals, but Cyrus and Shelton pushed him to work the stage a little more.

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Wakefield looked much more confident in his final performance and connected with the audience, telling a story with his singing just like Shelton thought he would. His vocals were very strong, especially on the low notes. Pharrell gave him a standing ovation. But Parker came out with a strong performance, too. Her voice cracked once, but the coaches said it didn’t detract from the overall quality of her voice. Shelton picked Wakefield as the winner, and Parker went home.

Next, Pharrell paired Moushumi with Nick Hagelin. Moushumi chose “New Americana” by Halsey, which was a great fit for her voice. In her rehearsal, she proved to have strong creative instincts. Hagelin picked “Lost Without You” by Robin Thicke, which also was a strong vocal fit. Pharrell pushed him to project more so that his tone would come through more clearly.

In her performance, Moushumi captivated. Her voice was strong, but she didn’t really get a chance to connect emotionally with the lyrics because the song choice didn’t provide much to really dig into. Still, she sounded great and has an interesting sound. Hagelin gave a slightly more layered performance and had solid vocals. Aguilera pointed out that it could have been smoother, though. Pharrell surprised by choosing Moushumi as the winner, and Hagelin was eliminated. Pharrell told the other coaches that Hagelin was much better in rehearsals.

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Aguilera paired Maya Smith and Tamar Davis. Aguilera stole Smith from Pharrell during the Battle Round. Tonight, she decided to sing “No One” by Alicia Keys. Aguilera and Cyrus both encouraged her to shake up the song rhythmically and really let loose. Davis picked “Lay Me Down” by Sam Smith, and she similarly had to be pushed to really own the stage.

In her performance, Smith definitely played with the melody and rhythm, making the song her own and showcasing very natural creative choices that gave the performance a very organic feel. She had some pitch issues, but she put on a good show. Davis performed next, showcasing much stronger vocal control. Her high notes were impeccable, and she nailed several intricate runs.

“Your team is just fireball after fireball,” Pharrell said to Aguilera. He told Smith that it was her best performance of the competition so far and likened them both to superheroes. Aguilera crowned Davis as the winner, and Smith went home.

Shelton still has his steal going into next week’s third night of Knockouts. What did you think of tonight’s performances?