Tonight’s round of The Voice knockouts is pretty short — only three pairs take the stage this time — but at least one of these contestants is making a very strong case for a finale spot already.
Let’s take a look at who makes it through tonight.
Team Jennifer: Franc West vs. Tyshawn Colquitt
Jennifer Hudson‘s first knockout of the night is her pair of soul singers, Franc West and Tyshawn Colquitt, and if the steals and saves weren’t running so slim at this point, there’s a chance they might both make it through. Alas.
Franc’s performances of The Weeknd’s “Call Out My Name” proves once again that he has a very classic, almost Motown moxie which when slowed down, boasts even funkier textures than we’ve heard so far. There’s a fascinating crunch effect to his voice that’s reminiscent of a young Marvin Gaye.
Meanwhile, Tyshawn’s no slouch on that stage either. His take on Zayn Malik’s “Pillow Talk” is not only on the money, but he also adds in a few falsetto notes that have the coaches gobsmacked. That said, his voice is not nearly as complex as Franc’s, so JHud has no choice but to stick with her seasoned singer.
Winner: Franc West
Team Kelly: Abby Cates vs. Claire DeJean
If Radha was bold to sing Mariah Carey‘s song when the diva herself was serving as a key adviser, then Abby Cates has some super-sized guts to sing one of Kelly Clarkson’s most personal and well-known ballads as a plea to stay on her team.
Claire DeJean goes first with her rendition of Shawn Mendes’ “There’s Nothing Holding Me Back,” but even though she has a nice tinny tone to her voice, the brisk pace of this piece is a little too much to keep up with. She has some good moments — mostly when she’s taking that note from her coach and MC about dialing down the power a bit in favor of some emotion — but she lets a few notes slip near the end and doesn’t seem as connected to the song as her successor in this series.
Abby doesn’t rest long in a soft vocal spot either, but that doesn’t matter much because she’s hitting those notes with purpose and closes on an emotional refrain that seems to have her coach Kelly Clarkson welling up. It’s not a difficult decision, this one.
Winner: Abby Cates
Team Blake: Dave Fenley vs. Kameron Marlowe
Dave Fenley’s voice just feels like a warm, cozy sunbath doesn’t it? The guy is effortlessly cool and picks a number for tonight’s round that lets him tap into his swoon factor in Lionel Richie’s “Stuck on You.” And, well, it’s a complete success because this is some feels-inducing musicianship here, ya’ll. The song selection is smart, not just because it shows off how natural that husky, haunting tone comes to him or how emotionally evocative it is without him serving up too much cheese — it also helps to broaden his portfolio for the finale. If anyone’s got a shot at taking this thing all the way, it’s him.
He killed it in his blind audition, easily carried his battle, and now, he’s won his knockout before his competition even has a chance to sing. If Dave Fenley keeps this up, we might as well put his name on the finale brackets.
To Kameron Marlowe’s credit, though, the guy doesn’t fold under the pressure of his forebearer here tonight. He might not have Dave’s supple tones or compellingly deep rasp, but he does have a pretty major vocal personality that he plays with during his performance of “I Shot the Sheriff.” His ability to have fun with the tune and his steely sound is enough to earn him a gleeful steal from Adam Levine.
Winner: Dave Fenley
Steal: Kameron Marlowe to Team Adam.
Adam Levine – Tyke James, Radha, DeAndre Nico, Steve Memmolo, Reagan Strange, Jake Wells, Funsho, Delaney Silvernell, Kameron Marlowe.
Blake Shelton – Michael Lee, Dave Fenley, Chris Kroeze, Kirk Jay, Colton Smith, Funsho, Natasia Greycloud.
Kelly Clarkson – Sarah Grace, Chevel Shepherd, Abby Cates, Kymberli Joye, Cody Ray Raymond, Zaxai, Keith Paluso.
Jennifer Hudson – Patrique Fortson, Kennedy Holmes, Franc West, MaKenzie Thomas, Sandyredd, Anthony Arya.