Tim McGraw & Faith Hill usher in “The Voice: Season 11” Knockouts!

Country icons Faith Hill & Tim McGraw join "The Voice" as the Season 11 Knockout Rounds' key advisors. (Photo property of NBC)

Country icons Faith Hill & Tim McGraw join “The Voice” as the Season 11 Knockout Rounds’ key advisors. (Photo property of NBC)

By: Jacob Elyachar, jakes-take.com

Ladies and gentlemen! It’s time for the Knockout Rounds to begin on The Voice.

Before we get to tonight’s recap, here are the team line-ups:

Team Adam: Billy Gilman, Riley Elmore, Nolan Neal, Simone Grundy, Ponciano Seoane, Brendan Fletcher, Dave Moisan & Jason Warrior (both stolen from Team Alicia)

Team Miley: Ali Caldwell, Sophia Urista, Darby Walker, Lauren Diaz (stolen from Team Alicia), Aaron Gibson, Maye Thomas, Josette Diaz & Josh Halverson (stolen from Team Alicia)

Team Alicia: We McDonald, Michael Sanchez, Whitney & Shannon, Kylie Rothfield, Christian Cuevas, Belle Jewel, Courtnie Ramierez & Sa’Rayah (both stolen from Team Miley)

Team Blake: Austin Allsup, Sundance Head, Dana Harper, Josh Gallagher, Courtney Harrell, Gabe Broussard, Karlee Metzger (taken from Team Miley) & Bindi Liebowitz (stolen from Team Adam)

Assisting all four coaches this time around as key advisors are country music superstars and husband-and-wife: Tim McGraw & Faith Hill!

Also, all four coaches have one last steal they get to use this round! Did any of the coaches use it tonight? Read on to find out…

As the coaches headed to their chairs, Team Blake kicked off the night with a battle between Josh Gallagher and Sundance Head! Sundance chose to sing Miley’s “The Climb” and chose that song because it was out of the box and it challenged him. Tim loved his pitch and Faith wanted him to sing the song acoustically. Meanwhile, the Nashville transplant tackled “My Maria.” Tim advised him not to ease into parts of the song, while Faith stated that Josh should only go into his falsetto twice during the performance. Josh kicked off the round with a sturdy cover “My Maria,” and I definitely could see him have a Top 10 hit with this song on country radio.  However, Sundance gave me chills with his acoustic version. He was extremely vulnerable vocally, and I thought that he made the track his own.  After making a tough decision based on the technicality of each performance, Blake decided to advance Sundance to the Live Playoffs! Adam swooped in to steal Josh from Blake, and moving him to the live shows!

Team Alicia’s Kylie Rothfield and sisters Whitney & Shannon together. Kylie freaked out when she saw her idols at the stage. Kylie chose Big Mama Thornton’s cover of “Hound Dog.” She blew Alicia and the advisors away! However, Faith advised that she needed to change the chord on her electric guitar and Tim added that she needed to get swampy! Meanwhile, sisters Whitney & Shannon chose Jason Mraz’s “I Won’t Give Up.” I liked the song choice, but it was extremely hard to divorce myself from my friends Peter Hollens & Collabro’s superior covers. Plus, Kylie slew the R&B anthem! I would have to rank this performance as one of my favorites of the season so far! I am glad that Kylie moved on to the next round.

Team Miley’s first knockout duel paired Ali Caldwell and Lauren Diaz together. Ali picked Sade’s “No Ordinary Love” for her duel. Faith Hill called her a “freight train” due to her upper register, while Miley wanted one long note when Ali sang ‘Baby.’ The latest member of Team Miley sang Andra Day’s “Rise Up.” Tim and Faith were a little concerned with Lauren’s movements and suggested that she sell it. When Lauren sang “Rise Up,” I felt the confidence that she had emitted from the Universal Studios Hollywood soundstage into my apartment. However, Ali’s performance knocked me off of my seat, and she reminded me so much of the second coming of Fantasia. I have to agree with Adam; Ali might win this season…if she plays her cards right.

As Miley and Alicia said “goodbye” to Lauren, it was time for Adam’s first battle of the night: Dave Moisan and Simone Grundy.  Dave sang Sam Smith’s “Like I Can” for his battle. Adam thought it was way too ambitious for Dave to tackle, while Faith stated that he should not overthink when he performs. Simone fangirled out seeing Faith and Tim with her coach. I was surprised that she picked Gladys Knight’s “Midnight Train to Georgia.” This song has not been performed on Reality TV in years (the last performer who sang this song was Alice Tan Ridley on America’s Got Talent: Season Five). While Simone delivered a valiant effort and won her spot in Team Adam, I thought that Alice’s version was still 100 times better. It was sad to see Dave go, but I was worried that his voice box was going to blow up when he reached his falsetto during his performance.

Alicia paired two of her most powerful singers together, which created one crucial showdown. Newcomer Courtnie Ramierez sang Beyonce’s “If I Were A Boy.” I thought that song was way too big for her and I believed that the monster swallowed her whole. We, on the other hand, tackled Mary J. Blige’s “No More Drama.” Four years ago, my friend, Kim Yarbrough, sang the roof off of the WB backlot with her interpretation so I was very interested to see how We could meet the large bar that Kim set. We not only exceeded my expectations, but she gave a “See you in the finale” type of performance that made her coach proud. I would love to see We and Mary perform this song together at the Season 11 finale. It would be epic!

Adam’s last pair of the evening was Riley Elmore versus Jason Warrior! The crooner chose to honor Michael Buble’s “Haven’t Met You Yet.” Tim thought that Riley was fantastic and liked that he set himself apart stylistically. All three artists advised Riley to loosen up and go after the girl. The former Team Alicia member tackled Luke James’ “I Want You.” Jason chose the song because he explored the R&B side to his voice. Riley is unique and completely fills the enormous gap that friend of the blog, Chris Mann, left behind way back in Season Two.  But, tonight’s vocal performance was like eating vanilla ice cream after asking for cappuccino cookie dough ice cream. Jason came out of left field swing, and his falsetto nearly tore the roof off of the Universal Studios Hollywood soundstage. If there were an award for “Breakout Talent of the Knockout Rounds,” I would give to Jason! While I was a little surprised that Adam chose Riley, Jason received a second chance in the competition when he received Blake’s steal.

Tomorrow night, The Season 11 Knockout Rounds continue!

Copyright 2020 Jacob Elyachar