‘The Voice’ Season 15: The Knockouts Premiere, Part 1 Recap

Kyle Montplaisir
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The first of three Knockouts episodes kicks off tonight on season 15 of The Voice! Joining Adam, Kelly, JHud, and Blake is Mariah Carey as the Knockouts advisor. Yes, you read that right. Mariah Carey! This is about to be next level. If there’s anyone who these artists should want advice from, it’s her. And we’ll have a night jam-packed with intense Knockouts pairings.


So let’s see the first batch of artists who will compete for our votes in the Live Shows!

Keith Paluso vs. Tyke James

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pcpwCvO_l5o

To start, Adam put Keith against Tyke for his first Knockouts pairing. Keith just joined Team Adam after a steal in the Battle Round! Keith chose “You Are The Best Thing” by Ray LaMontagne for his Knockouts performance. He showed off a lot of grit in his voice and had a pitch perfect delivery. I thought this was his best song choice to date! And Jennifer said she almost threw a shoe so that is telling.


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lXR69VUfBuc

Next, Tyke sang “Ring of Fire” by Johnny Cash, a song he’s been listening to since he was little. In the rehearsals, Mariah and Adam encourage him to kick it up a notch, adding more dynamics and range. And Tyke did just that when the time came! Their advice couldn’t have been more spot on. After a lackluster first half of his performance, Tyke really brought it at the end. The coaches all took notice too, praising his fearlessness and style.

The Result: When it came time to decide, Adam chose Tyke. He then tried to save Keith, but Kelly tried to steal him too! He eventually chose to join Team Kelly.


Kymberli Joye vs. Natasia GreyCloud vs. Zaxai

Before we get into this one, Cody Ray Raymond had to drop out of the show for “personal reasons.” They didn’t explain much on the show, but that’s why there’s three in this Knockout. Moving on…

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cT_0gdWDYAI

Kymberli was especially excited for the Knockouts because she is a backup singer, like Mariah Carey once was! She chose “The Middle” by Zedd for her Knockouts song. Bold choice! It doesn’t line up with what she’s done the rest of the show. But I was excited to hear a different side of her! And she wanted to show that she can do more than gospel. Well, it didn’t take long into the song before she proved that! Kelly was dancing along the whole time.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=O784CYSgnOU

Natasia sang “Tennessee Whiskey” by Chris Stapleton for her Knockout. She sang this song for her sister’s first dance at her wedding! Mariah gave her the advice to end the song on a falsetto “ooh” and that gave her yet another moment in this song. During the performance, they showed shot after shot of her fellow contestants and coaches being impressed by the vocal olympics she was doing on stage.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CZnlTqtyDaI

Finally, Zaxai sang “Cruisin'” by Smokey Robinson. In rehearsal, he asked Mariah and Jennifer for advice in using his falsetto and they told him to use it to his advantage! This song is perfect for that and for his voice. He jumped all across his range, plus got to show off his insane control. And that high note and run! JHud was on her feet cheering! He sang like never before in this Knockout and took command of that stage.

The Result: Kelly chose Kymberli Joye first, then Zaxai. But that wasn’t it for these three! Blake then used his only Knockouts steal on Natasia GreyCloud.

Mike Parker vs. MaKenzie Thomas

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mMKOtWQJ9BY

Mike decided to go out of his comfort zone and sing “Breakeven” by The Script. At first, JHud praised his song choice but I wasn’t sold on it. Mariah says it’s because he’s “nervous.” When it came to his performance, he was a little pitchy. He was under the note and behind the beat for most of the song.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=va_tpzDNFCQ

After not getting a chair to turn last season, MaKenzie has mad quite a name for herself this time around. She is singing “How Deep is Your Love” by The Bee Gees for the Knockouts. And in the rehearsal, she made Mariah Carey cry! If that’s not a good sign, I don’t know what is. Her slowed down version of the 70’s hit gave it new life. She really showed off her soft, nuanced vocals. MaKenzie reminds me of DaNica Shirey from Team Pharrell season 7. She has such control over her voice and uses runs as unique additions to her performance, not as a way to just show off.

The Result: As expected, Jennifer went with MaKenzie to stay on her team for the Live Shows!

RADHA vs. Reagan Strange

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yHQbbF0KUbA

First up, RADHA chose Mariah Carey’s version of “I’ll Be There” for her Knockout. Which she’ll now be singing in front of Mariah Carey. Well, here goes nothing! To start, Mariah encourages RADHA to hold back some and think about the original version of the song. She wants her to make it softer and more touching. In her actual performance, I think RADHA delivers! She starts off slowly, giving her voice room to grow. And by the end, she is really going for it! RADHA showed off her powerhouse potential here.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Qx3ClZ_fuLI

Reagan is singing “Dancing On My Own” by Calum Scott. This song has been done multiple times before on The Voice. But Reagan brings something new to it! She is young and vulnerable. And her tone is perfect for this song. Mariah compliments her on not “overdoing anything.” Right after she told RADHA not to overdo it. Hope I wasn’t the only one to catch that subtle jab there! Reagan’s performance wasn’t as vocally impressive but she brought the emotion. And, in case you didn’t remember, Blake talked about how she’s “only 14!”

The Result: Adam went with Reagan for the win. But not wanting to give up RADHA, he also saved her! Both Reagan and RADHA stay on Team Adam.

Katrina Cain vs. Funsho

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ga3ajxOOcbw

First up for Team Blake, Katrina Cain sang “Don’t Let Me Down” by The Chainsmokers for her Knockout. Now I can’t be the only one who thought this was straight up bad. To start, the backtrack was a little much. But her vocals weren’t very impressive either. When it comes down to it, this just isn’t a talent show song! And it doesn’t help that all her high notes were flat.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7f1Ht795kqA

To remind you, Blake stole Funsho from Team Adam in the Battles. Funsho chose “Earned It” by The Weeknd for this round. Mariah and Blake both say he needs to improve his tone and pitch in order to win the Knockout. And that he did! Funsho was much better in this performance than the rehearsal. Even with his over the top movements. But his performance was solid enough.

The Result:Because of Katrina’s weak song choice, Funsho was basically handed this one. Blake chose Funsho to move on to the Live Shows.

Patrique Fortson vs. SandyRedd

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fwLDAFQMkKI

Patrique chose to sing “I Don’t Want to Miss A Thing” by Aerosmith for his Knockout performance. He dedicated the song to his dad, who loves it and recently suffered a stroke. Though it is overdone on talent shows, Patrique can do no wrong. And this time, he absolutely nailed it! He showed off an insane range and made the song his own. Plus, you can feel his passion! Patrique takes advantage every opportunity to take his performance to the next level. That proves he is so comfortable with his voice and knows exactly how to use it! For me, Patrique is a contender to win it all.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FHrnwRM9Hj0

SandyRedd is one of only four four-chair turners this season. To refresh your memory, she was initially on Team Kelly. But after getting stolen in the Battles, she is now a member of Team JHud! This seems like the perfect fit for her. SandyRedd brought an insane energy and some crazy low notes and runs to Ariana Grande’s “Dangerous Woman.” I love how she uses her whole body in her performances! This reminded me of her dynamic Blind Audition in the best way. During the feedback, Kelly described her as “straight up fire” and Adam even threw a shoe!

The Result: For the final Knockout of the night, Jennifer chose Patrique for the win. But she saved SandyRedd! So both Patrique and SandyRedd will be on Team JHud for the Live Shows.

Current Teams

Team Adam: Tyke James, RADHA, Reagan Strange, DeAndre Nico, Steve Memmolo, Jake Wells, Delaney Silvernell

Team Kelly: Kymberli Joye, Zaxai, Sarah Grace, Claire DeJean, Chevel Shepherd, Abby Cates, Keith Paluso

Team JHud: Patrique Fortson, MaKenzie Thomas, SandyRedd, Tyshawn Colquitt, Kennedy Holmes, Franc West, Anthony Arya

Team Blake: Funsho, Kameron Marlowe, Michael Lee, Dave Fenley, Chris Kroeze, Kirk Jay, Colton Smith, Natasia GreyCloud

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