The Voice Week 6 Recap: The Knockouts & Rihanna Are Here

Photo courtesy Tyler Golden/NBC
The Knockout Rounds of The Voice are tense by their very nature. But add in Rihanna and the stakes get even higher. Still, all of the singers proved why they were there — aside from some understandable freakouts when Rihanna walked into the room — and delivered another round of memorable performances. Safe to say, none of the judges had it easy with these decisions. It was a dramatic episode, with favorites Victor and Jordan squaring off. Throw in a couple of steals — including a showdown between Blake and Adam — and this show definitely did not disappoint. Round One: Andi & Alex vs. Blaine Mitchell — Team Adam
Song: Keith Urban’s “Stupid Boy” by Andi & Alex vs. James Bay’s “Hold Back the River” by Blaine Mitchell
Adviser: Rihanna
Performance: What more can be said about Andi & Alex? Their rendition of “Stupid Boy” made me want to chastise random men on the street. Blaine’s performance of “Hold Back the River” was as powerful as his hair is long. He looked like Thor throwing lightning bolts out there.
Winner: Blaine
Steal: None Round Two: Braiden Sunshine vs. Ellie Lawrence — Team Gwen
Song: Nina Simone’s “Feeling Good” by Braiden Sunshine and Demi Lovato’s “Cool For the Summer” by Ellie Lawrence
Adviser: Rihanna
Performance: Pharrell literally exclaimed, “Wow” during Braiden’s performance, which pretty much sums it up. It takes a pretty special voice for a teenage white boy to stand up to Nina Simone. Ellie’s choice of “Cool For the Summer” was dubious and while she nailed the performance, her voice seemed to fail her at the end. Worse yet, she seemed to know it.
Winner: Braiden
Steal: None Round Three: Barrett Baber vs. Blind Joe — Team Blake
Song: Zac Brown Band’s “Colder Weather” by Barrett Baber vs. Waylon Jennings’ "Mamas Don't Let Your Babies Grow Up To Be Cowboys" by Blind Joe
Adviser: Rihanna
Performance: Blind Joe held the guitar on his lap as assuredly as he sang "Mamas Don't Let Your Babies Grow Up To Be Cowboys.” When his voice broke a little, just enough, on alone, your heart might have broken with him. “Colder Weather” is the less famous song but Barrett more than did it justice. Blake Shelton agreed.
Winner: Barrett Baber
Steal: None Round Four: Madi Davis vs. Amy Vachal — Team Pharrell
Song: Etta James’s “A Sunday Kind of Love” by Madi Davis vs. Joni Mitchell’s “A Case of You” by Amy Vachal
Adviser: Rihanna
Performance: Madi doesn’t have the raw pipe size of an Etta James but her voice slithers through the performance, asking for love where James demanded it. It’s hard to think of a better song to strut your vocal stuff. Amy Vachal came out, owned “A Case of You,” and probably could have dropped the mic if she didn’t have to wait for the judges.
Winner: Madi
Steal: Adam Levine Round Five: Chance Peña vs. Ivonne Acero — Team Blake
Song: Katy Perry’s "Part of Me" by Ivonne Acero and Imagine Dragons’s “Demons” by Chance Peña
Adviser: Rihanna
Performance: Chance stepped up to the plate and delivered a solid performance of “Demons” but didn’t do enough to stand out. Ivonne stepped majorly out of her comfort zone and dropped a performance of “Part of Me” that went into epic territory. “She understands how to sing for her life now,” Pharrell said.
Winner: Ivonne
Steal: None Round Six: Jordan Smith vs. Viktor Király — Team Adam
Song: Adele’s "Set Fire to the Rain" by Jordan Smith and Alicia Keys’s “If I Ain’t Got You” by Viktor Király
Adviser: Rihanna
Performance: Jordan makes the song is own, taking on one of the richest voices in singing and truly inhabiting Adele’s song. Gwen said it was, “Emotional and technical. And just mind-blowing.” Viktor appeared to have electrified his own hair with his performance of “If I Ain’t Got You.”
Winner: Jordan
Steal: Gwen steals Victor

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