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article image'The Voice': Season 8 — Surviving the Knockout Rounds, Part 1 Special

By Earl Dittman     Mar 27, 2015 in Entertainment
Such Season 8 contestants as Corey Kent White, Brian Johnson, Sonic and Sarah Potenza sang for their lives in the Knockouts and are moving on to the Live Shows. They, along with 8 other talented singers, discuss their journeys, thus far, on 'The Voice.'
In preparing for the Battle Rounds, the members of the teams coached by Adam Levine, Pharrell Williams, Christina Aquilera and Blake Shelton not only worked with their mentors but were given sound advice by celebrity advisors Nick Jonas, Lionel Richie, Meghan Trainor and Ellie Goulding. During the Battle Rounds, the coaches pitted two of their own team members against each other to sing the same song together in front of a studio audience. After the vocal battle, the coach chose the singers who would advance to the next round of competition, while the losing artist was available to be stolen by another coach. Each coach had two steals available during the Battle Rounds.
At the end of the battles, only the strongest members of each coach’s roster remained and proceeded to the Knockout Rounds. There, the artists were paired against a teammate once more, but this time they selected their own songs to perform individually, while their direct competitor watched and waited. They were all vying for their coach’s confidence and decision to take them to the Live Shows. Their universal advisor, Fun. frontman Nate Reuss, worked with all of the coaches and their teams in preparing the artists for the challenge. But, the coaches alone chose the winner and the artist not selected was, once again, available to be stolen by another coach. Each coach has one steal available during the Knockout Rounds.
Pharrell Williams and celebrity advisor Nate Ruess of the ban Fun. prepare for the Knockout Rounds d...
Pharrell Williams and celebrity advisor Nate Ruess of the ban Fun. prepare for the Knockout Rounds during Season 8 of 'The Voice'
NBC
Meet the first twelve of the lucky and talented singers who not only survived but met the challenge of the Knockouts and are ready to hit The Voice stage for the Season 8 Live Shows:
Corey Kent White (Team Blake) recalls how his Knockout performance of "Life Like You Were Dying" — dedicated to his ailing grandfather (at the time) — was something of a surreal moment in his musical career: "It was unlike any performance I've ever given, because I've never quite had an experience like that. I never been, you know, having to worry about losing somebody that's pretty important in my life. So, it was a completely different experience than any other performance I've ever given. And as soon as I was done, it was almost a relief, you know? I think I wanted to honor him with that performance and really make him proud. I knew that it was never about the results of it. It was how I approached the competition. I continue to move forward with integrity and just not compromising who I was as a person. That is really what he would be proud of. It was just kind of a relief to get to the end of that performance and know that I had done it in a way that would've made him proud. Unfortunately, my grandfather passed away three days before the premiere of the show and that was a pre-recorded episode, so we weren't able to get that changed in time. But, last night (when the episode aired) was a pretty emotional night, you know, getting to watch that with my family. We had a watch party and got to be with my grandmother, and that was a special moment, but it was pretty emotional."
Meghan Linsey performs  You Make Me Feel Like A Natural Woman  during the Knockouts on  The Voice
Meghan Linsey performs "You Make Me Feel Like A Natural Woman" during the Knockouts on 'The Voice'
NBC
Meghan Linsey (Team Blake) reveals the finest guidance she's received, thus far, was during the Battle Rounds: "When I was working with Pharrell and Lionel Richie, they were talking about me using my eyes and singing out more. I think, for me, as an artist I feel like I'm always trying to get so much into the emotion of the song, and I want to feel everything I'm singing. And, it's almost counter intuitive for me to sing outwards. As a performer, I think it's so important to, you know, you obviously want to bring your audience in. So, I think I had kind of an a-ha moment because it was like I've heard this before, but it's like when Pharrell and Lionel Richie are telling you this, it's like 'Ok, obviously something's going on that I need to change.' I really took that advice to heart. That's something I worked on and I felt like, you know, I felt much better in my live performance because of that advice."
Brian Johnson sings during his Knockout Round with Sarah Potenza
Brian Johnson sings during his Knockout Round with Sarah Potenza
NBC
Brian Johnson (formerly Team Blake but stolen for Team Adam) reveals that his tale of being bullied when he was growing up now has a happy ending: "After the show, I actually had a few of the people, that I was thinking of when I was thinking about bullies from high school, who actually contacted me through Facebook and just said that they were sorry if they played into any part of me feeling bullied when I was in middle school or high school. Then, they just kind of told me how cool it was to see me on the show and chasing after my dreams and everything. It's kind of just come full circle and it's been really cool. I'm definitely a forgiving kind of guy. The people that I guess hurt me in the past or anything like that it's all forgiven. I am who I am today because of the stuff that I went through back then. So, I've learned a lot and I've forgiven a lot and that's kind of how I live my life."
Nathan Hermida (Team Adam) admits he truly can understand and relate to the message behind his Knockout song choice "Leave Your Lover ": "I've never really been in that situation where I'm asking someone to like kind of leave their lover. But, I've known other people who struggle with like they've been having crushes on someone and maybe like that person's with someone else. I know how much they've been really hurt by that, especially if the person that they want has been treating them badly. So, I felt like I just connect with that more so rather than connecting it to my personal experiences, because I've never experienced that."
Sonic performs  A Woman s Worth  on  The Voice
Sonic performs "A Woman's Worth" on 'The Voice'
NBC
Ariel "Sonic" Balle (Team Christina) explains that the best counsel Nate Ruess gave her was to keep calm and sing: "Nate just kind of told me to let go and to just, you know, put my own experience into the song and just like leave it on stage and just like loosen up. I still struggle with my confidence up there, and he was just encouraging me to kind of let loose and just really feel the song and just sing it from my heart. They didn't really show much of that. He gave me a lot of really great advice. So, I just try to be the best me that I can."
Sawyer Fredericks takes on  Collide  during the Knockouts
Sawyer Fredericks takes on "Collide" during the Knockouts
NBC
Sawyer Fredericks (Team Pharrell) says that even though he is a farm boy he has some incredibly diverse musical taste: "My favorite artist is Ray LaMontane. And, as I said on the show, I listen to a lot of Creedence (Clearwater Revival). I actually listen to a lot of types of music. I listen to Langhorne Slim just because I love how much emotion and the lyrics that he puts into his music. There's a new artist that's coming up in the U.K. named Paolo Nutini. I also really love his lyrics. I just really pay attention to songs just because I'm a songwriter and that's kind of what I want to be."
Sarah Potenza (Team Blake) says Voice veteran Matt McAndrew's "Wasted Love" really spoke to her when she saw him on The Voice: "When I watched the show, last season, and I watched Matt do that song, it had stuck with me. I downloaded it on iTunes, and I would always kind of like be singing it like around the house. It's so catchy, you know? And, when it came down to pick a song for the playoffs, I just had really loved that song and I thought that it would just be really cool to get to do a song that was, you know, an original song on the show. I just felt like it was a cool thing to do. I also felt like a really personal connection to the song because of my story with my husband and I. I think everybody has that where they feel that way where there's like somebody that they're like texting at 2:00am in the morning that they shouldn't be texting or...you know what I mean. (laughs) Like everybody has that kind of like impossible love, that wasted love, that thing that's out there for somebody that they have these certain feelings with it. It's never quite like that with anybody else."
Hannah Kirby gives viewers a  Higher Love  and is stolen back by her original coach Blake Shelton
Hannah Kirby gives viewers a "Higher Love" and is stolen back by her original coach Blake Shelton
NBC
Hannah Kirby (initially Team Blake, stolen by Team Pharrell during Battles and taken by Team Blake) admits she was shocked when Blake stole her back from Pharrell: "Honestly, I was really surprised. But, more than that, I was just so excited and so happy that he stole my back. It feels like sort of like going home, being back on Blake's team because that's where I started in the competition. So ,I feel really good about being back on Team Blake going into the live playoff. I was surprised but I feel so good about it, and I'm really excited to work with Blake again."
Kimberly Nichole (Team Christina) confesses that her love for Sting made it a must she sing his song "If You Love Somebody Set Them Free": "Sting is probably one of my favorite rock vocalists. Like his voice is amazing. I think that's one of my favorite songs of his. I feel happy and I feel an emotion whenever I see him perform it live on YouTube. When I found out that that could be an option for me to perform, I definitely wanted to do it. And, what I loved about Christina and her coaching is, at first, I was really concentrating on like doing certain things like Sting does it and she was like, 'Girl, make the song your own.' So, when I kind of made it my own, I knew I could really do a great job with it. It felt good to do it. I had a good time."
Deanna Johnson wins the Knockouts with  Listen To Your Heart
Deanna Johnson wins the Knockouts with "Listen To Your Heart"
NBC
Deanna Johnson (Team Adam) admits her confidence level has certainly grown: "Honestly, I didn't have a whole lot of confidence coming into this. But, after getting everybody's reactions from Blinds and from Knockouts, it's been really great. It's really helped my confidence with people being so supportive. So going into live, I'm feeling really, really good. I'm excited."
Mia Z (Team Pharrell) explains why it is important to expose Blues music to fans of The Voice: "The Blues kind of got lost in the shuffle of modern music I think. So I'm trying to just bring it out more. But, keep it modern for everybody to enjoy. My mom and my uncle turn me onto the Blues when I was just around it when I was younger. They wrote a blues song for me and said, 'Well, try singing it.' And, then when I sang it, it stuck with me. I loved it. I loved the minor chords and, you know, the sad kind of blues. So it really just caught with me and I stuck with it. When it comes to Blues artists who have influenced me, B.B. King is obviously a major one, but I definitely think Amy Winehouse, too, was a big inspiration for me growing up. Even now, you know, watching back and seeing her sing the blues and the jazz is definitely the road that I want to take as well."
Caitlin Caporale becomes a  Warrior  during her Knockout Round with Hannah Kirby
Caitlin Caporale becomes a "Warrior" during her Knockout Round with Hannah Kirby
NBC
Caitlin Caporale (Team Pharrell) explains that she definitely knows what she wants to accomplish in the Live Rounds: "My mindset is to really stay focused. I feel like the live shows is where you really have to give it all you have and again, just outdo your last performance. So, I really just am going to stay positive and work very hard to continue on and hopefully to the end of the show."
See The Voice Monday and Tuesday nights at 8:00pmEST / PST and 7:00pmCST on NBC.
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Coaches Adam Levine and Blake Shelton laugh and joke between the intense Knockout Rounds on  The Voi...
Coaches Adam Levine and Blake Shelton laugh and joke between the intense Knockout Rounds on 'The Voice'
NBC
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