HOUSTON -

Let’s get ready to RUUUUMBBBLLLLEEEE!! Only one more round of competition until the live shows. Let’s do this.

A quick refresher on how the Knockout Rounds work: each team will be cut in half as the 10 remaining artists sing songs of their own selection and go head to head against a fellow teammate. The artists won’t know their competitor until right before they sing.

Team Adam:

First up were Jocelyn Rivera and Kayla Nevarez, two evenly matched, young, female pop singers. This match-up once again proves that Adam isn’t afraid to make the tough decisions for the sake of diversity on his team and entertainment value for the audience. Jocelyn made an ambitious choice with Beyonce’s “Love on Top,” while Kayla chose V V Brown’s “Shark in the Water.” Jocelyn’s choice, obviously the more ambitious of the two if only for the fact that it’s a freaking BEYONCE CHART TOPPER, really pushed her past Kayla and into the live shows.

Next up were Joe Kirkland and Bryan Keith. Bryan Keith was okay until he slaughtered this one awesome note, and Joe Kirland’s Taylor Swift song choice was cool in theory, but he didn’t quite deliver. Bryan moves on to the live shows.

Now this next match-up between Amanda Brown and Michelle Brooks-Thompson made sense stylistically, but Michelle was simply no match for Amanda’s… everything. Amanda absolutely ROCKED “Paris Oo La La” by Grace Potter and the Nocturnals, as well as her outfit and her fab little sex kitten shoulder moves. Sure, Michelle hit a crazy high note, but she also made a crazy disgusting face while she did it and quite frankly, I’m over it. So was Adam, and he advanced Amanda to the live shows.

The combination of Loren Allred, who we haven’t seen much of this season, and Nicole Nelson, who has yet to misstep in this competition, was interesting. Nicole picked Alicia Keys’ “If I Ain’t Got You,” which fits her voice, her style, and seemed like a no-brainer home run. But I did NOT see Loren Allred, singing “You Know I’m No Good” by Amy Winehouse, coming like a freight train. When she jumped the octave and then hit that last note like she did… like BUTTA. I was sad to see Nicole go, but I am all kinds of intrigued to see what Loren will bring to the table in the live shows.

Last up for Team Adam were Melanie Martinez and Sam James. Honestly, this wasn’t Melanie’s best performance, nor was La Roux’s “Bulletpoof” the best song choice, but she’s a favorite in this competition and Sam James’ a-bit-too-faithful rendition of “Walkin’ In Memphis” just was not good enough to beat that gap-toothed Minnie Mouseketeer.

Team Cee Lo:

When I saw that Cee Lo was pitting Avery Wilson against Cody Belew, I won’t lie. I was pissed. It looked like Cee Lo was just taking his favorites and putting them with people he thought they could beat, which is just lame. And then of course Avery chooses some Chris Brown club number so he can show off those spiffy dance moves while he riffs my face off—totally expected. But Cody Belew impressed me with his song choice of Dolly Parton’s “Jolene.” A brave, unexpected choice that doesn’t really lend itself to much “bam bam” hip action. But the stars must really have aligned for Cody because Avery totally whiffed his performance by focusing a bit too much on the dancing and not enough on the vocals, which opened the door for Cody’s heartfelt, honest-to-goodness vocal performance. Cee Lo won major integrity points by choosing Cody over Avery, although I must admit I’m sad to see Avery go.

Mackenzie Bourg and Daniel Rosa took the stage next. Mackenzie’s rendition of “Call Me Maybe” was nothing spectacular or really impressive, but it was 100% adorable. And it appears that Daniel Rosa’s endearing Eeyore-ness isn’t quite enough anymore, and he was given the boot. I wasn’t a huge fan of either of them. Moving on.

Now this next pairing had me in tears before either one could sing a single note. Teresa Griffin’s face said it all once it was announced that she would be going up against Trevin Hunte. But to hear Trevin talk about how Teresa was like a mother to him and how much he loved and respected her—I was toast. And on top of all that, he sang Phil Collins’ “Against All Odds.” Not enough? He dedicated the performance to his 8th grade teacher. Yeah. The one who told him he’d never be anything. There were just a lot of feelings going on, ok?! And while Teresa did an admirable job with Whitney’s “I’m Saving All My Love,” she would have had to move mountains to beat Trevin. The two of them crying offstage after it was all said and done was just about more than I could stand—Even Cee Lo was crying! I’m going to start crying again... just watch the video and see for yourself.

Mycle Wastman took on Nicholas David in a battle of the soul singers. While Mycle sang one of my all-time favorite Elton John songs, “Don’t Let the Sun Go Down on Me,” it wasn’t quite enough to beat Nicholas David doing his unique, quirky, so pleasingly weird thang to Corinne Bailey Rae’s “Put Your Records On.” I can’t even put into words why I like Nicholas so much, but I just do gosh darn it.

The final knockout pairing of the night was Caitlin Michele and Diego Val. I don’t get what the big deal is about Diego. He hasn’t really given a solidly good performance this entire competition, yet Cee Lo can’t let the dude go. I thought Caitlin doing Evanescence’s “Bring Me to Life” was a perfect choice and she totally nailed it. She would’ve been my choice. But there’s no accounting for taste, and Cee Lo chose Diego to round out his entirely-male live show team.

That’s part one of the Knockouts! Check back for part two, here on the KPRC Prime Blog.

Thanks for reading, and as always, thanks for watching KPRC Local 2!