Image Courtesy of Trae Patton/NBCTaylor Swift‘s whirlwind promotional blitz for her new album, 1989, brought her to The Voice on Monday night. She served as an adviser for all four teams, helping out the artists as they prepared for the latest stage in the competition, the Knockout Rounds.
Taylor played an active role in rehearsals, suggesting to each contestant ways they can improve. Occasionally, she would even demonstrate by singing a few notes of the artist’s song choice, as she did when Team Gwen member Bryana Salaz practiced Demi Lovato‘s “Heart Attack.”
The Voice made sure to sneak in a plug or two for Taylor’s album during the prerecorded two-hour episode.
Monday night marked the start of the Knockout Rounds. As was the case in the Battle Rounds, the coaches — Adam Levine, Blake Shelton, Pharrell Williams and Gwen Stefani — paired up their artists. However, it was up to the artists to pick a song and perform it solo.
Each coach has only one steal to use during the Knockout Rounds.
Gwen opened the Knockout Rounds by pairing Bryana Salaz with Sugar Joans. Bryana selected Demi Lovato’s “Heart Attack.” Taylor said it was more important for Bryana to convey the emotion of the lyrics, rather than show off her pipes.
Sugar countered with Beyoncé‘s “Love On Top.” Taylor advised her to not growl so much, so that her tone is “crystal clear.”
Adam said both were amazing, and that Gwen had a difficult decision ahead of her. Pharrell told Sugar he was upset with himself for not trying to add her to his team earlier in the season, and would make an attempt to steal her if she became available. Gwen named Bryana the winner, and true to his word, Pharrell scooped up Sugar.
Up next were Team Blake’s Griffin and James David Carter. James put his country spin on James Taylor‘s “You’ve Got a Friend.” Taylor thought James did a good job of capturing the sentiment behind the song.
Griffin told Taylor that he once met her parents at a show of hers a couple of years ago. She encouraged him to engage the audience when it was time for him to sing his choice, “As Long as You Love Me” by Justin Bieber.
Gwen said Griffin’s voice was like knives, but James was believable, so she would choose him. Adam said Griffin delivered a “man version” of “As Long as You Love Me.” Blake declared James the winner. Griffin was eliminated.
The first matchup in the Knockout Rounds for Team Pharrell featured DaNica Shirey and Katriz Trinidad. DaNica picked Whitney Houston‘s “Saving All My Love for You.” Taylor observed that DaNica’s insecurities fuel her talent.
Katriz dedicated Alicia Keys‘ “Superwoman” to her mom. Though she’s only 15, Taylor said Katriz comes across as a polished performer.
The coaches raved over Katriz’s ability at such a young age. Pharrell described DaNica as a “unicorn” who’s transformed into a confident singer. DaNica was named the winner. Perhaps it was surprising that Katriz didn’t earn another chance with a rival team, though Gwen told the cameras that the coaches have to be conservative in using their lone steal.
Team Adam’s Damien and Toia Jones went head-to-head. Damien covered LeAnn Rimes‘ “How Do I Live.” Taylor was so moved by his rehearsal that she told him she wanted to cry.
Toia Jones selected Beyoncé‘s “Crazy in Love.” Taylor advised her to focus on the “crazy” part of the song. Blake favored Toia because her performance was so over-the-top. Pharrell agreed, saying she tore the place down. However, it was Damien who advanced, with Adam saying he’s “beautiful to watch.”
Blake paired Jessie Pitts with Tanner Linford. Jessie tackled Ellie Goulding‘s arrangement of the Elton John hit “Your Song.” Taylor applauded the choice.
Tanner went with Train‘s “Calling All Angels.” Taylor told Tanner he should play up what she called the “cute-boy factor.” He was flattered by that description of his looks.
Adam commented that Tanner, 17, looks different than he sounds. The Maroon 5 frontman then joked that he’s a grown man and yet his voice is high. Blake said he had to go with the artist who has a clearer vision of his or her goals: Jessie. Tanner was sent home.
In the final Knockout of the night, Luke Wade faced Team Pharrell teammate Taylor Phelan. Luke took on “Rich Girl” by Hall & Oates. Taylor Swift said his tone was perfect, and that he was the type of artist whose album she would buy.
To clear up any confusion, Taylor Swift suggested that Taylor Phelan call her “Tay.” She also said she tends to have “rapport” with other people named Taylor. The male Taylor sang “Rather Be” by Clean Bandit.
Gwen said Luke made the perfect song choice for himself. Blake suggested Luke ad-libbed a bit too much, and he preferred Taylor. Pharrell named Luke the winner, and the other three coaches tried to steal Taylor. Taylor decided to join Adam’s team.
The Knockout Rounds continue Tuesday night at 8 p.m. Eastern time on NBC.
Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio