Fans got quite the shakedown on The Voice Monday thanks to an eye-opening, sexy and unexpected hip shake from Jasper, Ala., native Shelbie Z., who turned it up several notches on the show’s first evening of knockout rounds.
The hairdresser and beauty-pageant coach not only owned Carrie Underwood‘s morning-after confessional “Last Name,” she also showed real star potential and plenty of attitude, playing with her long blond hair provocatively but letting her growling vocals steal the night for Team Blake.
Also headed to the live shows are Nic Hawk, whose neo-soul take on Aguilera’s early hit “Genie in a Bottle” earned praise from her and the other coaches for its unique appeal, and Grey, a Florida wedding singer whose rich voice shined on Clarkson’s “Already Gone.
Houston’s Amber Nicole, 17, who showed skill beyond her years on Jessie J‘s “Mama Knows Best” for Team Christina, lost out to New Hampshire’s Josh Logan, who surprised with a soulful version of Stevie Wonder‘s “Living for the City.” But she was saved on a steal by Green.
For Team Christina, Olivia Henken moved forward on the Linda Ronstadt classic “You’re No Good,” beating out biker-bar singer Destinee Quinn, who struggled with pitch on Carrie Underwood‘s “See You Again.”
The evening’s rock contingent was strongly represented by Team Cee Lo’s energetic Kat Robichaud, who ousted Monika Leigh with a jamming version of Alanis Morissette‘s “You Oughta Know.”
“Kat, you are a rock star,” Adam Levine gushed. “You really are. A couple times it looks like you are about to kill someone. Super intense. You got the crazy look. You were just so natural up there.”
The show’s closing contest pitted two closely matched men for Team Cee Lo: folksy performer Cole Vosbury and military vet Jonny Gray.
Playing his guitar, the bearded Vosbury showed off a passionate vocal on an unexpected song choice with Passenger’s “Let Her Go.” Said Green: “Your cool is going to be one of the most attractive things about you.”
Meanwhile Gray, an engaging and natural performer, bounced across the stage as he sang the Beatles classic “We Can Work It Out.”
“These are two of my regrets right here,” Levine said of both men as he told Green, “I don’t care who you pick because I’m picking the other one.”
But as Green chose Gray, and Levine jumped up to make good on a steal of Vosbury, his nemesis Shelton stepped in to challenge him.
Shelton had joked about both singers, who wore hats and have long hair: “It’s like someone is filming a Western at another studio across the way with horses tied up out there.”
The country star tried to warn Vosbury against choosing Levine. “If you go with Adam, there is a good chance you’ll be leaving here on a moped, dressed a little more metro,” he said.
“[Blake’s] very charming. Don’t look him in the eye,” Levine warned the contestant.
Vosbury, who graciously offered his love of Maroon 5‘s music, bought Shelton’s funny plea.
“Cole and I will be riding off in the sunset on our horses together,” Shelton, a three-time winner, gloated.
The knockout rounds continue Tuesday.