After two nights of the Knockouts, the teams for the Live Playoffs are almost complete. During the second Knockout episode, we got to see six performances and another Steal — this time by Blake.
I had the chance to speak with the four advancing artists during a conference call. Korin Bukowski and Keith Semple spoke about the advice they got from Rihanna and the coaches, Darius Scott shared his history with the song he performed and Morgan Frazier gave her thoughts on losing the Knockout and ending up back on Team Blake.
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Korin Bukowski Embraces Her Uniqueness
Korin Bukowski is unique and has her own style, which is great to see and makes her stand out. Being on The Voice has helped her to embrace that, especially when Gwen Stefani is her coach. “This whole journey has definitely been a confidence booster, for sure. But Gwen is someone who built her career on being different and not caring what other people said. And she’s been very successful with that, and just embracing who she is and embracing all the quirks she has.”
She went on to say, “It’s helped me to just kind of accept all the differences that I have that I haven’t fully embraced yet. So she’s been very helpful, very encouraging and very celebratory of everything I’ve been doing.”
One piece of advice Korin received during the Knockout rehearsals was to not wear her glasses during the performance. She’s gotten some pretty positive responses to this change, telling me, “I’ve gotten reactions saying, oh, I could see you more. I could see you performing the lyrics more. I could feel the emotion behind the song a little more intensely.” She added that because she’s not able to see as clearly without her glasses on, it might have helped her “feel more open and more relaxed during the song. … They’ve pretty much been a comfort blanket this whole time, so it was different.”
Keith Semple on Singing with a Foreign Accent
Speaking of advice from the celebrities, Keith Semple found adviser Rihanna to be very helpful with his Knockout performance, especially since they both sing with foreign accents. “To some degree, she has to deal with that problem that I do too, where I’m actually consciously deciding which syllable to use when I’m singing words. It’s hard because the Northern Irish accent is so harsh and horrible. I don’t want to sing the syllables the way I would normally say them, so I have to consciously think.”
With a song like Foreigner’s “I Want to Know What Love Is,” Keith found it difficult “because it’s got a lot of words like ‘is’ in it, which is a very ‘e’ sounding thing. I wanted to try and get away from that.” When Rihanna offered some advice on how to deal with this, “It was nice to hear somebody else, especially somebody who’s so successful, have the same thought and problems and having to think about that at all times. It definitely made a big difference” in how he performed it on the show.
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Darius Scott’s History with “On Broadway”
At times, the contestants will sing songs that they might not be familiar with or are out of their comfort zone. But for Darius Scott, his Knockout song, “On Broadway,” was the exact opposite. “It’s a song that’s been in my wheelhouse for a long time. It’s actually one of my favorite songs. It’s a song that played in my house and then my parents’ car all the time, so I was very familiar with it. I know how to play it on various instruments.”
He knows that going up against another singer is “already enough pressure,” especially with “someone that you really like and respect as a performer,” so it really helped that he was able to perform a song that he felt comfortable with.
Morgan Frazier was “Freaking Out” Over Going Up Against Darius Scott
During both the Battle Rounds and the Knockouts, the contestants are pitted against each other in pairs, as we all know. Sometimes, it can be intimidating going up against some really strong talent. That was the case for Morgan Frazier when she found out she was competing with Darius Scott. She admitted she was “freaking out a little bit” because “I’ve always loved Darius from the first time that I met him” and “when I first met him, I was like, holy crap, this guy’s probably going to win the whole dang competition.” She went on to say that after he performed on stage, “There was no doubt in my mind that he was winning. I just knew it.”
And when that inevitable happened, Morgan was “hoping and praying” that Blake would use his Steal on her — and he did! “My heart basically blew up” after that. “I was just so happy when he pressed that button.” Throughout the season, she’s been going back and forth between Blake and Pharrell’s teams that it felt like “I was just hanging in the competition like a thread.”
And while she’s glad to be back with Blake, she “wouldn’t trade my time with Pharrell for anything because he has a way of talking to you where you just feel like he’s talking to your soul, he’s looking into your soul and pulling out these things that you could never expect someone the first time you’re meeting them to know about you.” And regarding Blake, “He’s so fun and hilarious and so easy to be around. He’s crazy on his intuition and what you need to do as an artist and who you are. It’s crazy how he just knows you, kind of better than you know yourself, which is amazing.”
The Voice airs Mondays at 8pm and Tuesdays at 9pm on NBC.
(Image courtesy of NBC)