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'The Voice': Frontrunners talk 'Knockout,' 'Playoff' rounds

by jmaloni
Mon, Nov 5th 2012 04:55 pm
Pictured are Joselyn Rivera, Liz Davis, Michaela Paige, Devyn DeLoera and Sylvia Yacoub. (photos by Jeff Riedel/NBC)
Pictured are Joselyn Rivera, Liz Davis, Michaela Paige, Devyn DeLoera and Sylvia Yacoub. (photos by Jeff Riedel/NBC)

Joselyn, Liz, Michaela, Devyn, Sylvia talk about advancing to the live show

Behind the Screens with Joshua Maloni

As "The Voice" enters the "Live Playoffs" round this week (Monday, Wednesday and Thursday at 8 p.m., NBC), here's what you need to know about the female frontrunners:

Joselyn is 'extraordinary'

The producers of "The Voice" were smart to debut the new "Knockout Round" format with a performance by Florida phenom Joselyn Rivera. Following her run-through of Beyonce's "Love on Top," coach Adam Levine said what we were all thinking.

"Joselyn is an astonishing singer," he said. "The fact that Christina let her go is a very fortunate thing for me."

Joselyn's poise and presence is as good as anything you'll see on arena stages around the country.

And she's only 17!

"I have been performing since I was 10," she explained, but credited her newfound success to her work on NBC's hit competition. "Just being part of 'The Voice,' and being on a platform like that, it just gives you experience as well in how to really get the best out of yourself."

In drawing out her best, and delivering three stellar performances, Joselyn has put herself in a position to win season three of "The Voice."

Joselyn is a member of Team Adam. Follow her on Twitter @MsJoselynRivera.

Liz is better than the best

At the beginning of the "Blind Auditions," Adam told country singer Gracia Harrison that she was "The Voice's" top twanger. Ever.

But if a country singer is to win "The Voice" for the first time, it won't be Gracia. In the "Knockout Round," Nashville songstress Liz Davis, 25, thoroughly bested Gracia to advance to the "Live Playoffs."   

"I think that Gracia is an awesome country singer and I don't really like to compare myself to other singers in general. But, you know, we're definitely both country. And regardless of what people say, I've gotten some really great feedback. I - you know, I'm just as country," Liz said. "But I love Gracia and I think she's got a great voice. And, you know, all I can do is just be me throughout this competition, and that's what I plan to do."

Liz has outlasted her country competitors and now sits as the dark horse on "The Voice."

Liz is a member of Team Blake. Follow her on Twitter @LizDavisMusic.

Michaela has no flaws

Yes, Michaela Paige has complete command of her tone and pitch. And, sure, she ripped up the stage in performing Pink's "Sober" and Joan Jett's "I Hate Myself For Loving You." But have you seen her hair!

The 16-year-old Internet radio host had a tri-colored half-mohawk, half-ice-cream-cone hairdo in the "Knockout Round" (not to mention a black and white polka-dot dress over top of purple tights and knee-high boots). It was awesome.

Fashion points notwithstanding, Michaela sort of showed her softer side in a rollicking rendition of Pat Benatar's "Love is a Battlefield." The performance hit home with Christina, and led to Blake's decision to pick Michaela over a better-than-ever Colin.

With such vocal control, such musical diversity - such style! - Michaela is going to be tough to beat coming down the homestretch.

"For me, I mean, winning the show would be unbelievable," she said. "But I honestly would not mind losing to anybody else on this show. I mean, the talent and the - I just - I don't know how to describe all of the amazing people that are on the show.

"And winning it would not be a win just for me. It would be a win for everybody that has a dream. And that's really what I'm striving for. It's not about me. It's about all of us."

Michaela is a member of Team Blake. Follow her on Twitter @FLASinger1.

Devyn is a giant killer

Another week, another giant song conquered.

After scoring with her renditions of Christina Aguilera's "Ain't No Other Man" in the "Blind Auditions" and En Vogue's "Free Your Mind" in the "Battle Round," 20-year-old Devyn DeLoera decided to take on a third too-big-for-television song in the "Knockout Round" of "The Voice" She performed the late Whitney Houston's "I Have Nothing."

As with her first two swings at the plate, Devyn hit a homerun with her performance (especially with CeeLo, who was noticeably impressed).

"It wasn't really a strategy," Devyn said of taking on music's biggest voices and their best-known work. "It's just songs that I really enjoy and I like, and I felt like you know, maybe the risk would pay off, because I knew it was definitely risky to do such iconic songs. But the outcome has, obviously, been something I enjoy."

With these songs under her belt, it's clear Devyn can sing anything (and by anyone). That's a major advantage in a competition where vocal ability is king.

Devyn is a member of Team Christina. Follow her on Twitter @DevynDeLoera.

Sylvia is fearless

We all knew 19-year-old Sylvia Yacoub was brave when, in the "Blind Auditions," she explained her decision to put off law school for a shot at making a living as a singer.

But that's nothing compared with singing a Christina Aguilera song. On television. In front of Christina. Who is the sole person deciding her fate on "The Voice."

Sylvia admitted is was surreal to work in practice with Christina on "Fighter."

"I was obviously very nervous to sing her own song right in front of her, but at the same time I was thinking, you know, who better to ask for advice on how to sing the song than the singer herself?" Sylvia said. "That was just a great experience. You know, I went in there and she made me feel so comfortable. She helped me, which, one of the biggest things I talked about with her was where to breathe, because this song has a lot of words in it. And she sat there like with the whole song and told me where to breathe, what places, you know, I could breathe on stage, and I thought it really, really helped. It was really cool, and what started as a really, really scary experience actually turned out being, like, awesome, and something I'll never forget."

As Sylvia moves to the "Live Playoffs," "I want to add, you know, variety to my songs. I want to show, because you know, I started off singing like 'Only Girl' by Rihanna and then, you know, different artists like Beyoncé and Christina, and then maybe I want to bring in, you know, different type of songs and different types of sides of me that you guys will probably see going further into the show."

Sylvia is a member of Team Christina. Follow her on Twitter @SylvsYacoub.

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