Knockout Rounds started on "The Voice" last week , but we didn't get our two remaining North Carolina contestants — Britton Buchanan of Sanford and Chapel Hill native Rayshun LaMarr — until Monday night.
Each singer got to perform solo, but pitted against another team member. Then their coach had to pick a winner.
Here's how it went down.
18-year-old Britton was at the top of the show, paired against Dallas Caroline on Team Alicia Keys.
Alicia had previous "The Voice" winner Chris Blue as an advisor. Chris complimented Britton's edgy black jacket and Britton told him, "I don't get to dress like this at home." Home, of course, is Sanford. We got another short video visit to Sanford, which Britton described as "kind of slow." Britton said he has learned from Alicia that you can be in the music industry and still get to be a "regular person."
For his song, Britton picked Billy Joel's "New York State of Mind," which he said "fits in with that singer-songwriter vibe that I shoot for."
Chris said of Britton's rehearsal: "Britton's got a nice soulful, bluesy out-of-this-world swag. Do you hear the tone in this guy's voice?!" Then Britton let it slip that he usually plays piano when he sings that song. Alicia: "You're gonna play." That meant Britton started his main performance at a keyboard and then got up to cruise the stage while he sang.
Once the coaches were able to critique the performances of both Britton and Dallas (who sang "Bless the Broken Road"), coach Adam Levine once again grumbled over the fact that Blake blocked Adam from being one of Britton's choices on the first night of the season. Adam told Britton and Dallas that they'd both made progress, "But I have to go with you, Britton, because you're Britton."
Coach Blake Shelton: "Are you the guy I used my block on?" (Fake laughter from Adam.) "Every time you get on stage you've got a style and coolness about you that's undeniable," Blake told Britton. But Blake said he'd have to give the edge to Dallas. (Boo, Blake. Boo.)
"It's almost like a really soulful crooner type thing, like, you almost have this old-school Rat Pack type thing I've never seen before," coach Kelly Clarkson told Britton. Kelly didn't choose a favorite.
Alicia praised both Britton and Dallas for trying something new and becoming more confident.
And when it came time to pick the winner, Alicia picked Britton.
"Britton continues to just evolve," she said. "When he opens his mouth, he's shocking. You're not expecting years to come out of an 18-year-old."
Rayshun LaMarr is our Chapel Hill native now living in the Washington, D.C. area. Rayshun, a cancer survivor and vocal powerhouse, worked as a singer and bank teller before coming to "The Voice," but plans to make music his life from here on out. "To make it all the way up to this point, it's a blessing," he said.
For Monday's Knockout, Rayshun bravely selected Alicia Keys' first huge hit, "Fallin'" — which he had to sing in front of Alicia. Yikes.
He did well in the rehearsals, paired against teammate Gary Edwards. "Rayshun's voice just crackles and sizzles, it's so good," his coach Adam Levine said.
Alicia had a big grin on her face during Rayshun's performance, even laughing and nodding her head in approval at one point. Adam hopped to his feet when Rayshun hit the high notes.
"Rayshun is ballsy as hell," Kelly Clarkson said after it was over. "Rayshun's confident, y'all!" Kelly added that his vocals were "insane." But, sigh, Kelly said she might pick Gary.
"Rayshun, that was so good," Blake told him. "You're so full of energy, so full of passion. You're so you're full of it."
Then Alicia weighed in. "I was sitting here thinking, 'can he actually hit those notes?' — and he did!"
But then Adam had to pick a winner and it was ... Rayshun!
"Rayshun swings, not even for the fences, but for the farm across the street," Adam said. "You gotta reward that."
Rayshun was thrilled. "I'm ready to take this show by storm, ready to give the world Rayshun Nation!"
Tuesday night's show is a recap show, so the live rounds — where viewers begin voting — do not start until Monday, April 16 (8 p.m., NBC). Singers will perform that night, and then on Tuesday, April 17, the show will eliminate the singer with the fewest votes. Then we start all over again the following Monday.
▪ Read our previous coverage of Britton Buchanan here.
▪ Read all of our Rayshun LamMarr stories here.
▪ Also read about Raleigh's Molly Stevens, who had a good run on "The Voice."
▪ And don't forget Brooke Simpson of Hollister, who went all the way to the finale on "The Voice" last season.