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Tanner Massey’s Knockout Was “So Perfect,” It Gave Niall Regrets for Losing Him
Sometimes the Knockout rounds prove that Battle decisions can come back to haunt you.
The various elimination, Save, and Steal possibilities on The Voice mean that contestants go on a very interesting journey if they're able to stay with the show beyond the initial Battle Rounds. Some singers stick with their original Team forever, but others hop around, and prove so adept at maturing and growing that their original Coaches have to say they regret losing them.
What Niall Horan's reaction to Tanner Massey's Knockout performance of Shawn Mendes' "In My Blood"
During his Battle performance, Massey was paired with Lennon Vanderdoes, who ultimately won the Team Niall showdown, setting up a Steal opportunity for other Coaches. Gwen Stefani immediately took advantage, setting Massey up for a Knockout round that saw him facing off against the whistle tones of Chechi Sarai and the soulful performance of Rudi.
For his Knockout song, Massey chose Shawn Mendes' "In My Blood," a song he described as a deeply moving reminder of his own struggles with making connections and forming friendships earlier in life as he moved around and ended up at an online school to continue his education.
"The best part of this entire experience has really just been all of the connections I've been able to make, all the friends that I wish I had my entire life," Massey said during rehearsals. "It's more than I could have ever asked for growing up."
When his Knockout performance was over, the Coaches were suitably impressed not just by Massey's singing ability, but by his ability to channel the emotion of his song.
"If you go back and listen, it wasn't like pitch perfect, but it was so perfect when it came to the emotional connection," John Legend said. "Wow. Wow, wow, wow."
Horan, who made the difficult choice to drop Massey from his team earlier in the season, praised the young vocalist for his ability to grow and mature even across the short span of time on the show so far.
"Obviously, there's regrets [for cutting you], but the growing that you've done on this show from your first audition to now, night and day," Horan said. "You were incredible today, Tanner."
Massey replied, "Thank you. I still love you, man."
In the end, Stefani agreed with Legend and Horan, and chose Massey as the winner of the Knockout.
"It's crazy to think what you're going to do in the future," she told Massey.
Now it's onto the Playoffs for the young singer, who will no doubt bring more emotional resonance to The Voice stage.