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Sobs, Steals & a Taylor Swift Comparison: Inside The Voice Season 25 Knockouts Night 2

The competition has entered its fiercest phase yet! Here's everything that went down on Night 2 of Knockouts. 

By Josh Weiss

Season 25 of The Voice entered its second week of Knockouts Monday night, with Coach Reba McEntire underscoring the heated nature of the NBC's musical competition at the top of the episode. "It's very competitive, it's very tough, and it's very emotional," she replied after Host Carson Daly asked about her biggest takeaways from the previous season.

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As opposed to the Battles round, the Knockouts are distinguished by the fact that contestants are allowed to choose their own songs and perform outside the constraints of a duet selected for them by their Coach.

RELATED: Tears, Chills, & Triple Steals: Inside the "War" of The Voice Knockouts Night 1

"A lot of people that come on the show, their whole lives have been, 'I can't wait to be on The Voice,'" said Coach Chance the Rapper (like Reba, this is his second time sitting in one of the big red chairs). "Then they're on and they're taking all this advice. But really, it's their moment to shine and sing the song that they've been singing in the mirror their whole lives on national television."

With that in mind, let's recap everything that happened during Night 2 of The Voice Season 25 Knockouts.

Recapping The Voice Season 25 Knockouts Night 2


Team Chance

Chance The Rapper sits in his coaches chair on The Voice 2508

Maddi Jane vs. Kamalei Kawa'a

Maddi sang "New Rules" by Dua Lipa; Kamalei sang "All of Me" by John Legend

"Amazing performances," summarized Chance, while going on to praise Kamalei for having the chutzpah to sing a song by one of the current Coaches (aka John Legend). "It's hard to cover John because he has such specific tone ... impersonating someone's tone and being able to invoke the feeling of these lyrics that John wrote is a talent in and of itself."

Moving over to Maddi, Chance continued: "You have such confidence and attitude onstage. Then you also have the vocal talent to back it up, which is a big deal. And, like John was saying, doing a song that's so rhythmic is a difficult thing. I thought that was awesome." In fact, her performance was awesome enough to propel her to the Playoffs. "Maddi is just an amazing performer," Chance explained. "Through and through, she's an entertainer. She can sing, she can rap. Maddi really showcased her superstar power."

Before Kamalei even had a chance to start walking off the stage, both John Legend and Reba McEntire hit their Steal buttons in quick succession. Based on his Knockout song, the choice was crystal clear: Kamalei moved over to Team Legend. "Kamalei gave such a beautiful interpretation of the song," Legend said. "I felt his heart, I felt his emotion, I had to push for him."

WINNER: Maddi Jane

STEAL: Kamalei Kawa'a joins Team Legend

Alyssa Crosby vs. RLETTO 

Alyssa sang “I Guess That’s Why They Call it the Blues” by Elton John; Rletto sang “Stay” by The Kid LAROI & Justin Bieber

"Alyssa, you killed the song. Top to bottom, it was an amazing performance ... I thought it was awesome," Chance said. "Rletto, you showed a mastery of the song and an intention with the lyrics that really made it personal for me. When Justin and The Kid LAROI see it, they'll be proud of the performance. I kind of wish that you went a little bit harder in your higher register. Why not go hard?" Despite that minor critique, Chance chose Rletto to move on to the Playoffs because "he's just a world-class talent," he said. "My favorite part about Rletto is his ability to improvise and make any performance of any song sound like a brand-new song."

WINNER: Rletto (Alyssa Crosby sent home)


Team Legend

John Legend sits in his coaches chair on The Voice 2508

Gene Taylor vs. Mafe 

Gene sang “I Don’t Want to Miss a Thing” by Aerosmith; Mafe sang "Almost is Never Enough" by Ariana Grande

"Both of you are such a joy to work with," Legend said. "Gene, I feel like you exude positive light and a love for being onstage that's really infectious. And then Mafe, your energy is more like warmth. It feels like love, you feel so connected to the songs."

In the end, it was Mafe chosen as victor of this particular Knockout, with Legend explaining: "I love Mafe. Her tone is so beautiful. Her energy is so warm and calm and it's just really special. She's shown us some versatility in the type of songs she can perform. I can't wait to see what she does next."

WINNER: Mafe (Gene Taylor sent home)

Jackie Romeo vs. Zoe Levert

Jackie sang “Love on the Brain” by Rihanna; Zoe sang “Cowboy Take Me Away” by The Chicks

"Jackie, I saw you really embracing the energy of the song and emotionally connecting to it. But you also knew when to finesse the notes as well and it was very in-control, the way you handled the dynamics of the song," Legend told Romeo. "And Zoe, I do feel like everybody's watching you continue to grow and surprise us. You sounded like a great artist, who needs to be heard."

Zoe, whom Legend described as an "underdog" with plenty of hidden talents that continue to be revealed, was chosen to advance to the Playoffs, while Jackie was stolen over to Team Reba. "Jackie could sing country, Jackie could sing anything she wants because she's that strong of a singer," Reba noted. "I'm very excited to get to work with her on the Playoffs."

WINNER: Zoe Levert

STEAL: Jackie Romeo joins Team Reba

RELATED: Chance The Rapper and John Legend Have Another Connection Besides The Voice


Team Dan + Shay

Dan + Shay appear in Season 25 Episode 5 of The Voice

Karen Waldrop vs. Ducote Talmage

Karen sang “Georgia Rain” by Trisha Yearwood; Ducote sang "She Got the Best of Me” by Luke Combs

"I love the way that you light up the room whenever you walk in it," Shay Mooney told Ducote, joking that it felt as though he were composing a "love letter" to the 20-year-old firefighter from Alabama. "You were so thoughtful in the way that you delivered this song. I think that was the best performance I've heard you do this entire competition."

Moving on to Waldrop, Dan Smyers stated: "Karen, you just have one of the most incredible voices. A lot of people need an engineer in the studio, twisting knobs to make a voice push and pull like that ... that's an incredible ability that not everybody has."

In the end, the Coaching duo had to go with Waldrop, who "edged it out a little bit," Smyers explained, "She really was super dynamic and precise in her performance." Mooney continued: "Karen is a super-star and I think she's so good. She could sing any song we throw her way. She wants to be a country artist through and through, and she's gonna crush it on this show. She has so much potential."

WINNER: Karen Waldrup (Ducote Talmage sent home)


Team Reba

Reba McEntire sits at her coaches chair on The Voice 2506

Justin and Jeremy Garcia vs. Zeya Rae

Justin and Jeremy sang “You are the Reason” by Calum Scott; Zeya sang “River” by Bishop Briggs

"Zeya, you did a great job," Coach Reba began once the performances had ended. "I would've loved to have seen you stay in one position in that song, but your voice is great. You know that." Shifting her attention over to the Garcia siblings, whom she Stole from Dan + Shay during Battles, Reba said: "Y'all are cute as a button ... I thought you did a great job. There were a few little things where I thought you might've gotten lost, but congratulations on pulling this off. You did a wonderful job."

When it came time to make her decision, the Queen of Country chose Justin and Jeremy to move on to the Playoffs. "It was a hard decision because Zeya is so good," confessed Coach Reba. "But I had to choose Justin and Jeremy because of the uniqueness of their act. Everybody's a great singer, but we have to have something a little different and going with the brothers was part of my strategy." As we learned earlier in the season, Ms. McEntire has a soft spot for familial groups, having grown up singing alongside her own siblings.

WINNER: Justin and Jeremy Garcia (Zeya Rae sent home)

See new episodes of The Voice Mondays at 8/7c on NBC and streaming next day on Peacock.