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The Voice: 5 Most Unexpected Performances Of Season 21 So Far

Kelly Clarkson looks shocked during The Voice.
(Image credit: NBC)

The introductory rounds are over. The Voice has taken the 48 singers who made it past Season 21’s Blind Auditions, and narrowed the field down to 20 — soon to be 21 when the Comeback Artist is announced — who will compete for America’s vote when the Live Playoffs start on November 8. 

The Season 21 competition is fierce. Through its first three rounds, The Voice has showcased some incredible talent with the help of this season’s coaches: Blake Shelton, Ariana Grande, Kelly Clarkson and John Legend. That’s not to mention the fabulous Battle Advisors and Mega Mentor Ed Sheeran. But before we get to the Live Shows, let’s stop a moment to take a look back at the most unexpected performances of Season 21 so far. From unique arrangements to songs you’d never expect to hear on primetime TV in 2021, here were the 5 biggest shockers.

"We Can Work It Out," Wendy Moten

On Night 1 of the Blind Auditions, Wendy Moten got Season 21 off to a banging start with an uptempo version of The Beatles’ classic “We Can Work It Out.” Moten earned herself a Four-Chair Turn with what Blake Shelton called a “Top 3 Blind Audition for The Voice all time.” Moten was flattered that Shelton thought enough of her to block John Legend, and with Moten’s history of singing background for country artists like Tim McGraw, Faith Hill, Vince Gill and more, Team Blake was an easy choice for the singer, who continued to blow the roof off the place in the Battles and Knockouts.

"No More Tears (Enough Is Enough)," Katie Rae And Bella DeNapoli

I’ve been watching The Voice from the very beginning, and after more than 500 episodes, I cannot recall any disco numbers worth raving about. But Ariana Grande’s team members Katie Rae and Bella DeNapoli gave their coach an impossible decision with their Battle duet of “No More Tears (Enough of Enough)” by Barbra Streisand and Donna Summer. Grande, who couldn’t stop crying as she announced her decision, declared Katie Rae the winner before immediately saving DeNapoli. Katie Rae ended up losing in the Knockouts but was stolen by Kelly Clarkson and will continue her journey in the Live Playoffs.

"Lose You To Love Me," David Vogel

I know The Voice is all about the singing, but I’d be okay with adding an award for best hair flip, which would easily go to David Vogel — a One-Chair Turn for Ariana Grande — as he put his own spin on Selena Gomez’s “Lose You to Love Me” in the Knockouts. Vogel stripped the song down, singing without the band and just playing acoustic guitar. Grande chose the fabulous Ryleigh Plank over Vogel to win the Knockout, but John Legend was so moved by the performance that he stole him for Team Legend.

"It’s My Party," The Cunningham Sisters And Parker McKay

Kelly Clarkson team members The Cunningham Sisters and Parker McKay breathed new life into the 1963 Lesley Gore hit “It’s My Party,” and introduced the song to an audience who was likely too young to be very familiar with the original. The three singers slowed down the song, focusing on the heartache of the situation they were singing about. The Cunningham Sisters won the Battle, but were unfortunately eliminated in the Knockouts.

"Poison," Katherine Ann Mohler

Ariana Grande team member Katherine Ann Mohler took a huge risk, reworking Bell Biv DeVoe’s ‘90s anthem “Poison” in the Knockout Round. The unique spin didn’t work for all of the coaches, as John Legend thought it was maybe too different from the original that is so beloved, but he applauded her being brave enough to do it. Kelly Clarkson was just excited that somebody sang “Poison,” while Blake Shelton didn’t seem to have heard the song before. Love it or hate it, it was definitely unexpected. 

The Live Playoffs start Monday, November 8, and the creative group of artists is sure to keep pushing the envelope on the kinds of music they bring to The Voice stage. Tune in at 8 p.m. ET Mondays and Tuesdays on NBC, and check out our 2021 TV Schedule to see what shows are premiering between now and the end of the year.

Heidi Venable

Mom of two and hard-core '90s kid. Unprovoked, will quote Friends in any situation. Can usually be found rewatching The West Wing instead of doing anything productive.