Preston C. Howell (age 15) and Marybeth Byrd (age 18) of Team John Legend faced each other during the Knockouts round of The Voice 2019 (Season 17).
Marybeth sang an emotional version of “All I Ask” by Adele while Preston sang a cool cover of “The Way You Look Tonight” by Fred Astaire.
Gwen Stefani said Preston is literally a phenomenon and it’s hard to believe he’s 15. She said, his current performance is her favorite in terms of stage presence. As to Marybeth, Gwen said, “I heard things in your voice that I didn’t recognize. I think that your style is coming out a little bit and I like that.” She said Marybeth did a great job.
Kelly Clarkson said both Marybeth and Preston did really well. She said that Adele song is hard to sing. Kelly noted she never heard “that kind of power” from Marybeth yet. She said, “So you’re sneaky, and I like it, ’cause that is very smart and strategical in a competition.” To Preston, Kelly told him she’d like to see him turn a Justin Bieber song, or something like that, into what his style is. She said if will be cool if he did something unexpected.
Blake Shelton disagreed with Kelly, saying that Preston did kind of a flip of a song. He said the Mamas and the Papas were not crooners, and said that Preston “can croon on a song from a different world.” Blake was referring to Preston’s rendition of “Dream a Little Dream of Me” during his audition. [See: The Voice Preston C. Howell audition]
As to Marybeth, Blake said it took a lot of nerve to come out onstage and do an Adele song. He said Marybeth “stepped up to the plate” and did a great job.
Coach John Legend said both artists stepped up to the plate. He said it was his favorite performance of Preston. He liked it when Preston winked and flirted with the audience. “It was smooth, man. You killed it,” John said.
On the other hand, John said Marybeth is an “exceptionally gifted vocalist” and that her tone is lovely to listen to.
John Legend said it was really a difficult decision for him. But in the end, he picked Marybeth Byrd as the winner of the Knockouts round, advancing her to the Live Playoffs, while Preston C. Howell was eliminated from The Voice 2019.
Artists: Preston C. Howell/ Marybeth Byrd
Songs: (Preston) “The Way You Look Tonight” by Fred Astaire / (Marybeth Byrd) “All I Ask” by Adele
Team: John Legend
Knockouts Winner: Marybeth Byrd
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