Stanwood singer Savanna Woods was nearly knocked out during the battle rounds of NBC's "The Voice."
After winning in a blind audition in this television vocal performance competition that aired mid-March, Woods was coached by Grammy winner Kelly Clarkson.
In the battle rounds last week at Universal Studios in Los Angeles, Woods was paired with another singer from Team Kelly to sing a duet as they competed against each other. Clarkson was to decide the winner.
The heat was on between Woods and Corey Ward as they sang Fleetwood Mac's "Dreams." Although they sang it as a duet, it was a duel because only one would win and head to the next competition. Even so, the duo approached it like a team, like Woods has done for years when singing with her sisters.
Before coaching, Woods and Ward worked out their parts, creating an arrangement from scratch that gave the song a new spin. They’d done so much work together that when it came time for coaching with Clarkson and Latin Grammy-winner Luis Fonzi, they said keep doing what you’re doing, just express yourself more.
“It didn’t feel like a competition,” Woods said. “Our goal was to make a beautifully intimate song and not outshine each other. We made each other better, I think that’s what Luis Fonzi said.”
Thank you all so much for the kind words!! Warms my heart 🥲✨ https://t.co/5n93XmGSJx— Savanna Woods (@savannawoods) April 7, 2021
Woods said that coaches are looking at how well you can work with another person. The two singers thought that whoever lost would get saved.
Woods always plays guitar while she sings; it’s part of who she’s been — until the battle.
“I have never performed without my guitar. I was trying to push myself out of my comfort zone,” she said.
Singing without her guitar gave Woods greater freedom to move around the stage, instead of standing at a mic stand. Her hands were free to be expressive.
“My hands have a life of their own. A guitar holds them in one place,” she said.
Come showtime, Woods and Ward took the stage, each in their own glitzy boxing ring. The costume department had worked with them to amp up and glamorize their personal styles.
Woods and Ward sang their hearts out, playing off each other and to the coaches with voices and body language.
“You don’t have much time up there, so you want to show as much as you can,” Woods said.
After the duet, all coaches critiqued.
“I gotta say, Savanna, you’re the biggest surprise,” coach Blake Shelton said.
He said her voice was angelic and floaty, but with power and a great range.
Another coach, Nick Jonas said: “Savanna, if you went and made a record right now, it would be something that I’d want to hear, go see you live. And I’m curious to see where you go as an artist from here.”
But Clarkson, who coached both Woods and Ward, was out sick so country pop singer Kelsea Ballerini sat in to decide the winner.
“You know how to use your gift, your tool,” Ballerini said. “It made a song that I’ve known since I was a kid sound like your song. That’s artistry.”
Even so, Ballerini chose Ward of the closely matched duo.
“I didn’t for any second believe I was going home. … If I lose, I’ll just deal with it,” Woods said.
She calmly walked the four stairs leading offstage as Ballerini frantically texted Clarkson.
“I didn’t think I was going home until I stepped off that last step. Oh crap, I didn’t even start packing. … I was really hoping to do one more and show a little more of what I’ve got.”
Clarkson texted back, “Save her!” Ballerini pounded a big red button that lit up the save lights.
Coaches have the power to save a losing singer, allowing the singer to go on to compete in a “Four-Way Knockout.”
Woods’ voice is still in the game.
Next, singers that survive battle rounds compete in “Knockouts.” Knockout winners go to the last stage, the Live Performance Shows, where just one will be named “The Voice” and will receive the grand prize — a recording contract.
“It felt awesome,” Woods said of being saved. “It’s a lot of Hollywood stuff, but at the end of the day, I just like to get on stage and sing, so I’m happy I get to do it one more time.”