Malik Heard's rendition of "Isn't She Lovely?" was beautiful.
Unfortunately for the teenager from Rowlett, it wasn't enough to extend his time on The Voice. Hannah Huston's incendiary performance of "House of the Rising Sun" had already gotten a standing ovation from their coach, Pharrell Williams, and judge Blake Shelton before he had even begun.
But his song choice, lovely as it was, may have done him in. "House of the Rising Sun" is a showcase song that allows a singer to leave it all on the floor. "Isn't She Lovely?" is just, well, lovely.
Heard was game, though, and elegantly attacked the notes after starting his performance with a spin and a flourish.
He didn't let the prior performance faze him. At. All.
In the interview before the performance, Heard said, "I want to be an R&B and pop singer with a splash of versatility."
He showed that versatility during his time on the show, with a stunning "Chains" during his Blind Audition and matching his competitor note for note during "It's a Man's Man's Man's World" in the battle rounds.
That performance with Bryan Bautista was at No. 2 on the iTunes R&B charts and has more than 1 million views on YouTube. Then-coach Christina Aguilera chose Bautista as the winner of the battle, but Williams stole him.
Shelton, who had mispronounced Heard's first name as "Malick" during the battle round even while he was pleading for Heard to join Team Blake, got his name right this time in complimenting his performance.
Said Aguilera: "Pharrell's got a really hard choice here." That has become a refrain during the show when it comes to Heard.
"Malik," Williams said, "you let your voice take the wheel." But he went with his "gut" and chose Huston, who stayed on the walk of fame. And Heard walked from the stage without the normal plea from host-producer Carson Daly -- perhaps it was the editing -- for somebody to save him.
These may have been the beginning of the all-important Knockout rounds but all eyes, even the judges', were on #MileyOnTheVoice.
Of course, adviser Miley Cyrus encouraged the contestants to "just let go." But her advice was sound and her propensity to demonstrate rather than tell will be a boon to the show. Those outfits, that voice, that hair and the advice gave fans a taste of what's to come when Cyrus joins the judges for next season.
Alicia Keys will also take a seat in the judge's chair; she advised Williams' team a couple of seasons ago. The foursome for Season 11 will also include Adam Levine and Blake Shelton, the bromance that refused to die.