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If you ever noticed a particularly intense look on Taylor Swift's face, it's probably because she was busy shooting out laser beams from her eyes, or cultivating bold, hurt dejected looks to use as "sniper shots." When she passes on this apparent trick of the trade to contestant Ricky Manning, Pharrell is scared…but also excited.

Despite also being a little afraid of Taylor, Ricky takes her advice to heart and delivers a pretty killer version of Miley Cyrus's "Wrecking Ball," sniper shots and all.

Ricky was up against Elyjuh Rene in this round, who would normally be formidable competition but seemed to have lost a bit of his sparkle with a clean-sounding but disconnected version of Chris Brown's "With You." While all of the other judges clearly preferred Ricky, Pharrell still chose Elyjuh as the winner, ostensibly because "there's more work to be done." Pharrell also told us that Elyjuh "has a story that's emerging before his own eyes," and basically just has a soft spot for the kid, for which you can't really blame him.

As for Ricky, his eyes will live to shoot laser beams another day, since Gwen stole him with an enthusiastic, "I think I might have just won The Voice."

Shooting laser beams from his awkwardly dancing feet was Troy Ritchie, who showed really terrible instincts in choosing "Hey Ya" for his Team Gwen battle against adorable folkie Taylor John Williams. Tay Swift didn't mind it, though, as evidenced by her further use of violent metaphors.

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Being a multi-zillion selling pop star really is war, I guess. Also, I think there might be something stronger in that Starbuck's tea that she's drinking through a straw.

And while Troy came off like that corny, overenthusiastic guy who drinks water at a karaoke bar (you KNOW it's bad when Blake Shelton tells you, "You had the enthusiasm of Richard Simmons in your dancing"), Taylor (contestant Taylor, known as "Tay-Tay" or "Taylor 3 Names" to distinguish him from the OTHER very famous Taylor, as well as contestant Taylor Phelan) shot existential crises from his eyes on a decisively superior version of "Mad World." Taylor won the knockout easily, and Gwen was absolutely correct in saying that Troy chose a song that covered up how great his voice is.

The second episode of knockouts also featured Alessandra Castronovo squaring off against Mia Pfirrman for Team Adam. Despite sounding great and looking blindingly hot, Alessandra was a liiiiiitle dull on her version of Emili Sande's "Next to Me." Mia took the victory with a typically belty version of Christina Perry's "Human," primarily because Adam relates to the ice water in her veins

Next week: More knockouts, and more Swifty!

[Videos via NBC]

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