The pre-recorded business is out of the way – it’s time for season 4 of ‘The Voice’ to go LIVE!
This Monday, the live rounds of ‘The Voice’ will kick off, with each coach leading his or her team of 4 contestants into battle for the right to be crowned season 4 champion. I ranked the entire field of 48 contestants following the auditions, and while I’ll be continuing to refer to those rankings going forward (no matter how ugly it may get!), it feels like the right time in the season to re-evaluate and re-seed the field.
Below, I’ve ranked the 16 remaining contestants based on my opinion of HOW LIKELY IT IS THAT THEY WIN THIS SEASON. This is not my personal preference, merely my opinion – as a loyal and occasionally deranged watcher of ‘The Voice’ over the years – regarding which contestants I believe have the best chance to win.
So without further ado, onto the rankings – complete with tiers!
TIER 5: THANKS FOR SHOWING UP (and also, thank your coach, seriously)
16. Garrett Gardner (Shakira)
It’s been a nice run for Garrett, but one that’s largely been due to Shakira’s fondness for him. As a singer, he’s simply not in the same class as the majority of the remaining contestants. I expect a quick exit in the next week or two.
15. Vedo (Usher)
Vedo’s got a wonderful story and pours a lot of emotion into his performances. But he’s not in the top half of R&B singers we’ve seen on ‘The Voice’ over the years, and without Usher providing him with cupcake battle match-ups, he’ll quickly find himself overmatched by most of this field.
14. The Swon Brothers (Blake)
I ranked them dead last in my post-audition rankings and I still don’t get it. I don’t see anything that distinguishes The Swons from the kind of act that you’d see at a bar. That’s not to say they’re bad, just not particularly memorable. This is the farthest a duo has advanced on ‘The Voice,’ but without Blake’s clear and shameful bias towards country acts to keep them afloat, expect a quick exit from the Swon Brothers.
TIER 4: PERSONAL FAVORITES THAT WON’T GET VOTING SUPPORT
13. Caroline Glaser (Adam)
Love her coffee house vibe, love her voice, and just generally love her. Unfortunately, Caroline’s softspoken style isn’t going to blow anyone away, especially compared to the rest of Team Adam’s loaded roster. Maybe she has a Melanie Martinez-type run in her, but she’s not as adorably distinctive as Melanie, so I don’t see it.
12. Kris Thomas (Shakira)
Kris is the remaining contestant whose album I would most likely listen to on Spotify. I just don’t see his delicate falsetto resonating with the majority of the country who votes on ‘The Voice.’
TIER 3: GOT THE APPEAL, MISSING THE CHOPS
11. Cathia (Usher)
Cathia could be a bit of an x-factor if she can monopoligze the Latin vote, but she’s just as likely to bow out this week. This is not a good season for pure pop on ‘The Voice’ (as we’ll see with the rest of Usher’s team coming right up), and Cathia has been somewhat forgettable to this point.
10. Josiah Hawley (Usher)
Professionally handsome Josiah has all the looks you could ever ask for, and for my money is considerably more interesting as a musician than last season’s model, Dez Duron. But as the judges noted during the Knockouts, he has a tendency to come off as a little plastic. Judges and fans love nothing more than when artists really pour all of themselves into a performance, and there’s no indication that Josiah is capable of doing that.
9. Michelle Chamuel (Usher)
And thus wraps up Team Usher in my rankings. As you can see, I’m predicting an Xtina-like swift exit for all his contestants. I enjoy Michelle quite a bit, but she still skews a little too close to “novelty act” to be taken entirely seriously. It’s almost a 100% lock that she’s going to be asked to sing a slow song this week (or next, at the latest) and it’s entirely unclear if she has the chops to pull it off.
TIER 2: FRINGE CONTENDERS
8. Karina Iglesias (Shakira)
Karina had tremendous momentum after an inspiring Battle Round loss to Judith Hill, but the judges were pretty flat on her Knockout Round effort. She’s a very good singer, but not the best singer; and her rock-influenced look and style were certainly have some voting sway, but not the most voting sway. I think Karina will stick around for a while, but never have a realistic chance at winning.
7. Holly Tucker (Blake)
Holly does one thing – sing ballads – and she does it very well. If this were a singing pageant, she’d absolutely be competing for the title. But I’m guessing there’s a reason she hasn’t sang an upbeat song yet. Either she’s going to try and it won’t go well, or she’s going to continue crushing ballads until the audience gets bored of her and votes her out.
6. Justin Rivers (Blake)
We only saw Justin’s audition in a montage, so you can forgive me for ranking him in the 30’s. Shockingly, he may be the best of Blake’s country singers this season (though I don’t think so), and appears poised to make a run. If this were American Idol, where the voting guidelines dictate that the most pleasant white male wins most seasons, then Justin would be right there. But on ‘The Voice,’ I suspect the audience will eventually get bored of him – albeit after a lengthy run.
5. Amber Carrington (Adam)
She’s under the radar on Adam’s monster team, but my goodness can Amber sing. Don’t be surprised if, despite Blake’s underhanded efforts to stack his own team with country singers, Amber emerges as the last one standing. Does that mean she’ll win the season? Probably not, especially because there are two superior contestants on her own team.
4. Danielle Bradbery (Blake)
While Justin’s rise has been unexpected, Danielle is, all things considered, Blake’s top contestant. I reckon she’s the only country singer this year that’s distinctive enough to be interesting to non-country fans, which is enormously important for voting purposes. I suspect that we’ll be seeing Danielle in the finals this season.
TIER 1: THE CONTENDERS
3. Sasha Allen (Shakira)
Sasha has been fantastic from her audition, but her Knockout Round performance was one for the ages, bumping her into this season’s elite group of contenders. She’s got the chops to go toe-to-toe with either of the top contestants, and I only rank her slightly below because she’s been a little under the radar, meaning that fan voting might be a slight problem.
2. Judith Hill (Adam)
Look, I don’t know what the woman who sang at Michael Jackson’s funeral is doing on a reality singing show, either. All I know is that Judith is the most technically skilled singer this (or any) season, and has a level of polish that’s simply unmatched by anyone else in the field. She’s flawless. Her only potential weakness is that fans might take her for granted or resent her a bit for being such a clear favorite, leaving the door open for…
1. Sarah Simmons (Adam)
It’s insane that Sarah and Judith are on the same team, but what can you do. It’s a coin flip between these two, but Sarah has this extra gear of fierceness that the insanely smooth Judith hasn’t shown yet. Sarah can growl her way through sections of songs while remaining pitch-perfect, and has already shown the ability to sing comfortably in different styles and tempos. The judges have been going out of their way to praise her (rightfully so, mind you), and in a season dominated by female contestants, I give Sarah the slightest of edges over the other two very qualified ladies in this tier.
There you have it! The live shows begin on Monday.