The Voice – Live Shows Preview & Contestant Ranking

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.


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.’


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.


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.


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.

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1 comment

  1. Ummmm….have you paid attention to the two messages above? One is unapologetically plugging his/her own site instead of just using the website link. The other is taking you to a sex site. Sounds like a hack waiting to happen.

    But let’s move on to the show:
    Michelle: By now your opinion of her has changed a bit. You already told me I’d been riding for her since the beginning. NBC was not showing her enough.

    Dez Duron: I didn’t know what he looked like since I didn’t watch past seasons. He has that boy band look that’s not interesting to me. Josiah is that guy who you ignore EVERYBODY in the group for and just focus in on him. He really does have a Justin Timberlake appeal. I don’t think he’s trying to come off plastic. I think he’s just trying to be mysterious. I certainly want to know more about him because he refuses to give it all. In this Internet crazed world I kinda like artists who don’t leave it all on the table.

    The Swon Brothers: Because I like country I wasn’t quite ready to throw them aside but I certainly like them more now than I did before. However, I liked Grace most of all so I’m still a bit bummed she’s gone.

    Justin: I literally LOL’d at this line: “If this were American Idol, where the voting guidelines dictate that the most pleasant white male wins most seasons…” I stopped watching Idol after Fantasia won so I don’t know how many white guys won but I certainly know what you mean. I just think it’s funnier that you said it and not me.

    Amber: I said this on another post but I just love Amber’s audition “Good Girl” so much. Every time I forget about her, she does another performance that makes me wonder why I’m not remembering her more. She can sing VERY WELL. But she just gets drowned out. There’s no “pop” factor for her. I wish Adam would work on that. Your opinion of Sasha is mine for Amber. Her personality comes across as nonexistent but when both of them sing you go “Oh yeah, she’s NICE!” Thing is that Amber doesn’t have to pull out all the tricks. Sasha comes across as the best singer at church, not America. Amber comes across as someone who could be the opening act and outshine the main attraction, but instead of people remembering her, they’d go “the blonde before [insert celebrity] came out.” I don’t know what I need her to do. A cartwheel. Flash someone. Kiss Usher on the mouth. Something!

    Judith: As soon as I saw her, I was thinking, “That’s the lady from ‘This Is It.” I remembered her because MJ was borderline flirting with her while they were singing onstage. If I remember correctly, he grabbed her by her hip and it was so unexpected because he’s not exactly the most flirtatious with the ladies so I was like, “Wait…what?” I read that she didn’t want to have a CD release or a career that rode the bandwagon of his death. I understand. It’s like TLC constantly being asked about Left Eye or Ike Turner being asked about Tina Turner. That’s the only downside of working with someone way bigger than you.

    Sarah: I wish I could hear her through your ears. She has a pretty voice and I feel like small birds should fly around her when she sings and all her dresses should flow in the wind but I forget her as soon as the song stops. I hear the grunge but it’s still too pretty. However, people love the hell out of Adele and I’ve never been a fan. But Adele doesn’t need me to be a fan. She’s right at the top. For all I know, Sarah could win it.

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