Is there a problem with “The Voice” top 12? We’ll say so, mostly because it actually takes us a minute or two in order to sit here and actually think about everyone who is in it. There are around six or so serious contenders, and the other half is largely filler at this point, We’re still not even convinced that this is as exciting a group as what we had last year, mostly because there are only a few interesting looks, an abundance of country singers (not good for the country-haters), and nothing even remotely close to hip-hop (which is consistently a problem).
As for our first-ever rankings of the full group, we try not to just pick our favorites, mostly because that’d be pretty lame since you really want to know who America’s contenders are. We’re judging this based on performance strength, perceived support, and yes, who their coach is, since that does seem to matter. (Just ask Blake.)
12. Josiah Hawley (Usher) – Josiah has something to prove, and we hate to say it considering that he probably feels that way constantly being a model who is always judged on his looks. He just hasn’t impressed us much vocally, and the voters have nearly eliminated him already. It either has to be a breakout, or an early exit.
11. Vedo (Usher) – Sorry, Usher: Your team could get picked off here pretty fast. We just haven’t seen much from Vedo that really impresses us as much as he would like to believe, and the guy likes to think he’s very impressive. As a matter of fact, the confidence may actually be his biggest weakness thus far.
10. Holly Tucker (Blake Shelton) – A great singer, but hurt slightly by confidence issues and the fact that there are two other female country singers still around. All three of them are not going to make it to the end, and someone has to be the first domino to fall. Unless she comes back with a vocal right hook, we’re betting it will be Holly.
9, Garrett Gardner (Shakira) – We dig the rasp, and we dig that he and Michelle are the only real rockers in this competition. What we need to go along with it is more swagger, more consistently. Garrett still feels like he’s being safe and running scared, when we need him to take Juliet Simms’ wild-child label and just go nuts with it. You only got one shot this time!
8. The Swon Brothers (Blake) – We figure that they are helped now by being the only male country artists left, along with the other duo. That helps them stand out for a time, especially since their humor and relationship keeps them from falling into the “we can’t relate to multiple people” trap that some groups fall into.
7. Sarah Simmons (Adam Levine) – We know that Sarah was almost eliminated this past week, but we chalk this up more to her team more than we do anything that she actually did on the show. She has strong competition from within, but we have a feeling she will find a way to rise above it now that there is some more flexibility.
6. Kris Thomas (Shakira) – What is it with the boys this year on singing shows? It’s possible that “The Voice,” like “American Idol,” may not have a man in its top 5 this year. We do like Kris’ sounds a lot, and his live performance this week was pretty impressive. He just has it going against him that everyone left is so freakin’ good, and he needs to stand out despite being a pretty humble guy.
5. Sasha Allen (Shakira) – The only thing holding Sasha back is that she, Judith, and maybe to a lesser extent Sarah are all these big-voiced diva-types who could sing some of those huge singing-competition friendly ballads, and they could split the vote early on. She is in our mind perhaps the competition’s best pure singer, but the show’s title almost becomes ironic at this point.
4. Amber Carrington (Adam) – Almost a non-factor in our minds going into the battle rounds, Amber’s momentum has been the equivalent of truck driving at someone who is very bad at “Frogger.” So long as she keeps making artistic song choices like she did with “Stay,” which sold great despite being the first performance on the night Monday, her momentum could be pushing her far into the competition.
3. Judith Hill (Adam) – She has been picked by many to win the whole shebang, and with the edit thus far, “The Voice” has done its best to crown her. Look at it this way: She has already been in the last spot multiple times, and it’s not often you can say that so early in the season. She has a great voice and surely a good voting block, though, and we can’t say that they hype is anything but deserved. She’s a threat to everyone.
2. Danielle Bradbery (Blake) – Before the live playoffs, we weren’t too confident in Danielle’s odds. Then, we saw her iTunes sales. She had the best numbers there by a mile for the week, and this is a part of the voting process. When you consider that she is young, talented, and has a coach with a diehard following who has given him two straight winners, everyone else has a right to be terrified.
1. Michelle Chamuel (Usher) – Yep, we’re thinking outside of the box here! She’s likable, she’s different, and you will not mistake her look or sound with anyone else. She is probably still an underdog, but this status alone could benefit her. She also had the best moment of the live playoffs with “True Colors.” Stand, and applaud.
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