The first few weeks of “The Voice’s” live shows this season have been especially unpredictable, if for no other reason than that we really did not come into this portion of the competition thinking that one person was far ahead of the pack. We also didn’t feel that way after the live playoffs, which is when we were basically assured that Danielle Bradbery was going to win last season.
So are there some favorites starting to stand out among the pack? Definitely, but it’s still early, and fluctuating iTunes figures (really the only thing we have to on other than performance quality and a coach’s fan following) suggest that there are still unpredictable moments to come.
10. Ray Boudreaux (last week: 10) – We’re going to believe still that Blake Shelton will not get all three of his artists that deep in the competition this season, and Ray is someone who seems to be disappearing more than the other two. It gets harder and harder to maintain the full team at this point, and he’ll need a breakout to ultimately stay alive more than a week or two.
9. Kat Robichaud (11) – We’re speculating that America may take ownership of Kat more now that they voted to save her on Twitter, and if nothing else, she is aided by there only being two members of Team Cee Lo left. But based on voting results, it’s pretty clear that she has an uphill battle, as her coach had to save her once from elimination, as well.
8. Austin Jenckes (6) – This is what is neat about this season in that we think that all of the seven singers remaining here all have a pretty good shot of making it all the way to the end of this season, and that is the only reason that Austin is ranked here. He’s a pretty good singer and a likable guy, but we just can’t see America picking a country artist three years in a row to win. (We know that Cassadee Pope was originally rock, but she’s country now.)
7. Tessanne Chin (5) – We almost hate that we’re putting one of the best singers in the competition so low, but we’re starting to feel like Tessanne is really the Judith Hill of this season. She’s extremely talented, but we don’t get the feeling that the voting block is really there as much as the show’s editors like to present it as. She’s our pick for shock boot before the final six.
6. James Wolpert (1) – We put James at the top going into this part of the contest fresh off of some strong iTunes sales, but he proved that it wasn’t a permanent thing courtesy of a pretty big drop for “Mr. Brightside.” Plus, not everyone dug his take on The Killers. James needs to actually start being consistent if he wants to really make it far, since for the time being, he’s struggling to pull that off.
5. Will Champlin (8) – We’re totally digging Will’s story here. He’s a guy that has been saved twice by the steal and once by his coach in Adam Levine in the live playoffs, but we actually feel like he has the best chance of running the table based on what we’ve seen from him recently. He’s given the most consistent performances that also correspond to solid sales numbers. We know he could be gone next week and this is a risk, but he could also win with the right songs behind him.
4. Cole Vosbury (7) – This is where things really get interesting to us, since all four of these artists could win and has a good shot. Cole, for example, has some great sales numbers behind him (even “Maggie May” was okay), and he is on Blake Shelton’s team and that is always a plus. He just needs to continue to aggressively find songs like “Adorn” that are unexpected, and he can turn into something great.
3. Jacquie Lee (4) – Jacquie is someone else who has been killing it lately, with one big performance after another after another. She’s showing herself to not be your average teenager in a singing competition, since there are interesting, artistic choices being made. Plus, she’s with Christina Aguilera, otherwise known as the perfect coach for her. The only thing that hurts her is that another act on her team may split some votes with her.
2. Caroline Pennell (2) – Cee Lo’s top act is clearly Caroline, who has delivered great figures on iTunes despite sometimes performing early in the show. Plus, she’s likable and easy to relate to, which is the perfect combination for any artist … especially female ones, who at times have a disadvantage given the tendency for some to vote for the “cute guy.” She really doesn’t have to do anything other than what she is already doing to make it deep into this season.
1. Matthew Schuler (3) – After getting almost to #1 on iTunes (at the end of the voting window) with a song that has been covered a million times already in “Hallelujah,” there’s no other place to rank Matthew. His performances have been great through and through, and he’s found a unique way of managing to have a pop sound, while not losing sight of some other genres like rock and even a little soul. He’s a universal artist, and that goes a long way.
Who is your favorite this week? As always, we want to hear from you in the poll below!