The live playoffs of “The Voice” kick off next Monday, and coaches Adam Levine, Gwen Stefani, Pharrell Williams, and Blake Shelton have chosen their final teams. Levine proved so far this season he was willing to beg, grovel and steal contestants to create an impressive team in the hopes of winning his third title as a coach. In the process, he chose a diverse group of singers whose genres vary from rock, country, and pop to even a bit of jazz.
Will this diversity help lead Team Adam to its first win since Tessanne Chin went all the way four seasons ago? Here are my rankings for his five artists with a look at who has the best shot of going all the way.
5. Keith Semple
The 34-year old rocker from Ireland kicked off his journey with an impressive performance of “I’ll Be There For You” that inspired both Adam and Gwen to turn their chairs. After selecting Adam as his coach, Semple went on to defeat Manny Cabo in the battles and Dustin Christensen in the knockouts. As smooth as Kemple’s run has been thus far, he doesn’t have much of a presence. Consistent vocals are not enough to win this show, and I’m not sure he has the star power to get the “wow” moments it takes to win it all.
4. Blaine Mitchell
It’s been a bumpy ride for this 24-year old Texan after impressing both Blake and Gwen in the blind auditions with his rendition of “Drops of Jupiter”. After choosing to go with Blake, Mitchell ended up losing in the battles to the vocally smooth Blind Joe. Mitchell got the last laugh though when Adam stole him and carried him all the way to a knockout victory over the twin sister duo of Andi & Alex. Levine sees charisma and a “rock star” quality within Mitchell that I’m less convinced of. And I’m not sure Adam loves him enough to save him if it comes down to that during next week’s results show. Mitchell is a good-looking guy and a solid singer, but he doesn’t have what it takes to go all the way.
3. Amy Vachal
This 26-year old lounge singer from Brooklyn captivated the coaches during her blind audition of “Dream a Little Dream of Me.” It even caused all but Adam, who had a full team at the time, to turn their chairs. Vachal chose to be a part of Team Pharrell where she breezed through the battle round over Jubal & Amanda. She then hit a hiccup when Pharrell surprised many by dropping her in the knockouts for Madi Davis. Adam was thrilled to steal her for his team, and although I don’t find her to be the most interesting artist this season, there is a charm about her that could take her far. Song choice will be important, but I have a feeling Adam has enough love for her to save her if he needs to next week.
2. Shelby Brown
Without question one of the best blind auditions of the season was when this 16-year-old Alabama native belted out an emotional rendition of “Stars,” leading all four coaches to turn their chairs. While many expected the country-leaning singer to go with Blake, she surprised everyone and decided to work with Adam. Brown needs to work on her self-confidence as a performer after squeaking through a shaky battle defeating Amanda Ayala. In the knockouts she went with a Carrie Underwood hit (“Jesus, Take The Wheel”) to roll past James Dupre’ on her way to the live playoffs. Brown is the type of singer that could win it all if she is able to control her own nerves and self-doubt. With stronger stage presence, she has the ability to give the jaw-dropping performances it takes to be a champion.
1. Jordan Smith
There just isn’t anyone more lovable at the moment than the 21-year-old from Kentucky who shocked everyone with his powerful blind audition of Sia’s “Chandelier”. All four coaches quickly turned their chairs for Smith, with some looking a bit shocked to discover it was a man hitting all those high notes. Smith decided to go with Levine as part of Team Adam where he breezed through the battles and knockouts, taking out Regina Love and Viktor Kiraly on his path to the live playoffs. Outside of the fact that Smith has an incredible voice, it’s his story and personality that make him the current frontrunner on Team Adam. He has the entire package of what it takes to succeed in a competition voted on by America. Smith may falter if the novelty wears off and his performances don’t keep up with his likability, but I like his chances. He’s not unbeatable, but he’s definitely a contender to win it all and currently tops Team Adam’s chances of winning.
We will be offering our analysis for Team Blake, Team Gwen, and Team Pharrell later this week. What are your thoughts about our rankings for Team Adam? Who tops your own list? Comment below or sound off on “The Voice” every week in Gold Derby’s reality TV forum.
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Photo courtesy of NBC.