This week the Top 11 singers of “The Voice” may have very well answered our question from last week — “is Jordan Smith unstoppable?” While Jordan was as solid as ever, the other 10 contenders raised their own games significantly. And we now believe two of them outshined the frontrunner.
Coaches Blake Shelton, Pharrell Williams, Gwen Stefani, and Adam Levine are facing off to mentor this year’s champ. One of their artists will go home on Tuesday night. If you know who that will be, why are you not participating in this week’s prediction contest (see rules below).
1. Madi Davis (Team Pharrell), “Love Is Blindness”
Madi’s performance was captivating from the very first note, but the eeriness of the beginning evolved into a bold and loud ending that surprised in the best way possible. Even Blake had to put the competition aside to admit it was (at the time) the best performance of the night.
2. Jeffery Austin (Team Gwen), “Dancing on My Own”
The unofficial theme of the night seemed to be “making it your own,” as this was the goal for most of the singers. In my mind, only Jeffery truly succeeded in taking control of that idea — he turned a subtle dance record into a rich, textured and powerful vocal achievement that still felt deeply intimate.
3. Jordan Smith (Team Adam), “Who You Are”
My only complaint is that by this point Jordan’s becoming predictable — we expect him to pick an inspirational song every week. But that’s like expecting Adele to sing a sad song, which means Jordan is still the best singer in the competition. He is not a lock to win the whole season, though.
4. Shelby Brown (Team Adam), “You and I”
Shelby absolutely killed it with the song choice because it provided an opportunity to show that she has pop-country crossover appeal. It also proved she can put her own spin on well-known contemporary hits.
5. Amy Vachal (Team Adam), “Blank Space”
This week Amy pulled back just a little on the idea of taking a current hit and flipping it on its head by choosing something closer to her wheelhouse. If last week’s “Hotline Bling” was a homerun then this week was a stand-up triple. She still killed it.
6. Korin Bukowski (Team Gwen), “Only Hope”
Korin put it best when she said that picking this song brought an excitement back into her life. Mandy Moore is a great example of the type of artist Korin should try to be. It was a great middle-of-the-pack, safe-from-elimination performance.
7. Emily Ann Roberts (Team Blake), “Why Not Me”
Emily’s vocals are great and she’s picking the right songs, but she’s missing the X factor that would set her apart in the competition or even within the country music scene. For me, there’s nothing unique about what she brings to the table.
8. Zach Seabaugh (Team Blake), “Are You Gonna Kiss Me or Not”
Zach stayed in his “playing it safe” lane, with a solid vocal and reinforcing his heartthrob status. His biggest achievement this week is eclipsing Barrett for the first time.
9. Evan McKeel (Team Pharrell), “Smile”
Evan needed to pick a contemporary song this week and unfortunately he didn’t. My patience is wearing thin, because I don’t believe he’s proven that he can be relevant in today’s market. Another great vocal with very little charisma.
10. Barrett Baber (Team Blake), “Delta Dawn”
I’m not buying Blake’s assertion that giving a country song a “rock twist” is anything groundbreaking. There were no surprises in Barrett delivering a perfectly fine vocal with the all-too-familiar country rock swagger on the stage.
11. Braiden Sunshine (Team Gwen), “True”
I really like Braiden, but his age and lack of confidence is starting to show. I was happy to see him step away from the mic (I didn’t think he would), but then he hesitantly and awkwardly attempted crowd interaction and the whole thing became a bust.
Congratulations to our reader Russell Moses for being one of 15 people with perfect scores in last week’s contest. They all predicted that Mark Hood would go home and Bukowski would be in the bottom but not eliminated. Of that group, Moses had the best overall point score of 2,650 thanks to using his special 500 and 200 point bets wisely. If eligible, as per our contest rules, he will win a $100 Amazon gift certificate.
Check out the overall Season 9 leaderboard to the right. Do you have what it takes to beat Russell and all of these other perfect predictors? There are still many weeks left to play in our contest, so you should jump in and try to take control of the leaderboard yourself. You could win our weekly and overall season prizes of $100 Amazon gift cards. See our contest rules here and don’t forget to update YOUR predictions here. The deadline for this week’s contest is Tuesday at 5:00 p.m. PT.
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Photos courtesy of NBC.