Miley Cyrus basically grew up on television with her children’s program “Hannah Montana” before becoming one of the top pop stars in America. She’s now back on TV as a first-time coach on “The Voice” and has selected her 12 team members for the current autumn season of the NBC reality show. She faces off against fellow rookie coach Alicia Keys and longtime rivals Adam Levine and Blake Shelton.
Here are my rankings of the dozen members of Team Miley from top to bottom. Vote in our poll below and tell us who you think is the best artist. And be sure to tour our photo gallery of all 12 performers above. Our other featured photo gallery contains all “The Voice” past winners from the first 10 seasons.
1. Ali Caldwell (from New York, NY)
On a team dominated by female contestants, Caldwell is without question the supreme diva to be reckoned with. The former member of R&B group Xhale exudes confidence, poise and power on stage, which earned her a four-chair turn. She surprised people by choosing Miley, but is hoping the unique collaboration will give her the edge she needs to go all the way.
2. Sa’Rayah (from Country Club Hills, IL)
One contestant who may have something to say about Caldwell being named the frontrunner on Team Miley is this powerhouse who left it all on the stage with her spine-tingling performance of “Drown in My Own Tears.” In possibly the most soulful, honest audition of the blinds, Sa’Rayah held nothing back, yet somehow convinced only Miley and Alicia to turn their chairs. She will have plenty of time to win over Blake and Adam; she’s not going anywhere anytime soon.
3. Darby Walker (from Los Angeles, CA)
Walker has a very unique way of phrasing her lyrics and her shaky vibrato, similar to that of Florence Welch, adds a bit of a rock vibe to her sound. The ability to totally transform a classic like “Stand by Me” into something quirky and modern says a lot about her artistry. In what seems like a match made in heaven, I expect Miley and Darby to be creating music together for weeks to come.
4. Sophia Urista (from New York, NY)
Nobody on Team Miley got down like Urista did with her gritty, rock-infused performance of “Come Together.” Anything she potentially lacks in vocals is more than made up for in attitude, style and pure funkiness. The woman is a beast on stage and I expect to see many more performances from her this season.
5. Karlee Metzger (from Fordland, MO)
There is purity to Metzger’s voice that separates her from other singers this season and, as she gains more experience performing, she could become a dark horse in the competition. Her personality is incredibly likable, and I love her ability to go from soft, delicate moments to soaring, powerful vocals within a song.
6. Aaron Gibson (from Kennesaw, GA)
This rock singer has one of those bluesy, gravely tones that seem to be popular over on Team Adam this season, but he definitely stands out within Miley’s crew. If she is able to help bring his personality out a bit more, he will stand a much better chance moving forward. Although he’s got a good voice, he wasn’t incredibly memorable.
7. Courtnie Ramirez (from Bryan, TX)
At just 17-years old, Ramirez is a firecracker on stage and displayed impressive confidence and poise for such a young performer. Hopefully Miley can reign in her excitement a bit because although she is fun to watch, her performance was a bit of a “screamfest.”
8. Khaliya Kimberlie (from Mescalero, NM)
This shy teenager didn’t have the most memorable audition, but as one of only two country singers on Miley’s team, she has that advantage going for her. That being said, her inexperience shows and she may have a difficult time getting through the next couple rounds.
9. Josette Diaz (from Cresskill, NJ)
By delivering a sweet, youthful rendition of “Love Yourself,” Diaz was able to snag the final chair of the blind auditions. She has a way to go in maturing as a performer, but one thing she has that you can’t teach is raw star power and likability.
10. Lane Mack (from Lafayette, LA)
As someone who typically loves the blues I was really rooting for Mack, but his performance was just a little too obnoxious. I’m hoping there is something more to him that we haven’t seen, but at this point he seems like just a fun, likable guy who sings at the bar.
11. Maye Thomas (from Nashville, TN)
Thomas gave a one-note performance of “Roses” that added nothing new or unique to the original version by The Chainsmokers. If she wants to compete this season she will definitely have to step her game up, so it’s a good thing her coach has already expressed enthusiasm in turning her into the “gothic Dolly Parton”.
12. Charity Bowden (from Hope Hull, AL)
We barely heard a full note from this 17-year old in the short clip they showed of her audition, so one can only assume she probably won’t be around for long.