With our Gold Derby poll results from earlier this year, you stated emphatically that Sawyer Fredericks is your favorite champion in the 10-season history of “The Voice.” In covering the NBC reality blockbuster over the past few seasons, I have been fortunate to watch every single blind audition, battle, and knockout along the way. Here is my own ranking of all the show’s winners with analysis, the greatest on my list also being Fredericks. Click here to tour our photo gallery of the 10 previous champions from coaches Blake Shelton, Adam Levine, Pharrell Williams, Usher, and Christina Aguilera.
1. Sawyer Fredericks (Season 8)
The youngest winner in the history of “The Voice” was also the most memorable. At just 16 years old, Fredericks dominated the competition like nobody had in previous seasons, setting iTunes sales records for the series while never once facing the possibility of elimination. His gritty, rock-infused vocals were something nobody expected from the young singer, who gave Coach Pharrell Williams his first win.
2. Alisan Porter (Season 10)
What made Porter special on “The Voice” was her ability to take any song, from any genre and give a jaw dropping performance each time she took the stage. Whether she was covering Linda Ronstadt, Janis Joplin or Aerosmith she always delivered with impeccable vocals and a charismatic presence. Her season 10 win also made Christina Aguilera the first and only female coach thus far to win the championship.
3. Jordan Smith (Season 9)
Everyone remembers Smith’s blind audition of “Chandelier,” where he belted out such soaring high notes that the coaches were shocked it wasn’t a woman on stage when they turned their chairs. That blind audition was only the beginning of his dominant string of performances that topped the iTunes sales chart all season. His season 9 win also marked the third win for Coach Adam Levine.
4. Tessanne Chin (Season 5)
A unique combination of reggae, soul and R&B, Chin remains one of the most notable singers from the series. The artist who was born of Jamaican-Chinese descent brought a unique style to the stage and was able to captivate the audience whether she was singing a ballad by Whitney Houston or an empowering reggae classic by Bob Marley. Chin gave Adam Levine his second win as a coach.
5. Javier Colon (Season 1)
“The Voice” has become so ingrained in popular culture these days that it is difficult to believe it was just five years ago that the first champ, Javier Colon, was crowned. Since then the seasons have become longer and more complex, but the vocals and charisma Colon showed in season 1 make him, to this day, one of the best contestants in the history of the series. His unique inflections and ability to be equally effective singing full throttle or in falsetto was impressive to watch. This inaugural season champ was also the first win for Coach Adam Levine.
6. Cassadee Pope (Season 3)
The first female winner of “The Voice”, Pope was also perhaps the most unassuming. She never really felt like a frontrunner to win until later in the season, when something clicked between Pope and the viewers at home. But her growth throughout the series was fascinating to watch and she has since gone on to have one of the most successful post-Voice careers of any contestant. She was the second winning artist for Coach Blake Shelton.
7. Craig Wayne Boyd (Season 7)
Boyd was the ultimate underdog, becoming the first artist to be stolen twice in a single season and then go on to win it all. The charismatic country crooner wasn’t always a hit with the coaches, but viewers at home certainly loved him. Coach Gwen Stefani took credit for his hip new makeover, but it was ultimately Blake Shelton who earned his fourth and final (so far) coaching victory with Boyd.
8. Danielle Bradbery (Season 4)
Bradbery was only 16 years old when she took home the season four trophy. The young country singer wasn’t considered a powerful vocalist, but what she lacked in vocal strength she made up for with a soft, beautiful tone and star power. Her victory marked the third in a row for Coach Blake Shelton at the time.
9. Jermaine Paul (Season 2)
This R&B singer and former backup vocalist for Alicia Keys took an interesting route to the final by pairing up with country coach, Blake Shelton. The two worked well together and Paul delivered some of the strongest ballads we have heard on the series. But although his voice was always tremendous, he lacked the star power I think he would need to be competitive in more recent seasons. In spite of that, he became the first winner for Coach Blake Shelton.
10. Josh Kaufman (Season 6)
Kaufman put together some of the most soulful, impressive vocals in the history of the series but never quite mastered the art of performing. Despite being coached by one of this generations greatest entertainers, Usher, Kaufman always seemed slightly awkward on stage. His win was probably the only in the history of the series to be considered a major upset, when he shocked everyone by defeating the perceived frontrunner, Christina Grimmie.
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