Will Maroon 5 frontman Adam Levine coach the top artist for “The Voice” for a second straight year? Can he hold off Christina Aguilera, Pharrell Williams, and especially arch rival Blake Shelton to reign again? Another victory would be a fourth for Levine and would tie him for the record with country star Shelton.
With the battle rounds now underway for the NBC reality program, which coach will prevail for this 10th season?
Here are my rankings for the 11 remaining artists of Team Adam with a look at who has the best shot of going all the way. Agree or disagree with these choices? Let us know by taking our poll at the bottom of this article.
1. Jessica Crosbie
Crosbie’s battle with Nick Hagelin was a tough one to call, and I think Pharrell made the wrong choice. Adam gets the steal of the day in her, a selection justified by a powerful performance that showcased her consistency. Adam thinks it’s an important aspect of going far on the show.
2. Laith Al-Saadi
Al-Saadi has the kind of unexpected quality that I think helped propel Jordan Smith to the win last season. His voice and appearance don’t necessarily match up, which draws the audience immediately in. He’s the type of singer that Blake could easily lead to a win, so let’s see if Adam can do it as well.
3. Owen Danoff
Danoff might easily fall into the trap of being just another white guy with a guitar, a schtick far too common at this point. But his voice is crisp and lovely. I think song choice and performance quality are make-it-or-break-it decisions for him going forward. I agree with Adam on the appeal of the sensitivity in his delivery.
4. Mike Schiavo
Schiavo has the kind of soft rock voice that will make women swoon. That is talent competition gold, and there’s enough edge to his voice to keep things interesting. I think he’s a competitive dark horse.
5. Ryan Quinn
During his Battle Round rehearsals, Adam referred to Quinn as the frontrunner on his team. Though he seemed to struggle in preparation for this performance, Adam stuck with him and (a surprise to me) chose him over Katie Basden (who Blake smartly stole). As advisor, Tori Kelly didn’t seem that taken with Ryan either so there’s a big question mark here for me.
6. Matt Tedder
Matt’s blind audition was really fun! His retro rocks makes you do a double take and his song choice is inspired enough to make you seek out the original. I’m not entirely sold on the versatility he can provide, but I think he could be exciting enough to vote for. He’s an interesting wild card.
7. Lily Green
I’m kind of disappointed we didn’t get to see the full performance of Green’s “Songbird” in the blind auditions. But from what we did hear I think Adam’s note of the “angelic” quality to her voice is on point. I would love to see her prove the producers wrong by blowing us out of the water in her battle round.
8. Nate Butler
Personally I’m surprised Nate won his battle, and I think it’s due in large part to something that both Adam and Blake pointed out: he simply has a similar singing style to Adam. Song choice will play an important role for Nate going forward because I think he’ll prove to have a difficult time connecting with voters.
9. Caroline Burns
Burns returns from last season, and though I don’t remember her, I can imagine why she didn’t make it through once. I don’t think her audition of “So Far Away” was worthy of a place in this year’s competition either. I can’t tell if it’s a lack of confidence or an unsettled quality in her voice, but something isn’t clicking for me.
10. Katherine Ho
If Adam says her voice is “ethereal” then we’re going to have to trust him because we didn’t see much of Katherine’s blind audition. The fact that she sang Taylor Swift is probably a good sign because contemporary hits will usually be an easy way to connect with the television audience.
11. John Gilman
Opening your talent show career with an Elvis Presley song paints you into a corner. I’m not sure John has the versatility to crawl out of it. The sound isn’t conducive to this kind of competition where viewers want an element of surprise with each performance.
Photo Credit: NBC