This past week we got our first dose of the battle rounds for season 10 of “The Voice.” If you ask me, Team Pharrell Williams boasts the strongest contenders, headlined by three female singers that I think could each go all the way.
Williams was the winning coach for the eighth season and once again takes on rivals Adam Levine, Christina Aguilera, and Blake Shelton. Take a look below for my quick takes on each of his 12 remaining singers. Agree or disagree with these choices? Let us know by taking our poll at the bottom of this article.
1. Hannah Huston
Huston gave, hands down, my favorite blind audition of the competition. I was shocked then to find her paired against another singer (Maya Smith) that I thought was a strong contender. Huston gave a fantastic performance in the battle — nailing the look, the performance and the vocal. Not only do I think she’s Pharrell’s best, but I also think she’s one of the contenders for the win.
2. Caity Peters
Peters gives me serious Adele vibes. Her deep, soulful rendition of “Jealous” in the blinds resulted in a four-chair turn-around that was more than deserved. She’s cute, she’s talented and she chose the right coach in picking Pharrell. Caity is going to the finals and I can’t wait to watch her journey getting there.
Moushimi completely slayed with her rendition of “Wicked Games” in the blinds. I reacted almost as instantly as Blake who, unable to turn his own chair around, screamed at the other judges to turn. Oddly enough she’s on Pharrell’s team, the coach that waited the longest to turn. She could win.
4. Malik Heard
Heard has a fantastic voice but was wrongly paired against another solid competitor in the battles and lost. Pharrell is probably a better coach than Christina was to help Malik find the right lane to travel He might be a break out contender if he puts together a stellar knockout performance.
5. Joe Vivona
Vivona’s blind audition is a fire that melts you to your core. His voice is simultaneously gritty and smooth even if it is, as Christina said, a bit pitchy. Adam picked up the storytelling aspect of his performance which I think is an important one that will translate into votes through a few rounds of the competition.
6. Emily Keener
With a four-chair turn-around, Emily started the competition on a serious high. I get a Florence Welch feeling from her and I’m into it. She definitely has the vocal nuance to keep it interesting, but I wonder if she can remain consistent enough to make it to the finals.
7. Brian Nhira
With all due respect to Pharrell, his self-penned “Happy” really isn’t the best audition song. I think it’s clear Nhira has a voice good enough to be a contender, but I’m not sure his blind audition proves he can win over the audience with the performance.
8. Shalyah Fearing
After delivering a very strong blind audition, Fearing falls back a few notches due in large part to Christina’s terrible choice in song for a battle round. Luckily Pharrell saves her and hopefully he can set her back on track with a great song in the knockouts.
9. Abby Celso
I think Celso has a lot of potential, but she picked the wrong song in the blinds. Her voice has more power and could be more dynamic than “Should’ve Been Us” allowed her to show. Adam wanted her and thinks she could “win the whole thing,” but Pharrell has her. I’m confident he can steer her toward better song selections going forward.
10. Nick Hagelin
How Hagelin beat Jessica Crosbie (eventually stolen by Adam) in their battle is anyone’s guess. My guess is that Pharrell is betting on Nick’s voter-friendly story of being a father, handsome, white, etc. But he's is the perfect example of what seems wrong with this season so far. Where last year there was clear talent across the board, this year is filled with performers that just look good on paper.
11. Jonathan Hutcherson
Jonathan isn’t bad, but he’s outmatched by a number of other singers with similar styles still competing. He might make it to knockouts, but I don’t see a future far beyond that.
12. Jonathan Bach
All we know of Bach is from his brief appearance in an already brief montage where Pharrell cites his control as the reason he turned around for him. That would seem promising if it wasn’t the commentary at least half of the other singers got, too.
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