Which surprise result shocked you the most on Wednesday's first live results show of this 10th season of "The Voice"? The NBC reality program eliminated 12 of the 24 remaining contenders — a record amount of executions on one night for them. That now leaves a Top 12 to perform next Monday with only one artist going home on Tuesday, April 19.
As for this week, possibly the biggest shock of the evening was Blake Shelton saving Paxton Ingram from elimination. Ingram failed to make a mark on the iTunes sales chart, while all five other Team Blake artists managed to at least crack the top 150. His three sent packing were Katie Basden, Joe Maye, and Justin Whisnant.
The team for Christina Aguilera was so packed with talent this season that we witnessed the early demise of three strong singers in Tamar Davis, Kata Hay, and Ryan Quinn. I’m not sure I’ve ever seen three artists of that caliber eliminated from one team at this stage of the competition.
Over on Team Pharrell Williams, early frontrunner Caity Peters was unable to make the cut, most likely due to a poor song choice on Tuesday night. In fact, Pharrell’s entire team had questionable song choices and, as a whole, were the worst-performing team on iTunes. The other two now done are Lacy Mandigo and Moushumi.
Adam Levine's, which hasn’t looked strong this season, had a breakout moment for the youngest singer left in the competition, Shalyah Fearing. The young singer gave Levine a much needed boost as he looks for his fourth title as a coach. The three sent home were Caroline Burns, Nate Butler, and Brian Nhira.
As I tried to come up with power rankings for the Top 12, I was left completely confused. The artists vary from seasoned stage performers to young talents who improve with each performance. As of now, I only have two strong conclusions: the best and the worst of this final dozen. Do you agree or disagree? Take our poll at the bottom of this article and tell us who you think is best this season.
1. Alisan Porter (Team Christina)
There just couldn’t be a more obvious frontrunner at this point of the competition. Porter absolutely slays any song they throw at her. Whether it’s a ballad or up-tempo song and regardless of genre, she’s equally captivating. Her range allows her to hit those big notes viewers love, and to top it off she outperformed everyone on iTunes two weeks in a row.
2. Adam Wakefield (Team Blake)
I wasn’t completely impressed with Wakefield’s first live performance, but I still think he has potential to rake in a ton of votes. He was the top-performing artist on Team Blake, and I fully expect a breakout moment in his future. Like other country singers for Shelton, he seems to have everything it takes to be a finalist.
3. Mary Sarah (Team Blake)
After a terrible song choice in the first live episode of the season, Sarah was still voted through by viewers to advance. Despite poor iTunes sales, this proves she has a large audience voting for her and if that is combined with the better sales she is capable of, she has a good chance of reaching the finals.
4. Hannah Huston (Team Pharrell)
For her first live performance, Huston came out swinging with an Aretha Franklin classic. Although she has some strong pipes, this was a terrible direction for her. Despite that, she was still voted through by viewers. With better song choices she really has an ability to nail her vocals, and her likable personality will help propel her forward.
5. Nick Hagelin (Team Christina)
As Christina’s comeback artist, Hagelin took full advantage of the opportunity, soaring through on viewer votes and a solid showing on iTunes. The heartthrob factor is in full effect here, and although he is not one of the season’s top vocalists, he has star power.
6. Owen Danoff (Team Adam)
Danoff had to be saved by Adam to advance to the top 12, but I think he will soar from this point forward. It is rare on this show to have only one male singer/songwriter type. With that lane solely to himself and his ability to connect to a song, I think Danoff will have a large audience voting for him.
7. Shalyah Fearing (Team Adam)
Fearing has had two standout performances in a row, so I could be seriously underestimating this young singer. I’m skeptical of how she will do from here, only because I’m not sure of her versatility. She’s definitely one to watch, but I’m not prepared to call her a frontrunner….yet.
8. Bryan Bautista (Team Christina)
Bautista exudes serious star power on stage and is definitely another heart throb on Team Christina. His voice continues to surprise me and as one of my favorites of the competition, it’s hard for me to rank him this low. It’s too early to call where he will end up, but I could see him leaving mid-season or going all the way to the finale. My biggest concern for him is simply that an African-American male has not won this show since season 2.
9. Emily Keener (Team Pharrell)
Keener’s 1970’s singer/songwriter vibe is reminiscent of the legendary Carole King. It will be interesting to see how the viewers respond moving forward. After a near perfect delivery on Tuesday, Pharrell had to save Keener from elimination. It’s possible she just isn’t “showy” enough to stand out this season.
10. Daniel Passino (Team Pharrell)
I was disappointed to see Passino eliminated after the knock-out rounds and was happy Pharrell invited him back. Although he was the top Pharrell artist on iTunes, his real competition is likely to come from both Hagelin and Bautista on Team Christina. Both outperformed him on the charts and when all the teams have to compete for votes, I see those two hurting his chances moving forward.
11. Laith Al-Saadi (Team Adam)
This is a tough call and moving forward Al-Saadi could easily move up the ranks. At this point I see him competing with the younger, more marketable Wakefield who has a similar vibe and a better voice. Many people will think this ranking is way too low, but I am skeptical he will go much deeper this season.
12. Paxton Ingram (Team Blake)
As the only artist remaining who was not able to break into the top 150 on the iTunes sales chart, Ingram is the most likely to go first. He was saved by Blake over artists who had bigger audience responses, but Shelton proved loyal sticking with his original team member over stolen artists Basden and Maye.
Photo Credit: NBC