One twist on last season of “The Voice” was the debut of a “comeback” artist. Each coach was allowed to bring back one contender from earlier in the season to join their team. That gave four artists second chances to possibly win the championship. Hey, coaches Adam Levine, Blake Shelton, Alicia Keys, and Miley Cyrus! If you have a “comeback” artist for Season 11, please consider inviting one of these eliminated favorites from earlier this year.
1. Michael Sanchez – Team Alicia
After earning only one chair turn from his coach, Sanchez went on to exceed expectations making it all the way to the knockouts where he lost to Sa’Rayah. If invited back into the competition, I wouldn’t be surprised to see this entertaining soul singer surpass artists who are now in the Top 12.
2. Ethan Tucker – Team Blake
Tucker initially earned chair turns from both Blake and Adam before ultimately choosing Blake as a coach. And although his blind audition wasn’t terribly memorable, the battle performance he lost to Courtney Harrell left me wanting to hear much more from the singer.
3. Whitney & Shannon – Team Alicia
The season’s only duo gave a blind audition worthy of a four-chair turn. But after that memorable introduction, they never quite found the right song for their unique style. They lost in the knockouts to Kylie Rothfield, but I think they would be audience favorites if they return.
4. Nolan Neal – Team Adam
Neal was this season’s comeback story – earning four chair turns in his blind audition after failing to turn one in Season 10. It looked early on like he was a favorite to win it all, but with each performance he just seemed less exciting until he ultimately lost in the knockouts to Brendan Fletcher. Could he come back one more time to defy the odds?
5. Lauren Diaz – Team Miley
Diaz showed promise with her blind audition of coach Alicia’ “If I Ain’t Got You”, earning chair turns from everyone but Blake. But after losing an impossible battle to We’ McDonald and a knockout to Ali Caldwell, her time was cut short. I can’t help but think this beautiful songstress could better connect to the audience if she was given a chance to perform on stage without direct competition from the most powerful vocalists of the season.
6. Dan Shafer – Team Blake
At age 56, Shafer faced an immediate disadvantage as the oldest contestant of the season. But older singers bring value to the series by showing it is never too late to give up on your dreams. He lost a difficult battle to one of the season frontrunners on team Blake, Sundance Head, but I wish we could have seen more of what he had to offer as a performer.
7. Bindi Liebowitz – Team Blake
The star power of Liebowitz was promising, as was her voice that at one point drew comparisons to pop icon Rihanna. But the young singer never seemed to reach her full potential, and went out in the knockouts to a more seasoned Courtney Harrell. With the right song choices she may have lasted longer.
8. Andrew DeMuro –Team Adam
DeMuro is a likeable pop singer with a slight rasp in his voice and impressive range. Although he only earned chair turns from Adam and Blake, he successfully tackled a difficult Billy Joel song in his blind audition and definitely made viewers take notice. But after losing a terrible battle to Billy Gilman, that frankly didn’t make either one of them look good, he wasn’t able to pick up a steal.
9. Blaine Long – Team Blake
Blaine’s rich, gravelly tone impressed all of the coachess during his blind audition and was one of the most unique of the season. But he just didn’t have the stage presence to match and ended up losing in the battles to a more charismatic Josh Gallagher. But in a series called “The Voice,” his was one of the most impressive this season.
10. Johnny Rez – Team Adam
Although he didn’t make the biggest impression this season, something about this young man was intriguing and I don’t think we saw the best of him. He had a pure pop/rock voice but perhaps it wasn’t unique enough to be memorable. He went out by losing a battle to Nolan Neal, which some viewers argued he should have won.
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