‘The Voice’ live playoff: Hunter Plake performs ‘Elastic Heart’ for Team Gwen Stefani [WATCH]

Could Hunter Plake be the Season 12 champion for “The Voice”? He certainly has the smooth voice and great looks that voters often choose. If he wins, Gwen Stefani could become only the second female coach to prevail after Christina Aguilera did the same last spring. Hunter got a high audience vote total on Tuesday’ live playoff and is going to next week’s Top 12 after performing “Elastic Heart” (watch above).

How did we rank all six performers for Team Gwen and which 3 of her singers survived? Here is our analysis of her team on Tuesday. And here is what our writer John Benutty says about Hunter: “It was announced tonight that Hunter became the first “Voice” artist to have two songs chart within the top 30 on iTunes twice before the live shows even started. In that regard, Hunter was entering the live playoffs as a clear frontrunner, not just on Team Gwen but series-wide. Sia is an artist that’s covered often on the show even though she’s also one of the hardest because her voice is so unique. But Hunter truly breathed new life into the song, performing a fragile and understated version that not only pleased his already large fan base but probably won over more listeners, too.”

Photo Gallery: ‘The Voice’ past winners for seasons 1-11

Over the first few weeks of this season, Hunter has taken on the following tunes: Audition – “Carry On”; Battle – “Dancing on My Own”; Knockout – “I Want To Know What Love Is.” Of those three performances, our writer Denton Davidson offered analysis last week: “After quietly earning a spot on Team Alicia Keys, Hunter was mistakenly dropped by Keys in the battle rounds and it may come back to haunt her. Hunter is not a flashy performer but as the viewing audience gets to know him, he is exactly the type of artist who can be the last one standing. There is no contestant this season who sounds more like a current radio artist. And his emotional performance during the knockout rounds proved he can sell on iTunes. At this stage of the competition, Hunter is not only my top pick on Team Gwen, he’s my top pick to win it overall.”

According to his NBC bio: “Hunter was influenced by church and music from a young age by his family. His dad was in the Christian rock band Brother Brother and he’s been leading worship since he was 14. ‘The Voice’ is his first time performing outside of church. Recently married, he records demos with his brother in his home studio. He lost his home, church and car after the Baton Rouge floods and is currently living with his parents in Lafayette, helping repair the church in his spare time.”

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