When the battle rounds of “The Voice” Season 12 kicks off on Monday, March 20, Alicia Keys will have to prove that the patience and pickiness she displayed in assembling her team was well worth it. In the seven episodes of blind auditions, Alicia turned her chair the fewest amount of times of any of the four coaches, admittedly passing on some artists she really liked because they didn’t fit the idea of the type of artists she wanted to work with this season. By the time it came for Alicia to fill her last remaining spot she was determined to wait for a male artist with a bluesy and soulful voice. If you’re looking for a common thread among the Team Alicia artists it’s found in the intimacy of their performances and the rich soul and throwback stylings of their music.
Here are my power rankings of the artists on Team Alicia after their blind audition performances. Do you think the next winner of “The Voice” will come from Team Alicia. If so, take our poll and tell us who you think has the best chance. Tour our new photo gallery above to see more details about all dozen singers. Click here for our analysis of Team Gwen Stefani, Team Adam Levine, and Team Blake Shelton.
1. Chris Blue – “The Tracks of My Tears” (Age 26; Knoxville, TN)
Chris became the final artist to join Team Alicia, and if you ask me that just means she saved the best for last. Alicia was waiting for a bluesy, soul voice to come along and Chris filled that exact void. Based on his one performance I think we’re in store for a season of intimate, deeply felt personal songs and if he connects with the audience like he connected with Alicia, then he could be unstoppable.
2. Lilli Passero – “A Love of My Own” (Age 26; Los Angeles, CA)
Lilli bridges the old and the new styles of music together in the same way that Amy Winehouse did, with quite possibly just as much vocal talent, too. I think Lilli is going to grow each week and impress us with every new performance. Alicia seemed thrilled to get her on her team so I can’t wait to see what they achieve together.
3. Jack Cassidy – “One of Us” (Age 18; Westlake Village, CA)
Jack brought out the keyboard and showed that he’s a true performer. With Alicia as his coach I think we’ll get a chance to see some really spectacular song arrangements because he’s working right within her own wheelhouse. I feel like Jack is going to have a breakthrough performance at some point in the competition and possibly make the finals because of it.
4. Vanessa Ferguson – “Don’t Let Me Down” (Age 31; Greensboro, NC)
Because of her classical training, Vanessa is an artist that Alicia will have a lot of freedom working with and I think they have an opportunity to arrange some unique performances. I expect big risks from this pairing and stellar execution because Vanessa has all the goods to be a force in the competition.
5. Quizz Swanigan – “Who’s Lovin’ You” (Age 13; North Little Rock, AR)
The Jackson 5-era Michael Jackson comparison is clear, but Quizz has a deep, textured voice with a lot of potential. I think he’s one to watch because he still has room to grow and excite, but he’s also a sweet youngster that the audience will enjoy rooting for. He was an early frontrunner of mine and while my feelings about that have tempered a bit since seeing other artists emerge, I still think he could pull this off.
6. Autumn Turner – “Last Dance” (Age 25; Montclair, NJ)
Autumn is the four-chair turn that I’m most excited about so far because I think she surprised the judges with how modern she made a disco track sound. I think she took a difficult song and made it her own, proving that she can be versatile and is willing to take risks.
7. Anatalia Villaranda – “Runaway Baby” (Age 16; Temecula, CA)
At one point it looked like Anatalia might finish her blind without a single judge turning their chair, but a nice run at the end quickly changed her performance into a four-chair turn. She’s one of the feistier contestants this season and that means we’re gonna see some fun performances out of her.
8. Missy Robertson – “Scars to Your Beautiful” (Age 34; Sacramento, CA)
With last second turns from both Alicia and Blake, Missy barely made it through. There’s such power in her voice and she hit notes across a wide range so we know she’s more than capable. Going forward she’ll need to find the right song that caters to her strengths and establishes who she wants to be as an artist.
9. Hunter Plake – “Carry One” (Age 20; Baton Rouge, LA)
Hunter chose a song with such a specific vocal style that it’s hard to imagine what he can accomplish with a less stylized track. He definitely has the goods to be successful on the show, and I think he’ll be a fun one to watch evolve especially if he changes it up week to week.
10. Lauryn Judd – “Girls Just Want to Have Fun” (Age 16; Washington, D.C.)
I love what Lauryn did with this track because it isn’t easy to provide a fresh sound to such a well-known song. What Lauryn lacks as a performer I think she can make up for if she continues to surprise with dynamic interpretations of her songs.
11. Felicia Temple – “All I Could Do Was Cry” (Age 28; Teaneck, NJ)
Felicia’s performance in the blinds was so traditional that it’s hard to tell what other styles, if any, she has in store for us. I hope she can come back with something more contemporary that establishes what she wants her own journey to be because as it is I think she skews too old-fashioned.
12. RJ Collins – “Purpose” (Age 18; Chicago, IL)
Though it put his voice in the forefront, RJ picked a difficult song to pull off. I wasn’t that impressed by his performance because the song never took off and was far from exciting, but I think he could be great with the right track.