With the knockout rounds set to air this upcoming week on NBC’s “The Voice,” coach Alicia Keys has assembled a diverse team that could lead her to the winner’s circle for the first time. Throughout the blind auditions, Alicia stopped at nothing to lock in the singers she wanted on her team — even if it meant writing a song and serenading them right on the spot (as was the case with Lilli Passero). During the battles she gave sound advice, narrowing her team down to some of the most talented in the competition. Alicia’s eight remaining contestants will now compete to win four spots in the live playoffs. She will also have one steal to use on any eliminated singer from another team throughout the knockouts. In total there will be five contestants that will move forward, so which team member has the best chance to win Season 12?
My power rankings for all eight members of Team Alicia are below:
1. Chris Blue (Audition – “Tracks of My Tears”; Battle – “Adorn”)
Chris brings such a unique set of skills to the stage each time he performs; it would be an absolute injustice for him to make an early exit. He makes interesting choices with his vocals and has been the most impressive member of Team Alicia all season. Never lacking in emotion and possessing a limitless range, Chris is a force on stage. Blake declared early on that “he will be in the finale.” I agree.
2. Jack Cassidy (Audition – “One of Us”; Battle – “Dancing on My Own”)
Hailing from a family of entertainers who starred in “The Partridge Family” (Oscar champ Shirley Jones is his grandmother), Jack is stepping out on his own to achieve his own dreams as musician. There is a likability factor within him that is impossible to ignore — and he has all the qualities that viewers get behind every season. As a balladeer who can play multiple instruments, there is much more to see from Jack.
3. Lilli Passero (Audition – “A Love of My Own”; Battle – “Every Little Bit Hurts”)
Lilli has a quiet, but strong presence when she performs that draws in the viewer and will make her an under-the-radar threat to win it all. If Alicia was on the fence about whether to keep her, Adam let her know “she can win this!” She is a likable pop singer who performs with emotional conviction, and I expect her to go deep in this competition.
4. Anatalia Villaranda (Audition – “Runaway Baby”; Battle – “Tightrope”)
This pint-sized teenager is an absolute firecracker on stage. With each performance the energy pours out of her and we have yet to see her tackle a ballad, which I have no doubt she can nail. She has a feisty attitude on stage that is fun to watch and she seems determined to win. There will be no slacking from Anatalia and that will take her far.
5. Ashley Levin (Audition – “Let Him Fly”; Battle – “How Blue”)
As an original member of Team Blake, Alicia stole Ashley after she lost a close battle to Casi Joy. It works to her benefit to be the only country singer on Team Alicia, but it doesn’t automatically mean she will advance. Although she is a good vocalist, Team Alicia is stacked with dynamic performers and she may just barely miss the cut.
6. Vanessa Ferguson (Audition – “Don’t Let Me Down”; Battle – “Killing Me Softly With His Song”)
Vanessa has a unique style and a likable personality, but simply lacks star power. And although she has a good voice, she has yet to have a “wow” moment and hasn’t displayed much range. Unless she shows a new side to herself and pulls off something great in the knockouts, I think she will struggle to advance.
7. Quizz Swanigan (Audition – “Who’s Lovin’ You”; Battle – “Titanium”)
There’s no doubt that at just 13 years old, Quizz gave one of the most memorable blind auditions of the season. But with a voice that is going through changes, he lacks a tone that is pleasing to the ear. He has no issues delivering emotion, but outside of the “aww, he’s adorable” factor, he’s not ready for the big stage.
8. Dawson Coyle (Audition – “Happiness”; Battle – “Walking on Sunshine”)
Dawson is the second Team Blake artist that Alicia stole this season, but I think in this case she simply got caught up in the moment. He lost a theatrical battle to Aliyah Moulden that had the coaches smiling, and in my opinion Alicia made a poor choice using a steal on him. He’s a decent performer, but better singers have been sent home this season. Perhaps he can prove me wrong in the knockouts, but I have a hunch he won’t be around much longer.