Heading into the season 12 battle rounds on Monday, Blake Shelton is hoping to find the artist that can lead him to a record-extending sixth championship on “The Voice.” It comes as no surprise that his top contenders this season are all country singers, and although that has worked for him in the past, Team Blake is in serious need of diversity for Season 12. If Shelton isn’t able to shape his team properly, most of his artists could be left competing against each other for the same fan base. That isn’t a terrible scenario in earlier rounds, but should Shelton land three female country singers in the finale this season – which wouldn’t be unthinkable – vote splitting would make it nearly impossible for one of them to win against a male contestant who sings a different genre. Shelton already has the best country singers on “The Voice” this season, so his next strategic move will be stealing the right singers from other teams to make his more diverse.
As Blake faces off against girlfriend Gwen Stefani plus rivals Alicia Keys and Adam Levine, here are my power rankings and analysis for all 12 members of Team Blake below. Take our poll and tell us who you think has the best chance to be the latest winner. Tour our new photo gallery above to see more details about all dozen singers. Click here for our analysis of Team Gwen, Team Adam, and Team Alicia.
1. Valerie Ponzio – “Ring of Fire” (Age 32; El Paso, TX)
This recipient of a four-chair turn has everything it takes to bring Blake his sixth championship. Her ability to blend genres within a country performance along with her unique tone makes her instantly memorable. Not only will she win votes from country music fans — but lovers of jazz, pop and R&B may be inclined to vote for her as well.
2. Casi Joy – “Blue” (Age: 25; Nashville, TN)
The second artist to earn four chair-turns in the blind auditions is a country purist. We have seen a history of Blake doing well with women of country music, and with the right song choices she could go all the way to the end. While her tone isn’t as unique as others on Team Blake, she is vocally spot on and I can’t see Blake letting her go.
3. Lauren Duski – “You Were Meant for Me” (Age: 25; Gaylord, MI)
As Team Blake stands now, I can’t imagine him not moving forward with three female country vocalists. Duski is among the top three in that category and injects a soul in her music that separates her from the rest. After initially earning three chair-turns in the blind audition, should she somehow fail to advance on Team Blake, I’d bet good money she will earn a steal.
4. TSoul – “Take Me to the River” (Age: 29; Richmond, VA)
Blake has proven to reward soulful R&B singers who take a chance on choosing him as their coach. With his gospel roots and eccentric style, TSoul positioned himself perfectly by joining Team Blake. There is nobody else like him and if history is repeated, Blake will carry him all the way to the live playoffs.
5. Aliyah Moulden – “Hound Dog” (Age: 15; La Habra, CA)
Should Blake choose to pass over TSoul, the other soulful R&B-singing option is this teenager. She has a lot of growing to do, but she looks like a star and seems ready to put in the work. My guess is Blake will stick with her, at least through this battle round, and see if she has what it takes to go further.
6. Dawson Coyle – “Happiness” (Age: 17; Williamstown, NJ)
Although Blake was the only person to turn his chair for Coyle, the advantage this teenager has is being only one of two male vocalists on Team Blake. The young heartthrob seems poised to rake in the votes from teenage girls gushing at home, and he has enough charisma to move forward.
7. Ashley Levin – “Let Him Fly” (Age: 23; Miami, FL)
Levin had a solid performance in the blind auditions – earning three chair turns. The handicap working against her is being on a team so packed with other country female vocalists. Her main competition on Team Blake will be Lauren Duski – both vying to be the third best woman on Team Blake. My prediction is that one of them will move forward with Blake, and the other will be stolen. I’m leaning on the latter to be Levin.
8. Josh Hoyer – “Oh Girl” (Age: 40; Lincoln, NE)
Hoyer is one of the older competitors this season, which can often-times make you stand out – if not show off superior showmanship that comes with experience. Although Hoyer has a nice voice, I didn’t see him as a great showman. He simply doesn’t have the star quality to go deep in the competition.
9. Enid Ortiz – “All I Ask” (Age: 25; Tampa, FL)
Ortiz had somewhat of a shaky blind audition, earning only one chair turn – Blake. But what she has going for her is that she is a unique artist on Team Blake. With a more pop-soul sound, if she can improve and show more colors of her voice, Blake might find a reason to keep her around.
10. Micah Tryba – “I’m Every Woman” (Age: 24; Wheaton, IL)
It’s difficult to make a television debut singing a song made famous by vocal titans like Chaka Khan and Whitney Houston. Tryba put forth a decent effort, but she just doesn’t have the chops to be messing with these kinds of songs. I think her days are numbered.
11. Brennley Brown – “Stupid Boy” (Age: 14; Apple Valley, CA)
Brown is a sweet and charming teenager who put for a solid effort in the blind auditions. Had this been a different year, she may have had more of a chance. Unfortunately for her, Team Blake is so over-saturated with female country artists this season that she doesn’t stand a chance.
12. Andrea Thomas – “Baby, Now That I’ve Found You”
Thomas’ performance was skipped over in the blind auditions, and typically that means an artist isn’t that interesting or won’t be advancing too far. To top it off, this is yet another female country artist on a team that simply has way too much of the same thing. I expect her season to end during the Battle Round.