At the close of the battle rounds on Season 12 of “The Voice,” Blake Shelton’s team is still dominated by female artists with only one of the eight being a male vocalist. As a five-time coaching champion, Blake has already won twice with female singers. Do you think he can lead one of his seven women to the finals again? Which one is out front for the championship victory? Below are my power rankings of the eight remaining singers on his team before next week’s knockouts.
1. Lauren Duski (Audition – “You Were Meant for Me”; Battle – “Better Man”)
In one of the closest battles this season, Lauren not only outperformed a stellar competitor, but also managed to improve upon what was already a stand-out first round audition. Lauren’s strengths are how easily she fits the mold of a country star—great style, a fully-realized rich voice, and the ability to dip into other genres without compromising her voice.
2. Caroline Sky (Audition – “Will You Love Me Tomorrow”; Battle – “The First Cut Is the Deepest”)
Blake stole Caroline when Gwen Stefani passed her up after the battle and in doing so added to his team some tenderness that he lacked without her. Caroline’s blind audition was a quiet debut that I really appreciated, but in the battle she really broke through and showed that she can go big with her voice on tracks with booming choruses. I think Caroline with Blake is a good pairing and I’m eager to see how far they can take it.
3. Aliyah Moulden (Audition – “Hound Dog”; Battle – “Walking on Sunshine”)
I think Aliyah has been at a bit of a disadvantage through both rounds because of poor song choice, but what she manages to accomplish with such cheesy songs makes her vocal ability that much more impressive. She brings a ton of energy, confidence and a really cool textured growl to the stage, but the utter joy that she exuded in her battle round is the factor that will win audiences over.
4. TSoul (Audition – “Take Me to the River”; Battle – “In the Midnight Hour”)
As the only male vocalist on Team Blake, I’m almost certain that Blake will keep him around through the knockouts just to maintain some gender diversity among his artists. That being said, TSoul deserves to advance on the strength of his performances so far. He performs really well within the soul genre, but I’m eager to see him explore something a little further outside of his comfort zone to see if his confidence holds up.
5. Felicia Temple (Audition – “All I Could Do Was Cry”; Battle – “Titanium”)
Felicia is one of two new members to Team Blake, stolen from Team Alicia Keys after she lost her battle, and I couldn’t be happier that she’s here to help break up Blake’s solidly country lineup. The classic soul of her blind audition and the bold pop of her battle combine to describe Felicia as an artist with range, power and a willingness to take risks.
6. Casi Joy (Audition – “Blue”; Battle – “How Blue”)
Both of Casi’s performances so far this season have been strictly traditional country and while she clearly excels within that genre, the scope feels too limited for this show. It’s true that country artist do really well on the show, especially when on Blake’s team, but I think to differentiate herself from the many young female country artists from past seasons, Casi will need to step outside her comfort zone and give the audience something unexpected.
7. Enid Ortiz (Audition – “All I Ask”; Battle – “Love Triangle”)
Enid has the biggest voice on Team Blake and probably the only one among them that could successfully sing an Adele song in the blind auditions. On that performance, Blake was the only one to turn around, sneaking in at the very last moment of the song. In the battles she bested her opponent by a large margin, commanding the stage and conquering another big ballad, but the show has invested little time in her as a personality so I don’t have much faith in her longevity in the competition.
8. Andrea Thomas (Audition – “Baby Now That I’ve Found You”; Battle – “What Hurts the Most”)
There’s nothing from either of her performances so far that suggests Andrea is on a path to winning. While she’s obviously got a great voice, there’s nothing remarkable about it and her presence on stage is less commanding than almost everyone else in the competition. I’m not convinced that there’s anything Andrea can do in the next stage of the competition to knockout her peers for a spot in the live shows.