Jennifer Hudson is no stranger to coming out victorious when attempting things for the first time. She won an Oscar for her first film role in “Dreamgirls.” She won a Grammy for her self-titled debut album. Recently, she won the UK version of “The Voice” as a rookie coach. For those reasons, Blake Shelton, Miley Cyrus and Adam Levine should all be concerned that Team J-Hud could reign supreme on Season 13, the singer’s first as a coach in the USA.
While recruiting her team, Jennifer was far from picky, turning her chair for more artists than any of her rival coaches. But while she may have been aiming for diversity, she was left with what many may have expected her to get: a team full of knock-down, drag-out, powerhouses that know how to take a song to church. But do any of them have what it takes to win? Let’s take a look at my current power rankings for all 12 members of Team J-Hud.
1. Lucas Holiday – “This Woman’s Work” (Age: 26; Lansing, MI)
The “singing cashier” didn’t have a flawless blind audition, but it was pretty darn close. What makes him Team Jennifer’s top contender at this point is the fact that he represents everything this show is about. He looks nothing like he sounds and viewers are going to respond to that. He’s a likable character with a great voice. Plus, R&B superstar Maxwell can’t stop singing his praises on social media.
2. Shi’Ann Jones – “Drown in My Own Tears” (Age: 15; Bowling Green, KY)
Although Shi’Ann only got two chairs to turn around during her blind audition, she showed incredible poise and power for being so young. You could see the excitement level of the coaches rise when they found out she is only 15 years old. It seems like each season there is one teenager who makes an unexpected run toward the finale and I believe Jennifer will do whatever she can to keep Shi’Ann around.
3. Chris Weaver – “Try a Little Tenderness” (Age: 29; Long Island, NY)
The preacher by day, drag queen by night was the first to walk out on the blind auditions stage this season. He got all four coaches on their feet with his soul-stirring vocals. While I think he will give multiple performances worthy of a standing-o this season, I’m not convinced enough viewers will embrace his eccentric personality to bring him to the winner’s circle.
4. Ignatious Carmouche – “Latch” (Age: 23; Opelousas, LA)
As the Season 12 Snapchat winner, Ignatious received a free pass to compete in the blind auditions this season. I love the tone of his voice and he commits to notes without over-running them. He has one of the more powerful falsettos we’ve seen on this series and his good looks won’t hurt his chances. I don’t think he showed his full chops in his audition and he could be a dark horse moving forward.
5. Davon Fleming – “Me & Mr. Jones” (Age: 25; Baltimore, MD)
Davon is another powerhouse singer that every coach wanted on their team. He has a big personality and an even bigger voice. But his biggest hurdle is that, in terms of the space he fills on this season, he is basically interchangeable with his teammate, Chris Weaver. They have the same strengths and weaknesses, but I give Chris the edge in terms of “star quality.” Davon won’t be going anywhere anytime soon either, but Jennifer would be unwise to keep both of them.
6. Meagan McNeal – “Can’t Feel My Face” (Age: 31; Chicago, IL)
This Chicago native is able to stretch her voice just like her coach. The potential she has to deliver one of those knockout performances that brings crowds to their feet is endless. But, she will need help connecting to a broader audience. My biggest issue with Meagan is that, at age 31, she should know how to pick the right song for her voice and I don’t think she did that. But with the help of the coaches, I do think she will advance further than some may have initially thought.
7. Jeremiah Miller – “Slow Hands” (Age: 18; Fort Worth, TX)
This young former boy band singer could be that artist who attracts legions of young fans to rally behind him on twitter. Making it to the live rounds will be his biggest hurdle to overcome. I’m curious to see how his pairing with Jennifer progresses because they are certainly an odd combination. At this point, he hasn’t shown much as an artist, but he’s the type of singer who could mature with the right coaching.
8. Kathrina Feigh – “Big White Room” (Age: 24; Manila, Philippines)
Kathrina is a diamond in the rough. She’s a beautiful girl who potentially has a great voice. I’m just not convinced she knows how to use it to its full potential. She also seemed a bit uncomfortable on stage. I think things could get tough for her moving forward.
9. Maharasyi Hansa – “Tell Me Something Good” (Age: 27; Los Angeles, CA)
Maharasyi lacks confidence and struggles to hit the high notes she reaches for. Those aren’t the flaws you want to have to overcome on a team filled with dynamic, big-belting performers.
10. Stephan Marcellus – “Take Me to Church” (Age: 26; Englewood, NJ)
Stephan totally botched the beginning of his blind audition by forgetting the lyrics. He then barely made up for it by hitting a few good notes. Jennifer totally threw him a bone out of sympathy by choosing him and I’m not convinced has what it takes to advance past the battle rounds.
11. Alexandra Joyce – “Wildest Dreams” (Age: 16; Strongsville, OH)This young country artist was a surprise grab for Team Jennifer, but I don’t see it going far. Her blind audition was not aired in full, which puts her at an immediate disadvantage. Beyond that, Jennifer already has a teenager in Shi’Ann to mentor who seems to be further along in her musical development.
12. Eric Lyn – “O-o-h Child” (Age: 26; Los Angeles, CA)
Eric’s audition was also cut short by the producers when it aired on NBC. From what we heard, he is a solid R&B singer, but Team Jennifer is stacked with similar artists. He will simply be overpowered by his teammates moving forward.
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