With the Top 11 artists remaining, is it too early to predict Gwen Stefani will steamroll to her first victory as a coach on “The Voice”? Earlier in the competition Gwen strategically used her steals to secure Hunter Plake, who was originally coached by Alicia Keys, and Brennley Brown, once a member of Team Blake Shelton. Both artists have since gone on to flourish under her guidance are in the lead to win Season 12.
Alicia and Blake shouldn’t be ready to throw in the towel just yet as each have worthy contenders of their own. Alicia’s Chris Blue has a habit of stealing the show each time he takes the stage and could be the one to give the R&B diva her first victory. Meanwhile nobody knows how to play the game better than Blake, who can’t be ruled out to win a sixth title with his country songbird Lauren Duski. Three-time winning coach Adam Levine looks to be struggling the most this season but has plenty of time to turn things around as he chases his fourth title.
Judging each performer’s winning potential after just two live shows may seem premature, but I feel like I’ve forecasted enough of these talent competitions to pick out a winner when I see one. Although eleven contestants remain I will boldly state I only see three potential champs at this stage of the competition. Do you agree with my assessment or am I way off? Sound off in the comments. Here are my power rankings for the top 11 artists leading into next week’s performances:
1. Hunter Plake (Team Gwen)
Although the performances from the Top 12 this week proved this season is anything but a slam dunk for Hunter, I’m unwilling to remove his status as the frontrunner just yet. After making a name for himself with emotional ballads, Hunter proved his versatility by arranging an Electric Dance Music (EDM) version of the Gotye hit “Somebody That I Used to Know.” The slight shift in style stayed true to his artistry and was still a hit with viewers, earning him the third-best iTunes sales of the night. Even more dangerous to his fellow competitors is the velocity at which his confidence is growing as a performer.
2. Brennley Brown (Team Gwen)
No artist is flying up the ranks each week faster than this humble, likable teenager who topped all artists on iTunes this week with her performance of “Long Long Time.” As important as her chart success and progress as a performer have been each week, it is her personal story that has me convinced she can actually pull off a victory. Watching a teenager’s dreams come true on live television – one who literally bursts into tears of joy because she can’t believe her own reality – is hard not to root for. If she continues down the path she is on now she’s heading straight for the finale.
3. Chris Blue (Team Alicia)
Chris continues to be the most exciting performer of the season and there is nobody that can match his energy on stage. I am thrilled that other viewers seem to be as enthusiastic about his performances as I am (he ranked at #4 on iTunes this week among his competitors). His danger lies in song choices by his coach, who needs to understand that if she gives him nothing but R&B music to sing all season he will NOT win. Give him a soulful pop ballad from the likes of Bruno Mars and this guy will top the charts and the competition.
4. Lauren Duski (Team Blake)
Blake has gone into full combat mode for Lauren, claiming there has never been a country artist as exciting as her on “The Voice.” He has already begun herding country music fans like cattle to tell them it is their duty to vote her through. His endorsement works and his brilliant strategy is why he wins more than any other coach. But although Lauren has a gorgeous voice and continues to be an iTunes beast (she ranked #2 this week among all the competitors) I’m no longer convinced she can win. If she can’t command the audience with a stronger stage presence, her chart success and endorsement from Blake will still lead her to the final four, but it won’t lead her to victory.
5. Stephanie Rice (Team Alicia)
Alicia stated there is no other artist “as pure” as Stephanie this season and I agree. She wears her heart on her sleeve and she is slowly but surely gaining traction with viewers. For the past two weeks she has shown solid numbers on iTunes (she was #5 among contestants this week) and she has yet to have a weak performance.
6. Jesse Larson (Team Adam)
A week ago I thought Jesse was a dark horse contender to win it all. His voice pure gold and he is a master on the guitar. That’s why I was surprised to see a mediocre response to his inspired vocal, “Make You Feel My Love,” this week. What I found to be a standout vocal of the night resulted in just a seventh place ranking on iTunes among the contestants. Perhaps viewers haven’t had the “a-ha” moment I was expecting them to just yet.
7. Vanessa Ferguson (Team Alicia)
While Vanessa took leaps forward in my eyes with her recent rendition of “A Song for You,” she still doesn’t give off a frontrunner vibe to me. Even after closing the show with a highly praised performance she was only able to rank fifth among the contestants on iTunes. If she can’t capitalize off a moment like she had on Monday night, it will be an uphill battle for her to get to the end.
8. Aliyah Moulden (Team Blake)
The spit-fire of a teenager is fun to watch but simply lacks the sophistication it takes to win. While I presume she will continue to grow over the next couple of weeks, it is hard to imagine her as a finalist.
9. Lilli Passero (Team Adam)
After a strong start to the season, Lilli just hasn’t made much noise in the past few weeks. Her most recent performance was all over the place – and granted, she was sick, but the show must go on. She does have some sort of fan base though, because after a dismal performance on iTunes this week she still had enough votes to advance to the Top 11.
10. Mark Isaiah (Team Adam)
The reality is that Mark just isn’t the type of artist that wins a competition like this. He is a “whole package” pop artist. No shade, Justin Bieber or Britney Spears could have never won a show like “The Voice” either and that didn’t stop them from having massive careers. Battling it out with big voices is not where Mark is going to shine as an artist.
11. TSoul (Team Blake)
I realize TSoul was voted through this week, unlike Mark, but I still think if these two were to battle it out for an instant save, Mark would be the victor. TSoul’s voice is inconsistent; and as the weeks have gone on, his confidence appears shaken. I predict he will be the next artist to go home.
Gold Derby readers just like YOU often turn out to be our smartest prognosticators, so it’s important that you give us your predictions. That’s what Andy Macca McGaw did for the Top 12 week, and he had a perfect score of 100% and the best point total of 950 among the 11 perfect predictors. McGaw will need to be checked for eligibility to qualify for the prize.
For next week’s Top 11 show, you can now make your picks. Continue to update and change your forecasts throughout the week, just click “Save” when you’ve settled on your choices. You’ll compete to win a $100 Amazon gift card, bragging rights and a place of honor on our leaderboard. Be sure to read our contest rules and sound off on the season of “The Voice” in our reality TV forum.