‘The Voice’ Top 8 power rankings: Hunter Plake, Lauren Duski out front to win Season 12 championship

With just eight artists remaining, the semi-finals are set for May 15 on the NBC reality singing competition “The Voice.” The contestants will perform next week before half are brutally sent home leading into the four-person finale which will determine the Season 12 winner. Coaches Adam Levine, Gwen Stefani, Alicia Keys and Blake Shelton each have a fighting chance to claim victory, but who will come out on top? Below are my Top 8 power rankings and who I believe has the best chance to reach the finale on May 22. Do you agree with my rankings, or am I way off? Sound off in the comments.

1. Hunter Plake (Team Gwen)
Hunter took back the iTunes throne this week peaking at #9 to earn bonus points and top all other artists. As the most consistent performer this season, he took an early advantage racking up those iTunes sales that will pay off at the finale when they take into consideration sales from the entire season. He also continues to produce the most current, relevant product both on stage and on record. While the threat of a country artist stealing this from a frontrunner is always present, I believe Hunter still has the best shot to win.

2. Lauren Duski (Team Blake)
Lauren has consistently charted on iTunes and has earned bonus points for cracking the top 10 in recent weeks. She also sounds great on record which speaks to her ability to transcend this opportunity into a successful career. What Lauren lacks is stage presence and although she always sounds great, she isn’t exciting or even all that interesting to watch. I have no doubt she will be in the finale, but I do have reservations about her winning.

3. Brennley Brown (Team Gwen)
This teenage country star has continued to grow on viewers each week and has also enjoyed consistently high iTunes numbers all season long. Her bubbly personality is also endearing to voters who not only vote based on performances, but who is simply the most likable at times. To date, she has been slightly overshadowed by Lauren and I think they could both be each other’s undoing. Should both make the finale, as I expect they will, they could split votes and make it very difficult for either of them to come out on top.

4. Chris Blue (Team Alicia)
Chris’ odds of winning have fallen drastically and at this point I’m concerned he will not even have the chance to compete at the finale. There is nobody more exciting to watch on stage, as he proved with his recent performance of “24k Magic.” But I believe the top three have pulled away from him, meaning he could be left to compete for the instant save to advance. Should that be the case, it will likely be Jesse in his crosshairs. I’m hopeful but not confident Chris will survive the four-artist slashing that is about to take place. He has absolutely no room for error and his song choices must be spot on if he hopes to advance.

5. Jesse Larson (Team Adam)
Jesse has been a dark horse all season and I think he could make good on his name by sneaking into the finale next week. I haven’t been sold on all of his performances, but viewers have and he has been charting well on iTunes since the live shows began. Adam does a great job selling him, even though I disagree with many of his arguments. He repeatedly draws comparisons to Season 11 winner Sundance Head, who I found more charismatic. Adam also continuously says Jesse is the best singer in the competition, which I find arguable. All that being said, Jesse has had great results in recent weeks and my gut tells me that the instant save to make the finale will come down to Jesse and Chris, and that result could go either way.

6. Aliyah Moulden (Team Blake)
Aliyah broke viewers’ hearts when she burst into tears during her performance of “Jealous,” which was dedicated to her late father. She’s always been likable but I believe that song choice really cemented her as a Top 8 contender. But realistically that is as far as she can go. She has no track record to indicate she will leapfrog into the top four after consistently performing in the middle of the pack. My prediction is she will find herself instantly eliminated next week.

7. TSoul (Team Blake)
TSoul is a dynamic performer, but for some reason he seems to have wavered in recent weeks. Perhaps the competition has hurt his self-confidence but he has had a difficult time bringing in the audience in the way a showman like himself should. For most of the competition TSoul has appeared to be on the brink of elimination and I think we will finally see the last of him next week.

8. Vanessa Ferguson (Team Alicia)
This soulful songstress barely made it into the Top 8, but did so in impressive fashion defeating Mark Isaiah and Lilli Passero, both from Team Adam, for the instant save (read our Tuesday recap here). Her performances to date have seemed a bit hit-or-miss with viewers, but she clearly has poise and a unique voice this season. It has been proven this week that she has the least momentum going into the semi-finals and it will be next to impossible for her to turn that into a top-four finish.

Make your ‘The Voice’ winner and loser predictions now!

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 Brulash82 did for the Top 10 results episode, coming out on top with 100% correct predictions this week and the best point score of 76,000. You can continue to update and change your forecasts throughout this week for the upcoming Top 8 show. 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.

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