Heading into “The Voice” knockout rounds starting on Monday, Adam Levine has put together a somewhat safe, predictable team compared to what we’ve seen in the past from the three-time winning coach. In previous seasons Levine’s charming personality was able to convince contestants of all genres to choose him over other coaches. But rookie coaches Alicia Keys and Miley Cyrus along with his longtime nemesis Blake Shelton, proved early on they wouldn’t make it easy for Levine to win his fourth championship this season.
Will he still be able to defeat his rival coaches on this 11th season of the NBC’s Emmy-winning reality program? Here is a look at my power rankings and analysis for his eight remaining team members with Brendan Fletcher in first place.
1. Brendan Fletcher
Blind Audition: “Jolene”
Battle Round: “Home” / Defeated Bindi Liebowitz
Fletcher is a completely awkward performer who shows very little emotion on stage. At times he even looks like he’s been forced to perform against his will. So why is he currently my favorite artist on Team Adam? Regardless of his inadequate stage presence, his voice and demeanor make me want to hear more from him. I also think with the right songs he will score major votes with iTunes sales. If Adam can coach this likable amateur into a confident pro, Fletcher is this team’s biggest threat to win it all.
2. Nolan Neal
Blind Audition: “Tiny Dancer”
Battle Round: “Sledgehammer” / Defeated Johnny Rez
Holding on with one of the most memorable blind auditions of the season, Neal is still a possible frontrunner. That being said, I was not impressed with his battle round. In fact, I probably would have chosen his competitor to move forward if I were coaching. But despite my feelings that his stock is on the decline, I still think Neal is a safe bet for Adam moving forward.
3. Jason Warrior
Blind Audition: “Living For the City”
Battle Round: “Hello”/Lost to Christian Cuevas (then stolen by Adam)
There is a severe lack of diversity on Team Adam this year, and I’m hoping that helps Warrior turn from underdog to frontrunner going into the live shows. Thus far I think I’ve been more impressed with Warrior than the coaches — but I have faith that they, along with viewers at home, will catch on. After his soulful blind audition earned a measly two-chair turn from Alicia and Adam, he then lost a battle I felt he deserved to win. Thankfully Adam saved him and I think he could surprise everyone moving forward.
4. Billy Gilman
Blind Audition: “When We Were Young”
Battle Round: “Man in the Mirror” / Defeated Andrew DeMuro
Gilman showed signs of what made him a child star when he earned a four-chair turn during his blind audition, but since then he has struggled. Although he was able to squeeze out a win in the battle round, his performance was far from mind-blowing. Also, a short preview of his upcoming knockout performance of “Fight Song” also proved cringe-worthy, but perhaps the full performance will be more appealing. Regardless, this one-time frontrunner seems to be moving backwards in the competition, but I’m not ready to count him out just yet.
5. Dave Moisan
Blind Audition: “Sex and Candy”
Battle Round: “Valerie”/Lost to Michael Sanchez (then stolen by Adam)
Moisan earned an impressive four-chair turn during his blind audition, showing off strong falsetto notes with a smooth delivery. But after a less dynamic performance led Alicia to drop him in the battle round, Adam granted him a steal, seeing similarities between himself and the young singer. But based on similar artists we’ve seen on past seasons, I’m not convinced Moisan can appeal to a voting bloc large enough to get him to the end. Even if he escapes the knockouts, I think his time is limited.
6. Riley Elmore
Blind Audition: “The Way You Look Tonight”
Battle Round: “Cry Me a River”/ Defeated Natasha Bure
If viewers at home were already voting, I typically wouldn’t bet against a fresh-faced, teenager singing standards this early in the competition. But at this stage it is still Adam’s decision, and I’m not convinced he believes this kid has what it takes to go all the way to the end. If Adam is trying to create a strong, diverse team of five members to move forward, I think Elmore will just barely miss the cut.
7. Ponciano Seoane
Blind Audition: “Home”
Battle Round: “Tenerife Sea” / Defeated Elia Esparza
After an impressive blind audition that resulted in chair turns from both Adam and Miley (Blake and Alicia already had full teams), Seoane advanced to the knockouts after winning an unaired battle. Sometimes having airtime cut short is a bad sign, meaning producers don’t see a reason to show a contestant’s full journey if they won’t be around much longer. But what I see as Seoane’s biggest hurdle is Fletcher, a similar artist on the same team who just has more magic in his voice.
8. Simone Gundy
Blind Audition: “I (Who Have Nothing)”
Battle Round: “You’re All I Need to Get By” / Defeated JSoul
After impressing both Adam and Miley with her blind audition, Gundy was demoted to just a short clip showing her defeat of JSoul in the battle round. Considering her shortened airtime and the serious competition she would face from similar artists on other teams moving forward, I don’t expect her to survive the knockouts.