Blake Shelton has put together an unexpectedly diverse team for the 10th season of “The Voice.” He is hoping the unique mix will propel him to an unprecedented fifth coaching victory. Click here to watch our Gold Derby slugfest debating all artists moving on to the live shows.
The knockout rounds have come to an end, leaving Shelton and rival coaches Christina Aguilera, Pharrell Williams, and Adam Levine with just five remaining artists each. Next week all 20 singers will perform live for the first time, leaving their fates in the hands of the viewers. The top two vote-earners from each team will automatically advance to the top 12, plus each coach will then have an opportunity to save one more to move on as well. That means two members of each team will be eliminated next Wednesday.
Here is a look at how I rank Blake’s five contenders and which three I think will advance to the next round. Vote in our poll below and let us know who you think is best.
1. Adam Wakefield
Knockout Round: “Bring It On Home to Me” / defeated Peyton Parker
Wakefield flew slightly under the radar during the early rounds of competition, but the southern rock/country artist from Nashville is easily the most exciting on Team Blake. His voice, reminiscent of current country “IT man” Chris Stapleton, will attract fans of country, rock and soul – casting a wide net for potential votes. Wakefield is my personal favorite on Team Blake and a major threat to win it all.
2. Mary Sarah
Knockout Round: “You Ain’t Woman Enough (To Take My Man) / defeated Brittany Kennell
There is no denying the appeal of this “vintage” country artist and how much Blake appreciates her style. I, frankly, don’t find her that interesting and can’t tell her apart from masses of other blond, female country singers. That being said, country singers have fared well on this show, and she is the best pure country singer this season.
3. Katie Basden
Knockout Round: “Gypsy” / defeated Lacy Mandigo
Basden, an original member of Team Adam (who he’d probably like back), has gotten better with each round. I’m a fan of her voice and hope she is able to advance, but it’s a tricky path on Team Blake. She’s up against two frontrunners (Wakefield and Sarah) and an original Team Blake member (Ingram). If Blake chooses purely on potential to go furthest into the season, Basden should be his final choice.
4. Paxton Ingram
Knockout Round: “Hometown Glory” / defeated Angie Keilhauer
I have little doubt Paxton will fall into the bottom three of Team Blake with Basden and Maye. It is tricky to know where Blake will go from there – but if he wants a more diverse team with varying styles, Ingram will benefit. If Shelton wants to go with the three artists he feels most comfortable coaching, it doesn’t look good for the pop/soul artist.
5. Joe Maye
Knockout Round: “Earned It” / lost to Kata Hay and stolen by Blake
Maye was stolen from Team Christina after he lost a close knockout. With so many country/rock powerhouses on Team Blake, I just don’t see Maye’s style appealing to the most viewers. His only chance of advancing would be a save from Blake, and the notoriously loyal cowboy is not likely to keep his newest team member over the rest.
Photo Credit: NBC