Heading into the season 11 knockouts this week, Blake Shelton has put together one of his most diverse teams yet on the NBC hit reality series “The Voice.” The four-time winning coach has a mix of country, R&B and pop artists ready to bring him his first championship since season 7’s Craig Wayne Boyd. But with strong competition from his longtime rival Adam Levine, as well as rookie coaches Alicia Keys and Miley Cyrus, it won’t be an easy journey for Shelton.
Which member of Team Blake could become this year’s champ? And who will be sent home following these knockout rounds? Here is a look at my power rankings and analysis for his eight remaining team members with Sundance Head in first place. Click here for my rankings for Team Adam and my rankings for Team Alicia (Team Miley will be published soon). Click here for our fun photo gallery featuring the previous 10 champions of “The Voice.”
1. Sundance Head
Blind Audition: “I’ve Been Loving You Too Long”
Battle Round: “Feel Like Makin’ Love” / Defeated Dan Shafer
Southern-rockers tend to do well in this competition, so Head’s image and voice fit the mold of a winner perfectly. Although he’s not the most commercial-looking on Blake’s team, he has the type of personality viewers like to see succeed. On top of that, he’s got a killer voice and should be able to pull in fans who love all types of music. With the right guidance, this frontrunner could easily be holding the trophy at the end.
2. Josh Gallagher
Blind Audition: “Stay a Little Longer”
Battle Round: “Stranger in My House” / Defeated Blaine Long
Without question, nobody on Blake’s team is more prepared than Gallagher to walk off this series and straight into a record deal. Everything about this modern-country artist screams “star” – but does he have what it takes to win a reality singing competition? The two things don’t always go hand in hand. If he can pull out a bit more personality and match it with some heartfelt performances, he could be the season 11 champ.
3. Courtney Harrell
Blind Audition: “Let It Go”
Battle Round: “Gravity” / Defeated Ethan Tucker
This soul singer has a lot going for her as part of Team Blake. For starters, she has a major rooting factor as a longtime songwriter for other artists who is finally stepping into the spotlight on her own. She’s also incredibly likable and has a rich, powerful voice that one might even compare to Blake’s rival coach, Alicia Keys. I think it will be hard for any coach to see her go this early, so if she for some reason hits a bump in the road during the knockouts, a steal may easily come her way.
4. Austin Allsup
Blind Audition: “Wild Horses”
Battle Round: “Bad Moon Rising” / Defeated Preston James
Most seasons I would say Allsup could quickly waltz his way right into the live shows, but this season he has already found a few roadblocks standing in his way. The country-rocker looks completely at home on stage, and consistently matches good vocals with stage presence for each performance. But both Head and Gallagher pose serious threats to his safety, especially considering they are on the same team.
5. Dana Harper
Blind Audition: “Jealous”
Battle Round: “Alive” / Defeated Tarra Layne
Harper remains somewhat of a mystery at this point in the season. Her blind audition led to a three-chair turn, the most for anyone on ultimately joining Team Blake this season. But her battle round performance was glossed over in a short clip that we weren’t able to see in full. Harper has an incredible lower register that separates her voice from any other female artist this season. But does she have the personality to get the votes she will need moving forward?
6. Bindi Liebowitz
Blind Audition: “Bust Your Windows”
Battle Round: “Home” / Lost to Brendan Fletcher (and then stolen by Blake)
Liebowitz seems like an artist with untapped potential at this point in the season. She looks great on stage, but we haven’t really seen her connect with the right song. Historically, Blake tends to be more loyal to artists who have been with him since the beginning, which spells trouble for this aspiring singer. The knockout will be a make-or-break for Liebowitz, where either a star will be born or she will be sent packing.
7. Gabe Broussard
Blind Audition: “Lovely Night in Georgia”
Battle Round: “The Reason” / Defeated Christian Fermin
Broussard has an incredibly mature voice for a teenager, but he just doesn’t seem prepared to be a star. With so many more seasoned male contestants on Team Blake, it will be tough for him to stand out from the pack if he can’t bring more personality to his performances. For these reasons, I think Broussard’s time is probably limited.
8. Karlee Metzger
Blind Audition: “Samson”
Battle Round: “Brand New Key” / Lost to Darby Walker (and then stolen by Blake)
This likable indie pop artist has a tendency to sound a little bit country when she sings, making it no surprise Blake scooped her up after her loss in the battle round. But Metzger also tends to look a bit uncomfortable on stage, and she hasn’t quite figured out how to put on a great performance. With so many more dynamic singers this season, I don’t think Metzger will be able to stand out from the crowd.