Looking for his second win as a coach, Pharrell Williams has pulled together the type of diverse team we have come to expect from “The Voice” season 8 victor. Williams has a knack for convincing artists to choose him over other coaches with his low key approach and the fact he is one of the world’s top music producers.
Will he be able to defeat rival coaches Blake Shelton, Adam Levine, and Christina Aguilera on this 10th season of the NBC reality program? Here is a look at how I rank his remaining artists’ chances to go all the way. Take our poll at the bottom of this article to let us know your top choice to be crowned champ this year.
1. Emily Keener
Blind Audition: “Goodbye Yellow Brick Road”
Battle Round: “Explosions “/ Defeated Jonathan Bach
Keener earned a four-chair turn with her haunting blind audition of a Beatles classic, proving she was a contender from the start. After an easy win over her teammate Bach in the battle round, Keener seems poised to be Pharrell’s frontrunner of the season. He clearly favors her as he stated multiple times that she is “special” and there is no way he will let her go before the live performances. Expect this teenager who sounds like Florence Welch to go deep into the competition.
2. Hannah Huston
Blind Audition: “Unaware”
Battle Round: “Elastic Heart” / Defeated Maya Smith
There’s something quirky and refreshing about Huston, who impressed three out of four coaches with her blind audition. With her unique delivery and stage presence, she went on to win an impressive battle over her roommate, cementing her place near the top of Team Pharrell. She’s memorable and has serious pipes, yet I still think it will be an uphill climb for her to actually reach the finale. She will soon have to face off with powerhouse vocalists Team Christina will be throwing at her.
3. Caity Peters
Blind Audition: “Jealous”
Battle Round: “Honesty” / Defeated Joe Vivona
Starting off the season with a four-chair turn, Peters established herself a frontrunner early on when choosing Pharrell as her coach. She went on to defeat pop singer Vivona with a less impressive showing in the battle round, but that just came down to song choice. With a gritty, raspy tone and strong ability to emote, Peters should prove to be a viable contender moving forward.
Blind Audition: “Wicked Game”
Battle Round: “Photograph” / Defeated Jonathan Hutcherson
Moushumi has a unique voice and song choice will be everything for her. She would have likely been a four-chair turn had Blake’s team not been full at the time of her audition, and rightfully so. She went on to win an untelevised battle, meaning she will have to give a memorable knockout performance to stay at the forefront of the viewers’ minds. With the right song choices (hint to Pharrell – her voice screams Sade), she could mesmerize audiences in ways reminiscent of season 9 contender Amy Vachal.
5. Nick Hagelin
Blind Audition: “Lost Stars”
Battle Round: “Electric Feel” / Defeated Jessica Crosbie
Pharrell officially has the responsibility of figuring out what to do with this season’s heartthrob, a 28-year old from Atlanta who is sure to have the girls swooning. It took about 30 seconds for him to have Christina grinning from ear to ear, thinking she had him all to herself before Blake and Pharrell swooped in at the last second. He ultimately chose to go with Pharrell and has a smooth voice with falsetto, which can get a mixed reaction from audiences. If he plays his cards right, he should make it to the live rounds, but at the end of the day, he’s not a serious contender for the title.
6. Abby Celso
Blind Audition: “Should’ve Been Us”
Battle Round: “Sugar” / Defeated Brian Nhira
Although Celso has a good voice, I think there are several hurdles standing in her way. The biggest of all is that there seems to be a lot of female vocalists this season that are similar and more memorable. I think she will have trouble standing out. Adam, Christina and Blake all declared her the loser of her battle, yet Pharrell chose her to advance. That proves he cares more about the contestants than himself, as he knew Nhira would be stolen. She’s consistent, but doesn’t scream “finalist.”
7. Malik Heard
Blind Audition: “Chains”
Battle Round: “It’s a Man’s Man’s Man’s World” / Lost to Bryan Bautista and stolen by Pharrell
Heard gave an impressive vocal in his blind audition, earning chair turns from both Christina and Pharrell. After choosing to go with Christina, he lost a tough battle before Pharrell wasted no time pushing his button for him a second time. Although he is a very talented singer, Heard rightfully lost to Bautista in their battle round. I actually think Pharrell dropped a more impressive vocalist of his own in Nhira. It’s been proven in the past that there just isn’t room for three male R&B vocalists on this show. Heard will likely be the first to fall.
8. Shalyah Fearing
Blind Audition: “What is Love”
Battle Round: “Lady Marmalade” / Lost to Tamar Davis and stolen by Pharrell
At just 15 years old, this young powerhouse impressed Christina enough to earn a one-chair turn into the battle rounds. It was there she was tested against a more seasoned vocalist and lost to Davis. In doing so, she did enough to convince Pharrell to steal her for himself. Although she is gifted, it’s too early for Fearing, who won’t measure up against the likes of Davis (to whom she already lost) and a swarm of other divas-in-training Christina is brewing. But a sneak-peak at next week’s knock-outs shows that Fearing comes out swinging. I predict a steal and even a potential return to Team Christina on the horizon.
Photo Credit: NBC