With the battle rounds on “The Voice” concluding this week on NBC, we asked our readers a few days ago to choose which guest advisor did the best job mentoring the artists for Season 12. A staggering 64% voted that Celine Dion provided the greatest advice, helping Gwen Stefani’s team rise to the occasion in their performances. Coming in a distant second was Blake Shelton’s friend Luke Bryan with 24%. Winning over minimal fans were Adam Levine’s advisor John Legend with 8% and Alicia Keys’ right-hand man DJ Khaled with just 4%.
It comes as no surprise that Dion came out victorious in this poll – the Canadian superstar is a legend in the music industry and is renowned for being one of the best singers of all time. Who better to help aspiring artists succeed in a competition named for something she’s known best for, her voice. What was refreshing to see from Dion was the humility she had when speaking with young talent. Many times over she emphasized that they were the future of music, without once talking down to them, but encouraging them to let their voices be heard.
Dion has a clear appreciation for unique voices, and even told Team Gwen competitors Johnny Gates and Sammie Zonana she liked their version of “I Drove All Night” better than her own. Other times she let contestants know they weren’t singing with enough conviction, which led to breakout vocal performances for artists like Caroline Sky – who lost her battle to Stephanie Rice, but was still able to squeak out a steal from Blake. It seems like a no-brainer to assume Queen Celine would be welcomed back by viewers as many times as she wishes to return (maybe as a future coach).
Bryan may not have been able to compete with the likes of Dion, but he was able to carve out his own niche as well. He combined his critiques with a good sense of humor, which he has been known to have among fellow country artists. He wasn’t afraid to give bold advice to artists like Aliyah Moulden and Dawson Coyle, whose theatrical version of “Walking on Sunshine” he inspired, could have come off as a cheesy mess. Instead we were able to see a more fun side of Moulden and Coyle, who earned a surprise steal from Team Alicia.
Legend has been on a hot streak the last couple of years, winning an Oscar for his song “Glory” from the film “Selma” in 2015 and then starring in the critically acclaimed box office hit “La Land” last year. It’s no wonder he was called on to provide some advice to aspiring stars during this season’s battle rounds. He also wasn’t afraid to give some tough love when he felt artists weren’t putting in the work. One of the more awkward moments of the season came when Legend scolded Kawan DeBose and Malik Davage for not being prepared while singing Legend’s own song “Love Me Now.”
Khaled coming in fourth place in this poll is about as predictable as Dion coming in first. Sure, Khaled is a fun personality and a force to be reckoned with on social media, but he’s not a singer but an acclaimed behind-the-scenes producer. He’s certainly not even a peer of Keys, let alone someone who could give better advice to aspiring vocalists. While I’m sure he was called in to attract younger viewers, Khaled was simply the wrong person to invite for this type of role on “The Voice.”