In a rarity, NBC offered a special bonus episode of “The Voice” blind auditions on Thursday night, and the youngest contestant ever leads our power rankings (see our other power rankings from Monday’s episode and Tuesday’s episode). After Tuesday evening’s show, Alicia Keys had scored the most artists with four female singers aboard her team. Adam Levine, Gwen Stefani and Blake Shelton started Thursday night with three artists on each of their teams. As the coaches continue to fill out their teams, we’ll break down the performances each night.
Here are my Season 12 power rankings for Thursday’s blind auditions show from the best to the worst:
1. Quizz Swanigan – “Who’s Lovin’ You” (Age 13; North Little Rock, AR)
Quizz is the youngest artist in the competition, taking advantage of the rule change this year to lower the age minimum, but he’s already blown everyone else we’ve seen out of the water. The Jackson 5-era Michael Jackson comparison is clear, but Quizz has a deep, textured voice with a lot of potential. I think he’s one to watch because he still has room to impress and excite, but he’s also a sweet youngster that the audience will enjoy rooting for. Though Gwen also turned around for him, it’s going to be up to Alicia to make sure Quizz makes the right decisions.
2. Ashley Levin – “Let Him Fly” (Age 23; Miami, FL)
It’s interesting to me that Adam, after trying so hard last season to pick a winning country singer, didn’t turn his chair for Ashley because I think she gave a fantastic country and blues performance. All three of the other judges let her get into the groove of her vocal before turning around, and I think it’s because they wanted to live inside of her voice. Blake lobbied hard for Ashley and in the end he got her.
3. Casi Joy – “Blue” (Age 25; Nashville, TN)
There’s no denying that Casi has a great voice and is a seasoned performer, but I think her rendition sounded too close to the original for me to glimpse any sort of personality out of her. Nevertheless, she was the night’s only four chair turn and the coaches fought hard to steal this country artist away from Blake. I thought she was going to go with one of the girls after she said she wanted to explore other genres, but she stayed true to her performance and joined Blake’s team.
4. Brandon Royal – “Master Blaster (Jammin’)” (Age 31; Virgin Islands)
Brandon is returning to the stage after a five-year hiatus, and I can’t imagine better timing because Gwen is the perfect coach for him. His voice leans heavily into the pop and reggae genres, but I also think he could excel on a contemporary rock song, too. This is what Gwen touched on when she successfully swayed him to choose her, so I’m really excited to see what they come up with in the next rounds.
5. Julien Martinez – “Pride and Joy” (Age 21; Oxnard, CA)
After Julien said in his pre-performance package that he’s “ready to let his freak flag fly,” I wasn’t really sure what to expect. He was definitely a little awkward on stage with some freaky gyrating, but his voice was a nice bit of contemporary sounding Elvis stuff. Both Adam and Blake were feeling the vibe and turned around in the last second. Julien smartly chose Adam, who I think is the best coach to let Julien carve his own path in the competition.
6. Adam Pearce – “A Whiter Shade of Pale” (Age 30; New Orleans, LA)
At one point Adam very nearly pressed his button, but a single note stopped him and it was never regained. Adam has a great classic rock voice, but as the coaches point out, the bar has been raised for this type of voice in recent seasons and Adam just didn’t hit the mark.
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