Over the course of the first five episodes of “The Voice,” the four coaches — Adam Levine, Alicia Keys, Blake Shelton and Gwen Stefani — have listened to 40 artists. Of these two score, 32 made at least one of the coaches hit their button to turn their chair.
Stefani has convinced eight artists to join her team despite having lost her two previous stints as a coach on “The Voice.” We asked you which of her picks to date do you think sounds the most like a winner. Your choice by a slim margin is Joshua Hunter. He impressed all four judges on the February 27 episode with his rendition of the Marvin Gaye classic “Sexual Healing.”
Below, a description of each of these artists, including their song choice, episode appearance and current count in our poll. Be sure to cast your vote if you haven’t done so already and then sound off in the comments section.
Johnny Gates – “Maggie May” (March 7) – 14%
This 31-year-old from Providence, RI rocked the house with his performance of the 1971 Rod Stewart hit “Maggie May.” While Levine took a pass as he already has several strong male rockers on his team, Gates had Keys, Shelton and Stefani fighting for his affections. Shelton tried to make his case that he would not try to countrify this lead vocalist of a garage band, but with Levine adding his support to Stefani she prevailed in the end.
Joshua Hunter – “Sexual Healing” (February 27) – 34%
After an injury ended his dream of playing in the NBA, this 29-year-old Atlantan turned to music. He had barely begun crooning the 1982 hit “Sexual Healing” when Levine turned his chair. Keys followed closely behind, soon followed by both Shelton and Stefani. Hunter, who gave a new spin on this old classic, surprised everyone when he went with Stefani.
Savannah Leighton – “Unconditionally” (February 28) – 4%
Taking on Katy Perry‘s 2013 ballad “Unconditionally,” this 16-year-old from Spring Garden, AL looked as though she might have missed the mark. However, after hitting her stride on the runs in the middle of the track she got a two-chair turn from Stefani and Shelton. Stefani won Leighton over by convincing her that their bond as women will work to her advantage in the competition.
Troy Ramey – “Wild World” (March 6) – 11%
This 32-year-old New Yorker sang “Wild World,” a plaintive tune written and recorded by Cat Stevens back in 1970. It first appeared on the fourth album, “Tea for the Tillerman,” by this English singer-songwriter. He penned this song as words of wisdom to a lover who is leaving him. Ramey sang it in tribute to his late father and had all four coaches vying for him; he chose his favorite, Stefani.
Stephanie Rice – “Piece by Piece” (February 27) – 29%
It takes an impressive singer to cover Kelly Clarkson convincingly and this 27-year-old from Texarkana, TX did so with a rock-tinged pop vocal. What she lacks in range was more than made up by her emotion. Her performance convinced Shelton and Stefani to turn their chairs, resulting in the first head to head battle between the lovebirds. In the end, Rice chose Stefani as her coach.
Aaliyah Rose – “Rise Up” (March 6) – 1%
Stefani was the only coach impressed by this 14-year-old from Provo, UT who delivered a stirring version of “Rise Up,” a track from Andra Day‘s 2015 debut disc “Cheers to the Fall.”
Brandon Royal – “Master Blaster (Jammin’)” (March 2) – 1%
After a five-year hiatus, this 31-year-old from the Virgin Islands returned to performing and impressed with his take on Stevie Wonder‘s 1980 soul hit “Master Blaster (Jammin’).” While Shelton also wanted to work with him, he went with Stefani after she told she him she thought he could rock in that genre too.
Caroline Sky – “Will You Love Me Tomorrow” (March 7) – 6%
Stefani nabbed this 16-year-old talent from San Anselmo, CA for her team but only after a hard-fought battle with her fellow, Shelton. Both were impressed by her poise as she performed Carole King‘s plaintive 1960 hits for The Shirelles, “Will You Love Me Tomorrow.” Although Shelton tried to convince Sky to fly with him by pointing out his successful mentoring of other young talents, in the end Stefani succeeded by connecting with her on a more personal level.