Blake Shelton is the most successful coach in “The Voice” history, and now he is trying to distance himself even further with another title for Season 13. He has coached five champs to date including Jermaine Paul (Season 2), Cassadee Pope (Season 3), Danielle Bradbery (Season 4), Craig Wayne Boyd (Season 7) and Sundance Head (Season 11). Winning won’t be easy this time around though, as he takes on a fierce newcomer in Jennifer Hudson, a determined sophomore coach in Miley Cyrus and his longtime rival, Adam Levine, in one of the most competitive seasons ever.
It is no surprise that Team Blake is made up of predominantly country artists once again, but is it a pop star that could land him in the winner’s circle this season? Or perhaps a country artist with a look and sound unlike anything we’ve heard before? While this team may have been created with his same old strategy, it is anything but typical.
In the next round Team Blake will perform live for the first time with the goal of winning over viewers at home. The two artists who receive the most votes will automatically advance in the competition. Blake will then be forced to choose just one artist from those remaining to make up her final team of three. From that point forward the coaches lose all of their power and it is transferred completely to the voting audience.
With those rules in mind, I took a crack at predicting which artists I believe have the best shot at moving forward. I ranked them in order of who I think will advance by America’s vote, who Blake will save, and who will be eliminated. Sound off in the comments if you agree or think I’m way off!
1. Chloe Kohanski
Chloe burst onto this season with a well-received, three-chair turn blind audition of “The Chain.” After choosing Miley as her coach, she went on to win her battle round over Illianna Viramontes with “I Am Woman.” After performing “Landslide” in the knockouts, Chloe lost to country artist, Ashland Craft, allowing Blake to steal her. Although Miley thought she lost that knockout, the viewing public disagreed. “Landslide” went on to become the most successful song on the Itunes chart to date for Season 13. For that reason, I believe Chloe is now the front-runner on Team Blake and her modest social media following of over 2,200 twitter followers won’t hurt. I expect her to be voted through to the next round.
2. Mitchell Lee
This contemporary country artist with movie star good looks has been on the rise all season. For his blind audition, Mitchell sang “Hold My Hand” and earned a respectable three-chair turn. In the battles he took out Dennis Drummond with “Mrs. Jones” before defeating Anna Catherine DeHart in the knockouts with his most powerful performance to date, “I’ll Be.” Mitchell isn’t the strongest singer on Team Blake, in fact, he might be the least vocally gifted. But what he lacks in vocal ability he makes up for with that “X-factor” quality that makes someone a star. With over 3,200 twitter followers, Mitchell has a decent fan base and I expect him to be voted through to the next round. If not, how could Blake not save the most marketable country singer on his team?
3. Keisha Renee
This back-up singer for Nicki Minaj is hoping to change the sound and look of country music and has quickly become one of the most fascinating artists of the season. She earned a four-chair turn for her blind audition of “I Can’t Stop Loving You” and then defeated Noah Mac after their battle duet, “I’m So Lonesome I Could Cry.” Keisha gave her best performance of the season in the knockouts when she sang “I Hope You Dance” and sent home Kathrina Feigh in the process. Her latest performance had a great chart performance on iTunes and she has more twitter followers than anyone this season, over 12,000! There is something special about Keisha and if she doesn’t get voted through, Blake has to save her.
4. Esera Tuaolo
This former NFL player known as “Mr. Aloha” shocked everyone with his powerful, yet sensitive voice. He kicked off the season with a two-chair turn in the blind auditions for “Rise Up.” In the battles he defeated Rebecca Brunner with “This I Promise You” before his shocking take down of Adam Cunningham in the knockouts when he belted out “Superstar.” Esera’s voice is beautiful, but he is a paint-by-the-numbers type of singer. I do think if he can survive the next round he will make it to the midpoint of the season. With about 6,500 twitter followers, Esera has the second largest social media presence on Team Blake. But that could have more to do with him playing in the NFL than singing. I’m not convinced he will get voted through and I have a hard time believing Blake would save him over other artists on this team.
5. Red Marlow
This singer is “as country as cornbread” and is the most traditional within that genre this season. For his blind audition, he sang “Swingin’,” turning two chairs. In the battles his experience rose to the forefront as he easily defeated Ryan Scripps after their duet of “Fishin’ in the Dark.” The knockouts proved to be a bit more challenging, but Red earned a win over Megan Rose for his more consistent vocals on “Outskirts of Heaven.” Red is one of the most seasoned and consistent performers of the season, but there is nothing exciting about him on stage. And with just over 1,200 twitter followers, he has the smallest presence on social media. For these reasons, I believe Red is going home.
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