Someone on Team Gwen Stefani will win Season 12 of “The Voice.” That is my bold prediction as the live playoffs kick off on Monday, April 17, for the hit NBC reality series. After successfully recruiting a diverse pool of talent in the blind auditions, Gwen made the smartest, most calculated steals throughout the battles and knockouts. The result is the strongest team of five she has ever had, including three artists with the potential to be crowned the champion.
During the live playoffs next week, two members of Team Gwen will be voted through by viewers at home. Gwen will then have to choose one of her remaining artists to save – advancing three artists in total into the top 12. Which member of Team Gwen’s top five could become the winner and defeat the singers from coaches Adam Levine, Blake Shelton and Alicia Keys? Here is a look at my power rankings from best to worst with who I think will be voted into the next round, who will be saved by Gwen, and who will be eliminated.
1. Hunter Plake
Audition – “Carry On”
Battle – “Dancing on My Own”
Knockout – “I Want To Know What Love Is”
After quietly earning a spot on Team Alicia, Hunter was mistakenly dropped by Keys in the battle rounds and it may come back to haunt her. Hunter is not a flashy performer but as the viewing audience gets to know him, he is exactly the type of artist who can be the last one standing. There is no contestant this season who sounds more like a current radio artist. And his emotional performance during the knockout rounds proved he can sell on iTunes. At this stage of the competition, Hunter is not only my top pick on Team Gwen, he’s my top pick to win it overall. Prediction: Hunter Plake will be voted through.
2. Brennley Brown
Audition – “Stupid Boy”
Battle – “Better Man”
Knockout – “Up to the Mountain”
Originally a member of Team Blake, Gwen made a smart steal to secure the 14-year old country singer for herself. There was nothing that originally stood out to me about Brown, but her performance in the knockout round changed that completely. Not only was she poised and powerful, her likability reminded me of season four champ, Danielle Bradbery. If she continues to improve at the pace she has so far, voters will fall in love with her. Prediction: Brennley Brown will be voted through.
Audition – “Sexual Healing”
Battle –“I Was Made to Love Her”
Knockout – “Without You”
This soul singer has a voice like silk and a natural ease about him on stage that is infectious. But even though I consider him the best singer on Team Gwen, it takes more than that to win. He needs a few more weeks to completely win over viewers at home. He also needs a killer ballad that shows his vocal chops in all their glory. My guess is that as the pool of artists shrinks, JChosen’s star will grow. Prediction: Gwen will save JChosen.
4. Troy Ramey
Audition – “Wild World”
Battle – “Angel Eyes”
Knockout – “Chandelier”
As the only true rock singer on Team Gwen, one might think he has the advantage in this situation. But his knockout performance, though applauded by his coach, left me skeptical of his vocal range and potential. He lacks the star power to be a real contender this season – and in my opinion hasn’t grown fast enough to move forward. Prediction: Troy Ramey will be eliminated.
5. Quizz Swanigan
Audition – “Who’s Lovin’ You”
Battle – “Titanium”
Knockout – “Chains”
At just 13 years old, Quizz is the youngest contestant to ever appear on “The Voice.” That statistic alone is worth commending, but my guess is his run will come to an end after the live playoffs. While continuously adapting to his changing voice, he has failed to captivate the audience by vocals alone despite having great stage presence. For those reasons, I am not confident he can earn the votes to move forward. And after originally stealing him from Team Alicia, I don’t believe Gwen will save him again. Prediction: Quizz Swanigan will be eliminated.
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