Jennifer Hudson has won an Oscar and a Grammy Award, but is the powerhouse vocalist about to add a championship for “The Voice” to her list of accolades? We’ve got our exclusive best-to-worst rankings below for her Season 15 competitors.
Next Monday and Tuesday “The Voice” will transition from its pre-taped rounds to live shows where the audience has a say in who stays and who goes. In these Live Playoffs, each of the four teams of six coached by Hudson, Adam Levine, Blake Shelton and Kelly Clarkson will compete for just three spots in the following round. Two of those spots will be determined by audience votes and the the last one by coach choice. For our recent play-by-play analysis of the Knockouts, click on these links for Monday, October 29, Tuesday, October 30 and Monday, November 5.
Below we rank Jennifer’s team based on our impressions of their three performances so far this season as well as the likelihood that they’ll be one of the three to advance. Team Jennifer is composed of six powerhouse vocalists led by the teenage phenom Kennedy Holmes. If we assume Kennedy is safely moving on, there is likely one spot for the softer, more sensitive sound of MaKenzie Thomas. After that, it will likely come down to a knock-down, drag out vocal showdown between Patrique Fortson, Sandyredd, Colton Smith and Franc West.
Here is the way the format will work on these first two lives shows for November 12 and 13. All 24 singers will perform on Monday night. For Tuesday evening’s results episode, the public will vote through two members of each team. Each coach will advance another artist from his or her team, making a total of 12 for the following week (three from each team).
See our ranking below, then let us know in the comments if you think we’re calling this race correctly!
1. Kennedy Holmes
(Blinds: “Turning Tables”; Battle: “Battlefield”; Knockout: “What About Us”)
The rich tone of Kennedy’s voice inspired an impressive four-chair turn during her blind audition. The coaches were gobsmacked to then learn that this poised, magnetic performer is just 13 years old. Every season there seems to be a teenage phenom who reaches the finale (some of them have won) and Kennedy appears to fill that slot. After Kennedy joined Team Jennifer, Blake leaned over to his rival coach and confessed t her that Kennedy will probably be the winner. No arguments here!
2. MaKenzie Thomas
(Blinds: “Big White Room”; Battle: “Always Be My Baby”; Knockout: “How Deep is Your Love”)
After failing to turn any chairs in Season 14, MaKenzie returned this season and was thrown a lifeline from Jennifer. As her confidence continued to grow throughout each round, MaKenzie became a dark horse in this competition. Her Knockout performance of “How Deep is Your Love” was stellar and she stands out on Team Jennifer as one who doesn’t power her way through every song.
3. Patrique Fortson
(Blinds: “Get Here”; Battle: “God Gave Me You”; Knockout: “I Don’t Want to Miss a Thing”)
If anyone on Team Jennifer sings with the same fervor and power as their coach, it’s Patrique. He peaked in the Knockouts with a bombastic rendition of “I Don’t Want to Miss a Thing,” defeating one of the season favorites, Sandyredd. I’m not sure the audience connects with him as well as some of the other artists on Team Jennifer, but J-Hud clearly relates to his artistry and he’s the most powerful singer in the competition.
(Blinds: “River”; Battle: “Cry to Me”; Knockout: “Dangerous Woman”)
Sandyredd delivered what many consider to be the most memorable blind audition of Season 15, so why has it been such a struggle for her ever since? The gritty, rock/soul artist lost a battle to Cody Ray Raymond (who has since withdrawn from the show) while on Team Kelly, only to be picked up by Team Jennifer and then lose her Knockout to Patrique. Clearly the coaches are missing something and she may need the audience to save her this time.
5. Franc West
(Blinds: “(Sittin’ On) The Dock of the Bay”; Battle: “Too Close”; Knockout: “Call Out My Name”)
Franc is a breath of fresh air on Team Jennifer. His sexy, rock/funk persona fuels passionate performances that aren’t like anything else this season. But his vocal range is limited and he has yet to have a real “wow” moment. Because of that it seems like his chances of moving forward are limited.
6. Colton Smith
(Blinds: “Alive”; Battle: “God Gave Me You”; Knockout: “Lady Marmalade”)
Colton seems to have a stronghold on the heartstrings of the coaches, but frankly, I’m surprised he’s made it this far. He has an impressive vocal range, but his performances have been inconsistent and lacking direction. After losing his battle, he was stolen by Blake and then returned to Team Jennifer after losing his Knockout. It seems unlikely he will be saved a third time.