Earlier this season Blake Shelton quoted an article from Gold Derby to remind everyone that he’s the most successful coach in “The Voice” history. The six-time coaching champ is hoping to make it a record-extending seven titles, but he’s feeling the heat after narrowing his team down to just five contestants. So which of them has the best shot at bringing him another championship? See our best-to-worst rankings for Team Blake below.
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 five coached by Shelton, Gwen Stefani, John Legend and Kelly Clarkson will compete for just three spots in the following round. Two of those spots will be determined by the audience votes and the last one by coach’s choice. Then, the remaining artists from each team with the highest votes will have a chance to compete for a special Wildcard slot to round out the Top 13.
Below we rank Blake’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.
1. Kat Hammock
(Blinds: “Vienna”, Battle: “Take Me Home, Country Roads”, Knockout: “Kiss Me”)
This teenager convinced Blake and Gwen to turn their chairs in the blinds before sailing through the battle round without much fanfare. It was her knockout performance of “Kiss Me” that had the coaches gobsmacked when they realized this singer-songwriter could actually win this. Kat isn’t among the artists with the most range, but her tone is instantly recognizable and she’s got that X-factor stars are made of. At this stage, we think Kat is the artist to beat from Team Blake.
2. Gracee Shriver
(Blinds: “Rainbow”, Battle: “Blue Ain’t Your Color”, Knockout: “Leave the Pieces”)
Another teenage threat on Team Blake began her journey on Team Kelly. Gracee’s blind audition took place after Blake and John had already filled their teams, but she convinced both Kelly and Gwen to turn around. She ultimately lost her knockout round to Damali and Blake jumped at the chance to steal this charismatic singer. Gracee is the only country artist on Team Blake so you better believe he’s going to pour every ounce of energy he has into securing her a spot in the Top 13. At that point, her charm and vocal ability could lead her to the title.
3. Ricky Braddy
(Blinds: “The Story”, Battle: “Rumor”, Knockout: “So High”)
Nobody on Team Blake has a bigger voice than this balladeer who received a standing ovation from the coaches after shaking the rafters with Legend’s hit song in the knockout round. Ricky is the type of artist that can hit notes that send shivers down your spine but he doesn’t overdo the theatrics. Blake chose Ricky over the only country artist on Team Blake at the time and that shows how much he respects the powerhouse. As one of the best pure vocalists of the season, Ricky deserves a spot in the Top 13 and we think he’ll get there somehow.
4. Ricky Duran
(Blinds: “River”, Battle: “Valerie”, Knockout: “She Talks to Angels”)
Yes there are two men named Ricky on Team Blake and they’re pretty interchangeable in their odds of advancing. Duran doesn’t have the soaring range of Braddy, but he’s easily the most charismatic artist on Team Blake and his stage presence is unmatched. Ricky’s edgy, rock-infused vocals earned him a four-chair turn in the blind auditions but he hasn’t had the “wow” moment he’s capable of. At this point we’re listing him as endangered but capable of advancing.
5. Cali Wilson
(Blinds: “Dreams”, Battle: “Miss Me More”, Knockout: “Wicked Game”)
Cali has a singer-songwriter vibe and earned a three-chair turn to secure her spot this season. After winning her battle, Cali gave her best performance of the season with a knockout performance of “Wicked Game” that the coach’s referred to as “perfect.” Although she’s coming along nicely, Cali is easily the least comfortable on stage and we think that will hurt her chances when it comes to the votes. She’s probably the most likely member of Team Blake to be heading home next week.