Whether you liked the first ever Cross Battles on “The Voice” or not, it goes without saying that they shook the competition up in an unexpected way. By the end of that round, Blake Shelton has a team of eight artists while Adam Levine only has four. New coach John Legend and two-time returning champion Kelly Clarkson both have six. But that may not be the end of it because the Top 24 round beginning this week could shake things up even more.
Here’s how it is reported to work: On Monday night, April 29, all 24 artists will perform for viewer votes. Then on Tuesday night, April 30, eight artists regardless of team affiliation will advance straight into the Top 12 based on the audience vote. After that, each coach will get to save one of their own, rounding out the Top 12 and ensuring that each coach has at least one artist advancing. Also on Tuesday, the winner of “The Comeback Stage,” Kanard Thomas will perform live in a head to head against one of the yet-to-be-determined artists that was eliminated during the Cross Battles. One of the two will earn the live Twitter Save based on that performance and be named the 13th artist to remain in the competition.
So in theory, Team Blake could maintain its grip on the competition and hold a majority of the spots in that Top 13 and Team Adam could even potentially advance with only one artist (!!). And how big of a threat are Kelly and John’s teams to Blake’s apparent domination?
Below we attempt to answer those questions with our first power rankings of “The Voice” Season 16. At the top of the list are the eight artists we think will advance based on the audience vote, followed by the four that would then earn the coaches’ saves and the bottom 12 likeliest to be eliminated. Do you agree or disagree with our rankings? Who do you think will advance that we don’t and who are we overestimating? Be sure to add to the discussion in the comments and reality TV forums!
The Audience Vote 8:
1. Gyth Rigdon (Team Blake)
Let’s put it this way: after his Cross Battles performance, Adam said that Gyth is an artist that will be in the finale and sure enough he won that head to head. If he delivers another solid performance there’s no reason why we shouldn’t expect the audience to heed Adam’s prophecy and vote him through again.
2. Dexter Roberts (Team Blake)
Like Gyth, Dexter is one of the artists generally perceived to be a frontrunner ever since his four chair turn performance of “Like a Cowboy” in the Blinds. And he hasn’t shown any sign of slowing the pace since then and gave one of the best Cross Battles that really showed how deep his talent and performance quality runs.
3. Shawn Sounds (Team Legend)
If anyone on John’s team is poised to be his frontrunner, it’s Shawn. The guy was a four chair turn in the Blinds, beat out Matthew Johnson (now on Team Kelly) in the Battles and still managed to deliver his best performance so far with “Lay Me Down” in the Cross Battles.
4. Jej Vinson (Team Kelly)
Jej should not have won his Cross Battles head to head against a stellar performance from LB, but here we are. The fact that he did win shows how much support he has among viewers and I think it could be enough to secure him an automatic spot in the Top 12. There’s also the fact that he is bound to improve upon that performance and has the talent to back it up, so he very well could deserve the spot I think he’ll get.
5. Lisa Ramey (Team Legend)
Lisa knocked it out of the park with her Cross Battles performance of “It Hurt So Bad.” She exuded an immense amount of confidence that puts her in an entirely other league when it comes to stage presence.
6. Rod Stokes (Team Kelly)
I’m going out on a limb with this one because Rod lost both his Battle (against Gyth) and his Cross Battle (against Maelyn), despite being a three chair turn in the Blinds. My guess is that he’s been the victim of tough pairings and will actually benefit from this phase of the competition where he’s really only competing with himself. We know he can deliver a strong performance that grabs the audience’s attention and I’m banking that he’ll step it up just enough this week.
7. Oliv Blu (Team Blake)
After her Cross Battle of “Gravity,” Blake told Oliv that she “jumped on to the radar” with her performance and I couldn’t agree more. I think it was a pivotal point in the competition for her and that if she can equal or top that performance this week then she should be safely in to the next round.
8. Kalvin Jarvis (Team Adam)
If Kalvin throws down with another unique spin on a huge pop song, he could come through with enough support from the audience yet again. His rendition of “New Rules” in the Cross Battles was among the best of the round and sets him up for success going into the final stretch of the competition.
The Coaches’ Save 4:
9. Mari (Team Adam)
Though Mari’s Cross Battle of “My My My!” was great, and good enough to topple a strong performance from Selkii, her standout is still her Blind Audition of “Boo’d Up.” She earned three chair turns with that cover and has been a strong performer on Team Adam ever since.
10. Rebecca Howell (Team Kelly)
If I’m right that two of Kelly’s male artists advance through the public vote then she’s going to want to save one of her female artists. Of the three, I think Rebecca has performed the best and so she’d be the smart choice.
11. Kim Cherry (Team Blake)
Kim’s off beat half-rap performance style has really struck a chord with Blake–in fact, she not only won her Battle, but also the first Cross Battle, signifying that the audience is feeling her vibe as well. Now, there’s a good chance she’s voted through again, but in the off-chance that she’s not I’m banking on Blake keeping faith and keeping her around as the “unique” artist on his team.
12. Celia Babini (Team Legend)
Every season there’s an artist that wins over the coaches’ hearts more than the audience’s and I’m gonna call Celia that artist this time. She did not deliver her best performance during the Cross Battles, but she is talented and could certainly rebound this week. Either way, I think John will maintain confidence her and push her through yet again with a save.
The Bottom 12:
13. Matthew Johnson (Team Kelly)
14. Abby Kasch (Team Kelly)
15. Presley Tennant (Team Kelly)
Kelly definitely has one of the strongest teams at this stage in the competition and I can see a scenario where any of these three replace (or add to!) any of the other three I ranked higher. Matthew is one of Kelly’s best and most consistent performers and is probably one of the strongest bets among my “bottom 12” to actually make it through on the audience vote and not even need the save. There’s also Abby and Presley who Kelly like a lot and so they are just as possible for the save as Rebecca is. To put it bluntly, Team Kelly is a toss up!
16. Selkii (Team Blake)
17. Kendra Checketts (Team Blake)
18. Carter Lloyd Horne (Team Blake)
19. Andrew Sevener (Team Blake)
What’s challenging about calling Team Blake’s chances is that there are a lot of similarities between his artists. For instance, I have Gyth and Dexter at the top of everybody, which doesn’t bode well for Carter and Andrew’s chances to earn the save. Blake is going to want to diversify his roster as much as possible. Whether he does that with Selkii, Kim or Oliv is anyone’s guess and largely dependent on which, if any, of the three make it through on audience vote. The only thing that gives Kendra the edge over the guys here is that Blake cared enough to steal her back after losing her to an Adam steal in the Battles.
20. Jimmy Mowery (Team Legend)
21. Maelyn Jarmon (Team Legend)
22. Jacob Maxwell (Team Legend)
What puts these three at a disadvantage on Team Legend is that John, I think, is looking for unique artists that stand out not only on his team, but among the competition as a whole. In that regard, Celia is a cut above them all in terms of getting John’s save. That being said, Jimmy’s Cross Battle rendition of “Mercy” was excellent and if he puts forth another strong showing this week then he could pull off an upset to make the Top 13.
23. Betsy Ade (Team Adam)
24. Domenic Haynes (Team Adam)
Team Adam is thin this year–because of the odd structure of the Cross Battles he only has four artists in the Top 24, two of which weren’t voted through by the public and instead stolen (Betsy) or saved (Domenic). If Adam is lucky enough to have one of those artists advance via the Top 8 votes then he’ll get to save a second one, and I have a hard time believing that he’d choose either of these two over Kalvin and Mari.
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