The Knockout Round for Season 18 of “The Voice” concluded last Monday, leaving each of the four coaches with four artists on their team. They also each sent one artist from the Battle Rounds to a new Four-Way Knockout round with their Battle Save.
In that innovative new knockout, Todd Michael Hall (Team Blake Shelton) sang “Somebody to Love,” Samantha Howell (Team Kelly Clarkson) sang “Always on My Mind,” Nelson Cade, III (Team John Legend) sang “Best Part” and Michael Williams (Team Nick Jonas) sang “You Are the Reason.” Viewers had one evening to vote on their favorite of the four, the winner of which will be announced at and compete in the first live show as part of the Top 17. This live round on Monday, May 4, will not be set in the typical studio but will feature all singers and coaches from remote locations.
Below are our power rankings of the 16 artists that already earned their spot in the live shows based on their knockout wins or steals, and divided into four categories: Front Runners, Strong Contenders, Possibles and Long Shots based on our perception of their standing in the competition.
Enjoy revisiting our live blogs from each of the two knockout episodes on Monday, April 13 and Monday, April 20 as well as the three battle episodes on Monday, March 23, Monday, March 30 and Monday, April 6.
1. Megan Danielle – Team Kelly
(Blind Audition: “Remedy”; Battle: “Top of the World”; Knockout: “Piece by Piece”)
I know what you’re thinking — could Kelly really earn her fourth championship in five seasons? The answer is yes. Before Kelly’s win with Jake Hoot last year we had a string of four young female winners, all with a similar vocal ability to Megan’s. But the trend falling in her favor is just icing on the cake since she’s delivered some of the season’s strongest performances already.
2. Thunderstorm Artis – Team Nick
(Blind Audition: “Blackbird”; Battle: “Stay”; Knockout: “Preach”)
I don’t think there’s a more universally listenable artist in the competition than Thunderstorm. He is a musician through and through so there’s a lot of directions he can go with song selection each week. It was surprising to see John not choose him as the knockout winner with Mandi, but watch out for Thunderstorm when he finally has his standout performance because that’s the point where he sits firmly upon the throne.
3. Joei Fulco – Team Blake
(Blind Audition: “Gypsies, Tramps & Thieves”; Battle: “The Best”; Knockout: “When Will I Be Loved”)
Joei’s biggest asset this season is that she is the closest thing to a truly, pure country artist entering the live shows. As a member of Blake’s team that gives her a ton of power in the pool of voters alone. That being said, John and Kelly have wrestled control of the audience away from Blake for the last four seasons. But I’d bet that this could be the year the trophy returns to his mantle.
4. Mandi Castillo – Team Legend
(Blind Audition: “Asi Fue”; Battle: “Senorita”; Knockout: “Stand by Me”)
Despite some obvious nerves on the knockout stage, Mandi’s rendition of “Stand by Me” was enough to unseat Thunderstorm, someone we were all looking to as John’s strongest artist. Mandi’s vocal clarity and sweetness is a cut above, putting her on par with the other young women in the competition and it doesn’t hurt that she rides down the bilingual path as well. I think there’s a lot of promise here if John and Mandi play their cards right.
5. CammWess – Team Legend
(Blind Audition: “Earned It”; Battle: “Señorita”; Knockout: “Say Something”)
CammWess gave the best knockout performance of the group, in my opinion, but somehow still wasn’t declared the winner of his battle. Kelly opted to stick with an artist more her speed, leaving CammWess to return to his original partnership with John. The ways CammWess has learned from and admired John over the years is evident in how similar their styles are. With another strong performance, CammWess will easily vault into the front runner category.
6. Allegra Miles – Team Nick
(Blind Audition: “Use Somebody”; Battle: “How Will I Know You”; Knockout: “Chandelier”)
It was ballsy of Allegra to take on Sia’s deeply emotional song in the knockouts, but it is perfectly suited to her unique voice. My only qualm is that it was a faithful interpretation of the song and so there wasn’t enough Allegra to discover in her performance. I think her moment of the season is still ahead of her and I’ll be watching for it!
7. Cedrice – Team Kelly
(Blind Audition: “Fever”; Battle: “Stay”; Knockout: “Love on the Brain”)
More than anyone else this season, Cedrice performs like an established artist. Her confidence and raw talent exude from every fiber of her performances. One thing that has served her really well so far is the consistency in her song selection–while it can be beneficial to show versatility, Cedrice has opted to remain in her lane, allowing her to show her very best each time.
8. Zan Fiskum – Team Legend
(Blind Audition: “Light On”; Battle: “Closer to Fine”; Knockout: “The Story”)
There’s so much potential in Zan, especially after she knocked the Brandi Carlile song out of the park, and if anyone can help her continue to find what makes her unique in the competition it’s John. She doesn’t have the biggest voice of the group so that may hinder her chances, but she is one that can stand out from the pack if she delivers a great live performance.
9. Micah Iverson – Team Kelly
(Blind Audition: “All I Want”; Battle: “Someone You Loved”; Knockout: “Graveyard”)
There is no doubt that Micah has the vocal chops to be strong in the competition, but his stage presence leaves a lot to be desired. He needs to raise the bar on his charisma to match his exciting range and powerful voice.
10. Toneisha Harris – Team Blake
(Blind Audition: “I Want to Know What Love Is”; Battle: “Good as Hell”; Knockout: “Diamonds”)
There’s so much strength in Toneisha’s voice and it’s true what John said that she can sing anything. But we know that huge voices like hers don’t always go on to win this show. Instead they have the potential of fizzling out because they don’t offer as many chances to surprise viewers.
11. Arei Moon – Team Nick
(Blind Audition: “Miss Independent”; Battle: “Missing You”; Knockout: “You Don’t Know My Name”)
In her performances Arei always has moments of brilliance, but there’s also some shakiness to them that stops her short of being among the best of the season. I do think she’s chosen the right songs for her voice so far in the competition, but she might need to take a bigger risk in the lives to make it memorable.
12. Joanna Serenko – Team Blake
(Blind Audition: “All My Loving”; Battle: “when the party’s over”; Knockout: “Angel from Montgomery”)
Losing her knockout and being stolen to Blake’s team is the best thing that happened to Joanna’s chances in the competition. She’s had two really strong showings in both the battle and the knockouts, and her vibe is the sort that Blake can do a lot with. I’m eager to see where this new partnership takes her!
13. Todd Tilghman – Team Blake
(Blind Audition: “We’ve Got Tonight”; Battle: “Ghost in This House”; Knockout: “Anymore”)
Todd is an interesting artist this season because it’s unclear how the audience is going to respond to his high energy that the coaches are clearly huge fans of. I think there’s a chance that he wins over a significant demo of the audience, but at the end of the day there is tough competition this year and his song selection hasn’t been the best.
14. Mike Jerel – Team Legend
(Blind Audition: “It’s a Man’s Man’s Man’s World”; Battle: “Adorn”; Knockout: “Versace on the Floor”)
The thing is that Mike had his best performance during the blinds and since has failed to live up to that potential. The fault is not in his ability though, but in his song selection. As he attempts to move into contemporary territory he’s losing his luster.
15. Roderick Chambers – Team Nick
(Blind Audition: “Back at One”; Battle: “when the party’s over”; Knockout: “Redbone”)
When I tell you I was shocked at Nick’s choice of Roderick over Tate Brusa… I mean, I was shocked. But that isn’t to say Roderick didn’t deserve it, because he did. His rendition of “Redbone” showed off his range and style in all the right ways, but the problem is that it’s not the kind of song choice that ever goes over well in the live shows.
16. Mandi Thomas – Team Kelly
(Blind Audition: “Con te partirò”; Battle: “My Baby Loves Me”; Knockout: “My Church”)
It’s a real shame that we didn’t get to see Mandi’s knockout performance in full because it sounded like a huge moment for her–the kind of song that can give you goosebumps. I also thought that she had real promise in the competition as an opera singer, but it seems like there isn’t much faith in her chances on a stacked team.
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