The Voice 17 Live Finals continue Monday (Nov 25) as the Top 11 sing for your votes in front of coaches Gwen Stefani, John Legend, Kelly Clarkson and Blake Shelton. Where do the singers stand ahead of Monday’s show? I take a stab at ranking them, below. How would you rate the Top 11? At the end of Tuesday’s (Nov 26) results show, one artist will leave the competition.
11. Joana Martinez – Team Gwen Stefani – Joana barely escaped elimination last week. I’m going to assume that the young singer chose her save me song, a choice that righted her and her coach’s failed attempt to go uptempo on Monday. I’m still skeptical that Gwen can mentor her effectively. So, last she is.
10. Myracle Holloway – Team Gwen Stefani – I expected Myracle to end up in the bottom 3 last week. She’s a good singer, but old fashioned and predictable. Fellow team member, Rose Short, has the female R&B singer lane sewed up. I believe Myracle will leave before she does.
9. Shane Q – Team Kelly Clarkson – The biggest shock last week aside from Max Boyle’s elimination? Shane not hitting the bottom two. The singer has talent, but it’s unrefined. He lacks confidence, charisma and stage presence. My theory is that Kelly’s hand holding, and subsequent praise for supposedly taking her notes lasted week, transformed Shane into an underdog. Singing show fans LOVE their underdogs. Ironically, Kelly was so confident that Max was safe, she barely pimped him. Spending more time in his corner might have made all the difference.
8. Will Breman – Team John Legend – Not gonna lie. I was happy when Carson declared Will safe. His quirky performances can be messy, but also passionate and surprising. Having said that, I hope he takes big swings as far as song picks and performances are concerned, for as long as he lasts in the competition.
7. Rose Short – Team Gwen Stefani – I’m convinced Rose could sing anything. Consider how, last week, she made the oft-covered Xtina hit “I Turn to You” into a fresh new jam. She deserves to stay deep into the competition.
6. Hello Sunday – Team Kelly Clarkson – This tween duo could use a few more years to hone their talents–at which point they’d both probably want solo careers. Heh. There are girl groups, but can anyone name a successful female R&B duo? But I digress! Being cute as heck will keep the girls in the game for awhile.
5. Kat Hammock – Team Blake Shelton –
I still don’t get Kat’s seeming popularity. She does have a unique tone. But her loooong drawn out notes tend to go flat. I realize that sleepy slow sound is a thing (Lana Del Rey et al) But sing in tune and underpin the stylization with energy (listen to Mazzy Star for pointers!)
4. Ricky Duran – Team Blake Shelton – Ricky turns out consistently enjoyable performances. But he’s been predictable lately. The singer has confidence and knows his strengths. But I’d love him to go out on a limb at some point. Still, he’s seems to have a fan base and a good shot at the final.
3. Marybeth Byrd – Team John Legend – Hopefully, Marybeth got Celine and Adele out of her system. Her emotional take last week of “Go Rest High on That Mountain” reminded me why I liked her in the first place. Country and Americana is where she really shines.
2. Katie Kadan – Team John Legend – As a front runner out of the gate, Katie can’t peak too soon. So far, she and John are doing a good job of mixing it up. Her first performances showed off her powerhouse vocals, before later picks revealed her vulnerable side. Katie always leaves her audience wanting more. That’s key to staying power in a talent competition.
1. Jake Hoot – Team Kelly Clarkson – Jake’s Reba McEntire cover in the Playoffs was a misstep, but he advanced to the Live Finals via America’s vote anyway. But, the following week, he came roaring back with “Danny’s Song.” Dedicating it to his adorable daughter in the audience didn’t hurt. And he won the streaming bonus. An earnest, likable country music artist with a memorable voice? I think we have a contender here, people.