The Voice live playoffs take place this week. Two nights of performances on Monday and Tuesday will culminate in a special results show on Thursday. Two members of each team will be sent home, leaving a Top 12 to compete in the Live Finals.
Here is a guide to the Top 20 contestants. Adam Levine has the strongest team. He doesn’t have a weak member among them. The two acts who leave the competition on Thursday will be better than acts that remain on the other teams. Having said that each team has at least one strong member who could possibly win the competition. Team Christina has the AMAZING Matthew Schuler. Team Cee Lo boasts indie chanteuse, Caroline Pennell and Team Blake has the soulful Ray Boudreaux. But Team Adam has the powerhouse trio of Tessanne Chin, Preston Pohl and Will Champlin, who are at this point, the top 3 contestants in the competition.
I don’t think Blake has a strong team this year, but never count him out. He knows how to play the game. His play-it-safe strategy has bested Adam’s penchant for risk-taking for 3 seasons running. Christina could be a spoiler here. Her coaching is vastly improved this season. We’ll see if she’s able to carry those improvements into the live shows. To be honest, I have no real hope for Cee Lo. Caroline may regret choosing him as her coach.
Stephanie Anne Johnson Tacoma, WA @msstephaniesaid – Sang “Black Horse and a Cherry Tree” at her Audition – studied classical voice and Opera and worked for a cruise line. She’s got an acoustic soul/blues thing going, reminiscent of Tracy Chapman and Joan Armatrading. She kinda choked during the knockouts. Christina has to pick the right songs for her. – Battle – Knockout
Matthew Schuler Yardley, PA @MSchulerMusic – Sang “Cough Syrup” at his Audition –Rugby player. He works at a bagel shop in the college town where he lives. His dad is a pastor. Unique vocal tone. Matthew is perfection. The best thing Christina could do for him is to get the hell out of his way and let him do his thing. – Battle – Knockout
Josh Logan Manchester, NH @Josh_Logan – Sang “Too Close” at his Audition – 33 year old was a father at 16. He’s got an appealing, raspy voice. He was also a contestant on Rockstar: Supernova in 2006. Here he is covering “She Talks to Angels.” Josh’s soulful rock stylings could take him far. – Battle – Knockout
Olivia Henken @oliviahenken– Sang “Two Black Cadillacs” at her Audition – Blond pageant kid is a Carrie Underwood wanna be. Louisville, KY. If Olivia is to survive, she’s got to develop a personality and her own style. Christina may want to take a few risks with her. Olivia needs to shake things up if she’s going to break out. – Battle – Knockout
Team Cee Lo Green
Jonny Gray Austin, TX @jonnygraymusic – Sang “All These Things I’ve Done” at his Audition – Military vet and well-known Austin singer. Beautiful tone and interesting phrasing. A standout. Song choice is vital for Jonny’s unusual voice. I hope Cee Lo can help him. – Battle – Knockout
Caroline Pennell Saddle River, NJ @carolinepennell – Sang “Anything Could Happen” at her Audition – Adorable, giggly, 17 year old singer has that quirky girl singer thing The Voice loves so much. Caroline may actually succeed in spite of Cee Lo. She has a knack for picking songs that suit her voice and style. Caroline will go far and sell a ton of iTunes along the way. – Battle – Knockout
Amber Nicole Houston, TX @theamberscott – Totally montaged at her Audition. She’s a sweet teen with a big voice, who really impressed with a sassy performance of “Mamma Knows Best” during Knockouts. With the right songs, Amber could be a dark horse. – Battle – Knockout
Kat Robichaud Raleigh, NC @katrowbeeshow – Sang “I Got The Music In Me” in her Audition – She loves 70?s glam rock. Her dad raised her on musicals. He passed away in February. Rock singer and a charismatic and entertaining performer. Like a female Mick Jagger. She has the potential to go far. — Battle – Knockout
Tamara Chauniece Wharton, TX @TamaraChauniece – Sang “1 + 1” in her Audition – Gospel singer whose mom sold her CD out of the trunk of their car. She’s looking for a wider audience. There are better singers with more memorable personalities in this competition. I’ll be shocked if Tamara survives the playoffs. – Battle – Knockout
Nic Hawk Dallas, TX @mrnichawk – Sang “Hit em Up Style” in his Audition– Flamboyant musical theater kid who flirted shamelessly, and hilariously, with Adam, now on Team Blake. Nic is one of the weakest vocalists left in the competition. He is hella entertaining, but I think his sell by date is about to expire. – Battle – Knockout
Cole Vosbury Shreveport, LA @colevosbury – Sang “Movin on Up” in his Audition – His grandmother was a backup singer for Elvis, Jerry Lee Lewis and more. Yes, he sang the theme to the Jefferson’s TV show in his audition. I get the feeling Cole and Austin Jenkes are vying for the same spot on Blake’s team. Cole has the voice, but Austin has the backstory and personality. – Battle – Knockout
Shelbie Z. Jasper, AL @Shelbie_Z – Sang “I’m Here for the Party” in her Audition – Southern belle was a pageant kid, but she stopped at 10 when kids began teasing her about her weight. A brassy country singer with a ton of stage presence. Shelbie has a strong stage presence, but she needs to quit hiding behind the pageant affections and get real. – Battle – Knockout
Austin Jenckes Duvall, WA @austinjenckes – Sang “Simple Man” in his Audition – His dad committed suicide when he was 16. He played the guitar his father gave him. He performed a raspy, soulful version of the Allman Brothers classic. Dude sang “To Love Somebody” in the Battles with so much feeling, it hurt. Austin doesn’t have the best voice on his team, but he knows how to deliver the emotion in a song. Now, he’s got to put his dead daddy sob story aside and rely on his talent to get him through the competition (yes, it’s getting old.) – Battle – Knockout
Ray Boudreaux Lafayette, LA @RayBoudreaux – Sang “Use Me” in his Audition – Young single father, looks like a WGWG, but sings with an old soul. His Battle performance, “Some Kind of Wonderful” was fabulous, his Knockout song, “Hard to Handle” not as much. With the right songs, Ray could go deep. – Battle – Knockout
Team Adam Levine
James Wolpert Strasburg, PA @jamespwolpert – Sang “Love Interruption” in his Audition – He studied art at Carnegie Mellon. He quit school to pursue music. He worked at an Apple store to make ends meet. A compelling performer, he can really tell a story with his voice. He fought a tough battle with Will Champlin, but managed to prevail. He stumbled in his knockout “I Want to Know What Love Is.” He has no room to mistep. The competition on his team is fierce. – Battle – Knockout
Will Champlin Los Angeles, CA @willchamplin – Sang “Not Over You” in his Audition – Dad was a keyboardist for legendary 70s group, Chicago. This guy, who sings quirky Hot AC, is already a favorite. I have to admit it–this guy is growing on me. I can’t imagne him not making it to the finals. – Battle – Knockout
Tessanne Chin Kingston, Jamaica @Tessanne – Sang “Try” in her Audition – She’s from Kingston Jamaica. She lived in England when she was younger. She toured with Jimmy Cliff, She’s got a great, contemporary sounding voice. She reminds me a little of Emeli Sande. – Her solo song “Hideaway” was a hit in Jamaica. This girl is quite simply, a star. I’m going to be disappointed if she doesn’t make it to the very end. Coach her well, Adam. She could be your ticket to a win. – Battle – Knockout
Preston Pohl St. Augustine, TX @prestonpohl – Sang “Electric Feel” in his Audition – Played guitar in a popular Christian rock band, Storyside: B. Singer with a raspy, soulful voice. He effectively channeled David Ruffin singing The Temptations in the Battles. And his “No Woman No Cry” in the knockouts proved he’s here to stay. Here’s the Christian band Preston was a member of is StorySide:B (Music Video) – Battle – Knockout
Grey Jacksonville, FL @MusicbyGrey – Sang “Catch My Breath” in her Audition – Wedding singer.She grew up singing country. Attended Berklee College of Music. Her battle round performance was a significant improvement over her audition. This girl has pipes, but is, unfortunately, competiting against some heavy hitters. If she goes on Thursday, she’ll leave behind less talented singers on the other teams. – Battle – Knockout