Watching “The Voice” this week is going to feel a lot like those first few days when you move into a new home. You’re surrounded by familiar stuff, but you can’t shake the sense that something is a bit different. and it’ll all take some getting used to. That’s because this week marks the start of the Battle Rounds. No more blind auditions. No more literal button pushing (although figuratively, the coaches will no doubt continue to push each other’s buttons all season). No more chair turning drama. The pressure will still be on Christina Aguilera, Cee Lo Green, Adam Levine and Blake Shelton. It’s just that now, instead of having to pick who will join their teams, they now have to pick who has to leave.
It’s not like they’ll need any help making their decisions. Just in case, though, here is our breakdown of the Top 10 contenders. You’re welcome, coaches:
The Christina connection won’t hurt when it comes to getting him some attention(like her, he was once on the “Mickey Mouse Club”) with). His raspy, soulful vocals and his sincere aw-shucks attitude make him one of the most likable performers in the Top 48.
Sure she’s only been singing for a little less than a year. And sure she didn’t do herself any favors wearing that “Flashdance” Meets Solid Gold Dancers outfit during her blind audition. But there’s just something so undeniably energetic about this Oklahoma sorority girl that sheer willpower makes her a major contender.
Alicia Keys’ former back-up singer almost seems like a ringer. He’s got the professional experience. He’s versatile, ditching his soul leanings to go full-on rock with “Complicated” during his blind audition and then signing on with country king Blake. And he’s got an intimidating swagger that means he won’t back down from anyone.
Nobody looked more at home on stage during the auditions than Jordis, thanks in large part to her previous reality show experience on “Rock Star: INXS.” Her voice also has enough electricity to power several small Midwestern cities. Combine all that with good looks and plenty of humility and she seems destined for the Final Four.
Team Cee Lo
Watching her deliver a sly, sultry “Hey There Delilah” during her audition, both my daughter and I started smiling almost instantly. That’s because not only does Erin have an irresistible voice that wants to be your friend, she (and her Cleopatra At the Club outfit) has the sort of engaging personality that makes both middle-aged dads and 10-year-old daughters pull for her. (My only concern….she wins, that outfit becomes all the rage and I have to buy it for my daughter…)
Team Cee Lo
There aren’t a lot of pure rockers in the field this year, and Juliet is at the top of the list in this very select group. Her Janis Joplin, Jr. take on “Oh! Darling” in the blind auditions was so deliciously down-and-dirty that you could actually picture what it would be like screaming and holding up a lighter at one of her arena shows about six months from now.
Team Cee Lo
If Adam Lambert took a razor to his head and tried out for “The Voice,” odds are he’d be Tony Vincent. This veteran of Broadway rock shows has the “Idol” alum’s flair for the over-the-top dramatics, so there’s no telling exactly what stops he’ll pull out during the battle rounds.
This single dad has the touching personal story that gets you on his side. And he’s got such a sweet, gentle way with a soulful tune, not unlike last year’s winner, Javier Colon. Kleenex ought to get on board to sponsor Jesse right now because he’ll have people crying tears of sadness and joy at the same time.
Nobody was more inventive during the auditions than lovely Lindsey, who turned the rap song “Say Aah” into a sexy rock song. There’s something about her sultry voice, her ever-so-slightly punkish good looks and shy demeanor that make her daughter’s favorite. And like a good dad, I’m not going to disagree with her.
Anybody who can convince Christina to stop talking about singing and actually get up and sing deserves to be reckoned with. Since that’s what Sera did with her silky-to-gutsy “I’m Going Down” during the blind auditions, it stands to reason that she is going to be a big factor the rest of this competition. I mean, talk about a coach’s pet…..
And now, because the competition is so good this season, here are 10 more singers I’ve picked first because they’re also very good and second, because this way I can still say I told you so even if I’m totally wrong about the Top 10:
Quirky, unpredictable singer. Therefore, her chances are unpredictable to.
Sing us a song, you’re the Piano Woman. Cute and country are a good combination.
My daughter liked his voice and his suspenders. So that’s enough to get him on the list.
She worked the stage during her blind audition liked she’d being doing this all her life. Which, actually, she kind of has been.
We didn’t get to see much of him during the auditions, but the little snippet we did hear had him sounding like he could give “Idol” winner Scotty McCreery a bit of a country butt-kicking.
She’s a country singer. Her coach has been known to dabble in that area as well. It’s a natural fit. As long as she doesn’t have to battle Rager right off the bat.
Team Cee Lo
This staff sergeant showed more than enough guts-and-growl in her blind audition to give us enough reason to stand up and salute.
Team Cee Lo
Maybe it’s the wispy Kenny Loggins beard. Maybe it was his choice to sing David Gray during his audition. Either way, this guy is the dreamboat that all the girls and their moms will have trouble not voting for.
Since there’s no “America’s Next Opera Singer”…yet, anyway…this is the talented Bradley Cooper look-alike’s best shot at fame and fortune.
Justin gets all the 25-and-over females on his side. Hip-thrusting, booty-scooting Jonathas will do the same for the girls who want a dangerous Justin Bieber.