Showing posts with label Power Rankings. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Power Rankings. Show all posts

Monday, November 04, 2013

The Voice Season 5 Knockout Round Power Rankings

I will not go into the stupid decision Blake made this week dumping Holly Henry for one of the worst singers to ever make the Live Shows because I ranted about that at length yesterday, so let’s just go straight into the Power Rankings before I rant some more (okay, I do bring it up multiple times in the rankings because it was the worst decision ever in the history of the show).

1. Cole Vosbury (Team Cee-Lo Blake): Cole got really lucky this season, most obvious he signed up for the season the added a Steal to the Knockout Rounds so the person who actually should have won that round (Cole was significantly better than Jonny) got to advance. And even though Let Her Go was still obscure back in August when this round was filmed, it has been sitting in the iTunes top 25 for the past and a few stints in the top 10 which probably helped his version into the top 20.

2. Caroline Pennell (Team Cee-Lo): After turning As Long as You Love Me into a hauntingly beautiful song, choosing The Way I Am was too safe and obvious. Still a very good performance. But hopefully her and Cee-Lo are more creative I the Live Show.

3. Matthew Schuler (Team Christina): Young the Giant, Fall Out Boy, Florence + the Machine, can’t wait to see what he has in store for the Live Shows.

4. Austin Jenckes (Team Blake): After the disastrous Knockout Rounds last season where the majority of the people who went home based on bad song choices alone, it is not surprising many singers played it safe this season (oh, if only Holly played it safe), but I’ll Be was Austin’s most boring performance of his three. Yeah he deserved to win this round, but I thought Brandon’s pick of Even if it Breaks Your Heart much more interesting.

5. Jacquie Lee (Team Christina): Well that was fun. Still I think I am watching a high school talent show whenever she performs. She needs a breakout moment soon because the second spot on Christina’s team is wide open because everyone else on her team has not been inspiring as of late except for Matthew. (Hopefully the bored housewives do not ruin things by flooding the telephone line for Josh or country fans for Olivia because Jacquie and Stephanie are much better.)

6. Ray Boudreaux (Team Blake): Not much to say, just another solid performance. I am still waiting for a great one, solid performances will get him a few rounds, but still needs a great one to be a contender.

7. Jonny Gray (Team Cee-Lo): Jonny really needs to let Cee-Lo pick his songs because the ones he picks for himself just do not fit him very well. Refugee, Cee-Lo’s pick, remains his best performance this season.

8. Preston Pohl (Team Adam): Oh goodness no; bad song choice. Compare that to Lina, who I did not care for through the first two rounds, picked a much more inspiring song and did a better job. In the past, Adam usually goes with who was best in the moment, but with all his picks this season, he has gone with potential over best in the moment (compared with Blake who always went with potential but screwed things up big time this season going with Nic over Holly).

9. Grey (Team Adam): Last Power Rankings I hoped Grey would start doing more interesting songs. Instead she picked the most boring song in the Kelly Clarkson catalogue. Should I assume My Life Would Suck without You is next?

10. Amber Nicole (Team Christina Cee-Lo) : Amber definitely should have won her round, but I am not sure if the performance was worth a Steal considering there were much better people who lost that came after her that did not get stolen (Holly, Juhi, I may have even taken James Irwin or Destinee Quinn just because they would have better chances of advancing than Amber).

11. Shelbie Z. (Team Blake): Another decent performance but it is hard to image Shelbie even making it to the Knockout Rounds let alone the Live Shows had she been on Blake’s country only team last season. She is much more Liz Davis, who was eliminated as soon as America got to vote, than any of his country acts last season.

12. Stephanie Anne Johnson (Team Christina Cee-Lo Christina): She did way too much to this song. Again, Christina would have been much better suited saving Holly or Juhi.

13. Will Champlin (Team Adam Christina Adam): I thought Will should have won his Battle and Christina stealing him was much deserved. This performance was boring and a bit off and not really Save worthy. Adam should have passed him, went to the end of the round with his Save intact and went back and retroactively saved Holly instead.

14. Tamara Chauniece (Team Cee-Lo): Didn’t Whitney Myers do a reggae infused version on No One on the show already? And did it much better. Yet Whitney did not make the Live Show and Tamara did. Go figure.

15. Tessanne Chin (Team Adam): Another boring performance of a boring pop song. I hate when this show rewards the lack of creativity. I was not a fan of Ashley’s Blind Audition, but I would have definitely taken her here, at least she was trying.

16. Olivia Henken (Team Christina): I suggested last week Olivia should stick with up-tempo songs as Done. was significantly better than Two Black Cadillacs and after this performance, I stick by this assessment. Olivia only won because Destinee was just worse. Maybe since Done was each of their best performances of the season, Christina should turn Olivia and Stephanie into a duo and fill her open spot with Holly.

17. Josh Logan (Team Christina): Another boring karaoke version of a song where he tried to sound too much like the original artist.

18. James Wolpert (Team Adam): When Amanda Brown sang Dream On on season three, I was thinking this is good, but if she does not hit that high note at the end it would be a failure. I thought the same thing when James said he was singing More than a Feeling, a song where you have to hit those notes a couple times. James did not hit those notes, not once. Not even close. James over Juhi was the second worse decision this season. And Juhi was just great, thoroughly engaging, picking a great song that took a pot shot at her former coach (Cee-Lo actually seemed to enjoy it). The Live Show will be a lot less interesting with James instead of Juhi. Making things worse, Adam said he did not steal Holly because she did not live up to the potential of her Blind Audition, then the next day picks James who been on a bigger slide than Holly, I did not think James even deserved to win his Battle Round.

19. Kat Robichaud (Team Cee-Lo): Oh please make it stop, one of the worst performances of the week. I do not know why Cee-Lo, and the show’s producers who stick her in every promo, keep pushing her. It seems pretty clear to me Caroline and Jonny have the fan votes sewn up. Why is it every season Cee-Lo always has two really good contestants and the rest who have no right being part of the Live Shows?

20. Nic Hawk (Team Adam Blake): I will say this about Nic; he made history twice this season. First he was the worst Steal ever in the history of the show and then he was on the winning end of the worst decision ever in the history of the show when Blake inexplicably picked him over Holly. He is also the least talented singer to make the Live Shows that is not named Erin Martin. Thankfully the Vote for the Worst people closed up shop earlier this year so Nic has no chance of advances. Unless Blake bizarrely saves him for a third time.

Only nine Holly references in the Power Rankings, not bad, that is less than half. For the last time I will do this season, let’s see who has the strongest team (it is silly to argue strongest team once America starts voting). I assigned 20 points to number one on the power rankings and one to last and here is what comes out:

Blake – 36
Adam - 42
Christina – 52
Cee-Lo – 53

Despite dumping his best talent, Blake managed to make it to number one will all his singers in the top 11 (they all would have been in the top 12 had he taken Holly). It also helped he had the best Steal of the round. But who cares what I think, let’s look who the music buying public likes, here is how all the songs from the show peaked this past week (Audition and Battle rounds are italicized).

1. Cole Vosbury (18)
2. Caroline Pennell (27)
3. Matthew Schuler (50)
4. Will Champlin (85)
5. Caroline Pennell – As Long as You Love Me (97)
6. Preston Pohl (167)
7. Jacquie Lee (204)
8. Preston Pohl – Electric Feel (214)
9. Preston Pohl – I Wish it Would Rain (255)
10. Tessanne Chin (284)
11. Austin Jenckes (295)
12. Caroline Pennell – Anything Can Happen (298)
13. Grey (304)
14. Nic Hawk (306)
15. Jonny Grey (349)
16. Ray Boudreaux (330)
17. Stephanie Anne Johnson (388)
18. Holly Henry – The Scientist (399)
19. Jacquie Lee - House of the Rising Son (472)

20. Josh Logan (492)
21. James Wolpert (545)
22. Kat Robichaud (549)
23. James Wolpert – Love Interrupted (589)
24. Matthew Schuler – Cough Syrup (654)
25. Jonny Grey – Refugee (738)

26. Shelbie Z. (776)
27. Juhi – Best I Ever Had (786)
28. Torn – Holly Henry (1072)
29. Matthew Schuler – My Songs Know What You Did in the Dark (1019)
30. Tessanne Chin – Try (1157)
31. Jonny Grey – All These Things I’ve Done (1197)
32. James Wolpert – Radioactive (1224)

33. Tamara Chauniece (1272)
34. Josh Logan – Harder to Breathe (1292)
35. Will Champlin – Radioactive (1324)
36. James Irwin – Counting Stars (1342)
37. Austin Jenckes – To Love Somebody (1357)

38. Olivia Henkin (1356)
39. Cole Vosbury – Africa (1460)
40. Tessanne Chin – Next to Me (1375)

Please note Amber Nicole was the only Knockout performance to not make the top 1500 yet four songs by eliminated contestants, half by Holly Henry herself, did; again Cee-Lo, not the wisest steal ever. Actually this week, Holly's six week old The Scientist charted higher than the Knockout Round songs by seven people moving on to the Live Shows, the montaged Torn and Juhi's Best I Ever Had also bested three who are advancing. No wonder ratings tanked on Tuesday after Holly was eliminated. You probably should not dump a fan favorite just before fans start voting.  But anyway. If you use the same methodology as I did to see who had the best team based on my Power Rankings, here is how the teams rank based iTunes this week.

Adam – 65
Blake – 57
Christina – 50
Cee-Lo - 38

Oh Cee-Lo, not only did you Steal the only singer in the top twenty, you let some steal the person with the highest charting song this week. Even with the second highest charting singer, he is still last by a long mile. Now if you take the average how high each of the final twenty charted during the three rounds, which probably gives you the best idea of who are the favorites, this is how they rank:

1. Caroline Pennell (84)
2. Preston Pohl (88.3)
3. Matthew Schuler (153)
4. Jacquie Lee (266)
5. Will Champlin (267)
6. Tessanne Chin (275.6)
7. Austin Jenckes (292)
8. Jonny Grey (301.3)
9. James Wolpert (357.6)
10. Ray Boudreaux (436)
11. Josh Logan (455)
12. Grey (462.6)
13. Shelbie Z. (702)
14. Nic Hawk (785)
15. Cole Vosbury (800)
16. Kat Robichaud (1046.3)*
17. Stephanie Anne Johnson (1084.3)*
18. Amber Nicole (1120)**
19. Olivia Henken (1124)
20. Tamara Chauniece (1333.6)*

* These singers missed the top 1500 once so for the times they missed, I gave those 1500 for the missing song so I could add them to this list so there is a very good chance their numbers are inflated. Amber Nicole actually missed the top 1500 twice including her Knockout Round performance. Let m,e say it one more time, Cee-Lo would have been served saving Holly or Juhi who were much more deserving (same goes to Christina). Even James Irwin and Destinee Quinn would have a better shot at advancing than Amber or Stephanie. I almost feel bad for Grey, she is fifth on her team on this list but would be third on Team Blake or Cee-Lo and close to third on Christina's team.

Prediction time: assuming that the first round of Live Shows are the same as the last two where America saves two singers from each team and each coach saves one more for a final 12, here are my predictions on how it shapes out.

America saves Preston and Tessanne, Adam saves James
America saves Austin and Cole, Blake saves Ray
America saves Matthew and Jacquie, Christina saves Josh
America saves Caroline and Jonny, Cee-Lo saves Kat

Monday, October 28, 2013

The Voice Season 5 Battle Round Power Rankings

As we enter the third season of The Steal, they were one again hit or miss. I thought Juhi, Will, Monika, and Stephanie all deserved their Steals. The other four were really head-scratching. I was with Blake in that Cee-Lo should have stolen Barry Black, but then again Cee-Lo was the only one that ended up using both Steals wisely. Maybe had Blake not wasted both of his Steals on Knockout Round fodder, he would have had one to use himself on someone much more worthy like Barry. Donna Allen was the only other singer that we saw that stood out to me as Save-worthy. I did like Lupe Carroll’s Blind Audition so I do wish he would have gotten a Steal, or they should have at least shown him singing Africa which I am guessing had to be better than some of the Battles they actually showed. Oh well, here is my updated ranking of those that did move on to the Knockout Round.

1. Austin Jenckes (Team Blake): Every season there always is a Battle or two where it sound like less like a duet and more of a Motown group with a single lead singer, this was the case for this Battle where Austin was Smokey Robinson and Brian came off as one of the Miracles.

2. Caroline Pennell (Team Cee-Lo): When Cee-Lo said she had to sing Justin Beiber I feared for Caroline because Beiber (and teen pop in general) has been a curse to anyone who sings him because there is just a cheesiness to him and teen pop in general. But wow, Caroline took this corny pop song and found a beautiful darkness in it. I do not know who did the arrangement for the song, be it Caroline, Anthony, Cee-Lo, or the band, but kudos to them.

3. Holly Henry (Team Blake): I will not complain anymore about how and why Holly was montoged, I did enough of that yesterday. The five seconds we got to hear her sing Torn on the show were solid and the studio version is really good (click Holly’s name, or any contestant’s name, to buy it on iTunes). I did have to put Austin and Caroline above her because theirs were the only great Battle Round performances, but Holly’s performance of The Scientist remains the best performance so far this season.

4. Preston Pohl (Team Adam): Dude can sing MGMT, then follow that up with The Temptations, and he did them both justice. Make you wonder what else Preston has in his musical quiver.

5. Ray Boudreaux (Team Blake): There really is not much to Ray, but he is just clean and smooth and could be a dark horse when people start voting.

6. Destinee Quinn (Team Christina): Destinee has a glaring flaw during her Blind Audition with a lack of consistency. She definitely ironed that out by her, if her future performances are as good as her Battle Round performance, she could end up as Christina’s last person standing.

7. Jacquie Lee (Team Christina): When Jacquie started out, I could not help but think to last season when Amy Whitcomb sang the song and Blake said (badly paraphrasing because I am too lazy to get the direct quote), “The song ended a whole lot better than it started.” It was a rough start and it seemed like House of the Rising Sun is just a very hard song to start (especially for the ladies that cannot reach the bottom as well as Eric Burdon can) and it looks like Jacquie drew the short straw have to start off the song. But like Amy, Jacquie ended the song a lot better than it started. Briana may have been more consistent, but Jacquie at her best was definitely better than Briana at her best during the song.

8. Matthew Schuler (Team Christina): A silly song choice, but I would take it over the well worn songs that many of the coaches forced on their singers.

9. Olivia Henken (Team Christina): Well that was fun. I found her audition a little too mediocre Carrie-oke, but Done. was much more entertaining. Hopefully she sticks to more fun upbeat songs otherwise I give the edge to Destinee for Christina’s token absurdly attractive country singer.

10. Monika Leigh (Team Cee-Lo Cee-Lo): I was a little surprised that Blake paired Monika and Ray together, more than any other coach, Blake pairs his favorites with ones he is ready to dump. I thought bother were destined to at least make it to the Knockout Rounds on his team, if not the Live Shows. This ended up being Blake’s best Battle (granted half of his were montaged) and though Ray was slightly better, Monika got one of the few well deserved saved this season.

11. Juhi (Team Cee-Lo Adam): I was ready for Juhi to leave the show after her screeching during the rehearsal, but by the time she hit the stage, she was much better and definitely deserved to win her battle. She does need a little more fine tuning and I definitely trust Adam to do that better than Cee-Lo. So how the battle ended may be the best for her in the long run. I also have to say I have long thought that Twitter was the internet for stupid people. That thawed a little when Prince joined the site and it thawed a little more when Juhi tweeted this after her Battle:

12. Cole Vosbury (Team Cee-Lo): I am having trouble to believe that the dude who sang The Theme to the Jefferson’s in the Blind Auditions and then sang Toto’s Africa was any worse than half of the Battles we had to sit through this season.

13. Jonny Gray (Team Cee-Lo): After his Blind Audition, I was hoping Cee-Lo would find a great song that suited him, and a little Tom Petty did the trick.

14. Will Champlin (Team Adam Christina): The most evenly matched Battle this season, maybe ever. I would have given the slight edge to Will because he has a little more something to his voice…

15. James Wolpert (Team Adam): …where James’s voice, though good, can be as bland as his look. If he is going to rock the accountant look, hopefully he just embarrasses the look and starts singing some Weezer, Ben Folds, or Barenaked Ladies.

16. Grey (Team Adam): Kind of the female version of Ray, it is hard to pinpoint what is good about her voice other it is the kind of voice you can sit back and soak in. But after two bland pop songs, I do hope she does something a little more interesting in the Knockout Round.

17. Stephanie Anne Johnson (Team Christina Cee-Lo): Every Blind Auditions there are a couple contestants who have to choose between two or more coaches and after they pick, I sit that and shake my head thinking they should have went with the other one. Then inevitably they are paired with someone during the Battles who the coach likes much better to the point they give them a song that is much more suited to the other singer and once again I shake my head thinking, you really should have picked that other coach. Stephanie was on of those contents who thought would have been much better off choosing Cee-Lo over Christina. Luckily for Stephanie, she eventually found her way to Cee-Lo’s team.

18. Briana Cuoco (Team Christina Blake): Wins the award for most improved. Although for someone whose reasoning for going with Blake because he won three straight year, I would think someone who knows the show this well would know Blake only uses his Steals as fodder I the next round. Lucky for Briana, the show has added a Steal to the Knockout Rounds. So maybe she may find her way back to Team Christina because I would be shocked if she made it to the Live Shows with Blake.

19. Amber Nicole (Team Christina): There is always a montage contestant that wins a Battle or two every season, but Amber winning was still a bit shocking because I thought the producers were setting up Timya as one of the frontrunners this season and not only did she lose, she did not get a Steal. But Amber definitely deserved to win this Battle.

20. Tamara Chauniece (Team Cee-Lo): Montage win. Yawn.

21. Lina Gaudenzi (Team Christina Adam): Lina was all over the place during her Blind Audition, she was a bit better this round, but I am not sure it was worth a steal.

22. Shelbie Z. (Team Blake): For the first three seasons, Blake only took one country artist to the Live Rounds, and only one of them advanced one round when they got there. Last season there were five country singers better than any of those in the first three seasons including Savannah Berry who did not even make the Live Shows. Shelbie reminds me of those in the first three seasons who will likely be one round and done unless Blake saves her. I would even venture to say one of Christina’s country singers may actually go further.

23. James Irwin (Team Adam): Maybe the second most even Battle of the season, but I could not help but thinking who ever won would end up being Knockout Round fodder on Adam’s team.

24. Tessanne Chin (Team Adam): I liked her Battle Round performance more than her Blind Audition, but her beating Donna was one of the most egregious decisions of the round.

25. Kat Robichaud (Team Cee-Lo): During the Blind Auditions, I feared that with Cee-Lo Kat would easily go over the top with her performances and that came to fruition with a cringeworthy performance of the severely overused karaoke staple I Don’t Wanna Miss a Thing. I could not help thinking during the performance that the montages could not have been as bad as this. Seriously, they skipped of Africa for this performance?

26. Ashley DuBose (Team Adam): You have to wonder just how bad a performance of a song that featured not one but two coaches had to be to get the montage treatment. And judging by Adam’s stinkface when Ashley told him what she will be singing in the Knockout Rounds, she will probably not make the Live Shows without a Steal.

27. Anthony Paul (Team Cee-Lo Christina): I am not entirely sure what Christina saw in this guy, when I think back to his Battle, my only memories are of Caroline who just dominated the song.

28. Josh Logan (Team Christina): During his Blind Audition, Josh sounded a lot like Alex Clare, and during the Battle Rounds it sounded like he was trying to sound like Adam Levine too, but this time around he failed massively. I really have no interest in listening to copy cats. Michael not winning this battle was the second biggest mistake made by any coach made this round.

29. E.G. Daily (Team Blake): Montage win. Yawn.

30. Brandon Chase (Team Blake): Montage win. Yawn.

31. George Horga Jr. (Team Cee-Lo): It is really never a good sign when half the coaches spend most of their time talking about a bum note (that first “Best I ever had” was really bad) and after you are gone the other three coaches talk about how shocked they were when you were picked. Cee-Lo has made some of the dumbest decision on the show and nothing will probably ever beat Erin Martin over The Sheilds Brothers, but this may very well be number two.

32. Nic Hawk (Team Adam Blake): One of the most entertaining people this season, but his voice is just too musical theater for a singing competition. Blake likes to waste his Steals on Knockout Round fodder, but Nic was the most unworthy Steal in the series history.

Now it is time to see who has the strongest team coming out of the Battle Rounds (going in I had Cee-Lo followed by Adam, Christina, and Blake pulling up the rear). I gave the person last one point and firs 32 points and added the points up by teams and here is how they stack up:

Christina – 146
Cee-Lo – 134
Blake – 124
Adam – 124

So Christina leapfrogs Adam and Cee-Lo while Adam sinks all the way to last. But who cares what I think, here is how high each singer reached during the Battle Round (I also included any Blind Auditions italics that made the charts over the past two weeks to give you a sense about who the iTunes population is most enthusiastic about). Those that are not on this list did not make the top 1500 Overall chart (at least i never saw them on it).

1. Caroline Pennell (35)
2. Jacquie Lee (77)
3. Preston Pohl (77)
4. Preston Pohl – Electric Feel (113)
5. Briana Cuoco (218)
6. Holly Henry – The Scientist (257)
7. Destinee Quinn (261)
8. Austin Jenckes (271)
9. Holly Henry (272)
10. Caroline Pennell – Anything Can Happen (273)
11. Juhi (280)
12. Jonny Grey (293)
13. James Wolpert – Love Interrupted (312)
14. Tessanne Chin (324)
15. Matthew Schuler (330)
16. James Irwin (336)
17. Amber Nicole (362)
18. Will Champlin (386)
19. James Wolpert (404)
20. Josh Logan (407)
21. George Horga Jr. (492)
22. Matthew Schuler – Cough Syrup (538)
23. Lina Gaudenzi (539)
24. Grey (569)
25. Jacquie Lee – Back to Black (589)
26. Anthony Paul (620)
27. Ray Boudreaux (628)
28. Shelbie Z. (665)
29. Olivia Henken (687)
30. Jonny Grey – All These Things I’ve Done (942)
31. Tessanne Chin – Try (1050)
32. Kat Robichaud (1090)
33. Cole Vosbury (1295)
34. Austin Jenckes – Simple Man (1346)
35. Brandon Chase (1417)
36. Nic Hawk (1418)

What is striking about this list is that three montaged contestants actually made this list (Holly, Cole and Brandon) and charted higher than three that had their full performance aired (Nic, Monika, and Stephanie). Holly alone did better than 20 other contestants that were show in their entirety. Here is how the teams shake out based on iTunes using the same methodology above:

Adam – 213
Christina – 189
Blake – 145
Cee-Lo – 120

Adam is on the top of the list followed by Christina, it helps when they had one montage Battle between them. If you are counting both the Blinds and Battles, Blake’s contestants were montaged five times, Cee-Lo four times, Christina twice, and only one for Adam. Then Adam’s contestants closed out four episodes, Christina twice, Blake once, and Cee-Lo only once, and that was the final Blind Audition. Gee, I wonder who the producers want to win. Keep in mind aside from winning the first season neither Adam or Christina finished better than third, and if there were no team quotas back in season two, they may not have finished that high. Clearly the producers have their favorites but if you want to know who the real front runners are when the Live Rounds starts, here is how the contestants rank if you average how high each of their songs charted during both rounds.

1. Preston Pohl (49)
2. Caroline Pennell (112.5)
3. Holly Henry (147.5)
4. Matthew Schuler (204.5)
5. James Wolpert (264)
6. Tessanne Chin (271.5)
7. Jonny Grey (277.5)
8. Austin Jenckes (290.5)
9. Jacquie Lee (297)
10. Will Champlin (358)
11. James Irwin (410)
12. Destinee Quinn (450)
13. Josh Logan (436.5)
14. Ray Boudreaux (489)
15. Grey (542)
16. Briana Cuoco (604.5)
17. Lina Gaudenzi (709.5)
18. Juhi (826)
19. Olivia Henken (847.5)
20. Brandon Chase (884.5)
21. Shelbie Z. (989)
22. Nic Hawk (1024.5)
23. Cole Vosbury (1191)

Despite being montage, Holly, is sitting at number three. It makes me wonder just how high she could have gotten if they showed more than five seconds of her singing. As I write this Preston and Holly are the only two that still have both of their songs in the top 1500, so those are your two front runners right now. Then really any of those in the top nine on this list I think have a chance of winning (interestingly enough, the top nine is evenly divided between the four teams with Adam getting the extra singer). Outside the top nine, I think Ray and whichever of Christina token absurdly attractive country singer makes it to the Live Shows could be dark horses. Everyone else I would put their chance of winning somewhere between slim and none. I do know the token absurdly attractive country singers are facing off in the Knockout Round because Entertainment Weekly released all the pairing. Here are who will be going against each other with who I think will win listed first and with the ones I am most confident listed in order of confidence.

Team Adam
Preston Pohl vs. Lina Gaudenzi
Tessanne Chin vs. Ashley Dubose
James Wolpert vs. Juhi
Grey vs. James Irwin

Team Blake
Holly Henry vs. Nic Hawk
Shelbie Z. vs. Briana Cuoco
Austin Jenckes vs. Brandon Chase
Ray Boudreaux vs. E.G. Daily

Team Cee-Lo
Jonny Grey vs. Cole Vosbury
Kat Robichaud vs. Monika Leigh
Caroline Pennell vs. George Horga Jr.
Stephanie Anne Johnson vs. Tamara Chauniece

Team Christina
Matthew Schuler vs. Will Champlin
Jacquie Lee vs. Anthony Paul
Josh Logan vs. Amber Nicole
Olivia Henken vs. Destinee Quinn

Monday, October 14, 2013

The Voice Season 5 Blind Auditions Power Rankings

After a weak first episode, the second two hours of The Voice was filled with a few memorable Blind Auditions, but after that there were three more episodes of wondering where the wow moments were. Last season, I did not think any of the singers who have made it to the top six of season three. But this season is lacking so much talent; I think only one or two singers this season would have made the top eight last season. The two cycles a year is really starting to water down the talent pool. Mark Burnett may want to take a page out of his other show Survivor and start bringing back artists that should have made it further than they did, and not just the Blind Audition rejects like they have for the last couple seasons. Usually after each Blind Audition, I make a list of Contestants That Deserve a Second Shot, but other than Malford Milligan, even none of this season’s rejects really deserve another go around on the show. Hopefully there are more than usual amounts of breakout moments in the Battle (which is a rarely) and Knockout Rounds. Until then, here are the Power Rankings for the fifth season Blind Auditions.

Holly Henry, the best on The Voice this season
1. Holly Henry (Team Blake): When Holly popped up in a promo for this season, I pondered out loud to the internet, “Is it too soon to call the chick who sings The Scientist the winner of this season of The Voice?” After seeing the full ninety seconds audition, the answer is a resounding yes. The sweet coffee house female indie singers have done fairly well on the show, and usually dominate the iTunes chart each season (but usually ends up losing to someone the bored housewives will call in for but will never buy their music for) and Holly definitely fits that lineage. Either her or Preston had the best selling Blind Auditions song this season by a pretty sizable margin. But Holly actually actual power in her voice that none of her predecessors have had since Dia Frampton back in the first season. The way she delivered “nobody said it was easy” was just beautiful (and was the very reason they used it in the ad). And aside from her voice, I really like everything else about her. I really hope she gets a chance to play her instruments down the line. Plus Holly Henry is a very strong name, the kind that could be a love interest turned superhero in her own right in a comic book. She also looks like a younger, blonder Emma Stone and Holly even exudes the same awkward confidence that Emma has. It goes without saying Stone is one of the greatest living human beings currently walking the planet. My one worry is she went with Blake who just last season went straight country. I had to cringe when Blake talked about how well he has done with singer-songwriters in the past considering he railroaded Caroline Glaser off his team in the Battle Rounds last season. Here is hoping Blake keeps to his word that he is going to “mix things up this season” and helps her to the heights that Dia got in the first season. But where Dia came in second Holly could very well be the first of the coffee-house type singers that wins the whole thing.

2. Cole Vosbury (Team Cee-Lo): Dude came on national television in 2013 and performed The Theme to the Jefferson’s on a singing competition. After the song ended, he really should have just said, “Let’s do this Cee-Lo.” Then drop the mic and walk off stage. This was the second coolest Blind Audition in the history of the series after Lindsey Pavao. I do not know how he tops this but if he goes home prematurely, please give him and his grandmother a reality show.

3. Caroline Pennell (Team Cee-Lo): It is hard to listen to her and not think of last season’s Caroline, Caroline Glaser, They both have sweet soothing, unique voices that could interpret anything. They both showed up to their Blind Audition looking like their raided their grandmother’s closet (Glaser then showed up to the Battle Rounds with a hippie chic makeover, so let’s see what changes are in store for Pennell). It was also extremely endearing how she was noticeably taken aback when the crowd started to cheer and then when the coaches turned around. That is nice for the Blind Auditions, but if she does not learn to keep that under control by the next round, it could be a quick exit. It is lucky she picked Cee-Lo because had she went with Blake she would have had to fight Holly for the quirky teen spot. I would like to see them both in the Live Show. But she did end up with compitition for that spot on Cee-Lo's team.

4. Austin Jenckes (Team Blake): He reminds me a southern version of Ryan Innes from last season (despite from actually being from Washington State). When you can mix a soulful voice with that southern grit that can be a powerful combination. Here is hoping he does not do some weird version of a Gavin DeGraw song in the Knockout Round like Ryan did last season.

Cole Vosbury of The Voice
5. Matthew Schuler (Team Christina): A rugby singing back dude who likes obscure Young the Giant songs. I’m in. Easily the most likeable guy this season so far. My only problem is that he is a bit of an over-singer and I am never a fan of the vocal gymnasts on the show. And being on Christina’s team is the worst place for that. Plus her teams in the first and third season were laughably bad and her one season where she had the strongest team ended up with the most boring finalist that year and another last place finish. Hopefully she does not mess this up. Or maybe she will and Matthew gets stolen by a better coach.

6. Preston Pohl (Team Adam): Just pure raw emotion, but I wonder if he can keep it up for ten weeks in a row if he makes it to the Live Rounds. Just last year, Midas Whale gave the most passionate performance of the Blind Auditions but ended up flaming out by the Knockout Rounds. I do hope at some point Cee-Lo has a chance to steal Preston because he will be better suited to finding songs that will fit him than Adam probably will.

7. Ray Boudreaux (Team Blake): A nice bluesy voice and being from New Orleans gives him a little extra spice you do not expect.

8. Juhi (Team Cee-Lo): A very fun performance but I still came away wanting a little more (which may be some experience, something that is hard to gain fast). Hopefully she busts out some Nirvana or Sublime later in the season if she makes it that far. It is weird to think Cee-Lo has two teenage girls. Blake, who turned around for both, usually has the teenage demographic cornered and Cee-Lo would be the last of the four judges you would expect to recruit young girls.

9. Will Champlin (Team Adam): If he does not sing Hard Habit to Break at some point in this season I will be very disappointed.

Caroline Pennell of The Voice
10. Lupe Carroll (Team Cee-Lo): The only aspect of his performance that was disappointing was that he did not bring out his wife to play cello with him. Maybe he is saving that for the Live Shows if he makes it that far.

11. Grey (Team Adam): With the unfortunate arm tattoo, country beginnings, and Kelly Clarkson song you have to think of Cassadee Pope. But she ended up going with Adam instead of Blake. Cee-Lo did hit it a little too much on the head calling her plain. That may have been the bland song selection, but with better choices in songs, she could end up being a second tier Cassadee which may very well be good enough to make it far this season.

12. Tamara Chauniece (Team Cee-Lo): Whenever an RnB singer comes from the church it shows because they have an extra passion which puts Tamara at the top of the best RnB singers this season.

13. Barry Black (Team Adam): The voice is the greatest instrument on the planet and really besides whistling, no one uses it for any other reason than singing. So Barry earns big points for busting out the vocal horn. It is too bad Cee-Lo did not turn around because that would be a much better fit then Adam who will probably use Barry as Battle Round fodder. If so, hopefully Cee-Lo uses his steal wisely. If not, he can also join the percussion section of a group on The Sing-Off.

14. Kat Robichaud (Team Cee-Lo): Right off the bat Cee-Lo got his rock chick ala Juliet Simms, who went to the finals with him two seasons ago. But I was never a fan of the whiskey soaked voices like Juliet’s and Kat is much more palatable. I do worry she will go too far over the top and with Cee-Lo as her coach that will undoubtedly happen.

Austin Jenkles of The Voice
15. Donna Allen (Team Adam): She has that strong voice that only comes with experience and she does have the spunk of the teenagers on the show. Not the best song selection, it is not the best idea to sing a song with only two lines on a show like this.

16. Monika Leigh (Team Blake): She had some probable in her low end (a new critique I learned this season), but when she went up it was solid. Plus I am down with any white chick who will bust out some BB King. If Blake keeps her in that sultry zone of her first performance, it should work in her favor.

17. Jonny Gray (Team Cee-Lo): A good voice and vibe about him, I do not think the song choice suited him very well. There is a flamboyance to Brandon Flowers voice and Jonny played too straight. With the right song he can be a contender with the right songs and with Cee-Lo as his coach he will either find the greatest songs for him, or pick songs that will bomb massively, there is really any middle ground with decisions Cee-Lo makes.

18. Matt Cermanski (Team Adam): To show just how low the talent level is this season, Matt did not make a team last season and deservedly so, he did not even make my list of Contestants That Deserve Another Shot, and he was only slightly better this season and was one of the better singers this season. Though I do not know why he broke out a guitar for Have a Little Faith in Me unless it was a shameless attempt to court the mom votes who love white guys with guitars. Which is a good strategy, The Swon Brothers inexplicably rode that wave to the finals last season.

19. Stephanie Anne Johnson (Team Christina): Maybe not the best song choice (and probably the wrong pick in coaches, I think Stephanie could have gone further with Cee-Lo) but there is definitely a lot there. I am really interesting in hearing sing more of a power ballad type song.

Matthew Schuler of The Voice
20. Jacquie Lee (Team Christina): This is the third straight season someone sang Back to Black and it is weird to think this is the first time a female sang it. It is just as weird to hear a sixteen year old girl sing a song with so much pathos. There was nothing bad to say about her performance but there really is nothing good to say. It was just a solid high school talent show performance. Like almost every other teenager that has tried out for their show, Jacquie probably should have waited until she had some more experience under her belt before trying out for the show. She probably could have gone further in a couple years than she will probably make it this season.

21. Destinee Quinn (Team Christina): She ranks very high on the likeability scale (which can go a long way on this show and helped Blake to three straight wins). Bonus points for the Alice Cooper shout-out. But I found her performance widely inconsistent and that is probably the very reason why Blake Shelton, who is very picky when it comes to country singers, did not turn around. But when she was good, she was great and if she can iron out her inconsistencies, she could be a contender in the Live Shows.

22. James Wolpert (Team Adam): Cool song selection but I was a bit surprised all four coaches turned around for him (I said that a lot this season). It probably does not help that this guy reminds me of the guy who was on Adam’s team the first season who name I cannot be bothered to remember or even look up.

23. Michael Lynch (Team Christina): A very fun performance even though it came across as a little wedding singer-y. But it is hard not to be down with a white Irish dude who sings in Spanish.

24. James Irwin (Team Adam): I was not a fan of the arrangement and I wonder if everyone would have turned around if they had waited until it started to get loud. It did not seem like Adam liked it and even made a strong critique about it and all the choaches looked stoned faced by the end of his performance nor really fought for him. For some reason James still went with him because he is “a rocker at heart.” Um, that is a bit of a stretch, rock guys would be better off going with Cee-Lo (think Jamar Rogers) or Blake (think Terry McDermott).

25. Olivia Henken (Team Christina): Another hot country chick that Blake did not turn for that ended up on Christina’s team so there will be an obvious Battle Round showdown with Destinee. Oops, Battle Pairings are out and oddly they are not going against each other. It will be interesting if either improve enough to get Blake to steal. But then again Cee-Lo may steal one of them to put them in “professional” positions.

26. Shawn Smith (Team Cee-Lo): Just a fun performance. Interesting enough, during Cee-Lo’s last season, he picked someone who sang a southern rock song with the last pick of the Blind Auditions and Cody Belew ended up making it a couple rounds into the Live Shows. Shawn could very well be Cee-Lo’s last minute dark horse again.

27. Josh Logan (Team Christina): He sounded like he was trying just way too hard to sound like Alex Clare but came up way short. When someone comes on the show and does a straight karaoke version, and not even a great karaoke version, I do not expect them to stick around very long.

28. Tessanne Chin (Team Adam): This reminded me a lot of Sasha Allen’s performance of the same song last season. There is why Amber Carrington crushed Sasha in the Battle. Sasha, like Tessanne, went 0 to 60 in about five second and stayed there through the whole performance, there is no artistry is being loud throughout an entire performance. She better learn dynamics quick or she could also lose to an underdog in the next round and there may not be anyone there to Steal her like Sasha.

29. Ashley DuBose (Team Adam): Like Tessanne before her, Ashley also closed out her episode singing a bland pop song and did not add anything special to it and then picked Adam. Adam took two powerhouse pop singers to the Live Shows last season, but Sarah Simmons and Judith Hill actually took risks with their song selections. And if America quickly got tired of them, I see America meeting Tessanne and Ashley with a resounding yawn one the voting starts. Luckily for them, the field is weaker this season, so I would not write either off completely.

30. Timyra-Joi (Team Christina): She really should have gone Cee-Lo. With him, Timyra could have done something interesting, with Christina, she will just have her sing dated Whitney, Mariah covers until the voting public gets bored, which will probably happen after a week.

31. Lina Gaudenzi (Team Christina): As I complain all the time, it is not a good idea to perform song that was performed on the show before and done much better and Suzanna Choffel sang Landslide much better because Suzanne has a little extra to her voice. Lena started out as the sweeter version but in the middle started doing way too much to the song.

32. R. Anthony (Team Cee-Lo): Does this guy really want to go by "R."? For a guy who was in a gospel group, you would think he would want to distance himself from Mr. Kelly. But Mr. Anthony's audition ended a lot better than it started.

Even though one person wins, it is fun at this point to see who has the strongest team. So I gave a numerical value to ever contestant, one point for the person in last and forty-eight for number one (I did rank all 48 contestants but only listed 32 because that is the number that will advance to the Knockout Rounds and there really was not much to say about the bottom sixteen, half that were montage; I did listen to the iTunes previews of the montaged singers to properly rate them). And here is how each team stacked up:

Cee-Lo - 333
Adam – 329
Christina – 258
Blake – 256

So as it stands, Cee-Lo and Adam have a significant lead over Christina and Blake. The problem with Blake’s team is that it is very bottom heavy, but if he chooses wisely and trims his fat, it will look much better for him coming out of Battle Rounds because between Holly, Austin, and Ray, I think he can nab two finalist spots for the third straight year. Christina on the other hand will have to use her steals wisely because she only has one person in my top ten and three in the top twenty (and two are at nineteen and twenty).

But who cares what I think. Let us look at what the music buying public thinks about this season’s contestants. Here is how they rank on the iTunes charts at their highest point on the chart in parentheses (or the highest I saw it at) with artists still in the top 1500 as of Sunday evening in bold.

1. Preston Pohl (21)
2. Holly Henry (23)
3. Matthew Schuler (79)
4. James Wolpert (110)
5. Caroline Pennell (190)
6. Matt Cermanski (213)
7. Tessanne Chin (219)
8. Jonny Gray (265)
9. Ashley DuBose (286)
10. Austin Jenckes (298)
11. Will Champlin (319)
12. Ray Boudreaux (350)
13. Brandon Chase (352)
14. Lupe Carroll (374)
15. Michael Lynch (461)
16. Josh Logan (463)
17. James Irwin (477)
18. Grey (515)
19. Jacquie Lee (517)
20. E.G. Daily (523)
21. Monika Leigh (573)
22. Timyra-Joi (618)
23. Nic Hawk (631)
24. Destinee Quinn (639)
25. Brian Pounds (757)
26. R. Anthony (789)
27. Justin Chain (810)
28. Lina Gaudenzi (880)
29. Shawn Smith (908)
30. Sam Cerniglia (976)
31. Brianna Cuoco (991)
32. Olivia Henken (1008)
33. Barry Black (1033)
34. Cole Vosbury (1087)
35. Tamara Chauniece (1229)
36. Jacob Poole (1239)
37. Shelbie Z. (1313)
38. Juhi (1373)
39. Stephanie Anne Johnson (1366)

It should be noted that those top five are currently still the only ones still in the top 1500 and still in that order except James leapfrogged Michael. It also looks like the music buying public did not care for Cee-Lo’s team as much as I did (seriously, what is wrong with America that they do not want to own a countrified version of The Jefferson's Theme Song?); he only had three singers in the top twenty-five of this season with four who did not even make the top 1500. Most shockingly was Kat who probably got the best edit by producers on his team this season and seems to be a lock for the live shows. George and Cee-Lo’s two montaged contestants also failed to make the list. Blake’s two montages were the only ones not here along with one of Christina’s montage contestants, surprisingly her other one, Jacob just cracked the list. Adam did not have any of his team members montaged (Adam got the contestant that closed out the first four episodes and none of his picks were montaged; gee, I wonder who the producers want to win this season) but Donna Allen and Justin Blake failed to make the list. If you use the same formula that I used with to decide who had the strongest team using my power rankings, here are the strongest teams based on the iTunes charts.

Adam – 271
Blake – 203
Christina – 175
Cee-Lo – 131

Not surprisingly Adam has the strongest team with five of the top ten on iTunes with Cee-Lo far behind everyone else. Now it is prediction time. Presuming there will still be two steals in the Battle Rounds and one in the Knockout Rounds, which means each team will go into the Live Shows with five members. If you just count the first five members of each team on my power rankings, you will see who I hope makes the Live Shows, but here is who I predict will make the Live Shows. I am going to go ahead and pick five members from each team not taking into accounts steal mostly because Adam is the only one of these four to take a Steal to the Live Shows and I have a sinking suspicion that most, if not all the coaches will steal back someone they dumped in the Battle Rounds for their Knockout Round steal (though Christina, and looking at the iTunes charts Cee-Lo too should take a steal or three to the Live Shows). I rank each team from most to least confident they will make the Live Shows.

Adam: Tessanne, James W., Preston, Ashley, Will
Blake: Holly, Austin, Ray, Shelbie, Monika
Cee-Lo: Kat, Jonny, Caroline, Cole, Tamara
Christina: Matthew, Timyra, Olivia, Josh, Jacquie

And for an extremely too premature prediction of the finals (did anyone have Danielle, Michelle, and / or the Swon Brothers on the finals after the Blind Auditions last season? I had all three not making the Live Shows) I am guess it will be the same as the last two seasons with Blake having two finalists, Holly and Austin, with the token RnB coach Cee-Lo taking the other spot with Jonny rounding out the finals. Christina will lose all her team members first while Adam hates America for dumping his powerhouse singers before the finals.

Last season, you had to go through the Battle Round promo like a Zapruder film to figure out five battle pairings, but this season, the promo Monday and the lengthy preview Tuesday, you could tell all but two battle pairings and oddly both are on Blake’s team (E.G., Cilla, and Sam were the only ones that got zero Battle Round promo screen time while a single tight shot on Holly did not reveal who she is going against, though you could tell she was standing next to someone in an off-white sweater and in an online video about Cher, Cilla is shown hugging Cher in a similar looking sweater). They even revealed a bunch of what songs they are singing. Here are 22 of the 24 battle pairing (who I think will win is listed first).

Matt vs. James I. (Counting Stars)
Ashley vs. Justin (Just a Fool)
Gray vs. Nic (Domino)
James W. vs. Will (Radioactive)
Tessanne vs. Donna
Preston vs. Barry

Shelbie vs. Justin (Don't You Wanna Stay)
Ray vs. Monika (Some Kind of Wonderful)
Austin vs. Brian (To Love Somebody)
Emily vs. Brandon
Holly vs. Cilla (I think)
If I am right above, that leaves E.G. vs. and Sam

Kat vs. R. Anthony (I Don't Want to Miss a Thing)
Caroline vs. Anthony (As Long As You Love Me)
Johnny vs. Shawn (Refugee)
Cole vs. Lupe
Juhi vs. George
Tamara vs. Keaira

Matthew vs. Jacob (My Songs Know What You Did In the Dark (Light Em Up))
Josh vs. Michael (Harder to Breathe)
Timya vs. Amber (Listen)
Olivia vs. Stephanie
Destinee vs. Lina
Jacqui vs. Brianna

They may have even tipped their cap as to two contestants that got stolen, there is someone who looks like a brunette chick who kind of looks like Briana (plus there is a shot of her sister Kaley losing her mind again in the promo) and a very fuzzy looking blond chick who I originally thought was Olivia when I first saw it but am unsure upon second (and tenth) examination who both who get stolen by Adam. But is Adam really going to use both of his steals on Christina rejects. Oddly both Blake and Cee-Lo try to steal one of hers on the Knockout Round.

Saturday, September 28, 2013

Best of the Week: 9/28/13

Quote of the Week: Here’s one I thought I’d take to the grave: a while back YouTube changed its user interface from a star based rating system to a thumbs up ratings system. I tell people I’m okay with it but I’m really not. (Sheldon Cooper PhD, The Big Bang Theory)

Song of the Week: Islands In the Stream – Kenny Rogers and Dolly Parton (as sung by Wayne Brady and Wayne Brady, How I Met Your Mother)

Scene of the Week:

Big News of the Week: Power Rankings of New Fall Television: Television came back in full force this week with a slew of new shows. Surprisingly only one came D.O.A. (do not get too attacked to Lucky 7). Granted a lot of the more poorly reviewed show (We Are Men, Super Fun Night, Sean Saves the World, The Millers, Ironside, Welcome to the Family) do not premiere until next week. I did watch just over half of the ten new shows and here is absurdly premature Power Rankings:

1. The Blacklist
2. Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.
3. The Michael J. Fox Show
4. Back in the Game
5. The Goldbergs
6. The Crazy Ones

But who cares what I think. Here is how the shows stack up in total viewers in millions. As you can tell, it is very helpful to air after the two of the most watched shows on television like the top two shows here and not very helpful to air after another new show like the bottom three:

1. The Crazy Ones (15.52)
2. The Blacklist (12.58)
3. Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D (12.12)
4. The Goldbergs (8.94)
5. Back in the Game (8.01)
6. Mom (7.99)
7. The Michael J. Fox Show (7.50)
8. Hostages (7.41)
9. Trophy Wife (6.69)
10. Lucky 7 (4.43)

Although if you go by the ever more important 18-49 demo ratings, the rankings go like this:

1. Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D (4.7)
2. The Crazy Ones (3.9)
3. The Blacklist (3.8)
4. The Goldbergs (3.1)
5. Mom (2.5)
6. Trophy Wife (2.3)
7. Back in the Game (2.2)
8. The Michael J. Fox Show (2.2)
9. Hostages (1.8)
10. Lucky 7 (1.3)

Preview Picture of the Week:

“Wolfsangel” Sons of Anarchy, Tuesday at 10:00 on FX

Free Download of the Week: The Mother We Share – Chvrches (iTunes)

Deal of the Week: $3.99 Albums: Amazon is hosting a secret sale of albums that should be in everyone’s library including ones by Nirvana, Beastie Boys, The Police, and Boyz II Men. Update your library now on the cheap if there are holes.

New Album Release of the Week: Pure Heroine - Lorde

New DVD Release of the Week: This Is The End

Video of the Week: The triumphant return of Kenny Powers is tomorrow when the fourth and final season of Eastbound and Down premieres of HBO at 10:00. Check out a preview clip below:

Next Week Pick of the Week: Masters of Sex, Sunday at 10:00 on Showtime: Masters of Sex did not make my Power Ranking from above because it does not air until tomorrow, but if it was, it would have been number one with a bullet. To read more, check out my preview of Masters of Sex here.

Monday, May 06, 2013

The Voice Season Four Knockout Round Power Rankings

Last season, there were a few questionable song choices in the newly added Knockout Round (grandpa Rudy Parrish covering the girl beating Chris Brown sticks out the most) and even though there were fewer contestants this season, there seemed to be three times the bad song ideas. It seemed like Midas Whale, Mary Miranda, Monique Abbadie, Savannah Berry (all of whom I thought had a very good chance of advancing prior to the round), Warren Stone, Luke Edgemon, Audrey Karrasch, and C. Perkins lost before they even sang a note based on the song they picked alone. That is over half the losers and that does not even include Justin Rivers who benefitted from being pitted against someone who picked a worse song than him.

Surprisingly I agreed that every contestant each coach picked gave the best performance in the Knockout Round (I guess that happens when you get rid of the bad decision machines Cee-Lo and Christina). Not that it was not surprising in who the coaches picked. In previous seasons, especially Blake, would not necessary pick the best singer in the moment, but who they thought was better over all their performances. Even though they did not give their best performances, it is surprising that who I thought were former favorites on their teams, Savannah, Mary, Jess, and Ryan were all cut loose because of one below par performance. This definitely hurt Usher the most because he lost his two best singers in one fell swoop. I thought Ryan had the best chance to break up a final three sweep by Adam (Sarah, Caroline, and Judith seem the biggest fan favorites at the moment) and now Usher ended up with the weakest team which may be as bad as Christina’s team in the first or third season.

And what was up with Usher’s coaching, he will do pushups with Michelle, stand an inch away from Audrey, but it did not don on Usher to tell Ryan to tone it down and just sing the melody? That was just an epic fail on his part. One simple note just lost him his best chance of winning this season. Oh well. Here is a power ranking of those that did not make horrible song choices.

Sasha Allen of The Voice
1. Sasha Allen (Team Shakira): Her flaws were on full display when she had to sing a duet with a song picked out by someone else, but when she is by herself singing own song… wow. Just wow. With Ryan out of the competition, Sasha is now most likely break Adam’s triad sweeping the finals.

2. Sarah Simmons (Team Adam): After performing two songs I never really cared for I was excited that Sarah was actually performing a song I like. Wild Horses may even be my favorite Rolling Stones song (that or Beast of Burden or You Can’t Always Get What You Want depending on my mood that day) but what I like about the song is it subtly and Sarah just went too big with it.

3. Caroline Glaser (Team Adam): The weakest performance of her three so far, but even Caroline at her worse is more entertaining than most people in this competition at their best. And I have to image going second puts you at a slight disadvantage epically if the other in your pairing does not bomb (Caroline was visibly shaken while watch Amy perform compared to Amy who provided the hey’s to Caroline’s song). She definitely needs to get her nerves in check during the Live Playoffs because Adam will not hesitate to pick Amber over her if comes down to the two. Since last week I suggested that Caroline start wearing and she did this week (and it worked, she was not picked without them and was chosen with them), I am going to pretend I am in some fantasy world where Caroline actually reads this and this week suggest Caroline start playing an instrument. Caroline has what I call the Eddie Vedder Syndrome where they are not sure what they should be doing on stage and end up looking very awkward. Standing in one place with a guitar or sitting down at the piano should elevate her nervous tensions; it did do wonders for Dia Frampton in the first season.

Sarah Simmons of The Voice
4. Danielle Bradbery (Team Blake): After hearing sing her first ballad, it became clear she will be better off sticking to more fun songs in the pop-country songbook.

5. Kris Thomas (Team Shakira): Consistent as ever, but the song selection was a bit of a bore. I hope he dips into nineties RnB for the next round because there are plenty of forgotten gems there that would be much more interesting than yet another interpolation of an over performed song.

6. Amber Carrington (Team Adam): She has become the dragon slayer this season, easily dispatched early favorite Sasha in the Battle Round and made quick work of another fan favorite Midas Whale in the Knockouts. So do not count her out against the resounding three favorites left on her team (Sarah, Judith and Caroline had the three best selling Knockout Round songs on iTunes this week). I do not think she will get through by the fan votes (assuming they do it the same way they did last season) but could get a reprieve by Adam saving her. If so, she could go far, maybe even top six. I have never minded team quotas, but it is a shame that all four of Adam's team probably could beat everyone on Usher's team and maybe even be at least the second vote getter on either Blake or Shakira's teams.

Caroline Glaser
7. Holly Tucker (Team Blake): Much like how Danielle should stick to the fun songs, Holly would be better served by picking bigger ballads and it would also benefit them both because it would differentiate themselves from each other. But Holly needs to stick away from the country songs that do not appeal to a broader audience or she will end up like Liz Davis who was quickly rejected by America by picking a song that no one outside of the country world recognized. Maybe something by Shania Twain, Faith Hill or try countrfing a power ballad.

8. VEDO (Team Usher): It was hard to hear him sing this song without thinking of Bryan Keith last season who famously held that final note in the commercials. Vedo did not quite hit those heights, but he is the only one left in the competition who has improved on each performance. Like Kris, Vedo needs to dip into the nineties.

9. Judith Hill (Team Adam): My favorite of her three performances, but I still missing the wow factor that it seem like everyone else have when they listen to her.

10. Cáthia (Team Usher): Probably the luckiest person left in the competition. She loses to Mary (who then loses her Knockout match up) but gets Stolen by Usher who then puts her up against his strongest singer who then ended up giving his worst performance on the show. But it does not matter how you get there, it only matters that you get there. And it may get her more votes with America, but I actually like her more when she was singing in Spanish. With Usher as her coach I expect to stick to English language songs. Yawn.

Danielle Bradberry of The Voice
11. Garrett Gardner (Team Shakira): Another consistent performer but he is still missing that breakout moment that could make him a contender, or even interesting.

12. Michelle Chamuel (Team Usher): She is like the white version of De'Borah but with a worse voice, less interesting and a much worse taste in music. Which probably means she will go further.

13. The Swon Brothers (Team Blake): It really baffles me that Blake would take Jamie Lannister to the Live Round. Who would want to vote for that evil douchebag?

14. Josiah Hawley (Team Usher): A much stronger performance than his Battle Round but I would still have liked Ryan or Jess to have taken this spot on Usher’s team. And now that it is up to America, I fear he may stick around for a few weeks. Dez Duron made it about two rounds further than his talent dictated and Josiah is a better singer and better looking (um… or so I have been told by chicks) and Dez made it to the top eight with stiffer competition, hopefully teen girls to not get Josiah that far.

15. Karina Iglesias (Team Shakira): Her performance just came across as bland karaoke. Are You Gonna Go My Way is about 60% passion, 30% guitars and she lacked them both. Shakira taking Karina to the Live Shows over Mary or Monique may have been the most surprising decision this round

16. Justin Rivers (Team Blake): Like Josiah, he could skate by with his looks, but after not even being good enough to have his first two performances show and gave a lackluster performance the first time we got to see him, I do not think it will happen.

So going into the Live Playoff, it is time to see who has the strongest team, as usual I assigned each a number for each contestant, one for the worst, sixteen for the best and here are the teams with the highest scores:

Team Adam – 48
Team Shakira – 36
Team Blake – 28
Team Usher – 24

Not surprisingly Adam has a commanding lead; the guy could end up with the final three contestants. More surprising, in one round Shakira jumped from last to second place. It does help that she has two of the top five wile Blake has two of the bottom four. Then there is Usher amassed one of the worst Live Round teams in the first four seasons.

Carson said that they will go from 16 to 12, I assume like last season that the next round will involve each team having two members advance to the to 12 by fan vote and another get through by a Coach’s Save, if that is the case, here is how I predict the next round will shape up:

Team Adam: Sarah and Judith are saved by America, Adam saves Caroline; goodbye Amber
Team Black: Danielle and the Swon Brothers are saved by America, Blake saves Holly; goodbye Justin
Team Shakira: Sasha and Garrett are saved by America, Shakira saves Kris; goodbye Karina
Team Usher: Josiah and Michelle are saved by America, Usher saves Vedo; goodbye Cáthia

But take my predictions with a grain of salt because I only correctly predicted nine of the sixteen finalist (though in my defense, I could not have foreseen so many contestants picking such horrible songs).