After a month or so, NBC has finally finished stretching out one night’s work as the judges finish selecting their teams.
Adam Levine scored the more soulful contestants of the bunch to no one’s surprise. Just off the top of my head, I would expect Kim Yarbrough, Orlando Napier, Tony Lucca, Karla Davis, Angel Taylor and Katrina Parker to survive the battle round. They had stronger, more controlled auditions.
Orlando, Karla and Angel are probably the strongest of that group, but none of the three has really demonstrated strong performance skills. That’s an important factor to progressing through the performance rounds.
Chris Cauley is the wild card. His performance was smooth, but we only had a taste of his high-end abilities.
Blake Shelton has a tougher go of it than Adam, but I think the six to survive the battle rounds should be Jordis Unger, Naia Kete, Jermaine Paul, Erin Willett, Brian Fuente and Charlotte Sometimes.
Jordis, Naia and Jermaine gave the best auditions of those. Jermaine’s choice to sing Avril Lavigne makes him the most interesting, but Jordis may have the stronger voice.
Lex Land and RaeLynn are the wildcards. If Lex can control her nerves and pick good songs to complement her breathy jazz voice, she might go far. RaeLynn didn’t demonstrate a lot of power, but the attitude in her voice was great. She could also sneak a win.
Team Cee Lo
Cee Lo has the strongest of the four teams. It’s almost a shame to pick only six. Still, I think Tony Vincent, Jamie Lono, Juliet Simms, Angie Johnson, Erin Martin and Jamar Rogers stand the best chance of advancing. Of those Tony Vincent, Juliet Simms and Jamie Lono are my pick for the top six.
Wade and Sarah Golden are the wildcards. If they get the right song, they could punch through.
Speaking of wildcards, Erin Martin has the most unique voice of the competition. It’s a musical insanity that instantly grabs you. I’m interested to see what she can do with a different song.
Christina has the weakest of the four teams this year. Desperate to try something new this time around, she picked up the niche acts like Chris Mann (opera) and Moses Stone (emcee). I expect her top six to be Jesse Campbell, Chris Mann, Lindsey Pavavo, Ashley De La Rosa, Monique Benabou and Sera Hill.
Of those, Jesse Campbell, Chris Mann and Sera Hill would probably be the top three (though Lindsey could surprise us.)
Speaking of wild cards, there’s Moses Stone, the emcee. Though I think he can do well if he can escape a battle round and get to the popular vote, I’m not sure that he’s even comparable to anyone else. That will make it tough for him to make it through a battle round.
Anthony Evans, Geoff McBride, and Jonathas can’t be completely ruled out yet either.
Based on the one audition and team placement, my pick for the final four are indie crooner Karla Davis, soulful belter Jordis Unger, the velvety Jesse Campbell and Nosferatu himself Tony Vincent.
It’s still too early for that to be reliable, but where’s the fun in stopping with the top 12? The battle round match-ups will alter these predictions a great deal, as will a break-out performance or two in the following rounds. After all, Dia Frampton’s “Heartless” propelled her through last year and almost got her the win.