Showing posts with label The Voice. Show all posts
Showing posts with label The Voice. Show all posts

Monday, March 20, 2017

The Voice Season Twelve Blind Auditions Power Rankings

I knew Miley Cyrus was going to be annoying to the point I had to skip all the coach’s interaction (which has gotten professedly worse since the start) but the Blake-Gwen relationship was just as unbearable. And almost as worse as that was the new rule change lowering the age limit to thirteen when they should be raising it. And three middle schoolers who tried out were jus horrible and somehow two found their way on team. Scarily one on Team Gwen as it is hard not to forget how she drug a no way ready for primetime Braiden Sunshine to the Live Shows (even more inexplicable was the voting audience took him all the way to the semi-finals). What would be worse is for some reason, Gwen was able to recruite some decent three and four chair turns to her team. If they go home so Gwen can promote a middle schooler, I may finally call it quits on the show.

1. Lilli Passero (Team Alicia)
2. Kawan DeBose (Team Adam)
3. Lauryn Judd (Team Alicia)
4. Lauren Duski (Team Blake)
5. Troy Ramey (Team Gwen)
6. Micah Tryba (Team Blake)
7. Felicia Temple (Team Alicia)
8. Jesse Larson (Team Adam)
9. Josh Hoyer (Team Blake)
10. Gaby Borromeo (Team Adam)
11. Caroline Sky (Team Gwen)
12. Kenny P (Team Gwen)
13. Ashley Levin (Team Blake)
14. TSoul (Team Blake)
15. Josh West (Team Adam)
16. Johnny Hayes (Team Adam)
17. Hanna Eyre (Team Adam)
18. Nala Price (Team Adam)
19. Sammie Zonana (Team Gwen)
20. Malik Davage (Team Adam)
21. Julien Martinez (Team Adam)
22. Jozy Bernadette (Team Gwen)
23. JChosen (Team Gwen)
24. Vanessa Ferguson (Team Alicia)
25. Johnny Gates (Team Gwen)
26. Chris Blue (Team Alicia)
27. Dawson Coyle (Team Blake)
28. Valerie Ponzio (Team Blake)
29. Autumn Turner (Alicia Keys)
30. Sheena Brook (Team Adam)
31. Jack Cassidy (Team Alicia)
32. Casi Joy (Team Blake)
33. Brandon Royal (Team Gwen)
34. Aliyah Moulden (Team Blake)
35. Anatalia Villaranda (Team Alicia)
36. Brennley Brown (Team Blake)
37. Andrea Thomas (Team Blake)
38. RJ Collins (Team Alicia)
39. Edith Oritz (Team Blake)
40. Davina Leone (Team Gwen)
41. Stephanie Rice (Team Gwen)
42. Taylor Alexander (Team Adam)
43. Savannah Leighton (Team Gwen)
44. Mark Isaiah (Team Adam)
45. Hunter Plake (Team Alicia)
46. Missy Robertson (Team Alicia)
47. Quizz Swanigan (Team Alicia)
48. Aaliyah Rose (Team Gwen)

Even though the thirteen year olds were mosty a disaster (as well as most of the teenagers as usual), it is an improvement over last season and really the last two. As I usually do, I ranked the teams and here is how they rank:

Adam – 357
Blake – 309
Gwen – 266
Alicia – 257

I was a little surprised with how things turned out, Adam seemed to be kind of meh going through this season but I guess he did not have any truly horrible team members. Where I was thinking Alicia would be higher. The thing is she has some blue chippers, but a lot of bottom dwellers too. If she chooses wisely, she could be on top by the next round. Except since I did not pay attention much last season I am not sure how much I can trust her. But who cares what I think, here is who the iTunes buyers purchased the most:

1. Chris Blue (82)
2. Lauren Duski (135)
3. Taylor Alexander (153)
4. Stephanie Rice (173)
5. Casi Joy (196)
6. JChosen (274)
7. Troy Ramey (294)
8. Lilli Passero (316)
9. Valerie Ponzio (325)
10. Sammie Zonana (338)
11. Kawan DeBose (576)
12. Johnny Gates (577)
13. Mark Isaiah (612)
14. Johnny Hayes (642)
15. Josh West (679)
16. Hanna Eyre (747)
17. Jack Cassidy (783)
18. Sheena Brook (915)
19. TSoul (926)
20. Josh Hoyer (940)
21. Vanessa Ferguson (1002)
22. Autumn Turner (1061)
23. Anatalia Villaranda (1067)
24. Nala Price (1091)
25. Felicia Temple (1110)
26. Brennley Brown (1129)
27. Hunter Plake (1129)
28. Caroline Sky (1156)
29. Kenny P (1161)
30. Gaby Borromeo (1297)
31. Lauryn Judd (1387)

Wow, this is kind of pathetic, no that no one buys music anymore, it should not be hard at all to get on the iTunes charts with ten million viewers every night, but seventeen contestants this season could not crack the top 1500. It even took the very last person to gain a team to even crack the top 100. The third highest was a novelty audition by someone I doubt will advance any further. And what happened to Blake? Dead last with only half his team charting. Was it the lack of boring male country crooners? But as it always seems, Adam was in the lead, Gwen surprisingly in second, but a lot of people surprisingly picked her this season.

Usually it is easy to pick who makes the Live Shows even after the Blind Auditions because the show would completely telegraph it with their Best of the Blinds recap. Except this season it seemed like that showcased everyone but three or four on every team. And it is unclear anymore if placement in the show means anything are if they are putting singers there because of the coaches commentary. No better way to end the show this season than to have Alicia sing to you. But they did release all the Battle Pairings on their YouTube page and I listed who I think will win first and listed them by how confident I am with my picks as well as my usually way off picks of Steals. But really, nothing says you have no chance of advancing than being one of the three or four people on your team that did not even get a quick feature on the Best of the Blinds recap.

Team Adam:
Josh vs. Nala
Jesse vs. Taylor
Hanna vs. Sheena
Mark vs. Gabby (steal to Gwen)
Johnny vs. Julien
Malik vs. Kawan (steal to Alicia)

Team Alicia:
Lilli vs. Lauryn
Anatalia vs. Missy
Chris vs. RJ (Steal to Adam)
Felicia vs. Quizz (Steal to Adam)
Hunter vs. Jack
Autumn vs. Vanessa

Team Blake:
Valerie vs. Enid
Aliyah vs. Dawson
Casi vs. Ashley
TSoul vs. Josh
Andrea vs. Micah (Steal to Alicia)
Lauren vs. Brennley (steal to Gwen which Blake will steal back in the Knockouts because he always annoyingly does that)

Team Gwen
Troy vs. Jozy
Brandon vs. Davina
JChosen vs. Kenny P (Steal to Blake)
Johnny vs. Sammi
Stephanie vs. Caroline (Steal to Blake)
Aalyiah vs. Savannah

So with little help from the Best of the Blinds, I have a feeling that my prediction of who will make the Live Shows will be way off, but here they are ranked by confident that they will survive:

Team Adam: Josh, Hanna, Jesse, Malik, Gabby
Team Alicia: Felicia, Anatalia, Lilli, Chris, Hunter
Team Blake: Aliyah, TSoul, Cassie, Lauren, Brennley
Team Gwen: JChosen, Johnny, Aalyiah, Caroline, Brandon

Picking a winner this early is usually easy (even if I end up being really wrong). Either there is just a standout performer or the producers tip their hand by shoving one person down our throuts during the intro and outro of every ad break, but in recent seasons, they are shoving down the annoying coach’s banter. So if there is no obvious chose, might as well go with Team Blake, so here are my picks for the finals:

Casi over Johnny, Chris and Lauren

Monday, February 27, 2017

The Twenty-Five Best Knockout Round Performances on The Voice

I knew last season of The Voice would be a hard watch just because of Miley Cyrus as judge (who ended up being worse than I expected) but the reason I stopped watching after the Blind Auditions was the lack of talent. No one singer grabbed me with a first impression. I did go through all the Knockout Round performances later for this list but realized I made the right decision to stop the season early because not one was worthy of this list.

My favorite part of the Knockouts is the completely unnecessary staging of having your opponent sit in the corner while you perform.  And there is really is only three reactions you can have, 1) enjoy a front seat experience, 2) sit stone face like you are playing poker, or my personal favorite, 3) give the oh crap I am going home face.  Though you can usually tell who is going to win from early on, the Knockout Round is a make or break for most everyone else. But for every breakout, there is just as many falls. I remember thinking Savannah Berry was a front runner… right up until she chose to sing a Justin Beiber song, letting Danielle Bradbery to take her country-pop spot and the win on one of the rare seasons the winner was not easily telegraphed. As for those who actually excelled at the Knockout Round, here is my list of the best.

1. A Sunday Kind of Love - Amy Vachal

2. Hit 'Em Up Style (Oops!) - Regan James

3. Leave Your Lover - Caity Peters

4. Put Your Records On - Nicholas David

5. A Case of You - Madi Davis

6. Even if it Breaks Your Heart - Morgan Frazier

7. I Heard it Through the Grapevine - Juhi

8. Electric Feel - Brooke Adee

9. Gypsy - Katie Basden

10. Let Her Go - Cole Vosbury

11. At Last - Sasha Allen

12. Hold On, I'm Coming - Mia Z

13. The Way I Am - Caroline Pennell

14. No Woman, No Cry - Preston Pohl

15. If You Love Somebody Set Them Free - Kimberly Nichole

16. Listen to Your Heart - Deanna Johnson

17. Stompa - Jacquie Lee

18. Paris (Ooh La La) - Amanda Brown

19. Heartbreaker - Ashley Morgan

20. Little Talks - Caroline Glaser

21. Creep - Holly Henry

22. Don't Know Why - Stephanie Anne Johnson

23. I'm with You - Amber Carrington

24. Could You Be Loved - Suzanna Choffel

25. Cosmic Love - Matthew Schuler

And here is how they rank per coach.

Adam – 6
Pharrell - 5
Blake - 5
Cee-Lo – 4
Christina – 4
Shakira – 1
Alicia - 0
Miley – 0
Gwen – 0

I was a bit surprised that Adam ranked on top, granted he only had one in the top ten… and even that was a Battle Round Steal he sent home. Then you have Pharrell who was only on four of eleven season had just one less than Adam and as many as Blake despite those other two being on every season. Dude has an eye for talent. As for the most by season, here is that list (keep in mind the Knockout Round did not start until the third season and inexplicably was replaced with a second Battle Round for season six):

Season 3 – 3
Season 4 - 3
Season 5 - 8
Season 7 – 1
Season 8 – 5
Season 9 - 3
Season 10 – 2
Season 11 - 0

Monday, October 10, 2016

The Voice Season 11 Blind Audition Power Ranking

I knew going into this season, The Voice was going to be a drag just by the announcement of Miley Cyrus as coach and I figured I would be going back to just watching the YouTube highlights. I did watch the post Olympics preview and was unimpressed by the two they featured. Unfortunately there was nothing else on Tuesdays so I did turn in those days, but found myself flipping around to wrestling and news to see what stupid thing Donald Trump said that day to avoid Miley who is just completely unwatchable. Then this week the Best of the Blinds happened and I realized, I have not even bothered to go back watch the Mondays show. Not a good sign. But for the first time in a long time, there was actually someone who tried out that I actually had on my iPod, except the dude from Mêlée did not get anyone to turn (granted for a reason). Then there was an actual ringer, Billy Gilman, who apparently had a hit record when he was a child and probably has already won. Oh and we got two daughters of famous athletes on this season: Ron Harper and Valeri Bure. Meh.

1. Whitney & Shannon (Team Alicia)
2. Nolan Neal (Team Adam)
3. Christian Cuevas (Team Alicia)
4. Brendan Fletcher (Team Adam)
5. Jason Warrior (Team Alicia)
6. Courtney Harrell (Team Blake)
7. Blaine Long (Team Blake)
8. Austin Allsup (Team Blake)
9. Halle Tomlinson (Team Alicia)
10. Halle Tomlinson (Alicia Keys)
11. Elia Esparza (Team Adam)
12. Josette Diaz (Team Miley)
13. Sa'Rayah (Team Miley)
14. Andrew DeMuro (Team Adam)
15. Karlee Metzger (Team Miley)
16. Simone Gundy (Team Adam)
17. Kylie Rothfield (Team Alicia)
18. Kylie Rothfield (Team Miley)
19. Courtnie Ramirez (Team Miley)
20. Dana Harper (Team Blake)
21. Gabe Broussard (Team Blake)
22. Khaliya Kimberlie (Team Miley)
23. Bindi Liebowitz (Team Adam)
24. Darby Walker (Team Miley)
25. Aaron Gibson (Team Miley)
26. Wé McDonald (Team Alicia)
27. Sundance Head (Team Blake)
28. Ali Caldwell (Team Miley)
29. Sophia Urista (Team Miley)
30. Billy Gilman (Team Adam)
31. Michael Sanchez (Team Alicia)
32. Dan Shafer (Team Blake)
33. Lauren Diaz (Team Alicia)
34. Natasha Bure (Team Adam)
35. Johnny Rez (Team Adam)
36. Riley Elmore (Team Adam)
37. Ethan Tucker (Team Blake)
38. Josh Gallagher (Team Blake)
39. Ponciano Seoane (Team Adam)
40. Maye Thomas (Team Miley)
41. Gabriel Violett (Team Alicia)
42. Dave Moisan (Team Alicia)
43. Belle Jewel (Team Alicia)
44. JSOUL (Team Adam)
45. Christian Fermin (Team Blake)
46. Charity Bowden (Team Miley)
47. Tarra Layne (Team Blake)
48. Preston James (Team Blake)

This is the time I usually give digital ink to how well the contestants did on iTunes, but to be honest, I never really cared enough yet this season to check. And really, it is not just Miley, the contestants have been stale for a while now aside from a small blip two seasons ago. Watching the early seasons of The Real World on MTV Classics reminded why The Voice is becoming stale; just like The Real World recycled stereotypes (the naïve county folk! The token black guy!! The hot lesbian!!! The douchebag frat boy!!!!), it is the same singers every season. Blake has to have his downhome boring county boy. Adam has to have his big voiced diva and cute but bland white boy. Even the weird indie chick has become a cliché. I should be disappointed that the chick that turned (Don’t You) Forget About Me into a jazz standard got montaged, but instead, I just went, meh. Really the two black sisters who sang Stevie Nicks were the only Blind Auditions this season that I thought were just a baseline of interesting. Season six was the only season where I jumped ship during the Battle Round and I get the sense that not only will that happen this season, but I may actually be done with the series.

Monday, September 19, 2016

The Twenty-Five Best Battle Round Performances from The Voice

In honor of the tenth season of The Voice, I decided to make a list of the best Blind Auditions in the shows run. Instead of doing the same for the subsequent round when they started, I decided just to do a new best of each round at the start of every new season. So of course Battle Rounds were the next up. Except I realized, oh yeah, I hate this round. So I decided at a smaller number because it was hard to even find twenty-five I did not hate. The general problem with this round is these contestants are stuck singing with someone they may not match with singing a song that may not even fit them and most end up boring. But at least there were a few trainwreck pairings that were so bad they were entertaining (see Shields Brothers vs. Erin Martin) except starting in season three they started montaging most of these so were never get to see how awesomely bad Beat Frequency vs. Laura Vivas really was. Of course some trainwrecks did sneak through since them because there have been plenty of inexplicable Steals throughout the seasons (seriously, Nic Hawk was saved for some reason). Oh well, here are the few Battles I did not hate:

1. Put Your Records On - Danielle Bradbery vs. Caroline Glaser
2. Vision of Love - Trevin Hunte vs. Amanda Brown
3. If I Ain't Got You - Jesse Campbell vs. Anthony Evans
4. Heart Shaped Box - Lindsey Pavao vs. Lee Koch
5. She's Gone - Nicholas David vs. Todd Kessler
6. As Long As You Love Me - Caroline Pennell vs. Anthony Paul
7. Ain't No Sunshine - Ryan Innes vs. Orlando Dixon
8. Put the Gun Down - Mis Z. vs. Ashley Morgan
9. Wherever You Will Go - Andi and Alex vs. Chance Peña
10. No More Drama - Kim Yarbrough vs. Whitney Myers
11. I Wish it Would Rain - Preston Pohl vs. Barry Black
12. Message in a Bottle - De'Borah vs. Nelly's Echo
13. Dog Days Are Over - Suzanna Choffel vs. Lelia Broussard
14. Sweater Weather - Ellie Lawrence vs. Tim Atlas
15. Everything Has Changed - Madilyn Paige vs. Tanner James
16. Samson - Korin Bukowski vs. Chance Kirby
17. Have You Ever Seen the Rain - Sawyer Fredericks vs. Noelle Bybee
18. Antes de las Seis - Mary Miranda vs. Cáthia
19. Elastic Heart - Hannah Huston vs. Maya Smith
20. When Will I Be Loved - Audra McLaughlin vs. Alaska and Madi
21. You Know I'm No Good - Jess Kellner vs. Taylor Beckham
22. Sugar - Abby Celso vs. Brian Nhira
23. Leather and Lace - Casey Weston vs. Tim Mahoney
24. Baggage Claim - Liz Davis vs. Nicole Johnson
25. Old Time Rock and Roll - Blind Joe vs. Blaine Mitchell

Battles by Coach

Blake - 5
Adam – 4
Pharrell - 4
Cee-Lo – 3
Christina – 3
Usher - 3
Gwen – 2
Shakira – 1

Battles by Season

Season 1 – 1
Season 2 – 4
Season 3 – 4
Season 4 – 4
Season 5 – 2
Season 6 – 2
Season 7 – 0
Season 8 – 2
Season 9 – 4
Season 10 - 2

Like I said, the Battle Rounds are a drag because of bad matchups and bad song selections, but almost as bad as some really head scratching picks. What makes some of these picks so bad is sometimes they seem purposely bad for instance it seems like Adam has one favorite every season then rids his team of any challengers to his chosen one. Then there are Shakira and Pharrell who literally said they pick people who need more of their help, and I am pretty sure Gwen goes by this philosophy too. With that said, here are the ten worst coaches’ decisions during the Battle Rounds:

1. Erin Martin over The Shields Brothers (Cee-Lo Season 2)
2. George Horga jr. over Juhi (Cee-Lo Season 5)
3. Ryan Sill over Jessie Pitts (Gwen Season 7)
4. Daniel Passino over Kristen Marie (Christina Season 10)
5. Taylor John Williams over Amanda Lee Peers (Gwen Season 7)
6. Deja Hall over Ddendyl (Shakira Season 6)
7. Nick Hagelin over Jessica Crosbie (Pharrell Season 10)
8. Olivis Henken over Stephanie Anne Johnson (Christina Season 5)
9. MacKenzie Bourg over Emily Earl (Cee-Lo Season 3)
10. Devon Barley over Rebecca Loebe (Adam season 1)

Some of the decisions in the first two seasons were so bad that starting in season three they added the Steal to keep some of the good talent from going home so soon, except there were some mind numbingly bad Steals which were clearly used by coaches as Knockout Round fodder and so here are the ten most wasted Steals in the history of the show:

1. Nic Hawk (Blake Season 5)
2. Collin McLoughlin (Blake Season 3)
3. Chevonne (Christina Season 3)
4. Music Box (Usher Season 4)
5. Jacob Rummell (Pharrell Season 8)
6. Alessandra Guercio (Christina Season 3)
7. C. Perkins (Usher Season 4)
8. Orlando Dixon (Adam Season 4)
9. Clinton Washington (Adam Season 8)
10. Anthony Paul (Christina Season 5)

Sunday, August 28, 2016

57 Channels and Only This Is On: 8/28/16

Ray Donovan: There seems to be a pacing problem this season as they are having trouble balancing between the Russian storyline and the boxer. Two episode, Ray kills a Russian and I think, well the other Russians will not like that. Except it was not brought up once last week. Then finally someone found the body this week. And just as things started to get ramped up, they had to slip in a scene with the boxer and his crazy sister. But at least the Russian plot got interesting. Does Ray get the niece back to save Avi or sacrifice him? (Or a third option where both the niece and Avi are safe?)

Fear the Walking Dead: Has there ever been a more boring season premiere than this? I was actually rooting for the dogs.
You can download Fear the Walking Dead on iTunes.

Roadies: Wait, does Machine Gun Kelly have suspenders tattooed on his body? Weird. But anyway. But man, did they really bring Phil back just to kill him? Should have stayed with Taylor Swift.

BrainDead: I do not care if it did not turn out to be true, Ramona Flowers has forever been tainted by having sex with Michael Moore. The dream nightmare sequence will forever be seared into my brain. And I thought the bug sex scene last week was the worst thing I would ever see on the show.
You can download BrainDead on Amazon Instant Video, free with a Prime membership.

Murder in the First: I have talked about the rise of incest on television considering it is one of the last taboo left. But up to this point is has been brother-sister relationship, all of which have been creepy, but oh my goodness, did this show really do a consensual father-daughter relationship? Eww. Then there was Hildy talking about the time her brother got a bit handsy because telling her partner it was a line because saying she was a good liar. I am not sure if it was the writer’s intent, but I was left wondering if her I am a good liar line was about the story she told the pop star or telling her partner she was lying.
You can download Murder in the First on iTunes.

The Voice: I was not expecting much, but I had to bail quite early on the preview episode right around the time Miley Cyrus opened her mouth. The actual person who sang was not that much better though I did like they went straight to the singing, no super sappy background. I did check out the other person they featured who was a big giant meh. The first person picked Alicia and the second picked Miley so this was clearly a showcase on the new coaches not the talent. But that is ever increasing point of the show. Each episode used to end with the best season, but the last three of four seasons, it seems to end with mediocre singers at best but a lot of coach banter and fighting. But if that was the best person Miley got on her team it will be a long season and she will rival Shakira season six as the worst collection of talent on a team ever. Then I had to skip the coaches singing Dream On because I have no desire to hear anyone sing that song on this show other than Amanda Brown.

Pretty Little Liars: I was hoping Hanna would go Liam Neeson this week and after a pitiful attempt at drugging Noel, boom goes the dynomite at the end the episode with a baseball bat. Awesome. I cannot wait to see what goes wrong with the interrogation.
You can download Pretty Little Liars on iTunes.

Casual: Interesting they chose not to end the season like they started the series, at their father’s funeral, but I guess they ended the first season in a church so I guess they did not want to go back to that well. Instead we end with Valerie moving back in with her ex-husband. Alrighty, Hopefully the side piece did not get too comfortable, or pregnant, I thought they we going through fertility procedures. But really, for a show whose title would lead you to believe it is about casual sex, there was a lot of talk of death this season and relationships that are moving out of the “causal” category.
You can watch Casual on Hulu.

Mr. Robot: And we are back to starting episodes with flashbacks that wink and nod but do not really mean much. So the Muslim chick and fat guy who spent most of a season and a half met in a coffee show, presumably owned by the same guy Elliot took down in the first episode, but not the one with his illegal operation, one with crappy wi-fi. Of course this begs the question, when is Elliot going to run into him in prison? Back in current time, Darla kills a chick… alrighty. So is her boy toy going to give her up as the person who took his gun? Instead, Dom pulls in the fat guy. But really, I think it is safe to assume that everyone can agree the best scene this week was Angela singing Everybody Wants to Rule the World even if it was a bit on the nose. Speaking of the karaoke bar, holy Duck Phillips sighting! He has to be tied into the story somehow, you do not bring in Duck Philips just to creepily hit on someone half his age just for one scene.
You can download Mr. Robot on iTunes.

Tyrant: I thought we were going to have a repeat of the first season of Homeland where the suicide vest did not go off then… boom goes the dynamite. And now that Jamal is dead, it looks like Barry is slowly morphing from the voice of reason to the titular character.
You can download Tyrant on iTunes.

Monday, April 11, 2016

The Voice Season Ten Knockout Round Power Rankings

I was planning to avoid the disaster that was Miley Cyrus as key adviser, and did for the first week. The show is really much more enjoyable taking eighteen minutes to watch the performances on YouTube then watch two hours. Seriously, what is happening in the other hundred and two minutes? Sure there are about forty minutes of commercial, which still leaves over an hour of non-performance time. Unfortunately there was no Supergirl, Gotham, or Lucifer Monday leaving me with nothing better to watch than The Voice. And Miley was as bad an advisor as I expected. She single-handedly ruined Abby Celso’s performance with her advice. The Knockouts are usually when people start to breakout, but there was not one this season and we may have to blame Miley for that. Instead we got a bunch of bad song choices that just sent people home (which is another Knockout staple, but multiple people advanced this season with bad songs) and a couple front runners just straight up bombed, I am looking at your Ryan, Emily, and Moushumi. Since he had previous good performances, I can see why Ryan got saved, but the other three Steals ranks as some of the worst reprieves in the history of the show. But anyway. Here is my most recent, kind of underwhelming Power Ranking.

1. Caity Peters (Team Pharrell) – Between this and her Blind Audition, it is clear emotional RnB is her sweet spot, no more fiftieth best song from eighties pop stars. Although she is the only person this season I call think can pull off a Amy Vachal / Hotline Bling that should not work but it shockingly does type performance in the Live Shows.

2. Owen Danoff (Team Adam) – I scratched my head when Pharrell drug out a Billy Joel song that may not even be in the top fifty, Always a Woman is definitely in the top fifty, probably in the top ten, and it definitely paid off for Owen making him a threat for the finale.

3. Adam Wakefield (Team Blake) – Another solid performance, but one small critique, go back to playing an instrument. He seemed to wandering around like a blind man.

4. Katie Basden (Team Adam Blake) - I wrote Katie off early, I was meh on her Blind Audition and thought she was just another in Blake’s long list of Stealing fodder for the next round. Apparently she took Adam’s advice of her and Ryan being Stevie Nicks and Lindsey Buckingham when he paired them in the Battle (and then gave them a Paul McCartney song) and it definitely paid off. It actually was the best of the two country-fied Fleetwood Mac songs this season. Who knew that band was big in the South?

5. Hannah Huston (Team Pharrell) – I really liked Hannah first two performances, they were weird and bold, but I really have no need hearing House of the Rising Sun again.

6. Brian Nhira (Team Pharrell Adam) – And we have already hit the wall, his performance was good and all, but I just come away thinking meh. And that was a running theme for the rest of the Power Rankings.

7. Paxton Ingram (Team Blake) – When I reviewed Adele’s sophomore album I mentioned how I wanted to like her debut but it was kind of a bore. That is kind of how I feel about Paxton singing a song off her first album, it was good, he deserves to be in the Live Shows (especially going against Angie who gave one of the worst Knockout Round bombs of a potential frontrunner since Ryan Innis), but… yawn.

8. Alisan Porter (Team Christina) – This was my favorite of her performances but I am still not sold on her inevitability. And the song ready did not the glory note she put in it.

9. Mary Sarah (Team Blake) – Much like the Battle Round, Mary sang a song with plenty o sass, but the performance was not very sassy. She just comes off as a Oklahoma beauty contestant type performer.

10. Moushumi (Team Pharrell) – Halsey was a bold choice, she was poised to be the next big thing last year but a hit never really materialized, but I found the performance a little subdued and lacked the excitement that picking a song like that should have brought.

11. Laith Al-Saadi (Team Adam) – I, much like Adam, have quite a few favorite songs and In Your Eyes is one of them. And it is such a great and simple song it is very hard it mess up. Yet Laith was not very great and his version just did not go anywhere. Adam’s critique was on point about just picking a song he thinks other people would like and nott doing what he does great.

12. Ryan Quinn (Team Adam Christina) – What happened to this guy? His first two performances were really good and this was just extremely bland. I am a little surprised anyone tried to Steal him.

13. Shalyah Fearing (Team Christina Pharrell Adam) I guess she should have won, but I was still a little bored.

14. Tamar Davis (Team Christina) – My eyes just roll over whenever sings Sam Smith anymore. I guess this was good and all but, ug, Sam Smith, just give him and Ed Sheeran a season or two off please.

15. Emily Keener (Team Pharrell) – It was interesting seeing “fun” Emily, but I do not think it really worked as a performance. Maybe Pharrell was going on past performances as to why he picked her, but those were not that great either.

16. Bryan Bautista (Team Christina) – Did no one learn from singing Justin Beiber last season. Nope, just nope. Really a Knockout pitting Justin Beiber against OneRepublic just screams, go watch wrestling for the next twenty minutes.

17. Joe Maye (Team Christina Blake) - Meh, never a good sign when your eyes glaze over just at the mention of their song selection. If this is the last time I ever hear Earned It, I will be a happy person.

18. Caroline Burns (Team Adam) – Poor Katherine Ho, I had a sinking suspicion after she won her Battle she would end up be on the losing end of the lone Knockout montage. The good news for Caroline is that the three previous Knockout montage victims all at least made the semi-finals (including one second place finish) and she is on the worst team this season. The bad news is she is one of the main reasons her team is so weak.

19. Lacy Mandigo (Team Christina Blake Pharrell): I said a I was a little surprised that Ryan got Stolen, but at least he had two good performances under his belt that you can talk yourself into as Stealworthy. Lacy’s Audition was montaged, she was Alisan’s backup singer in the Battles, and this fell in somewhere in between run of the mill karaoke and straight up bad.

20. Kata Hay (Team Christina) – Even though I do not like them, most of the time I understand why some contestants make the Live Playoffs, but Kata is this year’s Nic Hawk How the Frack Did They Make the Live Show Award Winner (and really Lacy and Caroline could have also easily won). The sad thing is, I do not put it past the country mafia to take her to the semi-finals because they have for the past five seasons just blindly voted for everyone with a hint of twang.

As I usually do, I have inverse numbers to the contestants based on their rank to see who has the strongest team and here is how they rank.

Blake – 65
Pharrell – 55
Adam – 55
Christina -35

And as it always seems to be the case, Blake comes out of the Blind Audition with a mediocre to bad team, makes the right decisions in the next two rounds (most of the time) and comes out with the strongest team going into the Playoffs. Where Christina made some iffy decisions and is mostly left with meh. But who cares what I think, here is who the iTunes buyers were spending their money on during the Knockouts:

1. Hannah Huston (35)
2. Alisan Porter (50)
3. Adam Wakefield (74)
4. Katie Basden (144)
5. Shalyah Fearing (155)
6. Caity Peters (174)
7. Alisan Porter – Blue Bayou (225)
8. Owen Danoff (250)
9. Tamar Davis (302)
10. Emily Keener (350)
11. Alisan Porter and Lacy Mandingo (452)
12. Adam Wakefield – Tennessee Whiskey (835)
13. Bryan Bautista (435)
14. Mary Sarah (605)
15. Laith Al-Saadi (668)
16. Brian Nhira (707)
17. Bryan Bautista and Malik Heard (959)
18. Kata Hay (1059)
19. Mary Sarah – Where the Boys Are (1074)
20. Lacy Mandingo (1244)
21. Paxton Ingrim (1258)
22. Ryan Quinn (1315)
23. Caroline Burns (1461)

If you take the average of the peak of all three performances, this is how the top twenty rank (if someone missed the top 1500, I gave them 1500 for that performance and put an asterisk for each time they missed the list).

1. Alisan Porter (52.6)
2. Adam Wakefield (197.3)
3. Hannah Huston (268)
4. Emily Keener (291)
5. Mary Sarah (332.3)
6. Bryan Bautista (372.3)
7. Caity Peters (537)
8. Ryan Quinn (572.3)
9. Owen Daniels (611)*
10. Katie Basden (654.6)*
11. Brian Nhira (663)
12. Laith Al-Saadi (684.3)
13. Shalyah Fering (727.6)
14. Paxton Ingrim (732.5)
15. Caroline Burns (834.3)
16. Tamar Davis (850)*
17. Moushumi (867)*
18. Lacy Mandigo (942.3)*
19. Joe Maye (1107.3)**
20. Kata Hays (1353)**

And putting this raking into my ranking formula to see who has the strongest team according to the iTunes buyers, here is how the teams rank.

Pharrell – 56
Blake – 55
Christina – 54
Adam - 45

The top three are really bunched up while not surprisingly Adam is at a distant last. It did not help that his best chance this season, Owen, got montaged in the Battles and failed to chart during the Battles hurting his number. Granted Moshumi got montaged that round and still managed to break the top 1500 (then inexplicably could not get that high when her Knockout was shown in full).

I have been mentioning how bad the iTunes numbers looked in the previous rounds, so I decided to look back at season nine and they are actually worse than I thought. Alisan is the only one this season to average in the top one hundred, three singers did last season (although Alisan has just slightly better numbers than Jordan Smith did). Then the further you look down it gets worse, Ivonne Acero, Playoff fodder for Blake last season and dead last on her team based on average, has a higher average than everyone on Adam’s team this season (479 to Brian Nhira’s 669). And when you look at the Knockouts, it looks even more worse. Last season, sixteen of the top twenty reached the top 200 on iTunes (Morgan Frazier just missed the cut with 204) with their Knockout song, this season, only six. Zach Seabaugh, who was montaged, charted the lowest at 373 which would have put him tenth on this season’s list, two performances shown in full, Joe and Moushumi, did not even make the top 1500. There is also a huge enthusiasm gap this year as previous round songs are just not reappearing. This season, three Blind Auditions and two Battle Rounds appeared during the Knockouts; last season nine Blind Auditions showed up again, and nine Battle Round. This season Alisan was the only person to have all three performances in the top 1500 during the Knockouts, Last season Amy Vachal, Jordan Smith, Barrett Baber, Korin Bukowski, and Viktor Kirby all did. And that does not include Ellie Lawrence and Andi and Alex who were eliminated but still had their two previous performances charting.

Last year The Voice introduced the Coaches Comeback a great idea in theory to right the many bad coaching decision except the coaches mostly made head scratching bring backs. Gwen was the only one who actually brought back someone who deserved it. Pharrell brought back someone he dumped in the Battle Round (and not even Sydney Rhame who had a very high charting Blind Audition), then Blake and Adam just brought back obvious fodder. In Blake’s defense, with Barrett, Emily Ann, and Zach, anyone he would have brought back would have looked like fodder and he brought in some diversity in what was a very white washed and dude heavy top twenty. Adam for some reason did not bring back Andi and Alex, who had the highest charting Blind Audition and Battle round songs in favor for the person they beat in the Battles and gave a horrendous Knockout performance after being Stolen by Blake.

So I am not expecting much this season. Personally I would bring back Peyton Parker, Kristen Marie, Abby Celso, and… um, goodness, Adam does not even have anyone worth bringing back. Maybe they should let him bring back someone else’s castoff instead like Brittany Kennell. Unfortunately supposed spoilers can be found on the internet and I would be 0 for four with three of the four ranked in the bottom six of my Battle Round Power Rankings (the fourth rumored singer did not even make it out of the Battles). Remember how I said Blake bringing back Najah Nicole was much needed for diversity sake last season because the Top 20 was so white and dude heavy. Well apparently this season is not white or male enough because reportedly (keep in mind from not entirely reliable sources) all four are boring white dudes. Really?!? After last year’s debacle of six of the eight singers people America saved last season were boring white dudes (which is worse when you realize Madi Davis only advanced because her team only had one boring white dude and of course the eight person saved was a country female because the country mafia just blindly votes for anything with twang), you get an actual diverse Top 20 (an Indian! Two black dudes on Blake’s team!! An all-female Parrell Team!!! Even one of the four boring white dudes has a Muslim sounding name!!!!) only to let the bored housewives a chance to whitewash another season? Seriously, they are doubling the number of boring white dudes with the Coach's Comeback if the spoilers are true. Ugg. One I am pretty sure will advance, two I give a punchers chance, Adam, I will say it again, has just completely given up on this season. Oh well. Here are my predictions:

America Saves: Owen, Laith; Adam Saves: Shalyah
America Saves: Adam, Mary; Blake Saves: Paxton
America Saves: Alisan, Ryan; Christina Saves: Bryan
America Saves: Hannah, Supposed Bring Back Contestant; Pharrell Saves: Emily

Finals: Adam beats Alisan, Mary, and Owen

Monday, March 28, 2016

The Voice Season Ten Battle Round Power Rankings

Ugg, I am really getting sick of the focus on the coaches. The ode of Blake’s phone was just a complete waste of time in the Blind Auditions. And then having Gwen as Blake’s advisor was just icky whenever they were on screen. Making things worse is there incisive pushing of Christina and her singer is long past annoying. Yes we know a female coach has never won (though not mention is how a female singer has not won since season five) but the more they push for it, the more the viewers will revolt. Seriously, if you really want a female coach to win, how about a panel with three chicks and only one dude? Or at the very least go two and two. Granted the coaches antics has been a focus for very long now but maybe it is just more noticeable this season because the talent level this season is not great. Sure it is not season six bad, but it is hard to get excited for anyone. I even skipped the last couple episodes of the Battles and just watched the YouTube clips. Never a good sign. And with Miley Cyrus as the key adviser in the Knockouts, I will likely skip that round entirely in favor for the YouTube.

1. Hannah Huston (Team Pharrell) – Coaches hem and haw about how hard each and every Battle is to choose but this was really one of the closest Battles ever. I would have also given the edge to Hannah because he Blind Audition was better and is just a better performer.

2. Maya Smith (Team Pharrell Christina) – C’mon Christina, you cannot say you are going to Steal during your commentary and they wait to push your button until she starts walking down the stairs.

3. Adam Wakefield (Team Blake) - Again, just good ol’ southern rock.

4. Brittany Kennell (Team Blake) – I was a bi iffy on her Blind Audition but, and I usually mock Blake Battle Round non-country song choices (seriously, Borderline?) but he found what Brittany can excel at: dark and moody songs. Please no more ballads for her. And no more Gwen comparisons, that is just insulting to Brittany.

5. Laith Al-Saadi (Team Adam) – I would have liked something more upbeat but Laith is always entertaining.

6. Ryan Quinn (Team Adam) – So Adam compares his battle pairing to Lindsey Buckingham and Stevie Nicks, so of course Adam has them sing a Paul McCartney song. Alrighty. Katie did surprise me a little because she brought something different to the song where it was hard not to think Ryan was just doing a Paul McCartney impression, but for the long run, Ryan was the better pick.

7. Abby Celso (Team Pharrell) – After her Blind Audition I thought her voice was bluesy and she should not be singing silly pop songs, so of course she has to sing another silly pop song in the Battles; I hope she sings something more interesting in the Knockouts.

8. Caity Peters (Team Pharrell) – The Battles are a tricky round. You could be stuck with a poor partner or with an iffy song choice and Caity was saddled with both. Seriously Pharrell, the fiftieth best Billy Joel song (and even that might be generous)? Caity did not help her case trying out emote Joe which came off as trying too hard. Hopefully she can recapture some of the Blind Audition magic for the Knockouts.

9. Brian Nhira (Team Pharrell Adam) – I do think Abby is better, but he did get a well-deserved Save.

10. Mary Sarah (Team Blake) – There was a behind the scenes video on YouTube where Christina commented on a piece of her anatomy and that was all I can think about. When I could focus on the voice, Mary may be the better singer, but I think Justin kept up with th song better. But I guess he had the easier part because it is more natural to sing Mississippi fast compared to Louisiana.

11. Moushumi (Team Pharrell) – As someone who pays too much to editing, going on the final episode (she was actually the only person from the last episode to win their Battle) and not only gets montaged, but most of her montage segment focused on the person she beat is not a good sign for her longevity on the show. Sure she is the only singing in the Knockout promo, but so was Ashley Morgan two seasons ago and Ashley ended up losing. But with a bunch of really Battle that ranged from bland to just plain bad, there was nothing really that bad with the studio version. I wonder if something went really wrong with the performance.

12. Peyton Parker (Team Blake) – Montage win… yawn.

13. Jessica Crosbie (Team Pharrell Adam) – Definitely won her Battle, so good for Adam for giving her a reprieve.

14. Katie Basden (Team Adam Blake) – I think this was the first country singer that Blake has ever stole during the Battle Rounds. But she was kind of just average on his team so she may have to be stolen again to make the Live Shows.

15. Bryan Bautista (Team Christina) – I am so tired of this song my eyes just gloss over whenever someone sings it anymore. I guess Bryan won.

16. Owen Danoff (Team Adam) – Montage win… yawn. And no wonder it was montaged Runaway just seems like a really bad song to sing on a show like this. Really, most of Adam’s song choices this season were questionable. It was clear to me Blake threw season five after winning three straight seasons, I am beginning to think Adam may not be putting in the effort after last season’s win. He clearly has the worst team and his song selections look like he is throwing in the towel. But then again Owen and Ryan are exactly who the very large bored housewives voting bloc get behind so Adam may still back into a win.

17. Joe Maye (Team Christina) – Montage win… yawn (But I love I Knew You Were Waiting, it is a shame that the one actual duet this season got montaged).

18. Paxton Ingram (Team Blake) – He had a memorable Audition but what a crappy song selection and he really did not do much interesting with it. I will just go ahead and blame Gwen who is the worst coach so maybe that rubbed off on him. Hopefully he gets back on track with something interesting in the Knockouts.

19. Alisan Porter (Team Christina) – So Adam calls her the Jordan Smith of the season. Which makes sense because the producers have been pushing her heavily and I have been mostly meh on her. Except unlike Jordan, I am not completely sold on her inevitable march to the winner’s circle. The more the show pushes her, the more the bored housewives will get behind whatever boring white dude they get behind this season. And if a female actually does win this season, I think Mary is more likely to win.

20. Emily Keener (Team Pharrell) – Her Blind Audition had really good moments and… some really rough moments. This performance was a bit more consistent but oh, was that a horrible song choice.

21. Tamar Davis (Team Christina) – I actually thought for a second that Christina was goingto go with the teenager over her, which is not a good sign.

22. Malik Heard (Team Christina Pharrell) – His Audition was kind of meh, and lost his Battle, there are much better RnB singers this season.

23. Angie Keilhauer (Team Blake) – Montage win… yawn.

24. Shalyah Fearing (Team Christina Pharrell) - Some coaches seem to just push their Steal button for completely random reasons, but there is becoming no bigger lock than Pharrell stealing a young undercooked female soul singer.

25. Caroline Burns (Team Adam) – She was better than she was in her Blind Audition, but I guess it is not hard when you are compared against
Meagan Trainor.

26. Lacy Mandigo (Team Christina Blake) – I hate the backstories in the Blinds but I actually wanted to know more about her heavy metal singer father. Unfortunately a quick google search turned out to be the lead singer of some band I have never heard of. I do wonder if having a heavy metal singer as a father is the reason why did does not have the best control.

27. Nate Butler (Team Adam) – This was one of those Battles where they really could have sent both home and I would not have minded. It just makes you wonder just how bad those montaged were. Maybe the only reason why this was not montaged was because Tori Kelly was the advisor. Come to think of it, it seems like every season Adam gives a Battle pair his advisor’s song who has to put on a happy face even though two mediocre singer are butchering a song they wrote. You would think after all the times someone has ruined a Maroon 5 song over the years (especially Braiden and Korin just last season) he would be more empathetic to that.

28. Trey O'Dell (Team Blake Christina) - Oh Christina, there was no need to save yet another boring white dude. But when I was thinking who she should have Stolen instead, I guess there were not any extremely egregious decisions by the coaches except Kristen Marie, who Christina could not Steal anyway because Christina was the one who dumped her.

29. Kata Hay (Team Christina) – Did Christina pick her (or the producer told her to pick Kata) solely because they think she makes for good television because I cannot imagine anyone think she did a better job singing than the other chick.

30. Daniel Passino (Team Christina) - I hate this shows obsession with boring white dudes. Kristen Marie was much more interesting.

31. Nick Hagelin (Team Pharrell) – Electric Feel is a tall order considering Preston Pohl had one of the best Blind Audition with the song, and Brooke Adee had one of the best Knockouts eve. So Nick’s falcetto only version was kind of cringeworthy and really one of the worst decisions in the history of the show.

32. Katherine Ho (Team Adam) – Double montage, oh no. The first two seasons after the introduction of the Knockout Round, two double montage victims made the Live Playoffs but since them I believe there was only one double montage victim to make the Knockouts and that was Rebekah Samarin who ended up being triple montage. Not particularly a good sign for Katherine.

As I usually do, let me put my ranking into a formula to see which coach has the strongest team:

Blake: 154
Pharrell: 140
Adam: 131
Christina: 103

Of course Blake has the strongest team because he is the only coach who puts their best singers against their worst and picks the best almost every time. Then you have Pharrell who pits strong singers against each other and then begs the other coaches to Steal. As usualy Chistina is at the bottom because she clearly does not like the same singers I do. I did not help that she kicked off my favorite singer on her team in favor of my least favorite. But who cares what I think, here is how iTunes users rank the Battle Round performances based on their peek on the iTunes chart.

1. Bryan Bautista and Malik Heard (76)
2. Alisan Porter and Lacy Mandingo (83)
3. Moushumi (201)
4. Mary Sarah (300)
5. Adam Wakefield and Jared Harder (315)
6. Katie Basden and Ryan Quinn (320)
7. Justin Whisnant and Mary Sarah (321)
8. Alisan Porter (324)
9. Daniel Passino and Kristen Marie (327)
10. Hannah Huston and Maya Smith (337)
11. Caroline Burns and Mike Schiavo (340)
12. Abby Celso and Brian Nhira (376)
13. Emily Keener and Jonathan Bach (388)
14. Ryan Quinn (458)
15. Owen Danoff (586)
16. Brittney Lawrence and Paxton Ingrim (468)
17. Natalie Yacovazzi and Nate Butler (681)
18. Jonathan Hutcherson (724)
19. Shalyah Fearing and Tamar Davis (751)
20. Jessica Crosbie and Nick Hagelin (810)
21. Laith Al-Saadi and Matt Tedder (835)
22. Jonathan Hutcherson and Moshumi (872)
23. Emily Keener (909)
24. Mike Schiavo (990)
25. Angie Keilhauer (1082)
26. Brittany Kennell and Trey O’Dell (1020)
27. Caity Peters (1131)
28. Caity Peters and Joe Vivona (1256)

And if you took the average of their Blind Audition and Battle Round peeks, here is how the top 32 rank.

1. Alisan Porter (54)
2. Mary Sarah (196)
3. Ryan Quinn (203)
4. Adam Wakefield (259)
5. Emily Keener (261.5)
6. Abby Celso (333.5)
7. Bryan Bastista (341)
8. Daniel Passino (344)
9. Hannah Huston (384.5)
10. Paxton Ingrim (469.5)
11. Caroline Burns (521)
12. Moushumi (550.5)
13. Jessica Crosbie (607)
14. Nate Butler (623)
15. Brian Nhira (639)
16. Nick Halpin (691)
17. Laith Al-Saadi (692.5)
18. Caity Peters (718.5)
19. Malik Heard (765.5)
20. Maya Smith (896)
21. Shalyah Fering (1014)
22. Brittany Kennell (1210)
23. Trey O’Dell (1241.5)
(Owen Daniels, Angie Keilhauer, Peyton Parker, Joe Maye all missed the top 1500 thanks to being montaged in the Battle Round, Lacy Mandingo, Katie Basden, and Tamar Davis could not get their Blind Auditions to chart, poor Katherine Ho did not chart thanks to getting montaged twice, then despite having both performances shown in full, Kata Hay could not manage to crack the top 1500 either time)

So if you rank the coaches by their iTunes average rankings, here is how each coach stacks up:

Pharrell: 158
Adam: 136
Blake: 118
Christina: 116

Up in the commentary I mentioned Adam on paper looks to be a very weak team but he has a much stronger team than you may think. His problem is besides Ryan (and to a lesser extent Owen who was put at an iTunes disadvantage being montaged in the Battles after a strong Blind Audition) everyone is very middling, he just does not have anyone doing extremely bad on iTunes besides double montage victim Katherine. Blake and Christina have plenty of fodder and if they chose right (Blake probably will, Christina probably will not) they can still have a strong Playoff time. Adam will have a weak three through five assuming he advances Ryan and Owen. Pharrell should be fine as long as he does not advance his Steals who are his two weakest charting team members.

Unfortunately the promo was very Miley heavy so we do not get to see many Knock pairings but I did spot these three (with those we get to hear first making me think they are the favorite; but as I mentioned earlier, Ashley Morgan was featured two seasons ago and went home).

Alisan Porter vs. Daniel Passino
Shaylah Fering vs. (I think) Emily Keener
Hannah Hutson vs. Malik Heard

So Alisan is truly Jordan Smith of this season as Adam pointed out because she is featured is every single promo. Meh. But hey, goodbye Daniel (barring a Steal), you will not be missed. But if she does not pick Daniel, and Trey seems like fodder, either Bryan or Joe could be her lone male. Malik was also someone who got a lot of screen time, but he is just sitting behind Hannah so he may need a Steal to advance. That would also mean Pharrell would have a female heavy team, unless, oh, could he really advance Nick? He is not quite Nic Hawk bad, but ugg. I railed last year when six of the eight people America saved in the Playoff were all boring whit dudes (and it looked even worse when Pharrell only had one on his team to advance and the long other female to advance by America was of course a country singer), will there even be four white dudes in the Playoffs (Ryan, Owen, and Adam look to be the only locks)? Adam may be the only one with a dude heavy team this season going into the Playoffs. Here are my predictions ranked by how confident I am with most likely steals in parenthesis (and to be honest I am not all that confident about anyone aside from the first one or two listed):

Adam: Ryan, Owen, Leith, Caroline (Brian)
Blake: Mary, Adam, Paxton, Brittany (none)
Christina: Alisan, Bryan, Tamar, Maya (Daniel)
Pharrell: Hannah, Shaylah, Caity, Nick (Abby, Malik)

Oh goodness, I really had a hard time predicting because this is turning out to be a pretty weak season. I was staring at potential Steal think, there really not that many people worthy. Even picking the coach’s fourth picks was kind of hard. I am now wondering if maybe all of Pharrell indie pop brigade survives. I already have Hannah and Caity advancing outright, I ended up adding Abby to the Steal but she could take Nick’s spot (I only picked him because of diversity; which says something when you are adding a whit dude solely for diversity sake), I only do not have Emily advancing because Shaylah is featured heavily in the promo, but I could see her also getting a Steal, and of the three featured in the promo Shaylah is the most likely to lose. And I forgot about Moshahmi who is also someone who could take Nick’s spot or be Stolen. Adam certainly could use her.

Tuesday, March 15, 2016

The Voice Season Ten Blind Auditions Power Rankings

Since The Voice did the silly, half Blind Audition / half Battle Round, I should state that most of my commentary for each artist was written right after their episode aired and I did not change then because of things we learned at the start of the Battles, so I may sound dumber than usual. Alrighty, on to the Power Ranking.

Around season five, it seemed pretty clear the producers told the coaches to push the button more often so they would fight over singers more often. This led to an absurd amount of four chair turns which really devalued the accomplishment. Even when the talent level decreased, the number of four chair turns increased. Then this season, the forth episode ended with a two chair turn which made me think there really were not many singers that got all four coaches to fight over them this season. The first episode had three, but the next three episodes only had one each.

Another of my Blind Audition gripes also did not happen that much this season. For years Adam’s big pitch was to say, “I pushed my button first) then all the coaches got trigger happy. But that did not happen much. Sure it was replaced by Blake annoyingly waiting to the last second just to annoy the other coaches. He has been doing that for years with country singers, but he was doing it for RnB and pop singers too this season. The Blind Auditions are the best part of the show because we always get some surprising song choices and this was the first time on the show we got songs by Roy Orbison, Allen Stone, Mayer Hawthorne, Blind Faith, Incubus, and Muddy Waters. Now here is how I would rank the Blind Auditions this season:

1. Kristen Marie (Team Christina) – She had me at indie-jazz. There was a time when I hoped all the indie chicks picked Blake, but Kristen’s performance reminded me of Lindsey Pavao, who was number two on my list of the 50 Best Blind Auditions, but really reminded me more of her Battle Round performance, so maybe Christ will actually be the better fit.

2. Caity Peters (Team Pharrell) – I get to obsessed with the placement of the show and it is odd that they started the season with a three chair turn but then followed it up with a four chair turn which makes me think she is being buried (people always say opening the show is the Death Slot, but the producers are not going to open the show with crap, going second is the people I think they are trying to bury). Then I noticed on YouTube, she only sang for seventy seconds instead of the usual minute and a half. Did they edit her down? Did she end early? It just kind of ended abruptly when the last two hit their button. It was a weird edit and makes me a bit worried. If this is the case, it would be a shame because I thought she was really good. I did go back and look and going second in the season is not very predictive, a little more than half made the Live Shows. But Caity does have some indie girl competition on her team with Abby and Emily. When did Pharrell become the place for indie chicks? Last year he had Amy, Madi, and Sydney; one he took to the Live Shows, one got Stolen, while the other went home early. Let’s see how these three turn out.

3. Hannah Huston (Team Pharrell) – From her package I was expecting another indie-coffeehouse type singer, yet came out with a very soulful sound added to that (Allen Stone, who I never really got into also has that vibe). And I have second Blake in saying this girl seems like a blast to be around.

4. Ryan Quinn (Team Adam) – I hate those “coming p on The Voice” because every commercial break. Seriously, every commercial break. So I was ready to hate Ryan because I was not impressed by the two seconds of him they ran before every single commercial break. I just assumed he was another boring white dude that has ruined the show in recent seasons. But then he started singer and I went, wait, this guy is kind of good. The worst part of his performance was that two second part they shows ad nausea before ever commercial break.

5. Paxton Ingram (Team Blake) – He said that it is interesting when dudes sings chick songs but I think the vast majority of the time it is a disaster and it is much more interesting the other way around. But I do like the way he slowed down the Robyn song.

6. Moushumi (Team Pharrell) – In the beginning the show really pushed people that Pharrell would like to classify as different, but in more recent years the vast majority of people try out look like the come from central casting for a Friends reboot with an occasional soul singer. I think she may have been the first singer of Asian descent since Mathai on the second season. But on the negative side, she landed on Team Pharrell which already has an overabundance of indie pop chicks, three of which made Pharrell’s My Team Is Full package, and Moushumi was not one ofg them.

7. Peyton Parker (Team Blake) – Being a country singer singing a non-country song can get you noticed in the short term. I think of last season when Morgan Frazer sang a Cheap Trick song, but then lost to the more traditional Emily Ann Roberts in the Battles even though I that the former was better. And even when Blake Stole Morgan back, when she sang another non-country song in the Live Playoffs, not only did America pick two traditional boring white country singing dudes over her, Blake picked Emily Ann again. So I would not be that surpised if Peyton loses to a more traditional country singer in the Battles too.

8. Abby Celso (Team Pharrell) – I wanted to like this more than I did, but the song seemed to start just too low for her and I could not help spending most of the time thinking Riley Biederer did so much better last season with this song. With this voice should be doing something sultrier and jazzy, not silly little pop songs.

9. Joe Maye (Tem Christina): Is it at all possible that he can just bring back Ellie and become a duet from here on out?

10. Laith Al-Saadi (Team Adam) – The big flaw on this show is the lack of rock, doijng a John Mayer show is about as rock as someone on this show is allowed to do. Rarely do rock singers get an audition and if they do (especially if the look at Laith) they do not get one chair turned. The last, and only ti I remember someone shredding like that on the how was The Shields Brothers.

11. Adam Wakefield (Team Blake) – Just a good ol’ southern rocker. Hopefully Blake steers him that area and not pure country. Definitely none of that bro country he does.

12. Jessica Crosbie (Team Pharrell) – The allure to Coldplay songs are they feel very epic, and even with a slowed down version, her version still built to something special. Though she may be lowest in Pharrell’s indie chick pecking order.

13. Owen Danoff (Team Adam) – Everything about The Voice can be summed up when Adam went backstage and talked to Owen’s father about being in the Best New Artist club and Carson chimed in, “Maybe Owen will join you in 2020.” So even Carson knows there is no chance the show can launch anyone right away.

14. Maya Smith (Team Pharrell) – I actually preferred her to Beyonce’s former runny buddy and respect that she went deeper into the Aretha catalogue too.

15. Emily Keener (Team Pharrell) – The end and beginning were sweet but that middle spot was a bit rough. But I was struck during the performance wondering why has this not always been a chick song?

16. Brittany Kennell (Team Blake) – Odd voice, I am not really sure if I like it or not. I actually like the small bit she sang in her package than the Blind Audition. It is a unique voice like Blake said, but c’mon Blake, unique voices never win, they are usually the first one voted out. It is the most boring singer who always win, especially since the influx of the bored housewives who just love boring white dudes. But since Christina compaired her voice to Gwen's, I guess we can pencil Brittany into the Live Shows

17. Alisan Porter (Team Christina) – Should I remember Curly Sue? Does not ring a bell at all.

18. Mary Sarah (Team Blake) – Maybe it was the song but I thought she had a good voice, but nothing really interesting.

19. Tamar Davis (Team Christina) – I always like when they bring in semi-professionals and a former member to a precursor of Destiny’s Child is the closest thing they have gotten in a while. But I expected more from someone who performed with Prince.

20. Brian Nhira (Team Pharrell) – He was okay but not really the best song choice because Happy just stays in one place. Actually his Jesus Loves me showed much more of his range than his Blind Audition.

21. Katie Basden (Team Adam) – I really hope she does not turn into this season’s Shelby, a middle of the pack country singer on Team Adam who inexplicably makes it to the semi-finals solely because Blake’s country mafia votes for everyone with a hint of twang.

22. Justin Whisnant (Team Blake) – Boring white dude country singer on Team Blake alert! So I guess we can just go ahead and pencil him into the finals. Ugg, hopefully Blake does not take him to the Live Shows.

23. Caroline Burns (Team Adam) – Better than last season but fifteen is just too young for the show (how is someone who is on their second try still only fifteen). Though if she stays soft and sweet maybe she can be in the Madi Davis lane this season. Though she would have been much better off with Blake who routinely takes teenagers and returnees to the Live Shows where Adam dumps both usually in the Battles. Maybe she will be Stolen by Blake later.

24. Bryan Bautista (Team Christina) – I actually thought he had a good chance to be the first double no chair singer, I actually preferred his last audition.

25. John Gilman (Team Adam) – Clear Battle Round fodder, but I kind of liked it.

26. Angie Keilhauer (Team Blake) – An El Salvadorian country singer sounds better than it actually was.

27. Malik Heard (Team Christina): Meh, kind of a boring RnB performance. But really, we get a commercial break before this guy chooses his coach? Is anyone really staying glued through commercials just to see which of the only two coaches turns for him makes him Battle Round fodder?

28. Matt Tedder (Team Adam) – Hopefully he does not beat Laith during the Battles because he is more photogenic, because Laith is a better singer and better guitar player too.

29. Ayanna Jahneé (Team Christina) – With her look I was expecting something weird and random with her song choice like Jane Child but instead she sang the most obvious artist on the show, Adel. Meh. But with the Blind Auditions ending, it is shocking that was the only Adele song (though maybe the last album was released too late to use any of them) and there was no Ed Sheeran or Sam Smith who have had their whole catalogue recycled five times of the past five seasons.

30. Nate Butler (Team Adam) – I am all for more Mayer Hawthorne on the show but if you are going to Mayer Hawthorne, you better have a better falsetto than that. It definitely sounded like a musical theater performance.

31. Natalie Yacovazzi (Team Adam): Another returnee that I was surprised got anyone to turn around. I doubt any of them even make it to the Knockouts. Natalie was just too shouty throughout her whole performance.

32. Jared Harder (Team Blake) – When it gets down to the end, you have to wonder if coaches are just pushing their buttons just so the Blind Auditions will end after four days of taping. Usually Blake not turning around for a country singer is a red flag, but the other coaches not turning raised an eyebrow, and Blake was really just like, screw it, I need some fodder so I can start drinking.

33. Kata Hay (Team Christina) – She reminds me of someone a couple seasons ago, a country singer who got the pimp slot, all the coaches fight really hard for her, everyone let her sit in their chairs, she shockingly picked Adam. Then she lost to a one chair turn the very next round. That is how I see Kata, she only got the pimp slot because she made out with Christina and will be ushered quickly off the show after her coach realizes they have much better talent.

34. Shalyah Fearing (Team Christina) – Time after time I have to say fifteen is way too young. I would prefer eighteen, but you at least have to be able to drive a car.

35. Jonathan Hutcherson (Team Pharrell) – I am partial to anyone with hearing problems, but he does not sound any better than all the other undercooked teenage boys that walk across the stage.

36. Teresa Guidry (Team Blake) – She is not the highest on my list of all the montage victims solely because she is moderately attractive, but I would not be at all disappointed if she is the obligatory montage victim who gets stolen twice before getting voted off as soon as people start to vote.

37. Lacy Mandigo (Team Christina) – Kind of an interesting vocal, I am a bit surprised it was montaged which makes me wonder if she messed live after Christina turned around or if she is just fodder for Christina’s front runner in the Battle Rounds.

38. Lily Green (Team Adam) – The studio version was pretty and all though really not the best song choice since it is not hard to think how much Madi Davis sang Songbird last season (Lily’s version needed more bongos). Again it makes me wonder if she messed up live or if she is just fodder for Adam’s front runner.

39. Brittney Lawrence (Team Blake) – Maybe while she failed seven times to make I in front of the judges is because she has horrible taste in music. And she is not very bright, the other judges tell her that Blake pushed his button last minute just to spite Christina, and yet she still picked Blake where she will likely be fodder. Granted she probably would not have gone much further with Christina, but at least Christina has made some dumb decisions so there would have been a chance.

40. Joe Vivona (Team Pharrell) – Minor technical problems? Ehhh, these coaches are too nice.

41. Mike Schiavo (Team Adam): I mentioned how dudes singing chick songs rarely work out, where Paxton managed to make it work, Mike did not. This came off more like a novelty.

42. Nick Hagelin (Team Pharrell): I know he is a judge and you have to credit the song to him, but to me Lost Stars is a Kiera Knightley song.

43. Katherine Ho (Team Adam) – Even the studio version was kind of boring.

44. Chelsea Gann (Team Christina) – Mmmm, a country singer that does not get Blake to turn and is montaged… not a good sign. Oh no, does that mean that the other annoying country chick Christina has is going to at least make the Knockouts after beating her in the Battles? Ug, hopefully that gets montaged.

45. Gina Castanzo (Team Blake) – That is two straight seasons someone auditioned with Cecelia and the Satellite and for the second season I got excited for someone to sing Andrew McMahon only to go, ehhhh, not very good. Like Korin, she was a little too weird with her interpolation, but unlike Korin, she was montaged and not on one of the worst teams in the history of the show.

46. Trey O'Dell (Team Blake) – Another boring white dude who just does not capture the fun of the original.

47. Daniel Passino (Team Christina) - This guy better be fodder. Thank goodness Gwen is not around because he would be Ryan Sill this season for her.

48. Jonathan Bach (Team Pharrell) – Some people whine about montages but I have absolutely no interest in hearing some dude sing Born This Way, so thank you producer for saving me from having to listen to it.

Sometimes you can tell someone is not going to turn a chair by their package, but when watching on Hulu you definitely know because the segment is much smaller than the other ones. There were a couple of singers that made me scratch my head when no one turned which has not really happened much in recent seasons.

1. Natalie Clarke: Ah man, how could no one pick the hot Scottish chick? Sure maybe not the best song choice for her (I figured she would not get a chair due to that choice and her placement in the show), sadly Chvrches are probably not famous enough to be song on the show because I would like to hear someone do an acoustic version of The Mother We Share.

2. Evan Taylor Jones: This is a case where the Blind Audition working against him. If the coaches could see him, they probably would have raved. He is probably the biggest lock to return next season.

3. Nolen Neil: What a stupid reason not to turn because you think they pick the wrong song for their voice. If you liked their voice turn, then you can teach them better song selection. And Blake, if you do not know what to do with someone, then you should not be a coach at all.

4. Jackie Lipson: I think I liked the arrangement much more than the actual singing.

5. Maddie Poppy: The video they showed was actually good, but why was she shouting during her performance. She needs to come back next season and sing that song.

Back to the singers that actually made it, as always, I like to give a numerical number to each singer based on their power ranking to see just how each team stacks up. And here is how the team ranks by that:

Team Pharrell – 342
Team Blake – 285
Team Adam – 281
Team Christina – 267

It is no secret that I am always drawn to the indie pop chicks on this show and Pharrell became the indie pop chick whisperer these past two seasons picking up six that in of loosely fit in that category (though Christina got my favorite this season). But who cares what I think, here is who the iTunes users bought the most of with the peak on the iTunes charts.

1. Alisan Porter (25)
2. Mary Sarah (71)
3. Owen Danoff (83)
4. Ryan Quinn (86)
5. Mike Schiavo (95)
6. Angie Keilhauer (110)
7. Emily Keener (135)
8. Caity Peters (181)
9. Adam Wakefield (203)
10. Moushumi (229)
11. Kristen Marie (230)
12. Peyton Parker (250)
13. Abby Celso (291)
14. Joe Maye (322)
15. Justin Whisnant (370)
16. Daniel Passino (361)
17. Jessica Crosbie (404)
18. Hannah Huston (432)
19. Joe Vivona (461)
20. Paxton Ingrim (471)
21. Laith Al-Saadi (550)
22. Nick Halpin (572)
23. Nate Butler (565)
24. Bryan Bautista (606)
25. Natalie Yacovazzi (643)
26. Matt Tedder(666)
27. Jonathan Hutcherson (686)
28. Caroline Burns (702)
29. Brian Nhira (906)
30. Brittney Lawrence (1026)
31. Shalyah Fearing (1277)
32. Brittany Kennell (1400)
33. Teresa Guildry (1265)
34. Malik Heard (1455)
35. Maya Smith (1455)
36. Trey O’Dell (1463)

With the music industry dying it is much easier to chart on iTunes, and for Voice contestants it should be easier since they no longer have to fight with new releases since they got moved to Fridays last year. So these numbers do not look all that impressive. Only one in the top 50 (compared to five last season). Then twelve could not even make the top 1500 (granted fourteen did not last season). Using my formula to see who has the strongest team, here is how the coaches rank based on iTunes.

Team Pharrell – 202
Team Blake – 175
Team Adam - 161
Team Christina - 127

So in a rare move, the iTunes buyers agree with me exactly on who has the best teams. We do know all the Battle pairing now, so here are my predictions with who I think will win listed first and ranked my how confident I am that I am right. Really, I am confident on all of Blake. Has there ever been Battle pairing more obvious of who is going to win than these; but Blake has always been the easiest to predict.

Team Adam
Ryan Quinn vs. Katie Basden
Owen Danoff vs. John Gilman
Natalie Yacovazzi vs. Nate Butler
Laith Al-Saadi vs Matt Tedder
Mike Schiavo vs. Caroline Burns
Lily Greene vs. Katherine Ho

Team Blake
Paxton Ingrim vs. Brittany Lawrence
Mary Sarah vs. Justin Whisnant
Adam Wakefield vs. Jared Harder
Angie Keilhauser vs. Teresa Guidry
Peyton Parker vs. Gina Castanzo
Brittany Kennell vs. Trey O’Dell

Team Pharrell
Brian Nhira vs. Abby Celso (Steal)
Hannah Husdon vs. Maya Smith
Moushumi vs. Jonathan Hutcherson
Emily Keener vs. Johnathan Bach
Nick Hagelin vs. Jessica Crosbie
Caity Peters vs. Joe Vivona (Steal)

Malik Heard vs. Bryan Bautista (Steal)
Alison Porter vs. Lacey Mandingo
Katy May vs. Chelsea Gann
Tamar Davis vs. Shalyah Fearing (Steal)
Ayanna Jahneé vs. Joe Maye
Daniel Passino vs. Krista Marie

And here are my predictions for who makes the Live Show. Again who was featured in the Best of the Blinds and the My Team Is Full montages were a bit perplexing. Did people like Katy get a bunch of screen time because they will be around for a while or simply because she kissed Christina? I am basing my predictions mostly on my gut (but some on those montages). I am listing them in how confident I am them making the Live Show. We do not know if they are going to try the Coaches Comeback again but I am going to put those predations in parenthesis.

Team Adam: Ryan Quinn, Owen Danoff, Natalie Yacovazzi, Laith Al-Saadi, Caroline Burns (Mike Schiavo)
Team Blake: Mary Sarah, Paxton Ingrim, Adam Wakefield, Peyton Parker, Brittany Kennell (Angie Keilhauser)
Team Christina: Alisan Porter, Bryan Bautista, Tamar Davis, Ayanna Jahneé, Tamar Davis (Shalyah Fearing)
Team Pharrell: Hannah Huston, Caity Peters, Joe Vivona, Brian Nhira, Abby Celso (Emily Keener)

Maybe I overvalued Adam’s team because looking at it, Ryan and Owen are the only ones that look like Live Show material. Adam may very well go to the Lives with those two and three Steals. Unfortunately Blake looks like he will take another country heavy team to the Lives because he does have much in the way of non-country besides Paxton. He already wasted a Steal on another country singer. But is he really going to take three female country singers to the Lives? It looks that way to me. Then if there is a Coach’s Comeback, I do think he could bring back one of them that he dumps. Here is hoping his Knockout Steal adds some more diversity to his team instead of Stealing back some country singer that was Stolen in the Battles like he has done two of the past three seasons (and the season in between he Stole back Hannah Kirby). Hey, Pharrell has plenty of indie chicks to choose from.