As we head into the first live show of Season 15 for “The Voice,” who do you think is the best artist on Team Kelly Clarkson? We’ve got our exclusive best-to-worst rankings below for her competitors this year.
Next Monday and Tuesday “The Voice” will transition from its pre-taped rounds to live shows where the audience has a say in who stays and who goes. In these Live Playoffs, each of the four teams of six coached by Clarkson, Adam Levine, Jennifer Hudson and Blake Shelton will compete for just three spots in the following round. Two of those spots will be determined by audience votes and the the last one by coach choice. For our recent play-by-play analysis of the Knockouts, click on these links for Monday, October 29, Tuesday, October 30 and Monday, November 5.
Below we rank Kelly’s team based on our impressions of their three performances so far this season as well as the likelihood that they’ll be one of the three to advance. Team Kelly is one of the strongest with powerhouse Kymberli Joye sitting comfortably at the top. If we assume Kymberli is safely moving on, there is likely one spot for one of Kelly’s guys, Zaxai or Keith Paluso, and another for one of the three remaining young women, Abby Cates, Sarah Grace or Chevel Shepherd.
Here is the way the format will work on these first two lives shows for November 12 and 13. All 24 singers will perform on Monday night. For Tuesday evening’s results episode, the public will vote through two members of each team. Each coach will advance another artist from his or her team, making a total of 12 for the following week (three from each team).
See our ranking below, then let us know in the comments if you think we’re calling this race correctly!
1. Kymberli Joye
(Blinds: “Run to You”; Battle: “Mercy”; Knockout: “The Middle”)
Yes, barely anyone can cover Whitney Houston and keep their dignity like Kymberli did in the blinds. But honestly its her ability to elevate two songs like “Mercy” and “The Middle” like she did in the next two rounds that shows just how undeniable she is as Kelly’s front runner. Kymberli doesn’t just have the voice, she has the artistry and command to attempt and slay any song put in front of her. That’s gonna he hard to beat.
(Blinds: “Come and Get Your Love”; Battle: “Love Lies”; Knockout: “Cruisin'”)
Jennifer successfully blocked Kelly from getting Zaxai in the blinds, but she got him in a steal following one of the strongest battles in series history when he sang “Love Lies.” And yet even as half of that great duet, Zaxai’s true star moment was in the knockouts when he delivered a smooth, sexy rendition of “Cruisin’.” Though his team is tough competition, I think Zaxai is getting better each week so he’s my dark horse pick to make Kelly’s live show squad.
3. Abby Cates
(Blinds: “Scars to Your Beautiful”; Battle: “Love Me Like You Do”; Knockout: “Because of You”)
Abby blew Kelly away in the knockouts when she conveyed the emotional complexity of Kelly’s own song “Because of You.” It was a big moment for Abby who heads into the next round looking very strong. If she can deliver another breakthrough moment and prove the magic wasn’t a one time thing then she stands a really good chance of being the artist that Kelly saves based on the promise of her potential.
4. Sarah Grace
(Blinds: “Ball and Chain”; Battle: “No Roots”; Knockout: “I’d Rather Go Blind”)
I think Kelly realizes that Sarah is one of her strongest competitors for the live shows (and that’s probably why she used her save on her) because of her top notch stage presence. I also have a feeling that she’ll resonate with the audience better than some of Kelly’s other artists. The problem is that she hasn’t really given an undeniable performance yet in three rounds and so my confidence in her is slipping.
5. Chevel Shepherd
(Blinds: “If I Die Young”; Battle: “You Look So Good in Love”; Knockout: “Travelin’ Solider”)
Chevel may have won her knockout against Sarah, but I disagree with that decision because she still has a long way to go in the confidence department. At this point in the competition everyone is a great vocalist, but it takes stage presence and performance quality to put one at the head of the pack. On Kelly’s team, Chevel is up against two other young female vocalists and ultimately Kelly will likely only keep one.
6. Keith Paluso
(Blinds: “Way Down We Go”; Battle: “I’m a One-Woman Man”; Knockout: “You Are the Best Thing”)
Now on his third team of the season, to say Keith has the steepest uphill battle ahead of him doesn’t quite convey how tough it’ll be for him to make the live shows. To be honest, there are a lot of guys with guitars this season and that could be why Keith hasn’t had hos breakthrough moment yet. He’s not doing it better than either of the guys he lost to in the battles or knockouts and now on a stacked Team Kelly, he’s going to come up short again. His only hope is that Kelly doesn’t have any artist like him already and wants to diversify for the lives.
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