The knockout round opens Monday night on The Voice.
In case you’ve lost track of which singers will be performing for which coach, a recap follows.
Sixteen singers were eliminated in the battle round; another 12 will head home following the knockouts.
Each coach has one steal in this round. The 20 singers who survive make the live playoffs, which will mark the first time viewers can vote for their favorite artists.
The Voice has provided a sneak peek of one of the knockouts and I’ve embedded it here.
My prediction: Alicia Keys declares Lilli Passero the winner. And Ashley Levin heads home to Team Blake.
Just a hunch, mind you.
Team Adam Levine
Among the original members of Team Adam, I was most impressed with the soulful Jesse Larson and rocker Johnny Hayes during the battle round. Viewers didn’t get to see the performance by Adam’s other rock, Josh West, who turned four chairs in the blinds. Autumn Turner, another four-chair turn, was a nice pickup, though I have to note again that Voice fans have not been great supporters of female R&B performers in past seasons.
I wasn’t a big fan of some of Alicia’s battle round decisions (Quizz Swanigan over Felicia Temple and Jack Cassidy over Hunter Plake, specifically), but her team enters the knockouts with a nice mixture of young and experience. Among the youngsters, Anatalia Villaranda was fabulous in the battles. Among the music vets, Vanessa Ferguson, Lilli Passero and Chris Blue all appear ready for prime time.
Team Blake Shelton
Blake’s team was loaded entering the battles and it didn’t get any weaker, though he let a four-chair turn (Valerie Ponzio) head home. Aliyah Moulden is another of the top youngsters on the show. Felicia Temple adds musical diversity to his team. But in the forefront are country singers Casi Joy and Lauren Duski. Blake should ensure both of them make the live playoffs as members of Team Blake.
Team Gwen Stefani
I also wasn’t a big fan of Gwen’s coaching strategy in Season 9. She seemed prone to hang onto singers she thought could benefit from more coaching rather than singers who were ready to win The Voice at that moment. Let’s see how Season 12 plays out. She hung onto her four-chair turns (JChosen and Troy Ramey) and the show’s best backstory (Stephanie Rice, who also happens to be very vocally talented). Troy, in particular, seems to me the kind of singer who could catch fire with the show’s fan base.
* Only one spot remained on the show when he auditioned