If you like unpredictable seasons on The Voice — and who doesn’t, right? — we’ve got one in Season 12.
First, Hunter Plake of Team Gwen Stefani looked like the favorite, leading everyone on iTunes for three straight rounds.
Then, teenager Brennley Brown seemed to take the momentum, with a string of brilliant performances.
But last week, it was the show’s older country singer, Lauren Duski — all of 25 — who led the way on iTunes.
The only thing that seems predictable? Those three appear likely to make the finals, along with Chris Blue.
Of course, Lilli Passero, Jesse Larson and Vanessa Ferguson have two more weeks to change that, and all three appear capable of doing it.
Meanwhile, this is a double elimination week as The Voice cuts down to eight singers in preparation for next week’s semifinals.
This week’s rankings:
1. Brennley Brown (1, Team Gwen): As much as Blake Shelton keeps saying Brennley wound up on right team (his girlfriend’s), I’d still like her chances better if she were representing Team Blake. The fact that she was third on iTunes last week is more a credit to everyone else than a knock on her performance.
2. Lauren Duski (3, Team Blake): Not only did she top everyone on iTunes last week, she wound up at number three on the overall singles chart, the best performance for a singer so far in Season 12. And she need not fret about song choice; Blake will push the right buttons.
3. Hunter Plake (2, Team Gwen): His cover of “All I Want” was his best performance since “Every Breath She Takes” in the knockout round. It also landed in bonus points territory on iTunes, allowing him to keep up with Brennley and Lauren in that regard.
4. Chris Blue (4, Team Alicia): As good as Chris was last week, he could take notes from the performances of Lauren and Brennley. Sometimes, standing behind the mic and delivering a spot-on, emotional vocal is more powerful than all those dance moves. In that respect, I think Chris missed out on a potential moment last week.
5. Jesse Larson (7, Team Adam): From what I can recall, only one singer who turned a single chair in the blind auditions has ever made the show’s finale, that being Nicholas David in Season 3. Jesse’s making a strong case for deserving to become the second; last week’s cover of “Human” might have been his best yet.
6. Vanessa Ferguson (6, Team Alicia): And Vanessa also continued her string of impressive performances last week. But, somehow, her cover of “Diamonds” didn’t do so well on iTunes (9th out of 11 songs), meaning song choice is going to be oh, so critical in the next two weeks.
7. Lilli Passero (8, Team Adam): Back among the healthy and back in her comfort zone, Lilli also excelled on Top 11 night. And she can take comfort in the fact that Voice will support her throw-back style of music, if it’s done very well. Her cover of “Town Without Pity” landed at an impressive #36 on iTunes.
8. Aliyah Moulden (9, Team Blake); The teen from Cali on put together an impressive run on The Voice, but a double-elimination could prove difficult for her to navigate if she doesn’t conquer her tendency to get shouty when reaching for big notes. A non-country song choice might help, Blake.
9. TSoul (10, Team Blake): He’s got one of the largest social media followings on the show and has been voted through two straight weeks after needing a coach’s save to make the finals. Now he just need to deliver vocals that match his superb on-stage presence.
10. Mark Isaiah (11, Team Adam): In the past two weeks, he’s performed better when competing for the Twitter save than on performance night, which is sort of baffling. Anyway, there’s no way he should survive a double elimination considering all the talent and experience above him on this list.