By: Jacob Elyachar, jakes-take.com
Tomorrow night, the Battle Rounds commence on The Voice!
Before the first battles begin, here are the 20 artists to watch during this four-episode arc!
Christina Grimmie: The YouTube superstar exploded onto the stage with her powerful interpretation of Miley Cyrus’s “Wrecking Ball.” If she sails straight through both the Battle and Knockout Rounds, she (and her giant social media fanbase) would be a force to be reckoned with during the Live Shows.
Josh Kaufman: Josh can bring blue-eyed soul back to the forefront in the music industry. His cover of George Michael’s “One More Try” gave everyone chills and made him one of Team Adam’s leading men of Season Six.
Dawn & Hawkes: The Austin, Texas-based duo have great harmonies and can transform songs into their own. Their cover of the Beatles’ “I’ve Just Seen a Face” brought was very warm and showed that they have a solid foundation to move forward to the Live Shows. The two items that might worry fans are that there is already a folk rock duo represented in the market (X Factor USA: Season Three’s winners Alex & Sierra) and Adam has a bad track record with duos (see Midas Whale).
Delvin Choice: Sometimes it takes try number two to make it onto a team. Team Adam’s Delvin Choice returned stronger than ever with a superb rendition of Leon Russell’s “A Song of You” that caught the attention of all four coaches! I think that Delvin could be a crucial piece to Adam’s team.
Caleb Elder: My Wild Card pick is Caleb Elder. While there is much work that Caleb needs to do in order to stay on the Maroon 5 frontman’s team, I do see a lot of potential! I loved that he showcased his personality in “Groove Me,” but he cannot lose his mind in the Battle Rounds.
Cierra Mickens: The Alaska native stole the show when she covered former coach CeeLo Green’s signature song: “Crazy.” She has an amazing vocal range and could be the “Hips Don’t Lie” coach’s ticket to get into the finale!
Emily B: Another powerhouse that is a standout on Team Shakira is Emily B. The L.A. native’s “Wicked Game” showcased heartbreak and eloquent vocals that could really make her a candidate for the Live Shows.
Kristin Merlin: If there should be a couple of country singers that make it into the Live Rounds, I hope Kristen is one of them. There is warmth in her vocals and she would have made Jennifer Nettles proud of her performance of “Something More.”
Ddendyl: The Washington, D.C.-based singer delivered an outstanding cover of Ben E. King’s “Stand By Me” that showcased her uniqueness as an artist. I hope that she continues to grow because I hope her uniqueness is rewarded with a spot on the Live Shows.
DeShawn Washington: From the first note of his Blind Audition, I became a fan of DeShawn Washington. His cover of “Twistin’ the Night Away” showcased classic soul music elements that are currently missing in today’s music market. However, if Shakira decides to eliminate DeShawn…expect Usher to steal him.
Bria Kelly: The former America’s Got Talent standout came to the Voice to expand her horizons. Her performance of “Steamroller Blues” put her in the top spot in Team Usher. However, can she rise to the occasion during the Battle Rounds?
Brothers Walker: Identical twins Cory and Clinton Walker delivered an intriguing take on the Zac Brown Band’s “Keep Me in Mind” that caught the attention of Usher. The “Scream” singer should definitely keep this duo on the show because they have great potential.
Stevie Jo: One of the most surprising moments during the Blind Auditions this year was Stevie Jo’s audition. Adam described it best: “he sounds like Usher, but looks like Blake.” In addition, he has potential to be a fan-favorite artist with his strong vocal runs.
T.J. Wilkins: I almost wanted to hate on the Team Usher soul man because T.J. covered “Bennie and the Jets” (which was forever immortalized by the great Haley Reinhart on American Idol). But, when he delivered a soulful version of the Elton John-Bernie Taupin classic…I loved his falsetto and his flair could make him a staple this year.
Melissa “M.J.” Jimenez: I love singers that take risks early on the competition. Melissa Jimenez’s decisions to start “If I Ain’t Got You” a cappella and later sing the song in Spanish showcases that she would be a valuable asset to Team Usher this year.
Sisaundra Lewis: Celine Dion’s former music director delivered the Blind Audition of the season with her show-stopping cover of Aretha’s “Ain’t No Way.” Sisaundra’s powerhouse vocals electrified the audience and cemented her status as a frontrunner!
Noah Lis: The Palmer, Massachusetts vocalist crooned his way to Team Blake. The best crooner that the show has ever seen is Chris Mann from Season Two and in all honesty, I think that Noah could expand on Chris’s legacy. Regardless of what Blake does, I think Noah has a career outside this show!
Jake Worthington: Like Team Adam’s Delvin Choice, Jake Worthington did not get a coach to turn around during the fifth season. However, when the Voice stalwarts and Shakira turned around…Jake redeemed himself with his goose bump inducing “Don’t Close Your Eyes” and showcased that he has the star quality to win this show.
Alaska & Madi: Tulsa natives and best friends Alaska and Madi showcased terrific harmonies with their rendition of The Civil Wars’ “Barton Hollow.” I think that they could be a strong duo and are great contenders to go all the way to the Live Shows.
Audra McLaughlin: My final artist that I am supporting this season is Audra McLaughlin. When I heard her cover of Bonnie Raitt’s “Angel from Montgomery,” I loved Audra’s vocal range and the way she connected with the audience. If Blake needed to choose one female country singer to remain on his team, I hope he chooses Audra!
For more information about “The Voice,” visit the show’s website: http://www.nbc.com/the-voice