The Voice Unveils the Top 16: Which Celebrity Coach Has the Best Roster?
Nakia Reynoso, Beverly McClellan
The fourth and final battle round on The Voice has been called. Four more contestants have been sent home, the neon boxing ring will be retired and the top 16 contestants on will move on to next week's live performance rounds.
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But before America gets to vote, let's take a look at which celebrity coach has the best roster heading into the last leg of the competition. We weigh in on their strongest singers and potential dark horses:
Her all-female team is made up of power singers top to bottom. They are Broadway and Idol alum Frenchie Davis, hard rocker Beverly McClellan, pint-sized Jersey Girl star Raquel Castro and Lily Elise.
The best: Beverly. Her tough take on Janis Joplin's "Piece of My Heart" was a little too yell-y and angry for our taste, but she completely sold us during the battle round when she let loose and wailed at all the right moments during "Baba O'Riley."
Watch out for: Frenchie. She could put her mighty voice to better use (i.e. avoiding range-less pop songs like "I Kissed a Girl.) With the right ballad, she could very well blow voting audiences away.
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His four are as eclectic as the "Forget You" singer's own musical repertoire. He's chosen fiery soul singer Vicci Martinez, the versatile blues man Nakia, sisters Tori and Taylor Thompson, and deep-voiced country guy Curtis Grimes.
The best: Nakia. The shaggy-haired Texan's got game! He infused Ne-Yo's dance hit "Closer" with such an intensity and focus that we really believed him when he growled, "I just can't stop, no, no."
Watch out for: Vicci. Her "Rolling in the Deep" was a bit out of control at times, but she reined in her throaty vocals in the battle round duet of Pink's "F---in' Perfect." What Vicci might lack in technique, she more than makes up for in her raw performances. She sells the song every time.
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The pickiest of our celebrity coaches, Adam was forced to take two second-chance contestants before the battle rounds. Nevertheless, he emerges with a very strong and diverse roster including family man (and arguably series frontrunner) Javier Colon, the Levine-esque Devon Barley, aspiring country crooner Casey Weston, and humble-but-big-voiced country boy Jeff Jenkins.
The best: Casey. At this point, it's probably considered sacrilege to pick anyone but Javier as Adam's — or even the show's — one to beat, but Casey's great "Leather & Lace" made her the most memorable contestant of the series. Her voice — part Dolly Parton, part Stevie Nicks — is quite unique. She's a solid performer, too, and isn't that what this show is all about?
Watch out for: Javier. His "Time After Time" and "Stand By Me" were smooth like butter, no doubt.
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Listen good, contestants: Blake doesn't like singers who oversing. Thus, his team is made up of the belly-warming consistency of country guy Patrick Thomas, rocker and songwriter Jared Blake, shy school teacher Dia Frampton, and equally shy teen Xenia Martinez.
The best: Jared. Not only does he have the comeback story to end all comeback stories — a recovering drug addict with six kids and several near-brushes with the big time — he's proven that he can sing anything well, from the Dixie Chicks' "Not Ready to Make Nice" to the Motown classic "Ain't No Mountain High Enough."
Watch out for: Xenia. She's young and perhaps too shy to win against the show's more seasoned contestants, but the texture of her voice — not unlike a younger Corinne Bailey Rae -- is undeniable.
Which celebrity coach do you think has the strongest lineup? Who is your pick to win the whole thing?