Alright, guys, it’s that time again! The Voice Season 11 Blind Auditions are over and the Battle Rounds began last night, and it’s time for my top picks from this season to be revealed! It was SUPER hard to limit all of the immense talent on this season to 10 artists. This isn’t meant to hate on any of the artists who are not on the list. Every single artist on Season 11 has something that makes them special, this is just my opinion on who stands out to me. Also, click on each artist’s name to view their blind audition performance.
1) Wé McDonald
Wé McDonald is a 17-year-old from Paterson, New Jersey. The thing I love the most about her voice is how clear and powerful it is. There was so much intention and strength behind her vocal delivery, and her vocal technique is immaculate. Her performance was a textbook-perfect example of a four-chair turn. Ultimately, Wé went with Alicia Keys because Alicia said that Wé could “show the world what love sounds like.” Wé’s battle aired last night. Spoiler alert: she absolutely slayed it and won!
2) Billy Gilman
Billy Gilman is a former country singer from Rhode Island who had great success very early on in life. His song, “One Voice,” earned him 2 Grammy nominations at the age of 12, but in his heart of hearts, he wanted to be a pop singer. Some people may think that Billy peaked 16 years ago, but I would argue that now is his time and he is a stronger singer than ever. Billy was another four-chair turn, but he went with Adam because Adam said, “So rarely do I hear EVERYTHING happen on this stage!” Adam went on to express that Billy “embodies all of the qualities of the person who wins the show.” Billy also won his battle last night and showed everyone what battling was all about.
3) Riley Elmore
If the authorities were looking for the 16-year-old crooner who swallowed Frank Sinatra, Riley would have been arrested by now! His clean tone and classic style moved Adam Levine and Blake Shelton to turn their chairs. Ultimately, Billy went with Adam after Adam took it upon himself to sing “The Way You Look Tonight” as a duet with Riley to teach him how to loosen up onstage. “Beginning the coaching process,” as Adam called it. Riley also won his battle, Michael Buble’s “Cry Me A River,” last night.
4) Ali Caldwell
Ali Caldwell has all of the qualities that are necessary to win the show: a perfect voice, a clear idea of who she is and wants to be, and the drive and determination necessary to make her dreams come true. Because of her absolutely enormous potential, all four coaches fought tooth and nail to get Ali on their teams. In the end, Ali took her mother’s advice to “dare to be different” and went with Miley Cyrus. Ali won her battle round last night, and I envision her onstage at the finale.
Sa’Rayah’s voice speaks for itself. She is the type of singer whose voice belongs in a stadium filled with thousands of people. Miley and Alicia immediately picked up on Sa’Rayah’s obvious talent and personality. The only reason that Adam and Blake didn’t turn their chairs was that they felt that Miley or Alicia would work better with Sa’Rayah. She ended up going with Miley because of her desire to do something unpredictable. Sa’Rayah is also a major contender for the trophy this season.
Season 11’s only duo’s hypnotic harmonies earned them a four-chair turn. (On a totally separate note, if my little brother is reading this: GABE, WE NEED TO FORM A SIBLING DUO AND DO THIS). Blake argued that the only successful duo in Voice history, The Swon Brothers, competed on his team, and he wanted to replicate that success with the new sibling duo. However, after Alicia said that the duo “represent the future of music,” there was no way that these talented ladies would join any other team.
Courtney Harrell’s blind audition was the first time she sang in public for over 15 years. Her voice has the ability to be really soft and vulnerable, but the big notes she hit were just as incredible and powerful. Courtney’s re-entrance into the music world inspired Alicia and Blake to turn their chairs, and, after her mother’s screaming from backstage, Courtney chose Blake to be her coach.
8) Dana Harper
What stood out to me about Dana’s voice was how beautiful her lower register was. Most female artists on the show hit these big notes up in the stratosphere, but Dana came along and paved her own path to success. Adam, Alicia, and Blake all turned for Dana, but Dana eventually went with Blake because of his vision of her success on the show.
Gabriel Violett came onto The Voice stage hoping to find success after starring in Spring Awakening on Broadway. His pitch-perfect rendition of “Treat You Better” by Shawn Mendes turned Alicia’s chair almost immediately, but Blake swooped in at the last second. Gabriel ended up joining Team Alicia.