The Voice: Ranking the Coaches' Season 3 Teams Before the Live Shows Begin

We’re down to 20 contestants on Season 3 of The Voice. And while a few of the coaches’ verdicts for the Knockout Rounds were utterly inscrutable — Loren Allred over Nicole Nelson? Diego Val over Caitlin Michele? Cassadee Pope over Suzanna Choffel? Srsly?! — at least half of the remaining vocalists look like legitimate contenders heading into this week’s Live Playoffs (Tonight and Wednesday, 8/7c).

This Thursday, the top two vote-getters from each team will advance; each coach also will be able to save one of his or her three at-risk contestants from being ousted, resulting in a Top 12. Before the live performances begin, though, I figured it would be a good idea to rank the teams of Christina Aguilera, Cee Lo Green, Adam Levine, and Blake Shelton from least to most promising.

Check out my pecking order in the photo gallery below, then hit the comments and tell me where I got it right, and which rankings made you shout “Slezak, you’re a numbskull!”

Comments are monitored, so don’t go off topic, don’t frakkin’ curse and don’t bore us with how much your coworker’s sister-in-law makes per hour. Talk smart about TV!

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  1. larry says:

    It’s Payphone, not Telephone

  2. Melissa says:

    Totally agree with the rankings! I’ll be happy as long as Terry and De’borah are the final 2, love them both.

  3. Carolyn says:

    I only wish we’d gotten more of your take on the knockout rounds. Some of the judges decisions (BLAKE) were annoying. Hope you’re ok now following Sandy.

  4. Daniel says:

    I actually liked Cassadee’s performance, although I think MarissaAnn should have won, and that Suzanna should have not been paired against Cassadee, as Suzanna and Cassadee were my two favorites on Team Blake.

    • Daniel says:

      When I say MarissaAnn should have won, I mean against Julio.

      • Brenda says:

        Totally agree with you about MarissaAnn over Julio and didn’t think there was any doubt… she really killed it.
        Michael, I agreed with you about Suzanna winning her battle with Cassadee because it sounded like Cassadee was pitchy in two spots. I think Blake chose Cassadee only because she has a herd of viral teen girlfans that could win Blake the war.
        I truly believe Terry is the best on the show and would love to see him win. With his song choices in the classical rock era, I think he’s attracted an older fan base…hopefully, most of those buying his music will vote like crazy, knowing those teenagers will be.

  5. June says:

    I don’t agree with any of your rankings…hah! So I guess we’ll have to see how it looks after voting…

  6. Brenda says:

    Wow, so maybe I misunderstood your rankings but you listed them from least to most likely…as in, Blake & Adam are least likely to win? And on Blake’s team you have Terry & Mikeala (sp?) as 1st & 2nd but with Mikeaka beating out Terry, Liv (the country girl) and Cassady to the finals? Michael, tell me I read this wrong!
    Did you know that 2 days after the show last week, the #1 selling rock song on ITunes was Terry’s Maybe I’m Amazed and the cherry on top? #4 was Paul McCartney’s version. Terry stayed in the top 10 in sales for days (last I checked it was still at #8). You don’t think he’ll even make the finals?

    • terry is my favorite says:

      Agreed. Terry is such a cool drink of water in the sea of sameness that is reality tv singing competitions, which otherwise seems to be about oversinging, cutesy singing, or overcoming personal issues. The only time I’ve heard pure vocals like Terry’s on reality TV was on The Sing Off (the acapella groups competition), and NBC cancelled that show. Hope to hear Terry on my TV every week moving fwd.

    • Ashley says:

      This doesn’t happen often but I agree with you 100%. Including the wtf eliminations, though at least Loren’s You Know I’m No Good was at least interesting. Love Nicole but that was probably my least favorite If I Ain’t Got You ever. It was kind of boring but it wouldn’t be the first time one of these judges picked the better *singer* over the better *performance*

    • Lea says:

      Brenda, from what I understand, Michael’s rankings refer to each time separartely. And in Team Blake, Terry is ranked number one, which is the best position he could have. So based on this, I’d say that Michael probably thinks that there is a good chance Terry makes the finals.

      • Brenda says:

        Thanks, Lee :) . So, the four he has listed at the bottom… De’Borah, Bryan, Mikeala and, I’m sorry I can’t remember last guy’s name but those are not Michael’s top 4?

        • B says:

          The numbers are listed next to their names on each team – 5 is the least promising according to Michael, and 1 is the most promising.

  7. Pat says:

    You’ve massively underrated Loren Allred.

    • natnut2009 says:

      Loren’s performance was solid all the way through and a star-making turn. Listening to her old youtube shows that her exploits last week dumping out Nicole was no fluke. I think you’re criminally under-rating Loren.

    • natnut2009 says:

      Methinks Mr Slezak’s disappointment at losing Nicole has colored his objectivity in judging Loren’s actual vocal talent.

      Loren has a unique tone to her voice but it isn’t gimmicky and she doesn’t need to rely on it to cover up any lack of range or vocal power since she has both of these in spades.

  8. Ashley says:

    This doesn’t happen often but I agree with you 100%. Including the wtf eliminations, though at least Loren’s You Know I’m No Good was at least interesting. Love Nicole but that was probably my least favorite If I Ain’t Got You ever. It was kind of boring but it wouldn’t be the first time one of these judges picked the better *singer* over the better *performance*.

  9. terry is my favorite says:

    Slezak, both Terry and Nicholas rock their looks hard. Terry with his ’80s rock mullet – it actually suits chubby-pasty Scottish face. Can’t imagine him with any other haircut. And his leather Members Only jacket. So retro-hot!

    Nicholas – yeah maybe trim those moustache hairs a bit. But I love how his pants are floods and his shoes stick out like a sore thumb. He looks like he climbed out of bed and threw on some clothes to run to the grocery store to buy some milk for his breakfast cereal in the wee hours of the morning. Love that he pulls that off on live TV.

    • Tvlover1029 says:

      Agree 100%! They are both are who they are, know who they are and are comfortable with it. Unlike a few others that seem like they trying TOO hard (De borah & Mikeala)…

  10. Brenda says:

    One more…on #TheVoice I heard there was a new rule that the ones leaving would be those with the least number of votes, regardless of who the coach was. So, the last 4 standing could all be from any team…even the same team. The four with the most votes will be the top 4?
    In reply to Terry is my favorite…I think Terry’s “look” perfectly suits his music and I like it but with his voice, which is honestly one of the best I’ve heard in many years, his looks are just icing on the cake. As a singer & musician who grew up in the age of the best rock ever (Beatles hit when I was10, Who at 12, Woodstock at 14)…Robert Plant, Pete Townsend, Tom Petty, David Gilmore (Pink Floyd), Jim Morrison, Beatles-Paul & John, Joplin…so when I say best I’ve heard in years, I mean really amazing. It’s so pure and his perfect pitch, control with a great wail & growl he can use or not? That’s what separates good from great. Whether he wins this or not (the best don’t always win), he’s got an incredible future in rock and this exposure has gained him a lot of fans & gotten his name out there… can’t wait to see where he goes from here.
    Sidenote: the Who kicked off a 36 date tour last Friday… first time in 4 years (see Rolling Go Terry!

  11. Larali says:

    So glad to see you back…Hope you and your loved ones are very well after Sandy. You were deeply missed. Best wishes!!

  12. cz says:

    still mad that Loren is there over Nicole…. and Devyn over the Lauren the Latina singer. I realize the point of the knockouts was how they handle pressure, but they should have really considered the contestants overall performances.

    Next season, The Voice should have the judges just choose the best 5 instead of pitting them against certain people.

  13. Jason says:

    Are you guys crazy.?Adam was absolutely right picking Loren over Nicole. She was different. How maNY times can you see the same big diva SAFE song choices sung by big voiced Diva’s. At least Loren has a chance of surprising people with interesting song choices. Also there needs to be a little female sex appeal on he show. And she clearly outsang her on the Knockout round because you could not take your eyes off the performance and even Cristina Aguilera gave a standing ovation which is very rare.

  14. Niko says:

    Nice list. Overall very similar to my rankings.

  15. FreeHaley says:

    Wow, just when I thought I would actually agree with all of the decisions Blake does some WEIRD stuff. I’m not sure any pairing was more mismatched than Marissa Ann vs Julio. I actually didn’t even worry at all the result seemed like such a given and then….
    And how on Earth does Julio as make it and not Suzanna??? Man I thought Suzanna might well be a finalist! WTH!?

  16. FreeHaley says:

    0. Suzanna (wait, what?)
    1. Terry
    2. Cassadee
    3. 4. Liz or Michaela
    5. Julio (how is he here when he got utterly blow away by Marissa Ann and when Suzanna was infinitely better??)

    Blake tend to pick ones he gets a certain gut love for, he loves Julio and even more Michaela and also Joselyn (who maybe should have been on his team, have a bad feeling she will get screwed being on Blake’s team). I think if she was on his team we would see a top three from Terry, Cassadee, Joselyn or Liz as it is I think a top three out of Terry, Cassadee, Michaela or Liz. If he favors gut love, which often does over country love which he sometimes does then Liz is out.

  17. FreeHaley says:


  18. FreeHaley says:

    weird so I can post test, but somehow anything about Team XTina disappears! hah, not sure what is going on with the bulletin board here…. try again for the fourth time:
    Christina’s team is a tough call, Dez probably gets voted through, perhaps:
    1. Sylvia
    2. Adrianna
    3. Dez
    4. DeBorah (although she is pretty cool so can she be only 4?)
    5. Devyn

  19. FreeHaley says:

    1. Trevor
    2. Nicholas
    3. Codey
    4. MacKenzie
    5. Diego
    hopefully Nicholas can get voted through despite his different look, on this show, perhaps and I think maybe Cee Lo saves him if not though anyway

  20. FreeHaley says:

    1. Amanda – holy cow, she may be the winner (or make that second place since no female wins hah)
    2. Joselyn – maybe finally made it clear to all the doubters, she can sing and man her smile can win over a crowd and she seems so genuinely nice, she should have won the battle round and been on team Xtina
    3. Bryan – the voting demo probably puts him at least second though
    4. Loren – she really came on in this round
    5. Melanie – good, but I fear she will eventually become tiresome and her different will eventually be all the same and without as strong a voice she might ultimately have trouble but she might get early votes or Blake love

    I’m kind of afraid for Joselyn since Amanda has come on so strong I think she probably has one of the three spots locked beyond a doubt and then unless Bryan has a catastrophe the voting demo is putting him through and then I kinda fear Blake will pick Melanie since he likes that quirky individual thing and with Amanda and Bryan he’d have no hint of that.

    Moreso if Amanda or Bryan didn’t make his top two then he may fear Joselyn as his entry to the finale would go head to head with someone similar on Christina’s team and then they’d cancel out votes and since he plays the game I have a feeling she is already done for unless she has such an insane performance that she can overcome the swooning over Bryan vote and the guy is pretty decent too so it will be tough. If he saves her then she and Christina’s entry in the finale cancel out and both teams would go down in the finale. Sad to say but now they are in pure strategy stage so I badly fear she is set up to be a goner and unless she utterly beyond belief blows it out of the park Joselyn may be gone before I even regain power and get to vote. Considering who Loren knocked out Adam may also feel prone to picking her and she might get a bit of bonus points. Damn, thinking maybe Joselyn woulda been safer on Blake’s team, despite my (and Mr. Slezak) having her #2, since he tends to always save those he talks about loving and he was after her so many times.

  21. Jess says:

    I sure hope Terry wins this! He has such a solid voice and always gives a great performance!!

  22. mary says:

    terry is the most solid voice. i would buy his music. amamda is run of the mill, Trevin too. i cant believe je is still in it. Bryan was much better.. melanie is original and distinctive. sje does not seem to be a product ready to be marketed like cassady. her voice is so similar to quite a few young voices out there. nicholas is interesting. kind of boz scaggsish. i like his voice most of the time. cant stand it when he mispronounces words he is exaggerating. but he is good. i would buy his music. so i hope amanda and trevin go this week. this season has been markedly different. i dont like the i tunes downloads getting more votes. money talks. not fair.

  23. Kobeb says:

    CASSADEE POPE will be crown the winner of The Voice Season 3…
    well, um… on my perspective, why Blake chose her over Suzanna is bcuz she is a true performer… Suzanna’s singing was a bit awkward compared to Cassadee… Even though she was the former vocalist of Hey Monday, it doesn’t mean that she shouldn’t be in the competition bcuz she already had fans in all over the world…

    If we go back to the 1st season, where Javier Colon won the competition, before, he was a member of EmcQ and The Derek Trucks Band, and worked with many musicians before going solo. From 2002 to 2006, he was signed to Capitol Records, known as artist Javier. But in 2006, the contract was terminated and Javier Colon became an independent artist with his own label, Javier Colon Music. But, he won The Voice in 2011.

    Take this positively, they’re just trying to make a living… Besides, wouldn’t it be great, that we’re actually gonna have another great performer in the future…