The Voice: Ranking the Season 5 Top 20 Heading Into the Battle Rounds!

The Voice‘s Season 5 Battle Rounds kick off tonight (8/7c on NBC), and I’m betting at least one baby diva will be crushed under the weight of an experienced diva’s pipes. (But I’m morbid that way).

Either way, the current field of 48 is about to be cut in half — and then plumped back up to 32 thanks to the coaches’ ability to enact the patented “Steal.”

Before the vocal bloodshed gets under way, though, I thought it would be a good time to rank the 20 front-running contestants based on my first impressions (recapped in the accompanying captions), leaked intel about Battle Rounds pairings and general Internet buzziness. So click through the gallery below for my countdown, then hit the comments and share whose banner you’ll be waving during the Voice‘s “duets to the death”!

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. Steve says:

    I think Tessanne is being completely overrated. She was good, but nowhere near that good.

  2. Is it just me or does Destinee Quinn look exactly like Amanda Setton (currently of The Crazy Ones, formerly of The Mindy Project & Gossip Girl)? I’m kinda freaked out how similar they look.

  3. aiden says:

    horrible list of your top 20

  4. Sharleen says:

    Looking forward to the Battle Rounds tonight to see what happens. I relly like your picks Michael, but have to disagree with your comment about Danielle Bradberry last season’s Voice winner. She signed with Big Machine Records the same label as Taylor Swift and includes country stars Tim McGraw and Rascal Flatts. I personally thought she was amazing and for 16 years old (now turned 17) and no prior experience, I have a feeling she will end up being one winner from The Voice who will end up being as successful as the big stars that came from AI that we always hear about. Please note I said winners as I know there are non winners that have had wonderful success. With the exception of Kelly Clarkson and Phillip Phillips the most successful winners from AI are the country artists. Even Kelly has a huge country connection as we have seen her perform on the CMA shows, Her recent marriage to Brandon Blackstock further spoke of her country connection. Her mother-in-law Reba is married to Narvel Blackstock who just happens to be Kelly’s manager. Kelly released a country album titled “Greatest Hits Chapter One” which included two duets that she has performed with on the CMAs. One is “Don’t You Wanna Stay” with Jason Aldean, and the other is “Don’t Rush” with Vince Gill and I can’t forget her country version of “Mr Know It All”. I know a lot of people are not fond of country music, but I like it a lot. That’s not to say that I don’t love a lot of different music. I thought Michelle was extremely talented. I thought Amber was as well, but for me Danielle was the best and totally deserving of the win.

    When Terry McDermott was on I was hoping he would win so I am going into this season of The Voice with an open mind and ear. Once we get past the Battle Rounds and see who makes it I can better decide who I am going to be cheering for this season.

  5. Atara says:

    You left out Will Champlin, that is my only beef. I love him! I thought exactly the same thing as you about Blake’s odd remark about Destinee’s lower notes considering she was fine…loved her! and Cassaddee had many more problems in that department, and IN my opinion, still does.

  6. abz says:

    If I had to choose, my faves so far (in terms of entertaining or amazing vocals) are:

    Will Champlin
    Matt Cermanski
    Michael Lynch
    Tessanne Chin
    Nic Hawk
    Ashley Dubose
    Sam Cerniglia
    Stephanie Ann Johnson
    Preston Pohl
    Ray Boudreaux
    E.G. Daily
    Holly Henry
    Monika Leigh

    Although, I feel like the contestants overall have been lackluster compared to previous years. I was never really WOWed by any of them or at least excited to hear more like I was with Judith Hill, Sarah Simmons, Cody Belew, Melanie Martinez, Dez Duron, Amber Carrington, Michelle Chamuel, etc. Anyway, the Battle Rounds should be fun and I hope and I hope the coaches improve with their song choices because some of the choices made last season were just disappointing.

  7. HTGR says:

    I think you put Destinee way too low. Also too low: E.G., Kat, Preston!
    Way too high: Michael, Jonny!

  8. HTGR says:

    Also, what in the world happened to Grey? Not even on the list???

  9. HTGR says:

    It is hard to judge after having seen so little to this point though.

  10. Wow, you are ridiculously bad at picking what does well on The Voice–it ain’t Idol. Like your insistence that no one ever choose Blake. Instead of having his team butcher great songs, he has them be entertaining. Not to mention that he has a huge built in voting block. As a contestant, you would be stupid not to choose Blake if you want to win. Adam is going to give you weird things you don’t want to sing and then be visibly upset when America doesn’t send you home. CeeLo is 50/50 half the time good, half the time Walking On Sunshine. And Xtina, haha, well Xtina is Xtina. Don’t get in the way of her hats or her divatude.

    Adam’s already pretty hostile this year. I feel so bad for Tessanne who needs stage presence stat (and maybe Shakira). She sang the heck out of Pink! but really, if Adam doesn’t make her show a personality she’s gonna go the way of all the other big voiced, aloof, divas he’s had before. She could be great, but she’ll probably end up on the heap of awesome, and gone too soon.

    • Sharleen says:

      I agree with you about Michael’s insistence that no one ever choose Blake. Why does he think Blake had contestants that won it all for the last 3 years? Blake knows how to make his contestants entertain. On paper imo Adam had the strongest team last season and I never thought the Swon Brothers as an example would be there at the end over some of the very strong singers that Adam had. I didn’t think they would ever make it that far, but they did and I ended up really enjoying them.

  11. Joe says:

    Melinda is gonna be mad at you about Caroline Pennell, I’m making this comment after only seeing her at 20 btw, but to each his own I suppose.

  12. I am surprised Michael had Holly Henry ranked so high because I do not think he even had Holly ranked in the top four when he reviewed her episode. It is nice to see he has come around on Holly because she is the only one to care for in an otherwise lackluster batch of talent this season. Hopefully there are some singer who have breakout moments in the Battle Rounds.

    • MC says:

      I think you’re right. I don’t remember a very positive review for her originally, but Holly is someone who immediately made a strong impression on me (and Blake!). Love him or hate him, Blake often seems to recognize raw talent faster than any of the other coaches (with Adam a close second).

    • HTGR says:

      She is one of his top picks on this list that I agree with.

  13. Kaylea says:

    Holly is the winner of season 5, only one with star quality!

  14. Jen says:

    A few days ago I went through all of the blind auditions and put my favorites in order by team. I thought I would share the results of those hours of youtube on here :)

    team adam
    1. Grey
    2. James Wolpert
    3. James Irwin
    4. Tessanne chin
    5. Donna Allen
    6. Nic Hawk
    7. Ashley Dubose
    8. Will Champlin
    9. Justin Blake
    10. Matt Cermanski
    11. Barry Black
    12. Preston Pohl

    Team Blake

    1.Holly Hunter
    2.E.G. Daily
    3.Justin Chain
    4.Brian Pounds
    5.Sam Cerniglia
    6.Shelbie Z
    7.Brandon Chase
    8.Austin Jenckes
    9.Ray Boudreaux
    10.Monika Leigh
    11.Cilla Chan
    12.Emily Randolph

    Team Xtina

    1.Michael Lynch
    2.Matthew Schuler
    3.Jacquie Lee
    4.Josh Logan
    5.Destinee Quinn
    6.Stephanie Anne Johnson
    7.Olivia Henken
    9.Lina Gaudenzi
    10.Briana Cuoco
    11.Jacob Poole
    12.Amber Nicole

    Team Ceelo

    1.Caroline Pennell
    2.Jonny Gray
    4.Lupe carroll
    5.Cole Vosbury
    6.Shawn Smith
    7.Tamara Chauniece
    8.R Anthony
    9.Kat Robichaud
    10.George Horga Jr.
    11.Anthony Paul
    12.Keaira LaShae

  15. Madeline says:

    At least 1 awesome VOICE contestant has gone on to capitalize on being on the show but not winning. Judith Hill is on tour opening for Josh Groban, got a record deal with Sony, and is releasing an EP this year. GO JUDITH!!!!

    • Sly says:

      She wasn’t exactly a nobody before the show.

      • Madeline says:

        If you want to keep banging that dead horse then be my guest!!! The only thing she had done of note was to Sing at MJ’s funeral. She never got to go on tour with him because he died. She also never had a record deal like many, many Voice contestants. She took the fans and momentum from the show and went with it. Shall, I make a list of the contestants in all seasons who finished higher than her and who have record deals and are on tour now. The list would have no names on it!!! Get over it!!! Judith rocks!!!

    • Chris Mann & Dia Frampton are other examples that come to mind.

  16. Sea says:

    You alll seem to be forgetting about Preston Pohl. His appeal is to a wide variety of ages (important for getting votes) and he sings with his heart and soul. Real talent is not just about having a great voice. So many good voices on the show, but only couple of folks have something special and unique. There has not been a singer on the scene with a voice like Preston’s in many, many years. Check out the comments on YouTube. My favouite comment from fan was that ‘he makes me feel better”. A great talent will make you feel something. Can not say that for many of the other voices on the show. Good luck to them all and Best of luck to Preston. Even if he does not win it ll, he will probably get a recording contact and outsucced the winnner anyway.

  17. Atara says:

    Why isn’t Will Champlin on your list? He is a great singer…go listen to his Voice recordings on itunes or youtube!