The Voice Season 5 Top 20 Rankings: Who Are Your Faves Heading Into the Live Playoffs?

Starting tonight, you are in control!

Nope, this isn’t a new TVLine feature — Motivational Speech Monday — but rather an acknowledgement that The Voice‘s Live Playoffs begin at 8/7c on NBC, and with them, the kickoff of Season 5 viewer voting.

Before that happens, we figured it’d be a good time to go ahead and rank the Top 20 contestants. So click through the gallery below for our post-Knockouts countdown, then hit the comments and tell us who’s striking your fancy heading into tonight’s telecast!

And for all my Voice-related news, recaps, video and commentary, follow me on Twitter @MichaelSlezakTV!

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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51 Comments
  1. Tom says:

    Am I the only person who gets annoyed when people change Ellie Goulding’s “Anything Could Happen” to “Anything Can Happen” instead?

  2. courtland says:

    not to be rude since, opinions are opinions after all….but i really dont get the caroline pennell love..if someone would explain to me whats so special id like to hear it because so far to me she sounds like a more bland and not as ambitius version of melanie martinez or dia frampton.

    • richardgrantmuir says:

      HEAR HEAR!

    • Edward says:

      I think her voice has more power than Dia and force than Melanie. I get the comparison but if she were have been able to join before Dia then we wouldn’t even be having this conversation. She has great vocal dynamics and i’m really looking forward to her song choices.

      • Jeremy says:

        Dia’s voice is much more powerful but I agree she has more force than Melanie. However for these kinds of voice, it’s all about the song choice.

    • Rachel says:

      I’m with you, I just DO NOT GET IT.

    • Lee says:

      I’m already getting tired of the “uniqueness” of Caroline and Preston’s voices.

    • Marcie says:

      I might have said the same thing – until I watched her on Hulu yesterday and couldn’t get her voice out of my head the rest of the day. She’s just infectious.

    • B. says:

      The thing with Melanie is her schtick got old real fast. Caroline just draws people in with her voice AND personality and she is also has a greater range than Melanie. Also she’s just so young and adorable.
      Everyone is entitled to their own opinion, obviously, but personally I get sick of powerhouse singers faster than these unique voiced singers.

    • The Guest says:

      I don’t care for Caroline, but in terms of the off the odd, soft, indie-sounding singers this season, Holly hit a home run in her blind audition and then quickly self-destructed. Caroline was goofy and amateur in her blind audition, but got more confident and professional with each round.

    • One thing sets her apart from both of them: her phrasing. If you don’t believe me, watch the Long As You Love Me battle over again.

  3. davey says:

    I would not put Shelbie or Prestol in the top 10.

  4. Phil says:

    My own personal rankings pan out a bit differently, though I feel like the highs and lows are pretty consistent:

    1. Will Champlin (Team Adam)
    2. Preston Pohl (Team Adam)
    3. Tessanne Chin (Team Adam)
    4. Jacquie Lee (Team Christina)
    5. Caroline Pennell (Team Cee Lo)
    6. Amber Nicole (Team Cee Lo)
    7. Matthew Schuler (Team Christina)
    8. Cole Vosbury (Team Blake)
    9. Jonny Gray (Team Cee Lo)
    10. Ray Boudreaux (Team Blake)
    11. Shelbie Z (Team Blake)
    12. Josh Logan (Team Christina)
    13. Olivia Henken (Team Christina)
    14. James Wolpert (Team Adam)
    15. Grey (Team Adam)
    16. Stephanie Anne Johnson (Team Christina)
    17. Tamara Chauniece (Team Cee Lo)
    18. Austin Jenckes (Team Blake)
    19. Kat Robichaud (Team Cee Lo)
    20. Nic Hawk (Team Blake)

    If two go home from each team, my guesses would be Amber and Tamara from Team Cee Lo, Grey and (???) from Team Adam (I would pick James to go home, but Adam seems like he’s crazy about him . . . heck, I’ll hope Adam does the right thing and cuts James when he picks his final team member, though I fear he may stupidly boot Will or even Tessanne), Austin and Nic from Team Blake, and some combination of Josh, Olivia, and Stephanie Anne from Team Christina (if Olivia pulls off another “Done.”-level performance, she could be safe . . . Josh isn’t particularly memorable in sound or overall package, and Stephanie Anne seems to be in a bit of a musical identity crisis).
    I’m sensing that Matthew Schuler is going to be the producer’s pick to win (it has seemed that way from the start), as he is on Team Xtina (who, for the record, has been SO MUCH BETTER than in seasons past), who does not yet have a win, and he’s a dude who can break the ladies’ winning streak.
    Will, Preston, Tessanne, and Jacquie are my personal faves so far.

  5. Doug says:

    The Way I Am is Ingrid Michaelson not Bieber

    • Anonymous says:

      That’s not what the author said. Caroline sang “As Long As You Love Me” by Bieber with Anthony Paul in the Battle Round – that’s what he was referencing. Anyway, I don’t get the Caroline-mania here either. She’s this season’s Melanie Martinez. Caroline Glaser last year was better than both Melanie and Caroline and got booted off way too soon.

  6. richardgrantmuir says:

    Some of your rankings are a little bizarre to me.

    20. Nic Hawk–He has gotten better with every song, though he is singing one of the worst songs I’ve ever heard tonight “Blurred Lines”. If he nails it, it will help him win popularity, but not for the right reasons.

    16 (Should be #20) James has gotten worse with every song. That alone should make him ranked last. He truly lost his last two rounds, despite Adam picking him anyway.

    15. Kat Robichaud LOVED her blind audition, hasn’t delivered since. Weap opponents is why she’s still here.

    13. Tamara Chauniece finally did something unexpected, but my loathing of Reggae dropped her awesomeness in my eyes.

    12. Josh Logan & 3. Tessane Chin both have the same problems. Great voices but they seem to have the personality of paste when singing (though Josh is by far the better singer of the two). It’s hard to connect with either.

    8. Preston has gotten worse with every song, too. I loved his audition, but he lost his last two rounds as well. I think Adam needs a season off since he can;t tell who the better vocalists are now.

    5.Cole got ranked so high because he did a relatively heretofore unknown song awesomely. Don;t get me wrong, he can sing, but if the SONG choice wasn’t so popular, he would NOT be the best seller right now. That being said, the dude did the Jefferson’s theme song for his audition, and that makes him the coolest audition probably this season by far.

    4. Will FINALLY getting some love! He won every damn round in my eyes, but fortunately was stolen twice.

    2. Matthew Schuler–if he can ever make it through a song without screaming or keeping his eyes closed 3/4 of the time he might deserve this ranking.

    1. Caroline I will never understand why people like voices like this. Snoozefest to me. But I know people love her.

    • Kaba says:

      I don’t understand why his eyes have anything to do with him singing….(Matthew)

      • richardgrantmuir says:

        Yeah, that probably came across strange–it should have said “and”; it was a typo. His eyes are closed because he is opening his mouth so much to scream constantly–it’s a natural function of the face on many people. it’s noticeable on him so much because, well… all he DOES is scream.

        From a performance standpoint, it takes any sincerity out of his song. If he can scream in tune (at this point he has yet too) it wouldn’t be noticeable on the radio. Much like Tessanne & Josh’s non-existent stage presence. Unfortunately that will hurt them in some people’s opinions.

        It’s like the opposite end of the spectrum from Kat’s serial killer eyes.

        • Tyler says:

          I agree. In order for a performer to get into the character of the song, he/she needs to communicate not only with their voice and body–but also with their eyes! I thought everyone knew that.

          • richardgrantmuir says:

            Well, because of my typo it might have come across as racist or something, I think. But yes, singers have to get in character to convey emotion, and facial expressions can be paramount to that (even when on the radio–you can tell when someone isn’t “into” their own song. It’s sad). That’s why kat’s works against her, and Michael, Josh, & Tessanne have a TON of work to do, should they last long enough.

          • Tyler says:

            I disagree about Tessanne. I feel that Tessanne completely gets into the character of her songs. She showed strength and passion in Stronger.

        • Sarah says:

          The complaint about his eyes is just getting ridiculous. He has small narrow eyes – deal with it people. Look at his picture on his itunes songs, his eyes look like narrow slits and I think we can be sure he’s not screaming in that picture. And as far as him screaming, at least that’s subjective. I don’t happen to agree with that opinion, but to each their own. The last note in his knockout performance was not only in tune but jaw dropping in the way he scaled that note over 11 full seconds.

          • richardgrantmuir says:

            Well, that’s the point, though. Eyes help you connect to an audience, and when you are predisposed toward something when doing something you shouldn’t (e.g., eyes shutting while wailing like a banshee) it should be a clue. As in, “if I have to squeeze my eyes shut in order to attempt this song MAYBE I shouldn’t be singing it”. He sounded great in the live auditions when he sang a softer styled song. Since then he has attempted to sing fortissimo constantly, and it’s just sad. I don’t think there’s a single 4 chair turn that actually deserved it this year.

  7. alistaircrane says:

    I loooove Caroline! I am glad TVLine has made her their #1 choice. The only other one I like is Nic. This year is pretty bad in the talent department. I hope Team Adam loses because I hate him for choosing the awful James over the amazing Juhi.

    • Jim says:

      Golly, you HATE the man for that one decision?? Really?? I’d hate to be your wedding planner…

      • alistaircrane says:

        He’s done $#!+ like that for all five seasons of The Voice, but eliminating Juhi when it should have been that other guy was the breaking point.

  8. Sarah says:

    I am seriously obsessed with Caroline Pennell and Mathew Schuler. And to all the Caroline-doubters: She is killing itunes.

  9. zenmaster says:

    Nick Hawk, I hope he’s gone after he sings ‘Blurred Lines’ tonight. He’s annoying. Caroline is one of the favorites. Her itunes and views on youtube says so.

  10. Sam says:

    I agree with most of this…but Preston Pohl is not even in my top 15…he is just getting weaker and weaker.

  11. Chuck Finley says:

    The is the worst season of the show yet. None of these singers are interesting or all that talented. Maybe someone will stand out more to me in the live shows, but I am afraid right now that we are looking at another Jermaine Paul season. Bleh.

  12. Ginger Snap says:

    The only ones that I clearly remember are Will, Stephanie, Tessane, Caroline and Cole. Forgettable is not good.

    Preston has some soul but he smiles too much. It makes me not believe what he is singing. So the soulful voice has no soul.

  13. gailer says:

    OMG Michael, I think you and I agree on this. Caroline is absolutely #1!! :)

  14. Karen says:

    Early favorites are Will Champlin, Jacqui Lee, Jonny Gray and Stephanie Anne. Though there are others that might take those places: Caroline Pennell, Matthew Schuler, Cole Vosbury and Tessanne Chin. The others need to improve vastly, and quickly, if I’m gonna be happy with a winner outside of these 8 people (FYI, haven’t been happy with a winner since season 1)

    • Lea says:

      Same here ! Was rooting for Dia in season 1, Juliette in season 2, don’t remember liking season 3 that much, and rooting for Michelle in season 4. Fingers crossed for this year !

    • Jeremy says:

      Can’t agree more. I was rooting for Dia in season 1, Juliet in season 2, Amanda in season 3, Amber in season 4 and none ogf them wins. Hope this season will be different.

  15. Timmah says:

    I don’t want to sound too much like Randy Jackson, but this really looks like the most talented bunch of finalists they’ve ever had on this show. And such a diversity of artistic styles, this should be a pleasure to watch.

  16. Josie says:

    I love how there isn’t a clearly chosen winner by the producers yet! I disagree with some of the rankings (like Grey, Olivia, and Amber) but I see where the opinions are coming from. Also, I loveeeee Caroline! I didn’t love her blind and I’m not gonna lie I usually hate those soft lilting voices, but I feel like in the last two performances she has really shown that she is unique and is more than just a girl with that quiet and quirky voice. If she continues like this, it’s hard for me to see her cut before at least top 6.

  17. Betsy says:

    The voice has turned out to be the only singing competition show worth watching right now. I didn’t even pay much attention to Idol last season because I hate having to suffer through the bad singers and horrible song choices. X Factor is horrible and so over produced it’s annoying. The Voice has truly great voices, current and fresh song choices, invested judges who have great chemistry together, and changes up the competitions to keep it interesting. It’s the only one I watch now and I LOVE the Slezak and Melinda recaps, thanks so much!

  18. EAP says:

    1. Will Champlin (Team Adam)
    2. Matthew Schuler (Team Christina)
    3. Caroline Pennell (Team CeeLo)
    4. Tessanne Chin (Team Adam)
    5. Preston Pohl (Team Adam)
    6. Jacquie Lee (Team Christina)
    7. Ray Boudreaux (Team Blake)
    8. James Wolpert (Team Adam)
    9. Cole Vosbury (Team Blake)
    10. Stephanie Ann Johnson (Team Christina)
    11. Amber Nicole (Team CeeLo)
    12. Shelbie Z (Team Blake)
    13. Jonny Gray (Team CeeLo)
    14. Josh Logan (Team Christina)
    15. Olivia Henken (Team Christina)
    16. Tamara Chaunice (Team CeeLo)
    17. Grey (Team Adam) (Team Blake)
    18. Kat Robichaud (Team CeeLo)
    19. Nic Hawk (Team Blake)
    20. Austin Jenckes (Team Blake)

    • Tyler says:

      I have similar faves. My faves are Tessanne, Will, Matthew and maybe James. I’m already getting tired of the uniqueness of Caroline and Preston’s voices.

  19. zenmaster says:

    Complete song spoilers for tonight’s LIVE show.

    1. “Nothin’ On You” – B.O.B. ft. Bruno Mars – Preston Pohl (confirmed)
    2. “Still Into You” – Paramore – Grey (confirmed)
    3. “Many Rivers to Cross” – Jimmy Cliff – Tessanne Chin (confirmed)
    4. “Secrets” – OneRepublic – Will Champlin (confirmed)
    5. “A Case of You” – Joni Mitchell – James Wolpert (confirmed)
    6. “Home” by Marc Broussard – Ray Boudreaux (confirmed)
    7. “Fancy” – Reba McEntire – Shelbie Z (confirmed)
    8. “Blurred Lines” – Robin Thicke – Nic Hawk (confirmed)
    9. “She Talks to Angels” – The Black Crowes – Austin Jenckes (confirmed)
    10. “Maggie May” – Rod Stewart – Cole Vosbury (confirmed)

    • Jeremy says:

      I love the fact that none of these songs have ever been sung before on The Voice, Idol or maybe many more singing shows, Hope they can pull it off. This song list is better than the one on Xtina & Cee Lo’s team.

    • Adam says:

      I haven’t been a fan of James Wolpert, but holy sheet OMG JONI FREAKIN’ MITCHELL’S A CASE OF YOU? YESS YESS YESS!!! I’ve been waiting for this song to be covered on reality singing competition shows forever. I wanted Kree to do it on I, and Sasha Allen on last season of The Voice. He better not butcher that song! He’s gotta have a perfect balance of soar and coo when performing this song, because that combination is what makes Mitchell’s delivery so indelible.

  20. KT says:

    Nic Hawk is a joke, right? I mean, does anyone actually enjoy listening to him? It’s like nails on a chalkboard to me.

  21. A says:

    1) Caroline
    2) Matthew
    3) Ray
    4) Johnny

  22. Dale Sullivan says:

    I’ve been a Will Champlin fan since the first time I heard him doing “California” Kb MySpace, maybe 2007? Followed him tI Twitter & Facebook. Extremely talented musician!

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