Strengths & Weaknesses: Fun fact: Sisaundra’s voice is being seriously considered as the Eighth World Wonder, based on beastly interpretations of “Do What You Want,” “It’s a Man’s, Man’s, Man’s World” and “New York State of Mind.” Still, her age (44) and her performance style (everything cranked up to 11) could make a Top 5 placing elusive. Choosing fare that’ll sell on iTunes will help her cause.
Dream Set List: Hercules & Love Affair’s “Blind,” Guns N’ Roses’ “Paradise City,” Sade’s “Pearls,” Shirley Bassey’s version of Pink’s “Get the Party Started,” Lisa Fischer’s “How Can I Ease the Pain,” Loleatta Holloway’s “Love Sensation”
Team Shakira: Kristen Merlin
Strengths & Weaknesses: Her Top 12 rendition of “Stay” was potent and pretty — despite a mic malfunction. But with less screen time this season than most of her rivals, Kristen needs to display some true originality — deliver a truly unexpected performance — if she wants more than a mid-pack finish.
Dream Set List: Phillip Phillips’ “Gone Gone Gone,” Sheryl Crow’s “If It Makes You Happy,” Dolly Parton’s “What a Heartache,” The Black Keys’ “Lonely Boy”
Team Blake: Jake Worthington
Strengths & Weaknesses: Self-deprecating country crooner is a perfect Team Blake contestant: He cried a little when he saw his family in the audience, and his personality’s as big as his 10-gallon hat. Now, if he could just iron out those nagging intonation issues…
Dream Set List: Jason Aldean’s “Fly Over States,” 38 Special’s “Caught Up in You,” Little Big Town’s “Pontoon”
Team Shakira: Tess Boyer
Strengths & Weaknesses: Was stolen not once, but twice, during the Battles, resulting in an appealing underdog story arc. Put her massive voice to good use on “Human,” but didn’t do enough to modernize Bon Jovi’s “I’ll Be There for You” on Top 12 night — resulting in a Bottom 3 showing.
Dream Set List: Roxette’s “Fading Like a Flower (Every Time You Leave),” Adam Lambert’s “Whataya Want From Me,” Tom Petty’s “Don’t Come Around Here No More,” Taylor Dayne’s “I’ll Be Your Shelter”
Team Usher: Bria Kelly
Strengths & Weaknesses: Her “Steamroller Blues” audition was terrific, but followup performances have showcased an acidic side of her tone and problems staying in tune. Guitar-as-prop usage hasn’t helped, either. Avoidance of diva ballads seems prudent.
Dream Set List: Nikka Costa’s “Like a Feather,” Depeche Mode’s “Personal Jesus,” Gin Wigmore’s “Oh My”
Team Adam: Delvin Choice
Strengths & Weaknesses: Defeated the mighty Josh Kaufman in the Battle Rounds, but most of Adam’s song choices have left Delvin stuck in Golden Oldies mode. Uptempo, modern, possibly even funky fare could help reboot his Season 6 hopes.
Dream Set List: Sunshine Anderson’s “Heard It All Before,” Nelly Furtado’s “I’m Like a Bird,” Sylvester’s “(You Make Me Feel) Mighty Real,” Al B. Sure’s “Nite and Day”
Team Blake: Audra McLaughlin
Strengths & Weaknesses: Has enviable vocal control and power in her arsenal, but on the flip side, hers may be the least unique tone in the Top 10. Avoidance of obvious reality-competition fare (i.e. “The Climb,” “A Broken Wing”) will help her break out of Lunesta butterfly jail.
Dream Set List: Hank Williams’ “Your Cheatin’ Heart,” Shelby Lynne’s “I’m Leavin,” Jewel’s “You Were Meant for Me”
Team Adam: Christina Grimmie
Strengths & Weaknesses: YouTube sensation (and Selena Gomez tour opener) brings a large preexisting fan base to the table. And while her early efforts betrayed a sometimes strident vocal tone, her Top 12 “Dark Horse” was unquestionably stellar — an actual upgrade on Katy Perry’s original. Continued balance of restraint and power will determine her long-term success or failure.
Dream Set List: Aimee Mann’s “Wise Up,” La Roux’s “Bulletproof,” Lisa Stansfield’s “All Around the World,” Kristine W’s “One More Try”
Team Adam: Kat Perkins
Strengths & Weaknesses: Won raves for a note-perfect version of Heart’s super-challenging “Magic Man.” But to take the step from great contestant to viable artist, she’ll need to prove she can color outside the lines and take total ownership of a song.
Dream Set List: Yeah Yeah Yeah’s “Heads Will Roll,” Yes’ “Owner of a Lonely Heart,” American Authors’ “Best Day of My Life”
Team Usher: Josh Kaufman
Strengths & Weaknesses: His Top 12 cover of “Stay With Me” just happened to be one of the greatest performances in Voice history. Weaknesses? I’m not sure I’ve spotted any yet — although his penchant for not-entirely-flattering hats could be one, I guess.
Dream Set List: Ann Peebles’ “I Can’t Stand the Rain,” Justin Timberlake’s “Cry Me a River,” Fatboy Slim’s “Praise You,” Fantasia’s “Bittersweet,” Tom Jones’ “Sex Bomb,” Teddy Pendergrass’ “Love TKO”