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May 12, 2013

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Ranking the Top 12 on Season 4 of The Voice

by Mark Franklin

Teams no longer matter on The Voice.

Judges’ saves are no longer available.

Beginning Monday night, the 12 remaining singers go head to head, and the only thing that matters are fan votes.

And downloads of the songs that are performed, of course.

From this point on, two singers will be eliminated each week until just one remains — the Season 4 winner.

With that in mind, here are my rankings of those Top 12.

Garrett Gardner, Sasha Allen and Kris Thomas, the remaining members of Team Shakira. (NBC Photo)

Garrett Gardner, Sasha Allen and Kris Thomas, the remaining members of Team Shakira. (NBC Photo)

1. Sasha Allen (Team Shakira): Her friend Amanda Brown finished in the top six in Season 3. Her friend Jermaine Paul won Season 2. Sasha should hang around until deep in the competition as well and served notice of that with a brilliant, show-closing version of “Oh, Darling” last week.

2. Judith Hill (Team Adam): Her version of “Feeling Good” was simply sublime. Seeing that performance at number 88 on iTunes — behind four other singers from the show — was not. Was it the song? Are people having trouble relating to Judith? Might they see her as a ringer? Time will tell.

3. Danielle Bradbery (Team Blake): Her coach looks at Danielle and sees a future star. He might be right. I see one of the most talented teens the show has featured to date, and one who might have a chance to go even farther than Melanie Martinez (Top 6) did in Season 3.

Colton Swon, Zach Swon, Danielle Bradbery and Holly Tucker, the remaining members of Team Blake. (NBC Photo)

Colton Swon, Zach Swon, Danielle Bradbery and Holly Tucker, the remaining members of Team Blake. (NBC Photo)

4. Amber Carrington (Team Adam): Imagine, just one coach turned around for her blind audition (to be fair, Blake’s team was full). Now Amber sounds like someone ready to compete for the Season 4 crown. She continued her string of superb performances with Rihanna’s “Stay” in the live playoffs.

5. Michelle Chamuel (Team Usher): The public seems to be embracing this self-described “nerd.” And they should if she keeps delivering songs with the passion she showed on “True Colors.” Among night 1 songs from the live playoffs, it was the second favorite on iTunes (behind Amber).

6. The Swon Brothers (Team Blake): Zach and Colton needed a coach’s save to get to this point, but their version of “Fishin’ in the Dark” was one of the most fun performances from the live playoffs. Given time, I still think they could become a fan favorite.

Sarah Simmons, Judith Hill and Amber Carrington, the remaining members of Team Adam. (NBC Photo)

Sarah Simmons, Judith Hill and Amber Carrington, the remaining members of Team Adam. (NBC Photo)

7. Sarah Simmons (Team Adam): Wow, the fact that she’s this low on the list tells you how talented the Season 4 cast is, especially when it comes to female singers. Love her combination of tenderness and grit, which she demonstrated again last week singing “Angel.”

8. Holly Tucker (Team Blake): What I wrote about Sarah — ditto for Holly. Fantastic voice, but she faces tougher odds because two of the young ladies above her on this list are also country singers. A breakout performance over the next couple of weeks could go a long way toward closing the gap.

9. Kris Thomas (Team Shakira): Judging from his pre-show music, this guy has the talent to go deep into the competition. My impression of his rendition of “When I Was Your Man” was tinted by the fact that a woman (Candice Glover) did the same song better less than a week before on American Idol.

Vedo, Michelle Chamuel and Josiah Hawley, the remaining members of Team Usher. (NBC Photo)

Vedo, Michelle Chamuel and Josiah Hawley, the remaining members of Team Usher. (NBC Photo)

10. Garrett Gardner (Team Shakira): He was saved by Shakira because she thinks she can teach the teen more than she could have taught 35-year-old Karina Iglesias. And his confidence seems to be going. But, Shakira, please give him something more original and current than “Imagine.”

11. Josiah Hawley (Team Usher): Last week’s live playoffs were supposed to feature stripped down performances. Not so when Josiah took the stage to sing Muse’s “Starlight.” Fans didn’t love it (#189 24 hours later on iTunes), but the former model got a save from Usher to advance.

12. Vedo (Team Usher): If he’s going to hang around long, he needs better songs. The last two weeks, he’s been asked to perform “(Everything I Do) I Do it for You” and “Against All Odds.” Let’s just say those aren’t the sort of songs he was singing pre-Voice.

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