Now it gets tricky, doesn’t it?
We’re down to six contestants. And if The Voice brags that it’s their best Top 6 yet, you won’t hear me disputing the claim.
Cody Belew turned in one of last week’s best performances. He’s gone.
Dez Duron was the show’s second most popular contestant on Twitter and Facebook. He’s gone.
So let’s rank those who remain. Last week’s rankings are in parenthesis.
1. Amanda Brown (1): My favorite Amanda moment last week wasn’t when she started the show with a brazen, rocker version of Adele’s “Someone Like You.” It came later, when she provided the top three vocal moments during a group performance of “Any Way You Want It” while performing alongside Nicholas, Cody and Trevin. At one point, Trevin unleashed one of his big glory notes. Amanda responded with a glorious wail that made me forget the glory note. Still, she probably needs another “Dream On” moment to win this thing.
2. Cassadee Pope (2): To borrow a song title from Alicia Keys, Cassadee is The Voice’s girl on fire. Let’s see: #1 on iTunes two weeks ago with “Over You;” #2 on iTunes last week with “Are You Happy Now.” Well, Cassadee sure should be. Right now, she’s gotta be the favorite to win this thing. Am I surprised? Hardly. When I profiled the contestants at the start of the show I wrote that she had the potential to be The Voice’s first breakout artist. But I’m going to be a little tough in the rankings. I want one more “Over You” type moment before I propel her to the #1 spot.
3. Melanie Martinez (5): And if Cassadee is the girl on fire, Melanie is the girl catching fire. She’s been in the top 10 on iTunes two straight weeks thanks to a combination of really smart song choices and her unique vocals. The unique look probably doesn’t hurt either. And to think, Melanie says her mom wasn’t thrilled when she went Cruella De Vil with the hair. If group numbers are part of the performance show again, I just hope The Voice keeps Melanie out of numbers that call for full-out belting. It isn’t her style.
4. Trevin Hunte (4): If Trevin and Cee Lo have a trick up their sleeve, now would be a good time to use it. Trevin was standing alongside Cody and Dez facing elimination last week, and I wouldn’t be surprised to learn that’s a true reflection of the voting results. Trevin was a whole lot better on “The Greatest Love of All” than the Usher song the previous week. But it was also a predictable song choice, done very predictably. We all know Trevin can sing a big ballad and provide a big flourish at the end. Next …
5. Nicholas David (7): Nicholas keeps reaching back for the classics and keeps turning in a soulful and vocally fine performance every week. And, every week, fans reward him by making his song one of the most popular on iTunes. Last week, he cracked the Top 10 for the first time. I still don’t see him as a potential winner, but I can’t foresee him turning in the type of clunker performance that would make him an obvious choice for elimination either. Oh, and he wins the honor for most hairstyles displayed by a finalist.
6. Terry McDermott (8): I haven’t really liked three of Terry’s last four performances (“Summer of ’69″ being the exception). But the Scottish rocker obviously has a solid fan base. Last week, he slowed things down for the first time and sang Blake Shelter’s “Over” when I could have clicked off a long list of classic rock ballads that would have seemed more appropriate, and better suited to his voice. He’ll likely go back to classic rock this week and probably needs one of those moments the judges keep talking about more than anyone else still standing.