‘The Voice’: As Knockouts Wind Down, Which Artists Stand Out?

By all accounts, the seventh season of hit NBC series The Voice is among the best.

That could be why the show sees its ratings improve weekly.

(That and a special, prolonged guest appearance by Taylor Swift).

Even though this latest season of The Voice is filled with promising singers and unique artists, there are already some standouts.

These Voice contestants seem to be garnering the most attention on YouTube, and enjoying popular iTunes song downloads.

Based on whose buzzing, these are the artists to watch as we move towards the live shows.

Taylor Phelan

Even losing his knockout battle couldn’t dim Phelan’s shine. This Voice contestant has been considered a strong frontrunner ever since his blind audition performance of The Neighborhood’s “Sweater Weather.”

Adam Levine was sincerely disappointed to lose out on Phelan to rival coach Pharrell Williams. However, he would get Taylor thanks to a surprise elimination during the knockout phase of The Voice.

Luke Wade

Luke Wade has made a strong impression on The Voice coaches and fans ever since his audition. The very first one onstage and he brought down the house. His voice has been compared to that of Joe Cocker and even Adam Levine.

It was Wade’s powerful performance of the Hall & Oates song “Rich Girl” that allowed him to best fellow favorite Taylor Phelan. He has an advantage in that his is a voice you’re likely to not forget.

Menlik Zergabachew

Menlik Zergabachew’s take on Sublime’s “Santeria” has received over millions of YouTube views, and his studio version seems to be well regarded as well.

Although he’s not the only reggae artist on the current season of The Voice, Menlik’s smooth voice seems to suggest crossover appeal.

Taylor John Williams

William’s version of “Mad World” climbed to #28 on iTunes. Not an easy feat considering how many other well known artists are charting at the moment. His voice has an emotional quality that allows him to make a strong connection with both the music and the audience.

This was apparent in the success enjoyed by the studio version of this song.

That so many people would go out and spend money on a much-covered song following his knockout performance suggests great things are ahead for this Voice contestant.

Bryana Salaz

To be a 17-year-old and have as much range and control as Bryana Salaz is highly unusual. Her voice could be heard on any radio station in the country, and it wouldn’t seem out of the ordinary.

This powerhouse teen shows a lot of promise, which is why Gwen Stefani opted to keep her over opponent Sugar Jones.

Matt McAndrew

Matt McAndrew’s voice isn’t necessarily as strong as certain contestants, but he seems to possess a sensitivity that is more about respecting the music rather than showing off his vocals.

This could work in his favor so long as he makes sensible decisions about the songs he chooses.

Sugar Jones

Of the more “unique” women artists on the show, Sugar Jones is the only one with her own sound. Others possess styles and voices easily confused with contemporary female artists.

The names Lorde and Ellie Goulding have been repeatedly mentioned, but Sugar sounds like Sugar. That will likely work to her advantage as the competition progresses.

Elyjuh Rene

Elyjuh Rene learned a tough lesson for during his recent Voice appearance: One does not get ahead by resting on their laurels. He has a great voice, but he must give 100 percent with song choice and performance every week. Allowing himself to slide into safe territory could spell doom.

Hopefully, Pharrell’s criticism will inspire him to be consistently competitive rather than relying on the obviousness of his talent to advance.

Which current participants on The Voice do you think have the most potential?

[Image Credit: The Voice]