Season 7 of The Voice has had a few twists and turns. Surprisingly, most of the upsets happened WELL before the Voice audience had a chance to even vote!
There were a few unique individuals that turned up this year who were let go by this season’s Voice coaches well before America had a say in who would be headed to the star-studded finale.
In actuality, there’s a strong chance that more than one potential winner was let go early on The Voice.
It’s hard to tell what the bigger surprise was when it came to Voice hopeful Troy Ritchie — that only Voice coach Gwen Stefani turned around for him, or the fact that he was released from the competition so soon.
The problem for Ritchie was that there were “better” options available at the time. Ironically, most of those options didn’t even make it to the Top 10 on The Voice. Could Troy Ritchie have fared better? Sadly, we’ll never know.
Menlik Zergabachew, who faced off against Troy Ritchie during the Knockouts, boasts the most viewed video of ANY person who auditioned for The Voice this season. His cover of “Santeria” actually inspired country artist Blake Shelton to turn for him first (much to the visible surprise of fellow Voice mentor Adam Levine). Gwen Stefani left it late, but she got Zergabachew.
Despite this Voice contestant’s smooth and unique voice, when it came down to it, she let Menlik go. No doubt it was because she already had a reggae representative in Jamaica-born Anita Antoinette.
Unfortunately for both Gwen and Anita, this decision was made during a season when the Voice audience was not a fan of women contestants.
As such, Menlik Zergabachew may have gone much further than Anita Antoinette on The Voice.
Speaking of which, it’s hard not to notice that the Voice audience wasn’t overly enthusiastic about the women contestants in the Top 12. However, this may have been because BETTER singers were never given the opportunity to compete for Voice voters.
Maiya Sikes had a voice too big for her own good perhaps. The assumption being that while her talent is obvious, it wouldn’t be as interesting to the Voice viewers as Reagan James or Sugar Joans. Hindsight being 20/20, this was a huge miscalculation on the part of the judges.
As was the elimination of teenage hopeful Bryana Salaz.
Even though Ryan Sills had the Justin Bieber crowd in the palm of his hands, it’s still very likely that the young Bryana Salaz had the pipes to win over the younger Voice audience members. More so than many of the women who made it onto the show ahead of her.
Another teen that was eliminated in a surprising manner was Voice contestant Elyjuh René.
Perhaps it wasn’t surprising given Voice coach Pharrell’s clear personal preference for Sugar Joans. However, it was still the kind of error that contributed to Coach Pharrell having no representatives going into the semi-final round.
René was perhaps the only other hopeful in the early live stage who could touch the effortless vocal efforts put in by finalist Damien Lawson. Just because America didn’t pick this Voice contestant outright didn’t mean that this season’s Voice viewers wouldn’t have changed their mind.
Look at the progress made by finalist Chris Jamison.
Sometimes, the Voice viewers make the mistake of assuming that a contestant is safe and saving their votes for someone else.
This is likely what cost clear front-runner Taylor Phelan.
This will go down as perhaps one of the greatest missed opportunities in the history of The Voice. And as this show has YET to produce a true megastar, it is something to cringe about.
Taylor Phelan was a clear favorite of the judges, and considering the reaction to his elimination, the Voice fans liked him as well. He was a four-chair turn and highly competed for when he was dropped by Coach Pharrell in favor of Luke Wade.
Ultimately, Phelan was a victim of bad timing combined with ruthless strategy. Otherwise, he was practically pegged for the finale and most likely at the cost of at least one of his teammates.
Which eliminated Voice contestant do you think could have made it to the finale and won?
[Image Credit: The Voice Official YouTube Channel]