The Voice: Why These 5 Singers MUST Survive The Knockouts [Opinion]

UPDATE: I realize I said 4 in the title and went on to name 5 singers. It’s just proof it’s so HARD to pick a small group of people to fret over.

It seems like just yesterday that Season 9 of The Voice was kicking off. Time sure flies fast! Now we’re already at an extremely pivotal point in the series: The Knockouts.

Since contestants pick their own songs this round, good song choice is crucial. Sometimes good singers go home because, for whatever reason, they opted for a song that failed to showcase their talent (or they just sing it badly).

That’s just one of a few reasons why there are Voice artists I’m worried about. Another reason is that this is where judges (or producers) start getting calculated in their approach to who will survive to the live shows. I really would feel terrible if these four talented acts weren’t given the chance to shine for America in real-time.

What happened with Jordan Smith and Regina Love is pretty much the opposite of what happened with Mark Hood and Celeste Betton. Here we had two powerful vocalists go toe-to-toe with Sam Smith’s “Like I Can.” Too bad we didn’t see Hood and Betton both progress in a similar manner.

Although I’m happy for Regina, I have been a fan of Jordan’s since he first stunned us with a truly” blind Voice audition, where he sang Sia’s “Chandelier.” I predicted with a good amount of confidence that he’d make it through the Battle Rounds. But as the Voice progresses, I confess I’m getting worried. I feel that on the strength of Smith’s vocals alone should assure that he sails into the live shows — and climbs pretty damn high in upcoming weeks. But now The Voice starts getting to a point where the judges/producers start picking people not purely based on talent.

I think America’s shallow, stupid nature often has to be factored in… and that sucks. So I’m worried that Adam Levine, who is notoriously calculating, may suffer a brain fart in the near future and screw one of the better Voice talents this season. I can trace my fear back to Season 7 when frontrunner Taylor Phelan got screwed. Yes, I’m sore about it two seasons later. And yes, I haven’t forgotten what happened to Elyjuh René, who was inexplicably dropped for Sugar Joans.

Because of scenarios like this, I don’t just worry for Jordan Smith. There are a few other talents that really need to survive.

For instance, Blind Joe. I think people underestimate him because he’s blind and they need to stop it. It should be blatantly obvious by now that talent — not sympathy — is what’s allowed Joe to progress, and I hope it continues to be what helps him stay. It’s his voice that matters after all.

I for one was thrilled with his performance against Blaine Mitchell. The judge’s gave credit to Blaine for jumping all over the stage because Blind Joe couldn’t. I’d rather give credit to Joe for not having to do so. He owned his half of the song and threw all the shade in the world during Blaine’s portion. Anyone who seeks to underestimate Blind Joe should do so at their own risk.

Personally, unless he REALLY stumbles with song choice, I see no sane reason he shouldn’t progress to the next stage of The Voice.

Okay, I’ll confess: I was not sold on this performance of “Keep Me Hanging On.” They were good when they harmonized, but as individuals, each singer lacked something during this performance. Having said that, I find Siahna Im one of the more intriguing Voice singers. I was pleasantly surprised by her “Fever” audition.

What I appreciate most about Im is that she’s genuinely unique. In other words, she doesn’t have a so-called special voice that is, in actuality, a blatant take on current indie artists. I have not seen anyone quite like Siahna Im before, and that’s something that needs to be promoted; not this transparent take on popular artists that floats into the live Voice shows so frequently.

Hopefully, Siahna sticks around on The Voice.

Next, I’m hoping that Regina Love also sticks around. I know that as an African-American R&B singer who is one of the older contestants, the odds are against her. But Regina Love should be given the chance to show that ageism is B.S. and that talent is ageless. She certainly held her own against Jordan, another favorite of mine. I think with the right song choice, Regina Love can truly shine. The American Voice audience should get the chance to have a say. And hopefully, they’ll say that I’m right.

Finally, I’m worried for Evan McKeel. That may sound stupid because of how well he did during the Battles, but the Knockouts require him to choose his own song. I was not impressed with his song choice for the Blind Auditions. I’m just grateful the judges heard his potential underneath the initial song.

I don’t think, having performed a Stevie Wonder song in the Battles (and as part of his audition), that we’ll hear one at this stage. It would be an enormous risk, as it would be redundant. On the other hand, he may once again go for a song that doesn’t manifest his full vocal talent. And if he’s paired with someone who does, it could get him eliminated.

I can only hope that his Voice coach (and special coach Rihanna!) give him tips to stay in the game. Because he definitely needs to stick around.

These are the four artists I have my fingers crossed for — what about you? What four singers are you hoping and praying make it to the live shows on The Voice? Share your thoughts below!

[Image via screen grab from YouTube]