'The Voice': Is iTunes A Non-Factor This Season? [Opinion]

Last week on The Voice, contestant Emily Ann Roberts was saved by Blake Shelton. This stunned many Voice fans because she actually cracked the Top 10 on iTunes. Usually, at least thus far on The Voice, when an artist charts high on the iTunes singles chart, it also means they tend to be safe.

Having put together a prediction list based on iTunes ranking, it seemed that artists like Celeste Betton and Ellie Lawrence also had a good shot. But this was not to be the case. Emily Ann was selected to move forward, and the other women artists failed to make the Top 12.

A painful lesson was learned on Wednesday night: Never look to iTunes to 100 percent determine if a favorite contestant is safe.

Based on his lackluster performance of Bread's "Everything I Own," many would have pegged Braiden Sunshine as in danger, at least more so in danger than Voice contestant Viktor Király. Yet, it was Braiden selected by the voting Voice audience. Another lesson learned? Never underestimate the "adorableness" factor.

As America takes completely over for the judges, we're going to see who made smart saves and who wasted their time. This situation is looking markedly similar to what went down in Season 7 where the Voice audience showed its utter contempt for women singers that year. Only two women were voted into the Top 8 on The Voice: Madi Davis of Team Pharrell and Shelby Brown of Team Adam. Three women were added by judges to the Voice Top 12. I don't think the fact that women were left out was an accident, and I wouldn't be surprised if it's an all-female bottom three next week.

I'm already predicting that we'll have one strong female competitor among several guys. Right now, my money is on Shelby as she's a strong vocalist and a country singer. Sorry, Mr. Shelton -- Adam sniped you this season. Given that the largely unchallenged frontrunner is Jordan Smith, there's a good chance that a good run with a country artist will be icing on this Voice coach's ego cake.

For fans of the Voice who saw many beloved favorites go home, it will be a bitter reminder that there are many platforms available to save contestants. There are numbers to call and text, and there's a Voice app. Fans using all available means to help their favorite singer stick around will enjoy greater satisfaction than those who buy the iTunes single. Or, even worse, those who follow iTunes ranking, assume the artist is safe...and then do nothing!

After this devastating series of cuts on The Voice, some may be ready to throw out iTune rankings altogether. Well, let's not get too hasty. First of all, iTunes was correct in one regard: Jordan Smith was definitely on top.

Out of all the artists, Smith ranked highest on iTunes, and he benefited from the vote multiplier. Given the strong reactions had by Voice fans to his performances, he's currently the artist to beat. Looking at how well he's done, iTunes or not, he's clearly the singer to beat.

What I believe threw off iTunes rankings was the last-minute surprise introduction of four eliminated singers. Although none of those artists were able to make an impression on America (something that will possibly help coaches choose more wisely in the future), they may have provided a huge "smokescreen." With four additional artists to calculate at the last-minute, it's hard to get a grasp on rankings.

With the bottom ranking artists gone, it's very likely that iTunes will be more reliable for now until the end of the season. At the very least, it will be easier to tell which Voice artists are the most popular music-wise and which Voice hopefuls are in danger of having to sing for their lives.

Do you think that iTunes rankings will fail to help predict who leaves The Voice this season? Share your thoughts below!

[Image Via Screen Grab From The Voice Official YouTube Channel]