"The Voice" is in its final stretch, and while much of America is excited about Season 2's finale, there are a few also-ran contestants that "Voice" fans probably would've liked to see get a shot at the prize. This season was positively packed with talent, so much so that many awesome contestants, who probably would've sailed through under different conditions (like if the show didn't have team quotas, or if the instant eliminations had never happened, or if the Battle Rounds had been decided by public vote, or if Adam Levine wasn't a jerk), were sadly left on the sidelines. Let's hope that some of these promising singers audition for "American Idol" Season 12--or maybe "The X Factor," or "Duets," or "AGT," etc.--in the future. I'd definitely like to see some of them on TV again.
10) Adley Stump
The Battle Rounds showdown between Team Blake's two "firecracker country girls," big-haired sorority gal Adley and 17-year-old RaeLynn, seemed easy to call. Adley was clearly the FAR superior belter of this duo, and when she got her turn to sing solo, the crazy crowd response made it obvious whom the studio audience was rooting for. So it was a shock when Blake Shelton chose "the stylist" and "the storyteller," RaeLynn, over "powerhouse" Adley. Personally, I am still kind of stumped that Blake did not pick Adley Stump.
9) Jamie Lono
Cee Lo Green had arguably the strongest team this season, but he weakened it just a little when, during the Battle Rounds, he placed adorable sandwich-maker Jamie in the ring with "American Idol" veteran Jamar Rogers. What was Cee Lo thinking? Why would he want to lose either of these guys? The song chosen for this particular battle, Foreigner's "I Wanna Know What Love Is," was a much better fit for Jamar's belty style, and so Jamar emerged victorious. But if Jamie had been pitted against a more suitable opponent, he probably could have gone very far.
8) Lee Koch
Lindsey Pavao and Lee Koch were my favorite contestants on Team Xtina this season, but Christina Aguilera also inexplicably jeopardized two of her best players during the Battle Rounds when she pitted them against each other. Christina eventually picked Lindsey over Lee, a decision I could hardly protest--but bidding such an early farewell to Lee (who completely held his own in the ring when he sparred with Lindsey on Nirvana's "Heart-Shaped Box") was spirit-crushing, not to mention very surprising. Christina looked more foolish this night than she did on the night she wore that silly tiara.
7) The Shields Brothers
In another Team Cee Lo Battle Rounds travesty, Cee Lo had soft-spoken quirky girl Erin Martin go up against the Shieldses, a pair of definitely NOT soft-spoken cornfed cornball rockers who came to the show with an awesome T-shirt-ready catchphrase ("Punching America In The Face With Rock 'N' Roll") and an even awesome-er attitude. It was obvious that Erin was VERY out of her depth when covering Tina Turner's "What's Love Got To Do With It," the song that the clearly insane Cee Lo chose for this bizarre battle. So I assumed that the Shields Brothers, though unabashedly gimmicky, had a leg up. But what the Brothers didn't have was another gimmick: former-fashion-model legs, and the willingness to show off such legs in what appeared to be a Pussycat Doll Halloween costume, complete with garters and Pretty Woman thigh-highs. Because that is what Erin did, and that is probably why Erin won. Clearly Cee Lo was using a body part other than his ears when he made this decision, ahem.
6) Tony Vincent
During the top 24 rounds, this theatrical showman, one of my overall Season 2 favorites, was assigned Tears For Fears' "Everybody Wants To Rule The World"--a song that totally brought out his '80s Anglo tendencies, but was not necessarily the best showcase for what he could do with his amazing, range-y voice. Additionally, his mentor Cee Lo had him singing on a stage that disturbingly made him look like a Russian dictator. Way to help Tony connect with America, Cee Lo! With different (read: less fascist) staging, Tony might have had a fighting chance. Adding insult to injury was the fact that Cee Lo didn't save Tony the following night, after Tony gave a fantastic last-chance performance of the Eurythmics' "Sweet Dreams." Le sigh. Tony still rules my world.
5) Jordis Unga
Despite some confidence issues, this "Rock Star: INXS" veteran seemed like the woman to beat early this season, or at least the strongest player on Team Blake. It was a shocker in the top 24 rounds when she wasn't voted through by America, but Blake wisely saved her, and Jordis was about to get a second chance--until Blake then unwisely cut her in the following week's controversial "instant elimination," while insanely keeping the undeniably less talented RaeLynn. I'm still furious over this decision.
4) Jesse Campbell
The instant elimination of Team Xtina's Jesse, on the same night that Jordis went home, caused even more controversy. Jesse was a huge fan favorite who seemed to have a good shot of winning the entire competition (even Season 1 champ Javier Colon thought so!), and Christina's decision to axe him--presumably because he posed the biggest threat to her own favorites, Chris Mann and Lindsey Pavao--was totally unexpected and totally unpopular. Christina never backed down from her choice, later declaring, "I am no stranger to controversy, and I am okay with that. I am fearless in the face of what I believe, and I defend any action that I make. I do have a strategy." But some fans probably never forgave her.
3) Lindsey Pavao
Lindsey was the ultimate example of how being on a strong team can be a disadvantage on "The Voice." She was undoubtedly one of the season's best contestants (and certainly the most interesting), and if she'd been on Team Blake, I have little doubt that she would have made it to the end. Instead, she missed making the finale over Team Xtina's Chris Mann, by just a few points. If there was ever an argument that team quotas should be done away with on "The Voice," allowing the simply best singers to make it through regardless of coach affiliation, Lindsey's early exit was it.
2) Jamar Rogers
Basically, take everything I just said about Lindsey and apply it to Jamar. If Jamar hadn't gone up against his fellow Team Cee Lo member Juliet Simms--when she gave THE standout performance of the season right when it mattered most, in the top eight semifinals--he'd still be on the show, for sure. In a perfect, team-less "Voice" world, the Season 2 finale might have actually come down to Juliet versus Jamar. Oh well.
1) Katrina Parker
Tony Lucca had seemed like an unstoppable frontrunner all season, and I'd always assumed that dark-horse Team Adam member Katrina had absolutely no chance of beating him. But guess what? It turned out she DID have a chance. Humble office worker Katrina, the underdog who'd demonstrated the most growth this season, had quietly become a fan favorite, and if Adam Levine hadn't split up his points 60/40 in favor of Tony during the semifinals, she would have made it to the top four instead. (Katrina narrowly won the public vote, 52 points to Tony's 48.) But Adam lamely went with his "bro," and he thus robbed Katrina of the spot in the finale that she'd rightfully earned. Boo, Adam, boo!
- Season 2's Tony Vincent dishes on the show
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- Season 1's Nakia dishes on the show