This has become an annual tradition (or, in the case of “The Voice,” a biannual one): listing the robbed finalists and semifinalists from any given talent show. Not all of my favorites can make a show’s top 10, and obviously, only one can win. So any singing-show season offers its unfair share of heartache.
It’s both a blessing and a curse on “The Voice” in particular that the talent level is so high and the talent pool so deep. This ensures that a lot of very worthy candidates get cut early on, while on other talent shows, they may have gone all the way. There are definitely some singers from this “Voice” season that I would’ve liked to see go a lot further.
Here’s my list of the most-robbed contestants of “The Voice” Season 5…
8. Shelbie Z – The first time I saw this country diva, I thought she had the goods to lead Blake Shelton to a fourth victory. She came out roaring at the Blind Auditions with “Here For the Party,” and she partied hard. Shelbie-with-a-Z spit pure fire. The fact that she didn’t make the top 12 was a shock. Maybe she would have been better off competing on “The Voice’s” much more country-centric Season 4.
7. Nic Hawk – Yes, I know this dude was polarizing. And yes, I know he didn’t have the best voice of the season, and that this show is called “The Voice.” I don’t care. He was fun. He was interesting. He was born to perform. Season 5 became a lot less exciting after Nic left.
6. Ashley Dubose – Cool and contemporary, this daytime desk jockey and single mother shone bright on her “Diamonds” audition and came across as an all-around awesome artist, the total package. The fact that she stalled in the Knockout Rounds was partially her own fault (choosing to sing Train’s “Hey Soul Sister” was not a shrewd move), but if her coach Adam Levine hadn’t pitted her against the unstoppable Tessanne Chin, she may have had a chance. I’m still surprised no other coach stole her.
5. Holly Henry – This 19-year-old waitress/songstress wowed with her haunting, ethereal cover of Coldplay’s “The Scientist.” The product of an art-teacher mom and musician dad, she exhibited true star quality, despite her shyness and inexperience. Holly floundered in the Knockout Rounds, but I think if she’d been given the time to grow, she might’ve been Season 5’s dark horse.
4. Preston Pohl – At his Blind Audition, Preston covered MGMT’s awesome “Electric Feel” and turned it into a skronky, fiery blues jam. His voice was so interesting and unique, so wonderfully raspy and raw, and he kind of reminded me of Season 2 Team CeeLo standout Jamar Rogers. I was convinced that Preston was a frontrunner, and I still can’t believe he missed making the top 12.
3. Kat Robichaud – Kat, who totally awesomely arrived at her Blind Audition wearing striped Quiet Riot pants and professing her love for Bowie, Queen, and Broadway, delivered some of the most fearless, most rawkin’ performances of Season 5. And yet, she never seemed to connect with America. She only made it into the top 12 because CeeLo Green saved her, and then she landed in the bottom three twice before going home. Will a rocker chick ever win “The Voice” — or any other singing show, for that matter? I thought Kat had a chance to make herstory here, but apparently I was wrong.
2. Juhi – James Wolpert is great, but let’s be honest: On the Knockout Rounds night that he went up against Juhi, he was completely outclassed. Juhi’s CCR-inspired version of “Heard it Through the Grapevine” that evening was fierce, feisty, fantastic, ferocious, fun…really, there are a lot of F-words that could describe it. Yet Adam chose to let her go. And don’t even get me started on the fact that Juhi’s original coach, CeeLo, gave her up in the Battle Rounds in favor of obvious fodder contestant George Horga Jr. Juhi really got a raw deal this season.
1. Matthew Schuler – He inspired the fastest four-chair turnaround in the history of “The Voice.” His performance of Leonard Cohen’s “Hallelujah” made the iTunes top five and breathed surprising new life into a song that I’d sworn I never wanted to hear on any singing show evereverever again. And Matthew had so many other stellar performances: “Cough Syrup,” “My Songs Know What You Did in the Dark,” “Beneath Your Beautiful,” even “Wrecking Ball.” And yet…he went home in sixth place. I feel wrecked just thinking about it.
Who do you think was this season’s most robbed “Voice” contestant?