The results show for the Top 12 of The Voice season 10 were full of surprises. Who would have anticipated Daniel Passino becoming the first coach comeback to ever move on to the Top 12? Nick Hagelin, of all Team Christina’s talented crop, was one of the two special people who got a spot in the Top 12 by America’s votes. Coach Adam Levine evidently wasn’t expecting both Laith Al-Saadi and Shalyah Fearing to move on to the Top 12 judging from his reaction.
The biggest surprise (and mistake) came from Team Blake. Blake chose Paxton Ingram to move on to the Top 12 and might have ended up seriously weakening his team in the process. Team Blake might be a long shot to win season 10 of The Voice but this decision might have lowered the team’s chances even more.
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Paxton Has No Shot at Winning
It’s not that Paxton is untalented. He’s actually been quite enjoyable on The Voice up to the Live Playoffs. He is very likable in the interviews and recorded packages. Paxton’s been a constant, young and vibrant presence on Team Blake from almost the very beginning of the season. There is just no way that Paxton is going to win The Voice, at least not based on his previous performances.
Paxton is a pop singer/entertainer. He clearly wants to be the next Bruno Mars. The problem with that is “the next Bruno Mars” is probably the most competitive field on this season of The Voice. Season 9 had a lot of big ballad/love song singers. Season 10 is the season of the aspiring pop superstars. It was the season of the next Sam Smith/Adele. In season 10, every team has at least one member who is going after that next great pop sensation and Paxton is the weakest of the lot.
It’s also likely that the pop singers are going to cancel each other in the Top 12. It’s going to be very hard to believe that audience members are going to vote for Paxton when they also have Bryan Bautista and to a lesser extent, Daniel Passino to vote for instead. This doesn’t even factor in singers like Alisan Porter and Shalyah Fearing who have proven adept at a number of genres and their worst vocal experiments are better than Paxton’s best.
Paxton is an Entertainer Not a Singer — and America Doesn’t Care
With all the surprises that The Voice had in store for the Top 12 results, there was one thing that happened across all teams. America voted out, or didn’t vote for, those singers who were flashier and did more on stage than just sing. America did not respond to those singers that put their dance moves on equal footing with their vocals.
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Kata Hay, the “sassy” singer, was at the very bottom of the heap on Team Christina when it came to iTunes rankings. Joe Maye, another offender on Team Blake was a little higher but fell somewhere in the middle of the heap on iTunes. Nate Butler, Team Adam’s comeback artist tried to waltz around the stage and ended up in dead last on iTunes compared to the rest of Team Adam. However all of those artists were nothing compared to Paxton’s failure on iTunes. On the morning after his performance, Paxton’s single from the Playoffs was at a dreadful 394 in the iTunes rankings. The only artist who did worst was Team Pharrell’s Caity Peters who landed at 415 spot on Wednesday morning.
Blake might like Paxton an awful lot personally. It make sense too. If you have spent anytime watching Paxton be interviewed he seems like a ray of sunshine. America though doesn’t like Paxton’s voice or the type of artist that he is trying to be on The Voice.
While Blake’s decision looks like a huge blunder, there might be some unexpected benefits to him choosing Paxton. Blake was more than likely telling the truth when he explained his reasons for picking Paxton. Blake said he has had a connection and investment in Paxton since the beginning and couldn’t bring himself to let him go. I believe Blake feels that way and there was no ulterior motives to picking Paxton other than genuine affection.
However Paxton’s position on Team Blake could become that of a sacrificial lamb. Blake has been big champions of Mary Sarah and Adam Wakefield on his team. He loves what type of country music they perform. Time and time again Blake has told those two that he is excited by the idea of what they could do to the country music landscape.
If Blake had picked someone else on his team to stay like Katie Basden or Justin Whisnant, the audience might be a little bit divided. The country music fans could end up preferring the more modern Katie and Justin over the “old-school” style singers like Mary and Adam. There is going to be no overlap between Mary and Adam fans with Paxton fans. They hit two very different spots on the musical spectrum. You could even call them polar opposites.
It might not have been Blake’s intention in picking Paxton to move on but the result will be the same. Country fans, who have always been very powerful on The Voice, are going to put all their voting energy into Mary and Adam. Since Adam lost Caroline Burns, none of the other coaches have (primarily) country singers. Team Blake has a monopoly on country and by picking Paxton he benefits from having “in-fighting” in his own team.
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Paxton has no shot at winning The Voice. If Paxton is used as vote fodder though he could improve the chances of Mary Sarah and Adam Wakefield winning the whole thing. Team Blake would have been “stronger” if the coach had chosen Katie Basden instead but Paxton might just lead Team Blake to victory. He just won’t be the winner himself.
The Voice season 10 airs Mondays and Tuesdays at 8pm on NBC.
(Images courtesy of NBC)