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(CLUES FOR BATCH #3 POSTED!) Mistakes Were Made: An Unfathomable Ranking of Every Four Chair Turn in The Voice U.S. History


peachfuz

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... Uh oh.

 

Mistakes Were Made.

An Unfathomable Ranking of Every Four Chair Turn in The Voice U.S. History

(because four out of four ain't bad, no matter who you ask)

 

Truth be told, ever since I started watching The Voice again after a few years of hiatus (around the time Season 15 was airing, I wanna say?), the thought of pulling off a ranking of this caliber has always lingered in the back of my mind, however large of an ordeal it may have always seemed. Now, more than five years later, it is with absolutely zero pride that I finally declare that the deed has been done. I sat down and marathoned every single four chair-turning audition over the course of this show's twenty five seasons, from Jeff Jenkins to Val T. Webb, cobbling together preliminary grades before assembling as definitive of a ranking as I can justify with a list as long as the one I'm reading.

 

Did you guys know that, at least in the American version of The Voice, a whopping 186 artists have turned all four chairs during their Blind Auditions? Unfortunately, now I do! Assuming every audition clocks in at an exact 90 minutes (which I can guarantee you they don't, mind you), that's 279 minutes, or 4.65 hours, of audition material to work with. Considering I made a point to watch every one of these auditions at least twice to determine their ranking – some as many as four or five times, dear lord – I hope that, if nothing else, I've prepared well enough for the gargantuan ordeal ahead of me. 

 

Carson Daly Nbc GIF by The Voice

You tell 'em, Carson!

 

What should I expect from this ranking?

If you've followed a ranking thread around here before, chances are you already know what kind of format we're working with – the idea is to present and review every single four chair turn audition in The Voice (U.S.) history up to Season 25, starting all the way at the bottom with #186 and working my way up in groups of 5-7 artists at a time. Each audition will be ranked based on how strong of a first impression each artist made with their performance, considering factors such as song choice, technical proficiency, stage presence, performance quality, and, of course, personal enjoyment. It's worth noting that the things I consider most important are emotionality and creativity, meaning auditions that are objectively better from a technical standpoint might not always crack the highest tiers of the list (though some certainly will, that I can promise).

 

Inspired ever so slightly by the ranking threads of FloorWax and Someone648, there's also going to be a clue system with points attached to the successful guessing of each artist! Each clue will be attached to their respective rankings (at least for now), and anyone who manages to successfully guess the artist corresponding to a clue first will receive a point. The point system will change as we get a little deeper into the list – at least once we hit the top half of the ranking – but, for now, consider this an incentive to keep up and see how you fare with the scoreboard.

 

In a similar vein, because we've got 25 seasons of content to deal with, similarly to Someone648's Top 200 Auditions thread, a color-coded system will be used for clues to identify the season from which each artist originates from. Keep an eye for the colors of each clue – we'll be using five different colors, each corresponding to a certain "era" of the show!

Red: Seasons 1 - 5 (the early days, mostly focused around the original lineup of coaches)

Gold: Seasons 6 - 11 (the back half of the "original era"; the era with the most consistent rhythm imo)

Green: Seasons 12 - 16 (the falling action of Adam's tenure on the show as things begin to downswing a little)

Blue: Seasons 17 - 21 (a weird recovery period – the first Adamless season immediately followed by the show's pandemic era) 

Purple: Seasons 22 - 25 (the "consistency who now?" era, a.k.a. the present day)

 

One last note before we launch into things – it goes without saying that this is an extraordinarily personalized ranking, meaning there's bound to be a few placements everyone is going to raise an eyebrow at. And that's completely okay! Long as everyone stays civil and respects each other's opinion, we don't have to throw hands over the low placement of any fan favorites or the high placement of nobodies – and there's plenty where that came from on both ends of the ranking. Also, it's really important to understand that though there are 186 auditions, I'd wager there is a pretty sizable majority of these auditions that I at least like a little bit. For reference, an audition ranking as low on the list as #90 (nearly at the halfway point of the list) is graded an A-, and there are only 8 auditions in the entire ranking I'd give a grade lower than a B-. A ranking dedicated to auditions held to a high quality is chockfull of high quality auditions, go figure. Just bear the grading curve of this ranking in mind – even an audition clocking in around, say, #140 is an audition I'd consider, if nothing else, "good". 

 

Sounds simple? Sounds good! Let's see the way things go with the guessing system when you're trying to pick the brain of a person whose personal taste you don't know all too much about hehehehe >:]

Happy guessing everyone! First clues to arrive soon! 

 

The Voice Coaches GIF by NBC

Edited by peachfuz
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Posted (edited)

Alright, first clues incoming! Let's see if people end up getting any of these right (or even guessing at all, for that matter) – scores will be updated accordingly with each write-up. I mentioned before that each batch will contain five to seven auditions; for this first batch, we're looking at the bottom five, a.k.a. the auditions that I found myself least impressed by after all was said and done. 

 

186*insert overdone and/or mildly insensitive wordplay referring to this contestant's backstory here*

185. Who would've thought one of the coaches, of all people, would need to be convinced to press his button for a contestant like this one? 

184. You know, if I had a nickel for every time a contestant like this one showed up in the Bottom Five of the ranking... 

183. Maybe the shortest four chair audition in all twenty five seasons of this show... and I'm not really sure how to feel about it. 

182. If (verb: to consent to carry out for a person : allow fulfillment of) + (noun: commercial iron that contains carbon in any amount up to about 1.7 percent as an essential alloying constituent, is malleable when under suitable conditions, and is distinguished from cast iron by its malleability and lower carbon content)(e) = x... 

(all clues have been guessed!)

 

Remember, each person who correctly guesses a clue first gains one point! Happy travels, guessers! 

Edited by peachfuz
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35 minutes ago, peachfuz said:

182. If (verb: to consent to carry out for a person : allow fulfillment of) + (noun: commercial iron that contains carbon in any amount up to about 1.7 percent as an essential alloying constituent, is malleable when under suitable conditions, and is distinguished from cast iron by its malleability and lower carbon content)(e) = x... 

The Line (Hailey Steele and Leland Grant)

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59 minutes ago, peachfuz said:

185. Who would've thought one of the coaches, of all people, would need to be convinced to press his button for a contestant like this one? 

 

Orlando Mendez

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13 hours ago, peachfuz said:

186*insert overdone and/or mildly insensitive wordplay referring to this contestant's backstory here*

 

Blessing Offor? Or Blind Joe? Probably Blessing because I watched both and he was especially rough 💀

Edited by FloorWax
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13 hours ago, peachfuz said:

184. You know, if I had a nickel for every time a contestant like this one showed up in the Bottom Five of the ranking... 

 

Mia Pfirrman? She and Kendra who was #200 on Someone's list are both 19 year old pop singers from California.

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Posted (edited)

186. Blessing Offor (Season 7)

"Just the Two of Us" by Grover Washington Jr. ft. Bill Withers

 

491221311-90c77a263f488bf3dae570944511b5

 

Mmm. Yeah, "especially rough" might be an understatement. It's a shame, because Blessing's audition has all of the makings of an audition I'd really dig – a compelling performer taking on a good song with a few tasteful riffs and opt-ups? That sounds like a recipe for my kind of party, especially since R&B and soul are the genres I usually gravitate towards the most with contestants on this show. It's a shame, then, that Blessing hit maybe only 20% of his notes over the course of his 90 seconds onstage. As someone with perfect pitch, revisiting this audition was a bit of an aural nightmare – he started the song above the pitch and didn't really recover.

 

The entire affair is just a special kind of bizarre, especially when he capped his performance off with an ever-so-slightly maniacal laugh that would put Lowell Oakley to shame... just as all four coaches turned around in the last 10 seconds of the song. Just, like... huh? This is the only audition on the list where I question how he even got a chair to turn around in the first place – I guess the coaches heard potential beyond his ability to hit the notes, but, even then, that's gotta be a red flag right out of the gate. It was pretty tough to decide the order of a lot of the lower ranking performances on this list, but, after revisiting this performance, I was pretty sure this one would take last place without much consideration. 

 

(Also, os it a power move to drop a Grammy nominee at the very bottom of a ranking like this? It's pretty astounding what ten years of experience can do for a guy. But, hey, glad he's getting his day in the sun. His newer music is pretty stellar, after all.)

 

Clue Breakdown

186. *insert overdone and/or mildly insensitive wordplay referring to this contestant's backstory here*

Ok, yeah, we get it, ~blind~ audition, hardy har. 

Point: @FloorWax

 

185. Orlando Mendez (Season 22)

"Beer Never Broke My Heart" by Luke Combs

 

NUP_198103_00073-scaled.jpg

 

Holy werewolf country heartthrob, Batman! Season 22's "Cuban Cowboy" was an interesting fixture of his season's premiere episode, mostly because the producers really liked giving him a strong introduction edit just a month or so before they'd send him home right before the voting rounds. Dare I say mercifully so? A little hot off the heels of Kenzie Wheeler's frankly stellar rendition of my personal favorite Luke Combs song (nope, not joking), there were some pretty big expectations on my end for Orlando to deliver, and... he delivered something, that's for sure. 

 

To be honest, Orlando didn't do the song a disservice, at least not during the first half his performance. His tone is most certainly not for me, but he was at least bringing a respectable amount of swagger to the affair. Then he hit the bridge, swallowed a little too much gravel, and his voice started shredding a little too much for my comfort. By the end of the song, you could hear the poor guy was fighting for his life a little. A little rasp never heard nobody, let's be clear – one of my favorite country auditions in all of the show's history comes from a pretty similar-sounding dude, after all – but his tone ended up sounding so uneven that it bordered on the verge of painful. Mix that with him lumbering around the stage and dropping his jaw like a python to squeeze those last couple of notes out and things started nearing scary territory. Eesh. People aren't a fan of Bryce's run from this season, but maybe, just maybe, we could've had it worse. 

 

Clue Breakdown

185. Who would've thought one of the coaches, of all people, would need to be convinced to press his button for a contestant like this one? 

A little less than a minute in, Camila urged Blake to turn around so she could try and beat him out for a country artist. Hey, credit where credit's due, her plan worked.

Point: @FloorWax

 

184. "Blind Joe" (Season 9)

"If It Hadn't Been For Love" by the SteelDrivers

2101543-0bwo9z3-wzxmgothqexjmauruzhm-bin

 

Is... Is that really what he calls himself? Well, hey, if he says so. It's definitely not a great look for me to place the two visually impaired artists qualifying for this list in the Bottom Three, but, if it's any consolation, my problems with Joe's audition are less pervasive – though maybe more numerous – than Blessing's. Credit where credit's due, the guy chose a cool song – I didn't realize he was introducing me to Chris Stapleton at the time of this audition being aired, but, hell, I'm glad he did in hindsight. The way he approached a song like this worked really well in his favor, I really enjoyed that he stripped down the song a fair bit.

 

But whereas Blessing and Orlando's approaches from a technical standpoint were a little more egregious, I think Blind Joe's performance style just... doesn't really appeal to me too much? There's a certain strain to his tone that really tightens up on the higher notes in his range, almost like his vocals are being squeezed out of him rather than coming from him naturally. One could argue that it's twang, but any country vocalist can put some heft behind their vocals with the right tone and breath control, and Mr. Joe over here demonstrated a bit of a deficit in that regard. And I'll at least give Blessing credit for stage presence – even without a mid-performance call to action ("Clap those hands, come on!"), Joe displayed less charisma and personality during his performance than Adam during a season where his team is wiped out before the Finals. Although I can definitely appreciate the stripped-back nature of his performance, the grit intrinsic to the story he's telling was just missing, and that particularly doesn't sit super well with me. I guess we'll never know if Joe would've ever turned things around later, since he, like his predecessors on this list, ended up getting axed before the voting rounds. I wonder... 

 

Clue Breakdown

184. You know, if I had a nickel for every time a contestant like this one showed up in the Bottom Five of the ranking... 

Let's see... visually impaired? (ding!) Advanced in a Battle where a Steal was used? (ding!) Eliminated in the Knockouts? (ding ding ding!)

Point: @Dai

 

183. Joe Kirk (Season 7)

"Lego House" by Ed Sheeran

22J6O7LYLUL5BTIZWXGFX6ZR2U.jpg

 

And the winner of the "least ambitious audition that inexplicably yielded a four chair turn from the coaches" award goes to a guy whose early elimination in the Battle Rounds was a surprise... not because anyone was particularly mourning him, but because there was a healthy amount of concern that Adam would take him all the way to the Lives by sheer virtue of him being young and conventionally attractive. Terrible day for the twink community, really.

 

Honestly, I have so little to say about Joe's audition, partly because his run in Season 7 felt like such a weird footnote. Never in the show's history have I seen such little fanfare for a four chair turner, between the confusingly short length of his performance to his abrupt (though not undeserved) elimination to a girl who got montaged in the Blinds, of all people. The other part of it is that when I say "unambitious", I mean it – 186 auditions, and Joe might have done the least with his song out of everyone on the list. Seriously, he opted up like twice and... that's it. He's got a decently rounded tone, don't get me wrong, but... you couldn't have added a run longer than half a second? You couldn't have changed the melody a littleTruly the definition of "go, girl, give us nothing!" Not much else to say other than a resounding, "... That's it?"

 

Clue Breakdown

183. Maybe the shortest four chair audition in all twenty five seasons of this show... and I'm not really sure how to feel about it. 

No joke, check out his performance online. His audition was a minute and twelve seconds long, making it possibly the shortest audition to yield a four chair turn in all of the show's history. Bonus points for anyone who caught the reference to his Battle Rounds song in the second half of the clue!

Point: @Dai

 

182. (one half of the vocal duo known as) The LiNE (Season 2)

"American Girl" by Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers

no link for this one but im sure yall could find it if you dug deep enough 

realitytv_the_voice_s02_e02_1.jpg

 

First off, fun fact! This performance delivered by the strangely capitalized country duo known as The LiNE – the first of several duos to earn a four chair turn in the history of the (American version of the) show – is one of the few with literally zero online presence. No joke, I couldn't find an upload of their audition anywhere on YouTube, Vimeo, or what have you. I had to literally find their episode of the show (through completely legal means, wink wink) and watch it there. If that doesn't tell you that The LiNE is probably one of the most forgettable four chair turners in all twenty five seasons – which is saying something, given that they auditioned during one of the most oft-forgotten seasons of the show as is – then maybe their audition will prove that point to you, because dear lord this one was a snooze

 

It's a shame, because this performance might've been a little more substantial if that poor girl got to sing literally anything. The snarky alteration to their (already confounding) name above isn't hyperbole – Hailey, the duo's female half, didn't sing a single solo line during their entire audition. It was the Leland show for the entire first verse, and then all harmony from there. It always rubs me the wrong way when duos have no part balance between the two, and it does't help that, even based on the above picture, you can kinda tell Leland is a lot more into it than Hailey. It's a pretty unfortunate way to underscore one of the most pedestrian auditions on the entire list. I mean, come on, you can't just do "American Girl" without feeling, guys! When the Swon Brothers are outdoing you, that's how you know something's up! #JusticeForHailey

 

Clue Breakdown

182. If (verb: to consent to carry out for a person : allow fulfillment of) + (noun: commercial iron that contains carbon in any amount up to about 1.7 percent as an essential alloying constituent, is malleable when under suitable conditions, and is distinguished from cast iron by its malleability and lower carbon content)(e) = x... 

It's giving dictionary.

Point: @FloorWax

Edited by peachfuz
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Posted (edited)

Clues clues clues! Wonder how quickly the turnaround will be here – we've got a couple of oldies (and not necessarily goodies) this go-around. Let's see if you all can guess the rest of the bottom 10!

 

181. 1918 was a big year for them, I guess. 

180. Poor kid's been through so much undeserved pain that I almost felt bad putting them this low(GUESSED)

179. I wonder what combination tactics were used just for them to get to the Finale all those years later. (GUESSED)

178. I don't know what was more inappropriate – the song choice or (one of) the coaches' commentary. (GUESSED)

177. The Voice: not great for the resume, definitely great for Wikipedia. (GUESSED)

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  • peachfuz changed the title to (CLUES FOR BATCH #2 POSTED!) Mistakes Were Made: An Unfathomable Ranking of Every Four Chair Turn in The Voice U.S. History
58 minutes ago, peachfuz said:

Clues clues clues! Wonder how quickly the turnaround will be here – we've got a couple of oldies (and not necessarily goodies) this go-around. Let's see if you all can guess the rest of the bottom 10!

 

181. 1918 was a big year for them, I guess. 

180. Poor kid's been through so much undeserved pain that I almost felt bad putting them this low

179. I wonder what combination tactics were used just for them to get to the Finale all those years later. 

178. I don't know what was more inappropriate – the song choice or (one of) the coaches' commentary. 

177. The Voice: not great for the resume, definitely great for Wikipedia

177: Jesse Campbell??

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1 hour ago, peachfuz said:

Clues clues clues! Wonder how quickly the turnaround will be here – we've got a couple of oldies (and not necessarily goodies) this go-around. Let's see if you all can guess the rest of the bottom 10!

 

181. 1918 was a big year for them, I guess. 

180. Poor kid's been through so much undeserved pain that I almost felt bad putting them this low

179. I wonder what combination tactics were used just for them to get to the Finale all those years later. 

178. I don't know what was more inappropriate – the song choice or (one of) the coaches' commentary. 

177. The Voice: not great for the resume, definitely great for Wikipedia. (GUESSED)

178: DeAndre Nico??

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7 hours ago, peachfuz said:

178. I don't know what was more inappropriate – the song choice or (one of) the coaches' commentary

 

Taking a wild guess here but Pryor Baird?

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