Ranking All Seasons of ‘The Voice’ 1-14
The Voice has always been known for its epic talent. Who could forget Blind Auditions from Javier Colon and Jordan Smith to Alisan Porter and Matthew Schuler? And so many amazing performances in between! With Season 15 about to premiere and already off to a strong start, it’ll be interesting to see how it stacks up against the other seasons.
But what about the first 14? Where do they fall in the rankings? We’re going to take a look at the first 14 seasons of The Voice and how their talent compared to other seasons.
14. Season 1
For the handful of us that actually watched The Voice season 1, it was a pretty different show. When it premiered, each team only had 8 artists. Then it was one round of Battles with no saves or steals, and three live shows before the Finale. In the Finale, each coach got one spot on their team. This is a great idea in theory, but if one team was much better than others, it didn’t matter. Each coach only had one shot at the win. Plus, only 33 people auditioned total so all but one made a team. The show had to have “second chance” auditions, bringing back artists who didn’t turn a chair, in order to fill the teams. Yikes! While there were some memorable performances from Javier Colon, Dis Frampton, and Beverly McClellan, they couldn’t make up for the broken format.
13. Season 11
Season 11 was underwhelming. A lot of the promising talent from the auditions either stumbled along the way and got voted off or failed to gain much momentum. In the end, I think Sundance deserved the win, but that should say a lot about this season. This was also the introduction of Miley as a coach, who didn’t add much. She also didn’t have much success! She did, however, have one of my favorite contestants that season in Ali Caldwell. That being said, Billy Gilman and We McDonald were both pimped throughout the season, but neither could pull out a win. (And imo, Billy was overrated.) Most tragically, we saw many artists go home way too early. I think of Lauren Diaz, Michael Sanchez, Dave Mosian…the list goes on.
12. Season 2
Season 2 had similar issues to season 1, but the talent was slightly better. Or as I‘ll say it, at least we had Juliet Simms! Season 2 also brought us the epic battle between Jesse Campbell and Anthony Evans. Still one of the most epic battles in The Voice history! The show really started to take its shape in Season 2. Many more artists were recruited for the Blind Auditions so no-chair turners weren’t given a second chance audition. And each team had 12 members! Steals and saves still weren’t a thing, which is tragic considering the Jesse Campbell and Anthony Evans battle. If the same talent was in the current format, I think this season could’ve ranked much higher.
11. Season 14
Season 14 was an interesting one, to say the least. I had glimpses of hope during the Blind Auditions, but no one truly stood out. Then, as the show went on and some artists emerged, I was never all in on anyone. By the end, I was glad Brynn won. But the season as a whole was disappointing. I liked a handful of the artists but no one had consistently standout performances. Most singers would have one here or there. Also, I didn’t love the addition of the “Block,” which really only became an issue for Britton Buchanan. I think he could’ve had a chance at taking home the win on Team Adam! He still got second place, but after an Instant Save into the Finale. All the other blocked artists weren’t really a factor. Brynn Cartelli (and the Top 4 in general) honestly redeemed the season for me though.
10. Season 8
This is another season where I was excited at the beginning, but by the end, I didn’t really care who won. Was Sawyer good? I guess you could say so. But he wouldn’t hold his own against the winners on basically any other season. And we’ve heard literally nothing from him since his win. The fact that he was a commanding force on this season is telling. While artists like Koryn Hawthorne and Kimberly Nichole gave some of the most memorable performances of the season (“Make It Rain” and “House of the Rising Sun”/”Creep”, respectively), we also had Joshua Davis and Meghan Linsey in the Finals, who I can’t remember a single performance from. And Koryn barely made it into the Top 4! Something just wasn’t right with this season.
9. Season 12
Season 12 was very middle-of-the-road. It did, however, bring us Alicia mentoring and winning with Chris Blue! It also brought us one of Talent Recap’s favorite artists, Lauren Duski. However, the season as a whole wasn’t very exciting. The coaching panel of Adam, Gwen, Alicia, and Blake depended almost entirely on Blake and Gwen’s relationship for “drama.” For me, that got old pretty quick. Also, I’m still confused that Aliyah Moulden and Jesse Larson made it into the Finals over Hunter Plake and Brennley Brown. Hunter was one of my favorite artists this season, but I feel like his song choice throughout the season took him out of the running. This was the case for many other front-runners at the beginning too, like Casi Joy. JChosen, and Anatalia Villaranda. A lot of potential in Season 12, but it ended up being just average.
8. Season 6
I don’t want to say that Shakira wasn’t a factor at all in the season but you gotta feel bad for her. While every other team had strong hitters, her team was by far the weakest. To start, Adam had Christina Grimmie, one of my favorite contestants of all-time on the show. She didn’t have the run I expected on The Voice, but she was still solid. Blake had Jake Worthington, who finished as the runner-up, and powerhouse Sisaundra Lewis. Usher had Bria Kelly, an early favorite to win, and Josh Kaufman, who went on to win! This season brought memorable performances like Josh Kaufman’s “I Can’t Make You Love Me,” Christina Grimmie’s “Hold On, We’re Going Home,” and Bria Kelly’s “Steamroller Blues.” But somehow Christina had to be Instant Saved into the Finals? Also there were two battle rounds. That was weird.
7. Season 3
Cassadee Pope was a dominating factor on Season 3. It was honestly really fun to watch! Her transition to Avril Lavigne’s biggest fangirl to a country superstar was amazing to see. She also had some stiff competition! Fellow Team Blake member Terry McDermott basically did every power ballad known to man and crushed them all, charting in the Top 10 on iTunes every week after the Top 12. And if you want to talk about some of the best performances in The Voice history, most people would include Amanda Brown’s “Dream On” easily near the top.
Trevin Hunt and Melanie Martinez were two other standouts, and that’s not even including future American Idol top 4 finisher MacKenzie Bourg, future Vine influencer Avery Wilson, and future The Greatest Showman star Loren Allred. It was also the first season where votes were not cast individually for each team, so Blake had two finalists, CeeLo had one, and Adam and Christina failed to have any artists in the Finale. We really began to see the momentum of the show swing in season 3!
6. Season 7
Whereas Season 4 was the season of powerhouse females, season 7 brought the men front and center. I’ll start by saying it’s a shame Adam couldn’t bring five artists past the Live Playoffs. All three of his finalists made it to the Finale! What an epic achievement! And I think Mia and Taylor would’ve done well too, if he had the spots. Then you also had Craig Wayne Boyd, who beat out all of Team Adam to take home the Team Blake win, and artists like Luke Wade, Taylor John Williams, and DaNica Shirey. DaNica was one of the most underrated singers on this season in my opinion.
This season had a number of memorable performances from all the finalists, including Matt McAndrew’s basically everything he did, including his original song, “Wasted Love,” Chris Jamison’s “Jealous” and “When I Was Your Man,” Damien’s sad songs, and Craig Wayne Boyd’s “Old Rugged Cross.” Phew! There’s too many to list.
5. Season 10
Season 10 had the potential to be even higher on this list, but a lot of artists went home too early. Yes, the talent pool was deep, but artists like Ryan Quinn and Caity Peters would’ve easily made it into the Top 12 in any other season. A standout from the Blind Auditions, Mike Schiavo, didn’t even make it into the Knockouts. Brutal!
But once the Top 12 was announced, I was pleasantly surprised! Alisan Porter and Adam Wakefield were basically going head-to-head for the win all season but Hannah Huston, Mary Sarah, and Bryan Bautista were solid throughout. Alisan wow’ed with every performance though and earned the Team Christina win, the first one for a female coach! Mary Sarah’s audition was also epic and Hannah Huston rocked a lot of talent show favorites. But we also saw Laith cover Adele and somehow make it to the Finale so the season wasn’t perfect.
4. Season 4
The season of the powerhouse female vocalists and Danielle Bradbery! No shade to Danielle, but wow this season had so many strong women singers! I can remember multiple performances each from Amber Carrington, Judith Hill, Sarah Simmons, Sasha Allen, and Michelle Chamuel that blew me away. Danielle was talented in her own sense as well, bringing in the country vote, but she had a much softer tone. When Judith Hill went home in the Top 8, I remember being disappointed because I thought she would win it all. Then I realized that actually, she probably deserved to at that point. That is saying a TON about how deep the talent was this season. What a season!
3. Season 13
Season 13 honestly surprised me. Going into it, I thought the best years of The Voice were past, but I was proven wrong! After hearing auditions from artists like Chris Weaver, Brooke Simpson, and Keisha Renee all in the first week, I knew season 13 would be special.
But to be honest, I barely even remember the Blind Auditions of some of my favorite artists this season. And maybe that’s what made it so epic! Chloe really stood out to me during the Knockouts, when she covered “Landslide” and somehow lost. I don’t want to shame Miley for giving Chloe up but COME ON! I started to notice Addison Agen shortly after that in the Top 12. She covered one of my favorite songs, “She Used to Be Mine,” and actually did it justice. Respect! Noah Mac and Davon Fleming also stood out to me from the beginning but were both eliminated in the Semifinals. Honestly, I wouldn’t even say there was a weak link…oh wait, yeah. Red Marlow somehow sneaked into the Finale instead of Noah. Well other than that, an overall awesome season!
2. Season 9
Season 9 had so much going for it, but mainly Jordan Smith. I have never been so confident that someone would win The Voice in my life! Jordan killed it week after week and ran the gambit on song choice. From his “Somebody to Love” to “Set Fire to the Rain” to “Great Is Thy Faithfulness,” every performance of his was magical. Then you also throw in Emily Ann Roberts, Madi Davis, Barrett Baber, and Amy Vachal and that is quite the Top 12! Who could forget Emily Ann singing “Burning House” in the Finals? Or Madi Davis’s “A Case Of You”? Or Amy Vachal’s “Hotline Bling?” Plus, you can’t forget memorable artists like Viktor Kiraly, Ellie Lawrence, and Andi & Alex who went home too early. And we can just forget about Korin Bukowski’s meltdown in her Instant Save. I somehow blame Gwen? But this season was stacked!
1. Season 5
Season 5 was the best season of The Voice to date, hands down. The original four coaches were back, after a season with Shakira and Usher on the panel, and the talent was unreal. This is the season that brought us Tessanne Chin, Jacquie Lee, Matthew Schuler, and a personal favorite of mine, Caroline Pennell. That’s not even mentioning standouts like Holly Henry, Preston Pohl, Amber Nicole, and Ashley DuBose who didn’t make it to the Top 12. But still, when talking about the best performances in The Voice history, many from season 5 come to mind. There’s Tessane’s “I Have Nothing,” Matthew Schuler’s “Hallelujah,” Jacquie Lee’s “I Put a Spell On You,” Holly Henry’s “The Scientist.” Ugh there are honestly so so many good performances from season 5. This season will be hard to beat.