The Voice is about to start its 15th season in just over two weeks! And the new season has maybe the most highly anticipated coaching panel yet! Blake Shelton and Adam Levine are returning, as well as American Idol success stories Kelly Clarkson and Jennifer Hudson. But how do they stack up against all the past coaches on The Voice? And who are the best coaches of all time? Let’s take a look at our rankings!
The Numbers: 2 Seasons, 0 Finalists
In both seasons Shakira coached, she only had one team member left by the Top 8. And none of her artists ever made it to the Finale. Sasha Allen and Kristen Merlin were both close—and might’ve made it if four artists went to the Finale in those seasons—but that was not the case. And it’s worth saying that Sasha Allen wasn’t even originally on Shakira’s team! She was stolen from Adam in the Battle Round. Shakira brought a fun energy to the show, but her coaching did not take her artists far. It seemed like the issue with Shakira was that she just couldn’t get enough talent on her team to begin with. She only got two four-chair turns total in her two seasons on the show and neither of them made it past the Knockouts. No bueno!
11. Miley Cyrus
The Numbers: 2 Seasons, 1 Finalist
Miley, Miley, Miley. When she was initially announced as a coach, fans were very hot and cold about it. I liked her more than most because she seemed genuinely invested in her team, but I also get that she’s crazy. And unfortunately, her dedication didn’t do much for her artists. She even had Ali Caldwell on her team, who went on to do well on The Four, but couldn’t get her to the Finale. On top of all that, she had Chloe Kohanski AND Addison Agen on her team in season 13 and dropped them both. Considering they finished first and second, that has to hurt. I feel like she made very personal decisions but that didn’t always lead to the best results for her. Miley did have some success with Brooke Simpson getting third that season though! Silver lining.
10. CeeLo Green
The Numbers: 4 Seasons, 1 Runner-Up, 2 Finalists
When we’re talking about the original four coaches, we have to put some things in perspective. In the first two seasons of The Voice, each coach took one artist to the Finale. That being said, CeeLo’s artists finished third and second in seasons one and two, respectively. So not a bad showing! Then in season three, CeeLo had the third and fourth place finishers.
But my issue with CeeLo is more about his coaching style than his track record. I don’t feel like he added much to the conversations or post-show success of his artists. The only singer from his team who went on to do much was MacKenzie Bourg and that’s only because he was on American Idol. It’s honestly interesting to me that The Voice is bringing him back as a Battles Advisor this season, but I think he’s better suited for that role anyway. Come in for a few weeks, wear crazy outfits, give some out-of-left-field advice, and that’s it! Enough CeeLo for me.
9. Gwen Stefani
The Numbers: 3 Seasons, 1 Finalist
Don’t get me wrong, Gwen seems like a great person and she’s very entertaining, but her run on The Voice wasn’t exactly the best. Her only finalist, Jeffrey Austin, was voted in by the Instant Save. And for some reason, her team actually had a track record of winning Instant Saves! Ryan Sill won two on season 7 of the show then Korin Bukowski also won two before losing to Team Gwen teammate Braiden Sunshine in season 9. The fact that they end up in the bottom two/three so often is not a good sign though! Oh and there was her obsession with changing her artists’ hair? And let’s not forget, Gwen let go of Craig Wayne Boyd, who ended up going on to win the show.
The Numbers: 1 Season, 0 Finalists
Now this ranking is more based on personality and what she adds to the show than how her artists did on her first season. Jennifer Hudson does not mess around! And I don’t want to say that Noah Mac was robbed of a spot in the Finale, but you can decide for yourself if you think Red was better than him or not. Jennifer is feisty and adds a lot of energy to the show. She’s not afraid to tell it like it is either! I’m hoping that next season, she’ll be able to pull some great talent because once she does, she’ll be a tough one to beat.
The Numbers: 4 Seasons, 1 Winner, 2 Other Finalists
I have a love-hate relationship with Pharrell on The Voice. And by that I mean, I love the guy, but hated the hats. What was that?! Anyway, Pharrell spent four seasons on the show and only had finalists in two of those seasons. Luckily, one of those seasons he had both the fourth-place finisher, Koryn Hawthorne, and the winner, Sawyer Fredericks! Sawyer was the fan favorite the entire season and Pharrell worked perfectly with him.
I always thought Pharrell provided thoughtful insight and chose songs well for his teams. We saw this shine the most with Hannah Huston, who had quite the range of songs but did them all so well. She really stood out week after week! Pharrell knows how to take a singer’s energy and translate that to a song, rather than just picking songs that sound like what they’ve already done or are in an artist’s register. But since he’s a producer, that makes sense.
The Numbers: 6 Seasons, 1 Winner, 1 Runner-Up, 2 Other Finalists
Going back to the consideration about the first four coaches, Christina’s finalists in the first two seasons both finished in fourth place. Not a great start! But Christina redeemed herself in future seasons of the show, most memorably with winner Alisan Porter and runner-up Jacquie Lee. Don’t get me wrong, I wanted Tessanne to win season five but by the end, I was rooting for Jacquie too! We really saw her grow a lot from her audition to the Finale. Christina did well with voices similar to hers and was able to select songs to challenge them and showcase their vocals. Unfortunately, she didn’t work as well with other voices. But when we saw Christina excel, she really rose to the top. I also just loved how enthusiastic she was and how she remained positive but acknowledged and addressed mistakes when they happened.
5. Alicia Keys
The Numbers: 3 Seasons, 1 Winner, 1 Runner-Up, 1 Other Finalist
This girl is on fiiiiiire! But really, Alicia has been killing it on The Voice so far. In her three season, she has had a winner, a runner-up, and a third-place finisher. Alicia is a calm, cool, and collected addition to the show, but sometimes that’s necessary. She is well-spoken and able to convey how she feels about performances in a way that only she can. We’ve seen her work with younger artists like Wé and Britton, and also more experienced artists like Chris Blue. She brought out the best in all of them! It’s times like those where you realize how well-trained and talented Alicia truly is.
The Numbers: 2 Seasons, 1 Winner, 1 Runner-Up
Similarly, Usher has a great track record of getting his team to the Finale. In the two seasons he coached, Usher had a runner-up in Michelle Chamuel and a winner in Josh Kaufman. Maybe he decided to quit while he was ahead? I thought he was another great addition to the coaching panel because he was more reserved and cool too, but clearly knew what he was doing. He wasn’t one to use all the big theatrics. Instead, he won by silently pulling his artists to the top. I would say that both Michelle and Josh came out of nowhere at the beginning to finish in the top two, beating out other fan favorites on those seasons. Not that they weren’t always good, but Usher definitely did his end of the deal in coaching. Oh and he definitely had the freshest kicks the show has ever seen.
The Numbers: 1 Season, 1 Winner
Kelly brought a dynamic new energy to Season 14. She fought hard for her contestants, went toe-to-toe with Blake for country singers, and used her experience on talent shows as leverage to push her artists to the top. And she accomplished just that! She won her very first season with Brynn Cartelli. She has also been involved with Brynn’s post-show success, performing alongside her on “The Today Show” and appearing with her at the “Radio Disney Music Awards.” Kelly really seems invested in her success! But was it just beginner’s luck? Only Season 15 will tell! If Kelly continues on this way, she could easily move her way into one of the top two spots on this list.
2. Adam Levine
The Numbers: 14 Seasons, 3 Winners, 3 Runner-Ups, 9 Other Finalists
Adam has been a staple of the show since season one. And it’s produced results for him! Three winners, three runner-ups, and a finalist in all but three seasons. In season seven alone, three of the four finalists were on Team Adam: Matt McAndrew, Chris Jamison, and Damien. Though he hasn’t had a winner since Jordan Smith, Jordan has recently found a lot of success off the show! He co-wrote a song for Celine Dion on the “Deadpool 2” soundtrack and released a new single.
Through the years, Adam has the consistency down for sure. He knows how to select epic songs for his contestants and challenge them, which sometimes works in his favor and sometimes doesn’t, but it makes his artists interesting. You never know what to expect from his team. And his banter with Blake is an entertaining addition to the show. He’s a goofball, but you gotta love Adam! Let’s just forget about the time he let go of Josh Kaufman, who went on to win the show with Usher.
The Numbers: 14 Seasons, 6 Winners, 7 Runner-Ups, 6 Other Finalists
Is anyone surprised? It’s hard to argue against Blake Shelton being the best coach on The Voice. Not only has he produced the most winners and runner-ups, but his team members have done the most off the show too! Think about Cassadee Pope, Danielle Bradbery, RaeLynn…all Team Blake. He has had a winner or runner-up every season except for seasons 5 and 14. And in season 3, he had the winner AND runner-up in Cassadee Pope and Terry McDermott. Blake is the dominant force on The Voice and if the past fall seasons are any indication, he may win again in Season 15! He has won four out of six fall seasons of the show (Adam won the other two). Now THAT is a number.