Blake Shelton might be the coach everyone wants to dethrone on "The Voice" after his third straight win last season, and it just might be possible this time around. Entering Monday's battle rounds, he's not the guy with the best team.
Instead, that honor goes to Maroon 5 frontman, Adam Levine. Throughout the blind auditions, he was a master at convincing artists whom all of the coaches wanted to join his team.
James Wolpert, Tessanne Chin, James Irwin and Ashley DuBose each turned all four chairs, and Adam convinced each to sign with him. It's a pretty stellar accomplishment, considering only six singers in the blinds managed to get all four coaches to push their buttons.
“Adam is a master of those four-chair turns. He’s got the team to beat right now because we all four saw something in a lot of his artists,” Blake said on Tuesday's show.
Moreover, Adam also won over Preston Pohl, Matt Cermanski, Grey and Will Champlin, each of whom got everyone but Christina Aguilera to turn around. Adam also beat Blake head-to-head for Barry Black, CeeLo Green for Nic Hawk and Christina for Donna Allen. Justin Blake is the only singer he has who he won without having to fight for.
“My team is really strong," he admitted on "The Voice."
Now, he just has to go out and win — something he hasn’t done since the first season.
Time to coach
Of course, while beating Adam at a blind has been difficult for the other coaches this season, beating him once the competition really gets underway tends to be easier.
Last season, he came away from the blind auditions with four of the artists who got four-chair turns: Judith Hill, Midas Whale, Sarah Simmons and Sasha Allen. Of those, the most successful finisher was Allen – after she was stolen by Shakira in the battle rounds. Of Adam's two four-chair turns in season three, Nicole Nelson was eliminated in the knockout round, and Bryan Keith went out early in the live episodes.
In other words, while Adam has been great at getting the talent all of the coaches want, he hasn’t been able to translate that momentum to the later stages of the competition. From questionable battle-round pairings to disconnected song choices, this part of the competition is where he often makes himself vulnerable.
The other coaches are counting on him to make similar mistakes this time around, and they're poised for the steals when the battle rounds begin Monday. Both CeeLo and Blake have already said on the show that they've set their sights on stealing Tessane and James, respectively, from the Maroon 5 frontman.
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And worse for Adam? His archenemy, Blake, shines in the battle rounds, getting his acts to keep on doing what made them successful in the first place — just better. This while the Maroon 5 frontman tends to get his hopefuls to try new things and move out of their comfort zones, which hasn't worked quite as well, as past seasons' results have shown.
But for now, “Team Adam definitely looks like the one to beat,” Blake admitted on the show, before adding, “but you can say that almost every season.”
If it turns out Adam isn't able to beat his nemesis and win the competition this season based on the incredible talent he scored in the blind auditions, he may have to find strategies to woo the TV audience as much as he does the contestants.
"The Voice" airs Mondays and Tuesdays at 8 p.m. on NBC.