Remember when NBC’s The Voice was the new kid on the singing competition block? Now, 10 seasons in and getting ready for its 11th, The Voice is the most popular singing competition reality show on television, and though it has yet to churn out a real pop star — like Kelly Clarkson or Carrie Underwood from American Idol — it’s given viewers some stunning performances.
Before The Voice returns with coaches Blake Shelton, Adam Levine, Miley Cyrus and Alicia Keys, let’s take a look back at the 12 best performances ever on The Voice — listed in no particular order.
1. Jordan Smith — “Chandelier”
Jordan Smith’s blind audition will live on forever as one of the best, most stunning performances ever to grace The Voice stage. It’s no surprise that Smith ended up winning Season 9 of The Voice with Levine as his coach.
2. Christina Grimmie — “Hold On, We’re Going Home”
Christina Grimmie, who was tragically killed this year at a concert in Orlando, came in third during The Voice‘s sixth season, but she is by far one of the most memorable contestants the show has ever had. Her performance of Drake’s “Hold On, We’re Going Home” still gives me chills — and I own the song and listen to it all the time.
3. Bryan Bautista vs. Malik Heard — “It’s a Man’s, Man’s, Man’s World”
Bryan Bautista and Malik Heard’s Season 10 Battle of “It’s a Man’s, Man’s, Man’s World” makes my hair stand up every single time. Thanks to their coach, Christina Aguilera, their duet will go down in Voice history as one of the very best — if not the best — battle duet we’ve ever seen on the show.
4. Kimberly Nichole — “House of the Rising Sun”
“House of the Rising Sun” is practically a Voice staple — every season, it seems, one contestant takes on the song during the competition, but the best performance of the song has to be the one from Season 8 Team Christina’s Kimberly Nichole.
5. Matt McAndrew — “The Blower’s Daughter”
Matt McAndrew, from Team Adam, was my personal pick to win Season 7 of The Voice. He ended up as the runner-up to Team Blake’s Craig Wayne Boyd, but managed to make it all the way to the finale, which means he got to give a lot of show-stopping performances. Out of all his times out on The Voice stage, however, his moving performance of “The Blower’s Daughter” is the most memorable.
6. Alisan Porter — “Blue Bayou”
The coaches knew Alisan Porter was going to win Season 10 after her blind audition, and win she did. Porter was always on the top of her game, but there’s just nothing like the pure magic of her first ever performance on The Voice.
7. Braiden Sunshine — “Feeling Good”
Every once in a while, a singer on The Voice will shock you. That’s what Braiden Sunshine from Team Gwen did during the Season 9 knockouts when he performed “Feeling Good.” All of a sudden, Sunshine wasn’t the adorable teen who had impressed the judges with his blind audition, he was a man. Damn.
8. Sawyer Fredericks — “I Am a Man of Constant Sorrow”
Speaking of boys becoming men on The Voice: Sawyer Fredericks, the 16-year-old wonder who won Season 8 for Team Pharrell, gave a jaw-dropping blind audition in 2015. Fredericks’ rendition of “I Am a Man of Constant Sorrow” never ceases to amaze me, in part because he sings with such an old soul. (It sounds cheesy, but it’s true.)
9. Rob Taylor — “Earned It”
When Rob Taylor of Team Christina performed “Earned It” on the first live show of Season 8, I swear my heart started beating faster. Taylor’s insane full voice and crazy falsetto give the song dynamics The Weeknd just doesn’t — there is no better rendition of this song. None.
10. Michelle Chamuel — “I Knew You Were Trouble”
Season 4’s Michelle Chamuel was always a treat to watch, especially as coach Usher helped push her out of her shell, but her performance of “I Knew You Were Trouble” has got to be one of her best. She totally eclipses the Taylor Swift factor of the song by approaching it with her own unique vocals, and she totally nails it.
11. India Carney vs. Clinton Washington — “Stay”
When Team Christina’s India Carney and Clinton Washington battled, it was one of the most moving and beautiful duets ever. Aguilera’s decision to make Rihanna’s “Stay” into a heartbreaking duet really paid off and created this stunning Season 8 performance.
12. Javier Colon — “Time After Time”
The blind audition that started it all, the Season 1 winner’s stripped-down performance of “Time After Time” is just as magical and enchanting today as it was when it kicked off The Voice all those years ago.
Now, there have been so many amazing performances on The Voice over the years, it’s impossible to list them all. These are just a few of the most memorable, most awe-inspiring, most goose bump-giving ones of the past 10 seasons. Hopefully, after Season 11, there will be plenty more to add to the list.
Before you go, check out our slideshow below.