The four teams on NBC's hit singing competition "The Voice" pared their contestants, via popular vote and by judge/coach decision, down to just one finalist per team on Tuesday night's elimination show, setting up the winner-take-all finale next week. It's been grueling for some, intense and sometimes surprising -- getting through and being eliminated -- for others, and at times even heartbreaking for the judges, but the nature of competition is to leave one individual singer standing at season's end with the title of "The Voice," an album contract, and $100,000 in cash. So with four finalists left -- Tony Lucca, Juliet Simms, Chris Mann, and Jermaine Paul -- who has the best odds to wind up the winner?
Even as far back as the beginning of April, when the show pared its group down to 20 finalists, Tony Lucca seemed to be the favorite. He had a good start, nailing Ray LaMontagne's "Trouble" during the Blind Audition and undoubtedly getting a little fan support with the heartwarming reunion with fellow one-time Disney Mouseketeer Christina Aguilera, whom he thought had forgotten him over the years (and she almost did, running backstage when she realized who he was to hug him). He had also chosen the team of last year's winning coach, Adam Levine, which may have also given him a slight edge. At any rate, according to the professional sports betting website Bovada, Lucca seemed most likely to win "The Voice" with 4/1 odds.
His closest competition, Jesse Campbell (5/1 odds), was surprisingly eliminated by Team Christina by the team coach herself. Tony Vincent (7/1 odds) was also eliminated by his coach, Cee Lo Green, in the first live round. All three of the final four, however, would place in the Top 10 with best odds to win -- although, because of ties in odds, there would be 13 finalists place in that Top 10 group. Chris Mann of Team Christina tied for sixth at 12/1 odds, while Jermaine Paul of Team Blake (Shelton) placed ninth with 14/1 odds. Juliet Simms of Team Cee Lo tied for tenth with three others at 16/1 odds. (The four eliminated in the Semifinals results show -- Katrina Parker, Jamar Rogers, Lindsey Pavao, and Erin Willett -- all were in the Top 10 as well.)
But odds going into the Semifinals Round changed somewhat -- except for Tony Lucca, who remained the oddsmakers best choice to win it all, scoring better odds as well (7/4). According to the oddsmakers at Bovada, Team Cee Lo had placed two in the first four finalists (Rogers and Mann) in the odds list, so, since only one would make it into the finale, the oddsmakers by default would be incorrect about at least one ultimate finalist. And they were, of course. But just the one. Jamar Rogers was given 2/1 odds but did not make it through. Mann, who notched fifth best odds of winning (15/1), became the Team Cee Lo finalist instead. Juliet Simms and Jermaine Paul were third and fourth in the odds rankings, holding 3/1 and 10/1 odds, respectively.
"The Voice" Season 2 Odds To Win It All
8. Erin Willett - 30/1
7. Katrina Parker - 25/1
6. Lindsey Pavao - 20/1
5. Chris Mann - 15/1
4. Jermaine Paul - 10/1
3. Juliet Simms - 3/1
2. Jamar Rogers - 2/1
1. Tony Lucca - 7/4
So Lucca looks to be the contestant to beat. He's also been rather consistent in his performances, nailing covers by Peter Gabriel ("In Your Eyes"), Britney Spears "...Baby One More Time"), and The Heavy ("How You Like Me Now?"). But, then, Simms, Mann, and Paul have all had exemplary performances. In the end, the odds won't really matter all that much. It will be up to the public to choose the winner of "The Voice."
The two-part finale of "The Voice" begins Monday, May 7, at 8:00 p.m. EST on NBC Television with the live performance show. The outcome is then placed in the hands of the voting public. The winner will be announced live on the final results episode the following night, Tuesday, May 8, at the end of the show.
(photo credit: Donna Lou Morgan, Wikimedia Commons)