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The Voice Coaches, Ranked

The Voice Coaches, Ranked
The Voice Coaches, Ranked

Winning The Voice is one thing. But being a truly winning coach on NBC’s enduring sing-off, quite another.

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Any successful recording artist — well, almost any; sorry, Nick Jonas & Co. — can lead a wannabe Cassadee Pope or Sundance Head across the finish line to victory. However, for a coach to reign supreme with the audience takes a special combination of mentoring ability, personality and a knack for thinking quickly on one’s feet.

A willingness to participate in hella-goofy skits helps, too. (They are par for the course.)

So which of the show’s 20+ coaches have had what it takes to click with not only their team members but viewers as well? Before Season 26’s fall premiere seats rookies Michael Bublé and Snoop Dogg next to returning coaches Reba McEntire and Gwen Stefani, TVLine asked itself exactly that question.

Below, you’ll find our rankings for all of The Voice’s coaches, from the best of the best (whose name may or may not rhyme with Shake Meltin’) to… well, the rest. They’ve been judged on their track records, of course. But also taken into consideration has been their ability to connect — first and foremost with their contestants but, just as importantly, with us.

To see who came out on top — or, perhaps more interestingly, who didn’t — just keep scrolling. Then hit the comments with the order in which you’d have placed the coaches.

20. Shakira

20. Shakira
20. Shakira

Season(s): 4, 6. Number of wins: 0. Reason for the ranking: The bonds that the “Hips Don’t Lie” singer formed with her contestants seemed as genuine as her enthusiasm. But as winning as her personality was, she didn’t just lose both of her seasons, she didn’t even manage to get a single contestant to the finale.

19. Nick Jonas

19. Nick Jonas
19. Nick Jonas

Season(s): 18, 20. Number of wins: 0. Reason for the ranking: The hottest of the Jonas Brothers galvanized the sing-off with boyish charm and a mile-wide competitive streak. Trouble was, he never scribbled in Nick’s Notes™ a strategy that was foolproof enough to usher a contestant over the finish line.

18. Ariana Grande

18. Ariana Grande
18. Ariana Grande

Season(s): 21. Number of wins: 0. Reason for the ranking: Once she loosened up, the “Dangerous Woman” singer impressed with her technical analyses of the performances as well as her tearfully heartfelt connections with her team members. If only that had led any of her contestants to the finale.

17. Camila Cabello

17. Camila Cabello
17. Camila Cabello

Season(s): 22. Number of wins: 0. Reason for the ranking: The X-Factor grad made a charming addition to the coaching panel, armed as she was with a playful kid-sister energy. And at least she managed to get one singer to the finale (Morgan Myles, who came in third place).

16. Dan + Shay

16. Dan + Shay
16. Dan + Shay

Season(s): 25. Number of wins: 0. Reason for the ranking: Though the country-pop tag team struck out in their rookie season, their boundless enthusiasm still managed to win us over (and make it worthwhile for the show to have engineered a special double chair for the duo).

15. Miley Cyrus

15. Miley Cyrus
15. Miley Cyrus

Season(s): 11, 13. Number of wins: 0. Reason for the ranking: The erstwhile Hannah Montana brought to The Voice an irreverent vivacity. But winning the show takes more than a winning personality, it takes song selections that leave viewers going “Aw, yeah!” instead of “Yeah, no.”

14. CeeLo Green

14. CeeLo Green
14. CeeLo Green

Season(s): 1-3, 5. Number of wins: 0. Reason for the ranking: Although the Grammy-winning “F–k You” vocalist never managed to steer a contestant to victory, he remains one of the sing-offs more memorable coaches, owing to a wardrobe that rivals Gwen Stefani’s and a purr-fectly adorable sidekick.

13. Jennifer Hudson

13. Jennifer Hudson
13. Jennifer Hudson

Season(s): 13, 15. Number of wins: 0. Reason for the ranking: We’ll excitedly throw a shoe the day that the Oscar-winning American Idol alum reclaims her red swivel chair. She may not have ushered anyone into the winners’ circle, but she infused the panel with a much-needed jolt of energy.

12. Usher

Season(s): 4, 6. Number of wins: 1. Reason for the ranking: Even Blake Shelton can’t say that his contestants won half the seasons that he was a Voice coach. What’s more, Usher made his chair a hot seat by occasionally pulling out some fancy footwork and regularly demonstrating his way with words.

11. Gwen Stefani

11. Gwen Stefani
11. Gwen Stefani

Season(s): 7, 9, 12, 17, 19, 22, 24, 26. Number of wins: 1. Reason for the ranking: Even on a show where the commentary often lacks substance, the former No Doubt frontwoman’s remarks stand out like empty speech bubbles. Like CeeLo Green before her, she’s likelier to be remembered for her wardrobe than her coaching.

10. Chance the Rapper

10. Chance the Rapper
10. Chance the Rapper

Season(s): 23, 25. Number of wins: 0. Reason for the ranking: Fellow Season 23 rookie Niall Horan took the win, but the hip-hop star still made a lasting first impression with his sense of humor and obliviousness to classic songs. (TVLine deeply inhaled the breath of fresh air that the duo brought to the show.)

9. Reba McEntire

9. Reba McEntire
9. Reba McEntire

Season(s): 24-. Number of wins: 1. Reason for the ranking: Picking up where OG Blake Shelton left off, the country legend steered Asher HaVon to victory in her second season with a unique method of offering feedback. And every step of the way, she was, as she’d put it, just as cute as a button.

8. Alicia Keys

8. Alicia Keys
8. Alicia Keys

Season(s): 11-12, 14. Number of wins: 1. Reason for the ranking: A Grammy winner 15 times over (and counting), Keys added to the coaching panel a welcome dose of serenity; when she spoke, contestants didn’t just believe her, they felt her. Plus, she shined a spotlight on the sublime Chris Blue.

7. Christina Aguilera

7. Christina Aguilera
7. Christina Aguilera

Season(s): 1-3, 5, 8, 10. Number of wins: 1. Reason for the ranking: It took the Grammy winner (quite) a while to find her footing. But once she sprung that genie from a bottle, so to speak, she entered the record books by becoming the first female coach to emerge victorious (in her final season, with Alisan Porter).

6. John Legend

6. John Legend
6. John Legend

Season(s): 16-22, 24-25. Number of wins: 1. Reason for the ranking: The EGOT winner made a lasting first impression with Maelyn Jarmon’s victory in his inaugural season. Since then, he’s proven to be a formidable recruiter and, appealingly, one who wears his heart on his always-chic sleeve.

5. Pharrell Williams

5. Pharrell Williams
5. Pharrell Williams

Season(s): 7-10. Number of wins: 1. Reason for the ranking: Though the “Happy” singer only made a victor of Season 8’s Sawyer Fredericks, he’s still a standout in our book for the way he looked out for the contestants — to the point that he’d stick with underdogs assuming the MVPs would be stolen.

4. Niall Horan

4. Niall Horan
4. Niall Horan

Season(s): 23, 24. Number of wins: 2. Reason for the ranking: Two seasons, two wins — there’s a tough-to-beat track record for ya, eh? On top of that, the former One Direction heartthrob gamely mugs his way through the goofy schtick that had always been the stock-in-trade of “dad” Blake Shelton.

3. Kelly Clarkson

3. Kelly Clarkson
3. Kelly Clarkson

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Season(s): 14-21, 23. Number of wins: 4. Reason for the ranking: Sure, the “She talks a lot” schtick got old fast. But the first-ever American Idol winner was spirited and fun, racked up an enviable number of victories and made Voice history with the show’s first group win (Season 21’s superlative Girl Named Tom).

2. Adam Levine

2. Adam Levine
2. Adam Levine

Season(s): 1-16. Number of wins: 3. Reason for the ranking: No coach ever sparked more brightly with Blake Shelton than Maroon 5’s frontman. And while his competitive streak made him highly enjoyable for a long time, it ultimately led to an exit that left many a viewer puckered up from the taste of sour grapes.

1. Blake Shelton

1. Blake Shelton
1. Blake Shelton

Season(s): 1-23. Number of wins: 9. Reason for the ranking: The Voice’s GOAT was altogether right to anoint himself the king of the sing-off. Not only has he racked up more wins than any other coach, but his contestants have by and large gone on to the most successful post-show careers.

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