''The Voice'': Our Top 10

6. Naia Kete, 22
How she describes her sound: ''I call it a blend of pop, reggae, and soul.''
Background: Naia ''grew up in a musical family,'' she says, playing in a family reggae group since age 12. At 17, she recorded her own album independently before moving to L.A. and becoming a street musician.
Why she's one to watch: Naia is a rugged, soulful busker with a coffeehouse vibe, as she exhibited in her Norah Jones-y rendition of ''The Lazy Song.'' It was exactly the style that excelled on the show last season (see: Dia Frampton), which probably explains why coach Blake said he ''fell in love'' with her distinctive voice.

7. Lindsey Pavao, 22
How she describes her sound: ''Sincere, introverted garage rock.''
Background: She's performed in packed garages and coffee shops in the Sacramento area as part of her high school band A Colourado and the acoustic duo Boxes.
Why she's one to watch: Of all the female contestants with unusual voices and even more unusual hair — and this season there are quite a few — Lindsey seems like the real deal. She infused her lilting singer-songwriter flair (coach Christina Aguilera called it her ''uniqueness'') into, of all things, Trey Songz's ''Say Aah.''

8. James Massone, 24
How he describes his sound: ''Little white kid who kind of sounds like he's a black kid.''
Background: The native Bostonian had never pursued music before his Voice audition. Instead he spent his days working in the family auto-body shop, which his grandfather started 60 years ago.
Why he's one to watch: While many contestants gravitate toward a more pop/rock sound, James' reedy tenor lends itself most naturally to R&B or hip-hop jams, and he lists Bruno Mars and Ne-Yo as influences. Plus, that Boston accent is pretty chaahming!

9. Jesse Campbell, 42
How he describes his sound: ''Heart-centered, universal music with soul.''
Background: Campbell released an R&B album through Capitol Records in the mid-'90s, but after the label dropped him, he sang on the streets for a time and battled a ''deep-rooted unworthiness'' as a singer, sticking to the safe route of singing hymns.
Why he's one to watch: Plain and simple, he has the goods — a pure, chill-inducing voice that no doubt brought tears to viewers' eyes and inspired one of the fastest four-chair turnarounds ever.

10. Jamie Lono, 22
How he describes his sound: ''Honest, genuine, pure.''
Background: Aside from small gigs in local Chicago coffeehouses (and the sandwich shop where he works), Jamie hasn't had much of a chance to show off his music. Still, he's been honing his songwriting skills for about four years.
Why he's one to watch:
His warm tone is like a happy blend of Gavin DeGraw and Ray LaMontagne, and it already has audiences swooning. His growly take on ''Folsom Prison Blues'' was a highlight of the blind auditions.

What's the deal with that cat?
''I told [producers] I wanted a nod to iconic villains like Dr. Evil,'' Cee Lo explains of Purrfect, the fluffy white Persian he's been seen with this season. Since her Voice debut, Purrfect (who is actually owned by Benay's Bird & Animal Rentals) has attracted more than 23,000 followers on Twitter (@purrfectthecat), where she posts about coaches' #catfights and her #whitecatproblems. So does Purrfect get paid in treats? ''I'm the only treat she needs,'' Cee Lo quips. —Melissa Maerz

Originally posted Mar 02, 2012 Published in issue #1197 Feb 09, 2012 Order article reprints