MIDWEST MIKE and MIDWEST MO can poke fun at the seemingly hundreds of singing shows all they want to, but I have a soft spot for THE VOICE. I like the fact that they approach it from an angle of talent first rather than make fun of a bunch of idiots first. While it’s fun to laugh at the idiots on AMERICAN IDOL, the whole show is a bit too poppy for my taste and doesn’t have much variety in musical choices.
THE VOICE brings Rock, Pop and Country all together as well as good staging and interesting songs to keep it exciting. The judges ADAM LEVINE, CHRISTINA AGUILERA, CEE LO GREEN and BLAKE SHELTON are all fairly entertaining and genuine (minus Christina in the genuine department). Each and every one of them are self respecting musicians/artists and add their own flair in the mix. Sometimes I wish they would have harsher critiques for their contestants, but at the end of the day that just isn’t what the show is all about.
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In season 1 and 2, I noticed a trend where the initial team-filling episodes were good, the battle rounds are lame and the elimination episodes leading up to the finals are great. Battle rounds essentially pit two people together one-upping themselves in a messy duet when they have no place in a duet to begin with. The elimination rounds are where things get interesting. CEE LO’S flamboyancy always shows with his song, costume and staging choices and the talent only gets sharper. I have whole heartedly disagreed with the last two winners, but the runner-ups were quite good and kept the show worth watching.
Since Cee Lo and Christina are eliminating themselves from the show after this season, they don’t seem as into it as they usually were. This season does not have any of the creative flair that the prior two had and the entire show is trending closer to AMERICAN IDOL than ever. For purposes of MWTVG I thought it would be wise to not comment on it until the eliminations, but the eliminations have not been interesting enough to talk about yet. Being the second to last round, I might as well break it down a little bit.
Season 3 theme: Dudes singing chick songs.
In the semifinals, Adam and Christina’s teams are both completely eliminated, leaving Team Blake duking it out with Team Cee Lo. The only real unfortunate here is Melanie Martinez’s departure from last week, as she was my favorite to win the whole thing. Truly an artist, she took complete control of every performance from song choice to costumes to sets and they were always done up to the nines. At the end of the day she was probably a bit too indie for folks, and it’s a shame she’s gone.
As a quick breakdown of performances tonight:
Trevin Hunte channeled his inner Bette Midler to belt out Wind Beneath My Wings. Terrible song choice in my book both because it’s not energetic enough and he delivered it flatter than Christina Aguilera’s fake personality. This would be a classic example of where I would want the coaches to tear into him a little bit, but the feedback was universally “great job, Trevin”. I don’t get it.
Nicholas David takes his funk-soul Kermit the Frog voice out on “You Are So Beautiful” as he sings to his wife and his son. Touching. Seriously though, this guy is the most realistic looking Muppet to ever come out of Jim Henson’s shop. One ‘muppet of a man’, if you will accept my MUPPETS movie reference. I suppose he has a lot of talent in the funk department… too bad I’m nowhere near a fan of funk.
Team Blake reunites to sing “White Christmas”. Blake always looks looks awkward as hell when he performs, but he has one heck of a country voice.
Cassadee Pope sings Keith Urban’s Stupid Boy and clearly has the best performance of the night up to that point. She has cornered the market on angry chick songs thus far (Pink, Kelly Clarkson, Avril Lavigne, Michelle Branch, etc) and this one is no different. She also effectively brings the ‘cute girl’ vibe and has a fantastic set of pipes. If I had to guess (and all prior trending aside), she will win.
The classic rocker Terry McDermott nailed Let it Be flanked by a troupe of gospel-y singers. I’ve liked Terry the entire time and find his taste in rock tunes refreshing. He’s had one or two misfires that seriously stretched his superior vocal range along the way, but him hanging on thus far should mean he’s easily going to the finals. What he lacks in stage personality he makes up for in sheer vocal strength that he brings to each and every performance.
Quick, somebody sneeze on Howie Mandel… he’s captive audience!
Michael Buble is the special musical guest and smooth croons Baby Please Come Home. Every time I think of Michael Buble, I think of one of my favorite internet memes “Michael Buble Being Stalked by a Velociraptor” (hit the link for hundreds of them). Michael Buble was appropriately Michael Buble-y.
Overall, pretty low key performances with the two highlights of Terry and Cassadee. Tomorrow night we see one person eliminated and the remaining three get to the finals. Does anybody else like THE VOICE? Who is your favorite to win?