The Voice: Finals Review

Um, wow.

Last week, Dia Frampton’s “Losing My Religion” set her apart from the pack.

This week, the pack caught up.

Each performer did two numbers, one as a solo of a new, previous unrecorded song, and one as a duet with their coach. Carson told us repeatedly, that we, as the audience, were to base our votes solely on the solo performances. Yeah, that’s how it works, right.

I’m as objective as people come but I would not be able to avoid having my opinion swayed by the duet performances.

Review, in order of appearance:

Javier Colon opened with a song called “Stitch By Stitch”. The song was very well written and did Javier justice. He sang it well. I know I was already thinking that Dia was going to be in trouble.

Blake is inspirational in the way he mentors his contestants. To see him singing Tom Petty’s “I Won’t Back Down” onstage with Dia and both in matching outfits and matching guitars was fun. (Blake’s camo painted guitar and the guitar he gave Dia – in pink camo) The song was performed well with Dia adding her personal variation to her verses and Blake adding a little country to his. My one nit, when Blake said “Watch this”, the camera panned to the backup band and we missed his synchronized head bobbing with Dia.

Vicci Martinez’s personal new song was called “Afraid to Sleep”. It was also top notch material and a top notch performance. Dia wasn’t so far ahead of the pack as I thought.

Beverly McClellan and Christina Aguilera sat onstage and sang “Beautiful” along with the songwriter and the studio band. It was touching and, well, beautiful. Their wonderful performance was then tempered by a preview of American Idol alum Katharine McPhee’s upcoming show which showcased her rendition of “Beautiful.” I’m not sure it helped and it might have hurt the perceptions of the duet.

Dia Frampton got the mimes in back lighted screens when she sang “Inventing Shadows”. Mimes are distracting. (A mime, in “The Voice” vernacular, is a boring, non-interactive, background dancer). The song, when I could pay attention to it was something I could see being played on the radio. In that, Dia has won in my mind. But, in honest, objective critical review, she’s not far ahead of the pack.

Javier Colon and Adam Levine sang “Man in the Mirror” by the late MJ. Okay, I’ve seen this song on so many singing shows that I had to skip it. I ended up being forced to watch commercials for the last forty minutes of the show because I fast forwarded through this duet, but I believe it was worth it. What I did catch of the song was a cookie cutter clone of the original. Good singing, but, Yawn!

Beverly McClellan’s own personal single, “Love Sick”, was just as good as the other solos. Again,I could see it getting radio time. Beverly’s been a small venue act for a long long time. I suspect she will be moving up the size of the venues.

Pat Benatar’s “Love Is a Battlefield” will never be the same. Vicci Martinez and Cee Lo Green killed it, in the best possible way. I can see why Carson had to keep reminding the viewing audience to base their votes on the solo performances. Cee Lo certainly knows how to put on a show. He showed up in red leather armor (made from football pads) with huge spikes and he was sporting a red mohawk. He was surrounded by, and I’m guessing here and don’t ask me how I recognize them, Rage Crew’s younger male dancers. In walks Vicci with the haunting ‘Whoaohohohahaho” from the song, she surrounded by Rage Crew’s younger female dancers. They proceeded to steal the show in a mock battle of dance, often highlighted by aerials from Rage Crew boys. This is what I’m talking about when I open my blog with “Um, Wow.” Find it, watch it. The audio of the song was good, but the visuals of the performance were far beyond expectations.

So wil Dia maintain her lead? I really can’t say. I can’t even guess. If itunes is the measuring stick, Dia is a sure thing. She is, at my last check, the #1 download on itunes, Javier is #3. Javier’s Duet with Adam is #10. Adam is also #6 with his day-job band Maroon 5 and Xtina.

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