Wednesday, June 8, 2011

The Voice: A Reality Show I'll Watch

I'm not a fan of reality all.  I watched the first four American Idols and then I realized that most of them are awful and American voters for the show were tweens and teens obssessed with the people they see.  It was never about talent.  It was always about: can this person sell based on their look?

The Voice is entirely different.  I had to catch up after the first three shows because I didn't want to watch it.  I refuse to support stupidity and terrible writing.  People should be on TV for being good at something worthwhile being good at.  Right?  So what kept me watching The Voice?  The judges have great connections with the contestants and with each other.  It makes for a fun watch.  The judges work one on one with them, lending them their expertise.  It's not just waiting until the last minute.  The judges know the contestant's strengths and help build them.  Blake Shelton, CeeLo Green, and Adam Levine are especially great together and are all hilarious.  But then there's the mess that's Christina Aguilera.

I don't know Miss Aguilera as a person, but on the show, she comes off as condescending and mean.  I think she means to have banter with the judges, but her jokes fall flat and come across as rude and obnoxious.  She also seems to have chosen only people with strong voices, which I get, but she's also trying to make them just. like. her.

As of last night's episode, 7, we have our teams for each judge narrowed down to four.  Last night's was Blake Shelton's and Christina Aguilera's.  Not one of these artists are terrible; we're literally down to some of the best singers that can compete with anyone on the radio or on independent labels.  I am upset, though, that Elenowen was kicked off (I just wanted to get that out there).  So how did each fare in my eyes?

Team Blake
Xenia Martinez
Xenia was outstanding in her rendition "Price Tag," a song I've never even heard before, but I'm sure I won't like the original better than this.  Her voice blended perfectly with the bubbly happiness that the song's message sends.  She was happy; for once, not deathly afraid!  I love listening to her voice.  Blake was right about her, and I hope that America or Blake keeps her in.

Jared Blake
Jared seems to not have much original.  He seems like a Southern Rockified Chris Daughtry.  Not too original.  For some reason, he has a stage presence.  I don't care much about stage presence.  It can help sometimes, but it's all about the music to me.  He does a satisfactory job, but he doesn't stand out among what's popular on the radio, which might be a problem.  He did very well on his cover of "Use Somebody," which I'm not fond of, and he didn't make me like it either.  I'm certain America will keep him, though, I don't want them to.

Dia Frampton
Dia Frampton is AMAZING!  She will be huge some day, even if she doesn't win this competition.  I love the tone of her voice and her quietness.  She doesn't need to be loud to be powerful.  When she covered Kanye's song, I felt like she has written it herself.  It's so rare to hear a cover so different from its original.  Dolly Parton did it with "Stairway to Heaven" and Whitney did it with Dolly's "I Will Always Love You" (though I don't like Whitney's version...she took the simplicity of the song away making it less powerful because it was overdone).  Anyway, Dia swept this round away.  She'll surely move on.  I think if America doesn't keep her, Blake will.

Patrick Thomas
Patrick has something that Country music is missing: soul.  I respect his voice and his style.  I think he's suited for Southern Gospel.  He sounds just like a lot of those artists, not that it's a problem.  Let's have one in Country.  Why not?  He has Josh Turner's tone but the flare of The Crabb Family.  I'm just not a fan, especially of his rendition of "I Hope You Dance."  It was nice, but it didn't do anything for me, like it did for the judges.  I did not pee or cream my pants or want to tear his pants off.  I was not impressed, but I guess I'm missing something.  It's hard to tell if he'll be passed through.  I'm going to say no.

Team Shelton sang "This Love" and did very well on it.  Shelton chose a great song to showcase the vocals of his crew.  I'm glad it wasn't one of his songs, but rather he chose what he thought would suit his members best.  It worked.  So well.  The only one that didn't seem to blend in was Patrick.

Team Christina
Frenchie Davis
I think Frenchie is a fantastic singer.  She's got great technique and vocally nearly perfect, but it's not too different from Aretha Franklin or Sharon Jones.  But she is the most melodic and has the best presence and voice.  She did a great job on "When Love Takes Over."  No problems at all.  I think she'll be kept in.

Beverly McClellan
Beverly kicks ass.  She has power; she knows how to rock her voice.  I love her, and she can own a song, but she she has a few downfalls that the judges seem to not notice.  What was missing from her performance of "I'm the Only One" was the melody.  Beverly needs to be more melodical in her vocals; she tends to rush through the end of a line, screaming notes around the actual melody, rather than following the melody.  Her fashion is also incredible.  I'm a fan.  I think she'll continue.  She's cute and dynamic and

Raquel Castro
Raquel wanted to show America she had the entire package, but it's about the voice.  I think her dancing took away from her vocals.  Her voice became unstable.  She's pitchy.  But she's young.  I think with training and age, she'll be great.  The potential is definitely there.  But she's too nasally.  I say she's out.

Lily Elise
I admire the adorable Lily.  I think she sounds wonderful, but only when she sings in a normal tone.  In "Big Girls Don't Cry" she tried to pull some Aguilera moves and get loud.  It didn't work for her.  Her squeals were a little annoying at the emotional build up.  Her power vocals were okay, but not much different from any other pop artist who can belt something out.  But during the verses, she was lovely.  I think Lily needs to find a style and stick with it; she sounded a bit like Duffy at some points but different enough to be her own.  It was a little all over the place (granted she was scared, I think).  But I'm pulling for her to move on to the next round, but I doubt she will. 

The team's version of Aguilera's "Lady Marmalade" was terrible, being all over the place and mostly a Christina show.  Can you tell I'm not a fan of what most people consider power vocals?  You have to use your voice well to have a powerful voice to me.

So who's moving on?
Dia Frampton
Jared Blake (though I soooo hope it's Xenia)
Beverly McClellan
Frenchie Davis

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