| || |
'The Voice' recap: Sinking ships
November 13, 2012 - April Diodato
I appreciate the fact that “The Voice” seems to have taken viewer input into consideration while reconfiguring the rules this season – a bold move, considering how successful the show's first two seasons were. In show business these days, sticking to a winning formula is favored over any innovation, as we've seen with all of the sequels, prequels, remakes, reboots and “re-imaginings.” I just wish that “The Voice” would have issued a pamphlet or something, because until this afternoon, I could not fathom how the eliminations were being done from this point forward. Carson Daly lost me when he started talking about how contestants' sales on iTunes would factor in, something about multiplying the votes times 10 … I wondered, "Should I break out my calculator for this?"
I've scoured the Internet, and here's what I've found (for anyone as confused as I was): two singers will get the axe each week, and it doesn't matter what team they're on. Contestants will also benefit from iTunes sales – here's how, according to the show's official website at nbc.com:
“If any of an artists' eligible songs from the live performances (airing beginning Nov. 12, 2012) are in the top 10 of the iTunes 'Top 200 Singles Chart' at the close of the episode's applicable voting window, that artist will receive an 'iTunes Bonus,' which multiplies the artist's iTunes votes by ten (10). The iTunes Bonus will be added to the total number of telephone votes, online votes and Sprint SMS text message votes in each week to determine which artists will advance in the competition. There will be no iTunes Bonus available to the artists in connection with voting for the finale.”
I'm not sure how I feel about this new iTunes bonus, but I am happy that this new method of eschewing the teams will hopefully result in the best singers making the finals. The way they did it last year resulted in some duds making it farther than the top talent; somewhere, Jamar Rogers is shaking his head and wishing he would have tried out for season 3 instead.
Last night was an interesting night on “The Voice.” I thought I knew who would end up in the finals, but two of the strongest singers on the show stumbled last night – and others I had written off really surprised me. Here's my assessment:
Best Performance: Trevin Hunte nailed his performance of “When a Man Loves a Woman.” This 18-year-old from Queens could give Mariah and Aretha a run for their money with that voice of his. Last night earned him front-runner status, knocking Amanda Brown out of the top spot.
Breakout Moment: My jaw hit the floor when Bryan Keith brought out his Sinatra swagger and absolutely killed it with his rendition of Amy Winehouse's “Back to Black.” He was the second best of the night, and I now consider him a true contender.
Worst Song Choice: Celine Dion's “My Heart Will Go On,” by Sylvia Yacoub. A standout singer last week, that song sunk her ship. Commentary from the coaches could be summed up as follows: you decided to sing a song that nobody should attempt to sing; thanks for showing up.
Biggest Step Backward: Amanda Brown, last week's best singer, flopped with Florence + the Machine's "Spectrum." It wasn't the worst, but it wasn't great – which we've come to expect – and she was a bit off during the entire performance. I doubt that the coaches' raves about last week's excellent work did much to buoy her spirit. If she makes it (and she should), she shouldn't stray too far from the powerful rock songs that have helped her to stand out thus far. I always cringe when someone decides to try something wildly different at this stage of the game. It's important not to play it too safe, however, it's just as paramount to stick to what you're good at.
Most in Need of a Hug: Terry McDermott looked crestfallen when he failed to hit some of the crucial notes in “More Than a Feeling.” He seemed extremely nervous during the entire song, without the ease and confidence he's shown thus far. Poor guy. He has a family to support, which is a concern that few of the remaining singers have, and my heart broke for him. The only singer more sad than McDermott is Brown.
My Most Reluctant Admission: Dez Duron did really well last night. I agree with the coaches' comments about him finally finding a song that fit his voice and his style. I think he would have gotten voted through regardless of how well he sang due to his fervent teen fan base, though.
Most Expendable: Adriana Louise gave a flat, forgettable performance. I also wouldn't miss Cassadee Pope or Yacoub after last night. To quote the late Jack Dawson from “Titanic” -- and listen carefully, girl: “You learn to take life as it comes at you... to make each day count.” If you're lucky enough to survive another week, better make that next performance count! And stay away from Celine Dion's greatest hits.