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'The Voice' recap: Anybody's game
November 27, 2012 - April Diodato
Two steps forward, three steps back. Every time I think one act is a shoo-in for the finale or guaranteed to get the axe, somebody steps up while another one chokes, and things get shaken up again. Each remaining contestant has had at least one spectacular performance and one poor showing. I'll say this for season three of “The Voice” – after the fairly lackluster battle portion, the singers have kept things interesting for the live shows. You never know what you're going to get on Monday and Tuesday nights.
The top eight performed on Monday, with mixed results. There's three weeks until the finale and it's still anybody's game at this point. Here's my assessment of who will live to sing another day and who's shaking in their boots tonight:
Top Two of the Night: Amanda Brown and Nicholas David. Brown took a big risk singing Adele's “Someone Like You” – as soon as she named her selection (and it was revealed that she'd be up first, the kiss of death this season), I thought, “She's toast!” Nobody can do Adele as well as Adele; I think there should be a ban on singing her songs. Brown put her own rocker twist on it, which showcased her voice perfectly, and it paid off. David continues to get better every week, with another excellent song choice (Marvin Gaye's “What's Going On”). I've loved his soulful voice since his audition but wasn't sure how far he'd make it, but after the last two weeks, he's racing ahead while former frontrunners are falling behind. David seems to have developed quite a following, though, and there's no one else like him – and that's what fans love most about him.
Two Safe Ladies: Cassadee Pope and Melanie Martinez. Both delivered good performances – not their best, but not their worst – and secured spots in the iTunes top 10. They've certainly proved that they can sell and have dedicated fan bases; Pope's song from last week is still in the top 20 on iTunes. Instead of doing more angsty tunes in the vein of Avril Lavigne, I wish she'd do more of the country-infused songs that worked so well for her. I still feel she lacks some originality – she's even rocking Lavigne's tried-and-true weave. Martinez is still one of my favorites and I'm happy to see she'll be around for at least another week.
Two Who Need to Step Their Game Up: Trevin Hunte and Dez Duron. I liked Duron's performance the least – a Justin Bieber song, for crying out loud! – but the 13-year-old girls of America won't let him go. He's got a pretty face and a pretty good voice – good enough for a boy band. Hunte, another one I doubt will get outvoted, has been resting on his laurels for too long. His pick last night, Whitney Houston's “Greatest Love of All,” bored me to tears. He's done so many ballads from the legendary pop divas of our time that it all blends together after awhile. I'd love to see him sing something more upbeat, but not another awful club tune – my suggestions: “Chain of Fools” or “Respect” by Aretha Franklin, or “Something's Got Ahold of Me” by Etta James.
Two in Trouble: Cody Belew and Terry McDermott. Belew was overpowered by the gospel choir behind him in “Somebody to Love” and lacked the booty-shaking that his fans demand. McDermott started out shaky with “Over,” and unfortunately, I fear he might be “over,” too. A couple of iffy weeks are enough to get anyone ousted when only eight remain.
“The Voice” results will be revealed at 8 p.m. tonight on NBC.