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'The Voice' recap: Sensational Six
December 4, 2012 - April Diodato
It's been nearly three months since season three of “The Voice” started, and the coaches seem to be running out of praise to heap on the singers each week. I wish I had been keeping a tally of how many times a coach has emphatically said, “This has been the best episode of 'The Voice' EVER,” but in regard to last night's show, I think that statement could finally hold true. It's going to be hard to top some of the astounding performances delivered by the six remaining singers; I don't see how it's possible that the season four singers will be this good. Anyone currently preparing for their auditions probably projectile vomited from the stress after seeing what Trevin Hunte did last night.
With only two weeks remaining until the finale, it's clear that a few of these singers have superhuman vocal abilities. Each one is a great singer, but there are some weaker links left. Will the best vocalists actually make it to the top four?
- Shining Moment of the Season So Far: Hunte brought out the big guns with another “Dreamgirls” number, and just like his audition, he left little doubt that he will be crowned the victor. He tore Jennifer Hudson's “And I'm Telling You I'm Not Going” to shreds. Hunte may have created a problem for himself: what can he possibly do for the finale that will be better than this?
- Best Comeback: I had been worried for Terry McDermott for a couple of weeks – his confidence seemed to have been shaken, audible in his last two performances that didn't quite hit the mark. He returned to his best form last night and sang better than he has on “The Voice” so far – his version of “I Want to Know What Love Is” was perfect from start to finish, and “Stay With Me” didn't have a bad note, either. McDermott is the highest-ranked contestant on the iTunes chart right now, with “I Want to Know What Love Is” in the number two spot. Way to go!
- My Personal Favorite: Is there anything Amanda Brown can't do? Well, there's one thing she hasn't been able accomplish until Monday – getting a genuine compliment from Christina Aguilera. I don't know if Aguilera can't stand to be in the same room as another woman who might be able to sing an Aretha Franklin song better than she could, but it was nice to see her finally give credit where it's due. Brown is my favorite singer still in the competition; who else could follow “(You Make Me Feel Like) A Natural Woman” with Whitesnake's “Here I Go Again,” and do them both equally well? My biggest concern is that she hasn't been able to develop the fan base that some of the other contestants have. I think that it should come down to Brown and Hunte – the battle rounds, and last night, proved that she might be the only one who could be a real match for him. (McDermott is a close second).
- Beauty Blunder: What did we learn from Michaela Paige? Don't mess with your signature 'do! It made me nervous when I saw that Melanie Martinez, whom I adore, switched the lighter half of her two-toned coif to blue. It's too close to the finale to make any major changes to your look! Set down the shocking blue Manic Panic, Martinez and Cassadee Pope. While I'm on the subject of beauty, didn't Brown look particularly gorgeous last night? Whatever it is, keep it up!
- Most Likely To Punch Christina Aguilera In The Face: Martinez wouldn't even lock eyes with Aguilera as she gushed over the show's set designer AGAIN for her second critique of Martinez. (You could feel the tension when coach Adam Levine pointedly mentioned that the idea for the second set was actually a collaboration between him and Martinez). Has she had anything nice to say to Martinez during this whole season? Did she overhear her making a negative comment about her new album, “Lotus,” or something? She's a 17-year-old high school student; you're a 31-year-old pop star. Put the claws away. Martinez's fans on Twitter were calling for Aguilera's resignation, but fret not, Shakira will be taking her place on the panel next season.
- Worst Song Choice: I'm sure Pope's fans will disagree with me, but I cringed when she announced that she'd be singing Avril Lavigne's “I'm With You.” My biggest problem with Pope is that I see her as Avril Lavigne 2.0, right down to the streaky, multicolored hair; I finally saw her shine on her own when she did “Over You.” Country seems to suit her voice best, and I wish she'd steer clear of angst-ridden pop-rock songs from last decade.
- My Picks For The Top Four: The most worthy vocalists are Hunte, Brown, McDermott and Pope. As much as I love Martinez and Nicholas David, there were some problems with their performances last night – they both didn't do enough to show off their strengths. As much as I hate to agree with Aguilera, I, too, would have loved to hear Martinez sing a Fiona Apple song instead of Lenka's “The Show” or “Crazy” by Gnarls Barkley. (The staging on "The Show" was quite distracting as well -- did we need a random dude "paddling" a cardboard canoe next to her while she sang?) I remember her mentioning in an earlier episode that she's still trying to learn how to use her voice, and at 17, there's no shame in that – she's got plenty of time. David' didn't go for the high notes in “September,” and should have tried to rise to the challenge. David and Martinez have both found their respective niches and certainly accrued enough fans to do alright after “The Voice.” I can't wait to see where their careers after the show will go.