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'The Voice' recap – Frenetic finale
December 18, 2012 - April Diodato
Surrounded by their season three proteges, “The Voice” coaches led a touching tribute to the victims of the Newtown, Conn., shooting, singing “Hallelujah” before the show's final night of performances began. It was a sweet, somber moment of reflection. Unfortunately, it was all downhill from there.
Everything that followed the tribute was a puzzling hodgepodge of song and dance, as if they had run out of steam after organizing the show's opening. After following the competition for three months through many highs and lows, it felt strange, confusing and chaotic. There was Nicholas David's final performance, an excellent, energetic medley of “Great Balls of Fire/Fire,” followed by an announcement from Carson Daly that the contestants would be singing their biggest hits for a second time. As I struggled to figure out why this was necessary, Cassadee Pope took the stage in a glittering gown to re-do her breakout performance of “Over You” – after which the coaches strained to come up with new praise for Pope's execution of a song that she had already done. The rest of the show was filled with pointless duets, ridiculously elaborate staging, high kicks, ludicrous wigs, zebra separates and even a mini-Cee Lo that stole the show during his performance of “Play that Funky Music” with David.
During the 90-minute episode, I had a lot of questions that will probably remain unanswered:
- Who thought that it was a good idea to have the singers perform their “breakout” songs for a second time? Nicholas David did “Lean on Me” for the first time four weeks ago – the same week that Pope did “Over You.” Terry McDermott sang “I Want to Know What Love Is” just two weeks ago! Were they thinking that they would stage the duplicate performances for viewers who were “just tuning in?" And if so, that doesn't make any sense. There aren't going to be a lot of viewers jumping in for the last two shows of the season, and if anyone needed to play catch-up, that's what YouTube is for.
- Even more senseless was the decision to include coaches' commentary after those performances. It JUST HAPPENED. It's plenty fresh in our minds. Why waste our time?
- If you're going to have the contestants perform two songs, how about two songs that we haven't heard before?
- Why was Christina Aguilera dressed like she was portraying the Penguin in a cabaret revival of “Batman Returns?”
- Is there any doubt that Pope will be crowned the winner? The format of the show seemed designed to set her up for a victory, from “Over You” to her show-closing, tear-jerking performance of “Cry.” Both of her songs from last night are in the top 10 of the iTunes top 100. Does that mean that they will multiply her results by 10,000? I'm not even going to try to understand anymore.
Against all odds, I'm still holding out hope for a McDermott win. In my opinion, he's got the best voice out of the three finalists. Poor guy looked like he needed a hug after “Broken Wings” – he recovered with grace after there was a malfunction with the sound in the beginning of his performance.
I feel cheated by Monday's show, and I suspect that tonight's grand finale will be even more anticlimactic. Tune in tonight, NBC, 9 p.m.; expect the winner to be announced close to 11 p.m.
I'll be back tomorrow with a full report.