Okay Silvio, calm down. You have to write. Let’s roll then!
So, last night was the final performance night on the Voice. Coaches went all out, with fiery performances (I’m looking at you, C-Lo) and ultra famous friends (cough cough Xtina). And boy did it pay off. After the season finale of Idol season 8 which was by any standards, brilliant, there is the pre-finale of the Voice. For a freshman show, The Voice stole everything it could, and broke the myth that is American Idol. Kudos NBC!
The night was conceived this way: every artist would have to sing an unreleased song and a duet with their coach. Because I think it is beneath a moment like this to comment on the “pitch” issues, I will try to take the time to say what I humbly think of the contestants and the coaches on the first season of America’s biggest surprise. Aren’t you happy Xtina forgot the words of the Anthem now?
We kick of the night with the heavily pimped Javier Colon. This guy has sailed through the elimination rounds, because of his unique voice and his above average control. His first performances were based on his ostentatious melisma, but, slowly but surely he released that excessive amount of vibration, and kept all that was likeable. Tonight he sings Stitch by Stitch, and I am impressed by his vocal maturity and delivery, but not by the song. My favorite song is Cosmic Love of Florence + the Machine, a gargantuan epic song, so I am a little bit apprehensive when it comes to songs that are designed to be somewhat flat. This song seemed like it was taken from a box of songs, under the label template number 3. I have to say that I doubt that a massive number one song would be given to a (previously failed) new artist, so, to stay inside the bubble of the reality competition, I will say that the song was nice. Maybe even good, but all because of Javier’s vocals.
For the first duet of the night, Dia and Blake take the stage and perform I Won’t Back Down. I want to say, in this paragraph, a word or two about the coaches. So, out of the superstars that the Vice offered us, I confess that Blake is my favorite. This comes like a bit of a surprise for me, as in the beginning this was the one guy I hadn’t heard of. But with his pure, loving and friendly attitude, with the heart of a real country boy, Blake nurtured his acts to the maximum. They thrive with him. I cannot forget about the semifinals, when he chose to give both girls equal points, even though he knew Dia was heads and shoulders above Xenia. His eyes were filled with tears, he genuinely loved his girls. I really think that after all is said and done, he will be the only one who will keep contact with his acts. Bravo Blake! You are the best!
For the second single, we are treated to an energetic performance from Vicci Martinez. I have to say, I entered the final convinced that I would root for her, but something happened along the way, which made me kind of lose faith in her. She started her journey with Adele, and kept going with Pink, Dolly Parton and Florence Welch. She always had the right song, but at a certain moment in time, I started looking at her performance as less than whole. This is not to say that that she is bad, far from it, but I had higher expectations. Her song, Afraid to Sleep was more linear than advertised it would be, and I was disappointed. But, to be completely fair, she exhibits a stage presence and delivery that is outstanding. She could be singing the alphabet song, and she could sell it. I do not think Vicci could win, not based on only that.
The second duet, and arguably the musically best, is a courtesy of Beverly McClellan and Christina Aguilera. The song is Beautiful, a song from Christina Aguilera (GASP!). Christina’s humility aside, the performance was beautiful. The girls were accompanied by legendary producer Linda Perry, who is also a writer of the song. This was a brilliant moment to showcase the real personality of the rocker that is Beverly, as a sweet, humble, thankful person, who works every inch of her body to earn whatever she gets. I love her. LOVE HER! The song, the delivery, the emotion, added to that the brilliance of Christina’s voice, which in my opinion, it the very definition of the Voice, made for a stellar performance. If it went my way, Beverly would grab the title and the prize. And, to be fair to the format of my review, imma talk about lady Xtina too. She is the best vocalist EVER, in my opinion. I love her runs, her delivery, her everything. But as a coach she leaves something to be desired. I cannot get over the Frenchie performances (save the last, which I enjoyed), Lily’s win over Cherie, and Raquel’s screaming. I do not think she made all the right choices, and to think that she’s been on the business since the age of nine, I was disappointed… To be fair, in the last two weeks, she made a U-turn, and killed it. Maybe she needed to warm up. Maybe she was too full of herself in the beginning. But I can say with conviction, she really worked with Beverly, and did everything to open her up, to showcase her arsenal. I am going to be neutral, and hope that in the following season, she is even better.
Moving on. Next up, it’s Dia’s single, Inventing Shadows, which in my opinion, won the race for single of the season. It was so ethereal, so pretty, so pure. It was a song which can survive in the real music industry. It was a shout out to the evolution of the girl. Even as a member of a sister duo in the real life, Dia never had the confidence to look away from the pavement. She showcased herself as a true artist, one who can pour individuality in whatever she does. One would think that her performances would get boring from a point, but I think that her vocal arrangements, coupled with her purity in her mimic, always win for her. If my Beverly doesn’t win, I would be very content if this talent wins.
The penultimate duet of the night is Adam and Javier’s. They sing Man in the Mirror. Adam Levine, front man of Maroon 5, was the one I liked in the beginning. He was funny, picky, and I really felt for him, because who would choose Adam over Xtina or C-Lo? I still like, like him, maybe him not being brilliant was because he didn’t have much to work with. He helped Javier get rid of the melisma, so, in my book, he did do something right. And about the song, it was generic. Didn’t like it. Meh.
The last single is Beverly’s. Because she’s a rocker, they gave her a rock record, Lovesick. Except that, I don’t really think it was that explosive track I had linked to her personality. Like Vicci, the years of performing taught her how to sell it, but unlike Vicci she did nomething with the song, which was at the very least exciting. I mean the piano part. When she came to touch it, there was chemistry, a musicality that flowed through, and gave heart to everyone. This girl is rich in her musical profile, so I really believe she should be the Voice.
And, to close the show in the most glorious and lavish way, C-Lo and Vicci perform Love is a Battlefield. In a spiky red costume, with a brilliant red Mohawk, kid dancers, C-Lo appears, followed by the Xena-themed Vicci, singing with raw passion an amazing song. C-Lo has been the coach to beat. He was professional, cordial and weirdly articulate for a black guy. I am sorry if I sound racist, but after hearing Randy Jackson “comment” on performances for 5 seasons on Idol, I had a pre-conceived opinion. Well, glad to be wrong. Not to lose perspective, C-Lo was great. He gave the right advice, picked the right song, created the right staging. Go C-Lo! Go Go!
And with that, the night concludes itself. And what a night it was. Ah, also, there were a couple of performances from some guys, but they aren’t worth mentioning. There were some hot hot dancers, so I am gonna give thanks to that.
Tonight the Voice airs one hour earlier, and the winner will be announced. Go Beverly!!! Whoooho!