The Voice Sends One Home Tonight

Though the format has changed, the suspense hasn’t. Only Blake Shelton and Cee Lo Green have contestants remaining in the semifinals. Adam Levine looked particularly handsome last night, as he continues to dish constructive criticism to those left in the competition.

Only one of my final four is still in the running and he is running S-T-R-O-N-G and I just happen to be listening to him as I’m “penning” my blog entry and that is Terry McDermott. I just checked the iTunes Top Songs and he’s running right behind Cassadee Pope’s stupid performance of Stupid Boy. I apologize, but I’m pulling for Terry all the way and I just won’t apologize.

Besides, as I mentioned in earlier posts, I don’t think The Voice is ready for a female winner – but then you never know.

On a much more solemn note, everyone stopped for a moment of silence last night (Monday) to remember Jenni Rivera who was a big part of The Voice Mexico. She died in a plane crash December 9. She was no featherweight when in comes to record sales, selling more than 15 million albums worldwide.

Team Cee Lo will be down by one come tonight (Tuesday) and I predict that Trevin Hunte will go home. From the numbers on iTunes, Trevin Hunte wasn’t in iTunes Top Singles and less than 500 people had purchased his song “Wind Beneath My Wings.” The other three were in the iTunes Top 10 Singles, Cassadee Pope at #1, Terry McDermott at #2 followed by Nicholas David at #5.

I’m not going to offer any advice or even begin to comment on what would have changed the outcome of this years competition. I picked my favorites weeks ago and only one of mine is in the final four.

Cody Belew

Cody Belew

I still think Cody Belew will go far and when I go out to Vegas next year I expect to see his name up in lights somewhere and I hope I’ll be able to sit in a theater and be utterly entertained by him.

The Voice (NBC) is Down to 8 – My Predictions Were Half Right

Last night (Tuesday, Nov. 20) was the elimination show that narrowed The Voice contestants down to eight. I did a quick and dirty watch of Monday’s two-hour show and in doing so, I completely missed one of my favorites (Cody Belew) performance. Thank goodness so many other blogs, radio show web sites and other e-spots are happy to slap together a recap (so what if grammar and correct spelling gets shot out the window in the process). I can’t condemn them, I’ve watched my share of them in the last few weeks to get updated as to what’s been going on.

After seeing Bryan Keith’s performance of the Billy Joel song, I can understand why he was not chosen to move forward. There’s no way of knowing who suggested that he sing that song. I know I read somewhere that he was (I’m only putting it in my own vernacular here) honoring his New York roots, but if that’s true, that are far better songs about New York that he could have sung. The goal was to get iTunes users to buy/vote and Billy Joel does not appeal to the age bracket that’s likely to do that, especially at this stage of the game.

As far as Sylvia Yacoub goes, I was struck dumb when she was eliminated. I felt she definitely had what it took to go all the way – far more than Melanie Martinez, but that’s where having the right coach comes in.

On Tuesday morning I went to iTunes and bought Cody’s song and Terry McDermott’s and that was just from “Previewing” them. I didn’t bother buying Bryan Keith’s, because in my opinion he had already lost the ability to move ahead (and I personally do not like Billy Joel’s music, I don’t care who’s singing it). Even from watching the Monday night show I knew Cassadee Pope and Amanda Brown would move forward due to their performance and THEIR SONG CHOICES.

So my predicitions were half right. I still think Cody and Terry will make it to the final four.

On another note I was thrilled to see a Kia commercial featuring Juliet Simms last night. I hope that means she’s still making music.

Here’s My Take on The Voice’s Narrowing Field

During the first night of the Blind Auditions I tweeted Adam Levine and blatantly told him that he had the Season 3 winner on his Team – Bryan Keith and I’m still going with that prediction.

The very same thing happened to me during Season 1 (except the part about me tweeting Adam Levine) when I heard Javier Colon in the Blind Auditions. I knew he would win it all.

Season 2 on the other hand, I was all over the board. I did not expect Jermaine Paul to win; I didn’t think he was that great of a soloist; I didn’t buy ANY of his i-tunes songs and I was rooting for Juliet Simms.

Juliet Simms just didn’t know how prophetic the song It’s a Man’s, Man’s, Man’s World would be for her in Season 2, because in my opinion, it will be several years (if The Voice survives several years) before a female wins the whole pie. Which is sad. Because from where I sat, the public was dying to hear more from Juliet Simms and less of Jermaine Paul.

Even today, with the field at 12, I’ll make my prediction down to the Final Four and I’m only going to pick one female and that’s because I feel Dez Duron fell on this face last night when he took a trip on the good ship lollipop with his song choice.

So here are my predictions:

Sylvia Yacoub

Team Xtina: Sylvia Yacoub is probably the only female in this competition that can win it all, if the powers that be allow it. Her song choices are right on, she has talent oozing out of her, and every time you see her she’s sporting a different look. She doesn’t have any emotional baggage (or doesn’t talk about it if she does), she’s always up beat and smiling and she listens to her Coach.

Didn’t you wonder why some of the better singers were eliminated by the Coaches last year? Like Jesse Campbell, James Massone?

Terry McDermott

Team Blake: Terry McDermott has a pure, wonderful, rocker voice. No matter what he sings, he sounds great. He makes great song choices which has helped him prove to the judges that he can sing anything and sound great at it. He doesn’t have any emotional baggage, he’s always upbeat and again, he listens to his Coach ( I think Blake probably has more emotional baggage than Terry does).

Terry is from Ireland, was previously in a band, has a wife and child, he’s moving on in a new direction and a solo career is part of that and even if he doesn’t win The Voice, I bet record executives have already been slipping their business cards under his door or into the hands of his wife.

Cody Belew

Team CeeLo: CeeLo has 3 great singers on his team. I like the underdog, Cody Belew. I loved him the minute I saw him but he’s got to start thinking like a competitor and realize that CeeLo is also giving good advice to Trevin Hunte and Nicholas David – because CeeLo sees 2012 as “His Year To Win.” Blake won Season 2, Adam won Season 1 and he’s just going to side step Christina. Cody needs to watch out for Cody. He needs to start making better song choices – masculine song choices. There’s nothing wrong with Tina Turner – but he should start listening to that little voice inside him and I don’t mean the voice from that elderly black lady he seems to be channeling lately.

Bryan Keith

Team Adam: Finally we reach my choice – Bryan Keith. He has a voice for the ages. It’s been bred in him and he has some of the best resources advising him – Grammy winning resources. He has no baggage, tons of drive and ambition, listens to everything his coach and other coaches say to him. He was my winning pick when I heard him sing at the Blind Auditions and was the first 4-chair turnaround. I haven’t heard anyone say “Bryan, that wasn’t your best performance.”

Bryan Keith is my pick to win Season 3 of The Voice.

The Voice Heads into The Battle Rounds

Over the weekend (10/6 & 10/7) I got caught up on all my blind audition episodes of The Voice. That’s about 10+ hours (minus commercials). On Oct. 2 I watched the Best of the Blind Auditions show as it aired, which was an hour recap show.

That’s the advantage of have things on DVR. If you time things right, then when you’re ready to sit down and watch it, you can zip through commercials.

As I was watching the blind auditions I realized why I liked them and how different The Voice is from those “other” shows.

Carson Daly is the Host of The Voice.

First and foremost – Carson Daly. Not only does he carefully manage the entire show, he’s right there with the family and friends while the potential “Voice” is on stage, cheering them on, high fiving when they get picked, offering a sympathetic ear when they don’t.

Then there’s the judges – Adam Levine, CeeLo Green, Blake Shelton and Christina Aguilera. All music powerhouses in their own right; now in their third season together. The only infighting theses judges do is when they’ve all turned around for the same talented “voice” and are trying to get them on their “team.”

Even when the judges don’t turn around, they offer constructive advice which has actually brought several contestants back from previous years to try again. Two from Season 2 returned this year and were chosen to be on CeeLo’s team (Daniel Rosa) and Christina Aguilera’s team (Dez Duron).

The backstory of the contestants, which is a big part of the blind auditions, is inspiring and uplifting and sets The Voice apart from all of the other “performance” type reality shows.

Then there’s the BLIND auditions. Take for example Melanie Martinez who did her rendition of Britney Spears “Toxic.” She weighed 100 pounds and had a noticeable gap between her teeth. Half of her hair was brown and the other half was black. During her 90 seconds on stage she played the guitar, sang and played the tambourine with her feet. On any other singing competition, she wouldn’t have made it through screening. On The Voice, she got three judges to turn around. She chose Adam Levine who complimented her on her artistic vision.

http://www.nbc.com/the-voice/video/melanie-martinezs-audition-toxic/1417215

Brian Scartocci from Austin, Texas is a single father of two. He sang “Isn’t She Lovely” by Stevie Wonder. He got three judges to turn around. CeeLo said that Stevie had written that song for his daughter and asked Brian if that was his reason for singing it. Brian said yes, that he supports his kids with his music, “that he pays someone $60 to watch them so he can go make $25.”

http://www.nbc.com/the-voice/video/brian-scartoccis-blind-audition-isnt-she-lovely/1417248

Not all the backstories are sobering. The last chosen performer of Season 3 (though he didn’t know it at the time) was 27 year old Cody Belew. His father first recognized his talent for singing every time Cody would do yard work. He’s inspired by Dolly Parton’s greatest hits and stated that he thought he lived a past life as an elderly black lady because of his affinity for soul music. CeeLo, who was the last judge needing a team member hit his buzzer at the very last second of Cody’s song (who sang “Hard to Handle”). When he realized that CeeLo had actually hit his buzzer he ran across the stage and hugged CeeLo (still not aware that he was the last performer).

http://www.nbc.com/the-voice/video/cody-belews-blind-audition-hard-to-handle/1419237