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.

Update: The Voice down to 12 Contestants

The Voice: 12 Contestants Sing for Their Lives and Christina Aguilera is a Bundle of Nerves

Published – Nov 13 2012 05:00AM CST

Keely Herrick, RR.com Original

(ASSOCIATED PRESS) The night started off with 12 contestants – three on each team – but now that we are in the live shows, two artists will be sent home each week, based on audience votes. Carson Daly teased Christina Aguilera about the difficulty of leaving the decision in the audience’s hands, and she admitted to being a bundle of nerves. New this season is the twist that the final four contestants standing are not guaranteed to represent each of the four teams, as each artist is competing on his/her own for votes.

The Voice hosted by Christina Aguilera and Adam Levine airs Mondays on NBC at 8:00 pm ET.

“Blow Me One Last Kiss”

Blake’s anime-cartoon-come-to-life, Michaela (Page), was up first with her cover of Pink’s latest hit. She fought a bit against the low pitch of the song and the extreme length of her fake eyelashes, but the judges enjoyed it as a solid performance. Blake begged the audience to please vote for his star. She did not sport her trademark mohawk tonight, and her luck may be gone with her locks.

“Can’t Take My Eyes Off of You”

As sentiments for a singing competition go, this title is probably more optimistic than the last one. Team Christina Aguilera’s sole male member, Dez (Duron), grooved his way through the Lauryn Hill version of this song. I imagine this is what the entertainment looks like on a Disney cruise ship. Christina made her pitch for Dez, touting his “heart of gold” as a reason to vote for him. Based on the screams of the girls in the audience, he should survive tomorrow night’s eliminations.

“Good Girl”

Adriana (Louise) was the next member of Team Christina Aguilera to take the stage, in front of an unfortunate and distracting shooting star graphic. She was the first one to bring a hungry-for-the-win attitude to the stage, and she ended her version of Carrie Underwood’s song by leaning playfully over Adam Levine, which he evidently enjoyed. It was a confident, fun performance overall.

“The Best”

Another statement I can get behind is Cody (Belew) belting out Tina Turner’s “The Best.” A country boy wearing a sparkly suit and singing an 80s power ballad? That’s pretty much the way to my heart, yup. Blake Shelton stated that Cody is “meant to be on stage,” and Christina requested “more bopping around” from future performances. Cee-Lo Green was proud of the fun, natural performance from the contestant he saved last week.

“Spectrum”

Team Adam Levine’s, Amanda Brown, was up next. She emerged like a golden goddess in a long gown and hot pants. As much as I like her voice, I can’t say I was a fan of this performance, which was uncharacteristically screechy and uncomfortable. Christina rambled on for a little and I had time to ponder her ensemble — I’m guessing that either she lost a bet or her stylist just hates her. Even Amanda’s coach, Adam, admitted this wasn’t her best performance; she will need votes based on her history on the show to save her.

“Back to Black”

The Voice doesn’t really pretend to be cool, per se, but Bryan Keith’s version of Amy Winehouse’s “Back to Black” was perfectly slinky and suave. The judges all agreed that this was Bryan’s breakout moment of the competition, and Adam was proud of his prot’eg’ee. He should cruise safely into the top 10.

“Behind These Hazel Eyes”

Cassadee Pope from Team Blake Shelton discussed her estrangement from her father with her coach, relating how she had hoped to hear from her father during the course of the show. Note to Cassadee: the show that seems to reunite children most with their parents is RuPaul’s Drag Race, just saying. Christina related to Cassadee’s pain and all the judges cheered her very sincere delivery of this Kelly Clarkson song.

“When a Man Loves a Woman”

Okay, one of my favorite contestants (Trevin Hunte) on this show was taking on one of my favorite songs of all time, so I was just hoping against hope that he would stay out of Michael Bolton territory. He didn’t go Bolton, but he did steer the ship straight into church, and it was a bit too gospel for my taste. He certainly has a beautiful voice, though, and as the most likeable contestant, he should easily proceed to the next round.

“Cough Syrup”

Team Adam Levine’s bow-headed Melanie revealed that her signature look is recently inspired by Cruella De Vil, much to her mother’s chagrin. Blake praised her as having the most unique sound in the competition, and Christina enjoyed the emotion displayed, as Melanie (Martinez) seemed to be near tears the entire song. She’s just not my cup of tea, but I do appreciate the coaches finding something nice to say about every performance this year. (Edited)

“The Power of Love”

Cee-Lo Green’s hip-hip-hippie Nicholas David took on the Huey Lewis classic “The Power of Love.” The song seemed to get away from him a bit, and the coaches even found a way to spin that in a positive light. This was one of my least favorite performances of the night, even though he is such a sweet guy.

“My Heart Will Go On”

Team Christina Aguilera’s Sylvia Yacoub boldly chose Celine Dion’s Titanic anthem, “My Heart Will Go On.” I think anyone covering this song would sound like a high school talent show contestant, and the judges all praised Sylvia’s ambition while noting her nerves. Verdict: meh, not likely to bring in the votes.

“More Than a Feeling”

Terry McDermott closed out the night with “More Than a Feeling.” This guy might like the 70s more than Lenny Kravitz does, and his voice is perfectly suited to the era. If there are enough nostalgists in the voting public, he should move on again.

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