The Voice Recap: Prediction Impossible

In much the same way that Christina Aguilera has demonstrated a wide variety of ways to preposterously style her hair — the bedraggled beehive, the Hot Topic milkmaid, the 75 lb. wave of weave, to name a few — so, too, are there dozens of ways to determine who will and who should win Season 1 of NBC’s The Voice.

Who was the most consistent, and thereby built the most loyal voting bloc, through the early rounds and the three weeks of live performances? Which singer showed the most originality and took the most thrilling musical risks? Who was the most passionate, and made us feel the most while they were up there on the stage? Who scored a TKO in his or her finale performances? Do you factor in contestants’ personalities? Should your affection for a particular coach come into play? And what about the quality of the original songs assigned to the finalists?

The amount of weight that the voting public gives to each of those factors will determine whether front-runners Dia Frampton and Javier Colon can hang on to the top two spots, or if surging underdogs Beverly McClellan and Vicci Martinez can upset the conventional wisdom cart. But before we get to Wednesday night’s season finale, let’s recap what went down on Tuesday’s show:

Javier Colon: “Stitch By Stitch”
Javier entered the finale with a reputation as the show’s cleanest and most polished vocalist, but I thought parts of his performance on the inoffensive but not particularly thrilling “Stitch By Stitch” were wobblier than a rope bridge. Specifically, in the verse and at the ends of phrases, you could hear a nervous quaver make an appearance like a bright red t-shirt under a white oxford. Javier sounded much more authoritative and much less flat in the few places the song gave him an opportunity to hit the pedal and open up his vocals, but I’m not sure coach Adam Levine did him any favors in the song-selection department — or in his tepid critique, which made no mention of the actual performance. “You must be so relieved to have gotten through this,” Adam said before complimenting his protegee’s personality. “It would be hard for me to root for somebody I don’t genuinely love very much,” Adam said. Sweet, but what did you think about the, um, singing?

Dia Frampton and Blake Shelton: Tom Petty’s “I Won’t Back Down”
I know some Voice fans find it absurd that a music-biz vet like Dia has been riding a “stage fright” backstory for several weeks running, but I don’t think she’s being disingenuous. For starters, there are plenty of industry vets (Carly Simon, for example) who’ve admitted discomfort in front of big audiences. And what’s more, I find it hard to believe that if Dia really had a bold, vivacious personality, that she’d consider it a good strategy to keep it locked in her dressing room. All that stuff aside, I liked how Blake brought out a little of Dia’s inner cool on “I Won’t Back Down.” Their matching black suits and Ray-Bans brought a smile to my face, and their delicious harmonies on Tom Petty’s ear-candy chorus kept it there. There’s no denying Dia has benefitted all season long by choosing (or being assigned) memorable hits that haven’t been done to death in the reality competition arena, and manage to satisfy hipsters and mass consumers alike. And while her voice is, in a lot of ways, smaller than Blake’s, she played the role of gutsy terrier to his Rottweiler, keeping pace with him from start to finish as though the size of their respective voices had never occurred to her. (Two burning questions: Was I the only one who thought that Blake looked like he had a pierced chin at several angles during the performance? And can anyone translate what Dia said when she was intro-ing her song choice. After a half-dozen DVR rewinds, all I can hear is that she says “I Won’t Back Down” is by “Magnum Sit Tom Petty,” but I know that can’t be right. Help a blogger out down in the comments!)

Vicci Martinez: “Afraid to Sleep”
I may be in the minority here (at least based on what I see on the iTunes singles charts), but I enjoyed Vicci’s original track as much or more than any of her rivals’ solo performances. Granted, the vocals were far from perfect — especially seeing as how Vicci’s voice broke on her big glory note — but there was a passion and theatricality to Vicci’s performance that had me nodding my head at Adam Levine’s critique: “I bought every single second of it.” What’s funny is that the diminutive diva performed her ditty all alone on the fog-covered stage, the band relegated to the background, and yet she managed to fill the entire space by sheer force of will. That denouement where the music dropped and Vicci delivered her final refrain of “baby I’m afraid to sleep” was absolutely riveting. She may not take home the top prize, but she’s got at least one fan in me who’ll follow her career from now until Cee Lo stops speaking like he’s performing at a beat poetry concert.

Beverly McClellan and Christina Aguilera: “Beautiful”
Sure, this performance was capped with a ridiculousness sillier than Christina’s hat: I mean, here was our unhinged diva mentor being tasked with choosing any song in the universe as a duet for herself and her protege — and settling on her own megahit ballad. (Talk about Rated GP…for Girl, Please!) And then, of course, Xtina had to go and ride the melody like a rodeo star on the back of a bucking bronco. But despite all the unnecessary mumbo-jumbo, I still thought this was the performance of the night. Beverly’s showed a restraint in the verses that highlighted the power and control of her vocals, and I’m not gonna lie: I got a tear in my eye when the bald-headed rock vet, clad in a flannel shirt and blue bandana scarf that never would’ve made it through the service entrance of American Idol, hit the line, “I am beautiful, no matter what they say.” You could see Christina was moved, too, the way she looked up at her fellow vocalist and grinned. I can’t think of another moment on this season of The Voice where a contestant connected to a lyric more deeply or meaningfully. And if Bev went into the night as the expected fourth-place finisher, this performance turned her into a winner — regardless of when her name gets called during the Wednesday-night finale.

Dia Frampton: “Inventing Shadows”
Note per note, and lyric per lyric, I’d say Dia drew the night’s best original track. “Inventing Shadows” had a subtle, pulsing rhythm and a classic kind of melody that might actually score it some radio play right here in the dog days of summer. (Side note: I can’t type that expression without a blast of Florence and the Machine’s “Dog Days Are Over.” Tell me it’s not just me.) Yes, there were moments where Dia pushed her vocal to the intersection of intense and unpleasant, but overall, I liked that she showed she’s not just all baby-doll-emo-quirky-interesting, that there’s a fire starting in her heart, so to speak. Xtina and Adam were right, though, that the shadowbox dancers behind her were absurd and distracting — I kept waiting for them to spell out “Y.M.C.A.” — but they were worth it just to get this hilarious retort from Blake: “You know what else is gonna be distracting? When [Christina and Adam] turn on the phone in 30 minutes and see you sitting way above their records [on the iTunes charts].” Pure genius, even if it couldn’t manage to bring a smile to Dia’s petrified face. (Girrrrl, stop taking stage-presence tips from Xenia!)

Javier Colon and Adam Levine: Michael Jackson’s “Man in the Mirror”
Javier and Adam’s rehearsal banter said it all. Javier noted that there’s no way to improve on Michael Jackson’s original. Adam replied that the goal was to “have fun” and “make it our own.” But alas, I’m not 100 percent convinced the duo cleared either of those low hurdles. Both guys sounded perfectly fine on the inspirational ode to taking a good look in the hotel magnifying mirror — and not getting distracted by blackheads — but there wasn’t anything particularly inventive or passionate happening, and I’m not sure that “fun” was part of the equation, either. The stacatto talky parts — “if you wanna make the world a better place…” — came off a little too languid in Javier’s mellifluous style, and there seemed to be something wonky happening with the sound mix (a major problem all season long on The Voice). But, hey, Javier can definitely belt, and he washed the Lusky Stank right out of “Man in the Mirror.” So while I think he got outperformed by his three female rivals when it counted, I wouldn’t go tearing my garments if he pulled off the win, either.

Beverly McClellan: “Lovesick”
Of all the songs in all the gin joints in all the world, Christina goes and picks this one for her final remaining team member? Look, there’s no denying Beverly performed this boppy rock ditty with a sense of utter joy and excitement — and her vocals were rock-solid, to boot — but the track itself was disappointingly generic, its lyrics inarguably inane, and worst of all, it failed to showcase the bluesy, soulful side of Beverly’s vocals that Xtina spent most of their rehearsal time talking about. Adam was right that when Beverly is on stage, she transcends any notions of a reality TV competition. So here’s hoping she scores herself some kind of record deal, lest our last impression of her involve a chorus that declares, “I’m lovesick. I’m lovesick! I’m sick of love!”

Vicci Martinez and Cee Lo Green: Pat Benatar’s “Love Is a Battlefield” (embedded below)
If you thought the Shadowbox Voguers Extravaganza Alliance troupe was distracting during Dia’s solo performance, how about the army of apocalyptic child dancers who tried to upstage the outrageously costumed Vicci and Cee Lo on “Love Is a Battlefield”? The fact that The Voice‘s director kept cutting away from Vicci to focus on those pint-sized pelvic-thrusting peanuts was the second-most-infuriating part of the finale — right behind the soul-destroying legions of swaybots who populated the audience. Because, really, when I rewound my DVR and listened to Vicci’s performance with my eyes closed, I realized hers was perhaps the most explosive and spot-on of the night — and even more entertaining than Cee Lo’s red vinyl bodysuit with matching mohawk and Dacentrurus spikes. Girlfriend killed it so thoroughly and completely, not even the most radical procedure from the doctors at Seattle Grace could resuscitate it. And on that note, I’m going back to my iPod to listen to it again.

But before I do, let’s jump into the evening’s letter grades, plus my will be/should be Top 4 rankings:

Tonight’s Letter Grades
Beverly McClellan and Christina Aguilera, “Beautiful”: A
Vicci Martinez and Cee Lo Green, “Love Is a Battlefield”: A-
Vicci Martinez, “Afraid to Sleep”: A-
Dia Frampton, “Inventing Shadows”: A-
Dia Frampton and Blake Shelton, “I Won’t Back Down”: B+
Javier Colon and Adam Levine, Michael Jackson’s “Man in the Mirror”: B
Beverly McClellan, “Love Sick”: B
Javier Colon, “Stitch By Stitch”: B-

Should Be the Order of the Final Four: Vicci, Dia, Beverly, Javier
Will Be the Order of the Final Four: Dia, Javier, Beverly, Vicci

What did you think of the evening’s performances? Was it just me or was the sound mix on the judges’ performance of “Under Pressure” absolutely catastrophic? Did Allison Haislip’s schilling for the EVO3D from Sprint and use of “Interwebs” make you queasy? And who do you think will and should win the competition? Vote in our polls below, then hit the comments to share your thoughts on this all-too-fast Voice season!

Comments are monitored, so don’t go off topic, don’t frakkin’ curse and don’t bore us with how much your coworker’s sister-in-law makes per hour. Talk smart about TV!

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  1. Georgia says:

    I never got into the Voice this season. Watched the first 2 eps, missed the next 2 then felt hopelessly confused and lost so I gave up. But… is it worth trying again when it comes back in the fall?

    • the real wendy says:

      They must be rid of that Vroom stupidity with that SO ANNOYING girl.

    • Gary says:

      I would say…maybe. They need to make some changes to the format. The thing felt rushed, I didn’t feel like I got to know the contestants as artists very well at all. Too many people went home too quickly. I liked the auditions, but after that it seems as though they are just trying to get this thing done as fast as possible.

      • L says:

        Yeah they did way too rush the top 16. They needed to go 16->12 not 16->8 and then I dont know what they can do but it was too fast!

        I mean we saw so little of even the top four!

        Only just starting to really invest in contestants and it is over.

        Way too rushed. That is the arguably biggest issue it has vs Idol.

    • Trent says:

      Absolutely! I admit that at times this year it seemed as if the producers were changing the rules week by week. But anyone who lived through the first year of Idol knows that that show was a work in progress, too (remember Dunkleman?).
      I watched every episode of The Voice because of the fun banter between the industry-relevant coaches, the (usually) great production values, and the deep roster of talent. I’m invested enough to go see the tour in August, too. Give it a shot when it returns in February 2012!

    • .......duh says:

      YES! Compare this finale (all four outstanding and exciting) to Idol’s recent finale…..(yawn)

    • Name That Tune says:

      YES! A 30+ lesbian in the finale? Never see that happen on Idol. Loved the voting system! Loved the commitment these coaches made to their proteges. Loved watching each of them become better and more polished under their tutelage. And every performance in the finale was a winner.

  2. Maria says:

    Magnificent Tom Petty

    • Aiden says:

      I’m thinking it was ‘magnificent’ Tom Petty too, although it was kind of hard to understand. I agree with Michael’s comment about “I Won’t Back Down” bringing out Dia’s inner cool–great choice for her, plus really cool moment there with Blake Shelton. Their voices blended surprisingly well, and it was so fun to watch.
      Also, I’m pretty sure she had something to do with this song choice because Tom Petty is one of her band’s biggest influences. I like how Blake lets her take the reins much more than than the other coaches do their artists.

  3. the real wendy says:

    Beverly’s Beautiful made me a fan for life! Really great emotional moment. I thought the show overall was a real letdown compared to last week. The “original songs: were all very dull.

    • el says:

      Yeah, Dia’s was the closest to sounding like a real song to me but even it wasn’t quite there. That’s the dicey thing about original songs, they might be crappy since writing a hit isn’t nearly as sure a thing as performing someone else’s established hit. That’s personally why I like Beverly’s the most, because she did a lot with a pretty ehh song.

      • RT says:

        I like Dia a lot, but she had several very off key, strained moments during her original song, and several times when she basically gasped loudly while trying to take a breath. I found it distracting. Nobody really blew me away with their original songs.

        • jsnj says:

          I agree with every word of this post.

        • L says:

          Exactly, so why is Dia like 5x the votes on this site than Vicci? Vicci didn’t have close to as many off-key notes live and her iTunes version got even better while Dia’s got arguably worse (added a nasty tone to “sha” of “shadow” and lost a little magic even if fixing up many of the off-key stuff). I kind of liked how Dia handle that part worst on the itunes and best on her rehearsal clip. I mean she is still interesting and despite all that I could sort of put her as high as second still but I don’t see how she runs away with the poll here. Beverly had too boring of a solo song, maybe at the end it got a bit of life but. And really Vicci had the greatest duet and arguably the best solo and easily the best itunes single so….

    • jenna says:

      I agree all 4 of the original songs were pretty lackluster and tolerable at best. Since all four finalists are seasoned performers I don’t see why they couldn’t perform their OWN original song. It would give a much better indication of the type of record they would produce.

      I’m also unimpressed with how only votes from the original songs count. I find it kind of annoying that an artist could be stuck with a terrible song but an awesome duet and it wouldn’t make a difference. Dia probably had the best of the worst in terms of her song.

      • joanna says:

        I’m also confused why the original songs are the only ones that count. Seems like the winner will be from the luck of the draw by as you said having the best of the worst of the original songs

        • ddutchie88 says:

          I think it’s a good thing the duets don’t count, because some people will buy those songs based on the performance of the coach. And it should be all about the contestants.

    • Parker says:

      LOVED Bev & Xtina’s duet on “Beautiful,” and like Michael, got a tear in my eye at Bev’s obvious connection to the lyrics. But I disagree that the show was a letdown; I thought it was terrifically entertaining from start to finish. And I liked both Vicci’s and Dia’s original songs (though not as much as their duets).

  4. Ingrid says:

    I hear “by magnificent Tom Petty”, think that should fit in somewhere among the rules of proper English.

  5. julie says:

    I don’t think predicting the outcome is impossible. It’ll clearly be either Dia or Javier. Dia has the #1 song on iTunes right now, while Javier is at #3. Vicci and Beverly are way further down the chart.

    • msmaka says:

      Dia #1, Javier #2, Vicci #11, Beverly #29 (original songs from last night)

      Dia is slaying it if u compare just the old songs though, both are still top50

    • MeK says:

      Phone votes are also being counted and take both the performance of the originals and the duets into account.

  6. Woody7 says:

    Let’s all comment on Cristina’s dive-esque behavior. I can’t decide which was the best line of the night- “I picked ‘Beautiful’- my own song for us to sing.” Or “Beverly- you sing ‘on my siiiiiide’ and I’ll go ‘Whoa-oooooooo-woooo-ooo’.” Sheer awesomeness.

    • Volcfom says:

      You spelling out Christina’s runs gave me a good, hardy chuckle.

    • Reena says:

      Agree 100% from the moment she stepped out in the beginning she just had a sour look on her face the rest of the night…although I do love her singing having her on this show just shows me she is such a DIVA! Every time another contestant performed and they asked her opinion she always made it about her. The male judges always have complimented her singers and she always has to have a snotty comment for the guys. Hoping they do not have her back next season would love to see a female with a better attitude about things like Shania Twain or maybe even Monica I did like her when she was there in the beginning. But its prob not going to happen.

  7. Thom says:

    Gonna be Dia! She’s got this hands down!!

  8. Winnie says:

    Voted only for Dia although Javier is a close 2nd for me…I really love Dia’s performance and I do want to hear her sing more Tom Petty. That is the rockstar in Dia. I can only hope she makes it tonight.

  9. Chris G. says:

    Favorite line of the night was when Carson Daily introduced Javier and said “moron (more on) Javier Colon”

    Loved how Cee Lo and Vicci rocked it 80s style.

    • B.Rich says:

      Haha we all laughed about this in my house too. Never introduce someone with “more on _____”

    • d says:

      LOL! Yeah, Carson is the weak link on this show.

      • Alex says:

        Pot Manahan. Oh Carson, can’t you even read a teleprompter?

      • Volcfom says:

        Hopefully replacing him is one of the changes they make for season 2.

        • sarah says:

          agreed! Carson always comes off as trying to get the ‘cheap shots’ bringing up jeff’s mom, javier’s family, vicci’s deceased father etc. Add to that the very strange and unnecessary bringing up of SMASH last night he (and the v-room) need to go!

        • Sami says:

          I still can’t believe he’s had his own late night show for the last 10 years. He seems like a nice guy (and loyal to Xtina) on twitter, but is way over his head on The Voice. His show closings are particularly awkward. Surely there must be another young host in LA who can show some personality AND read a teleprompter.

          • L says:

            It’s just weird how nervous he seems. He reminds of Xenia jsut about. You can see deer in headlight nerves. Kinda too bad since he is a nice guy. Just surprising that having a talk show for so long (although it is a very casual sort and not like a standup hosting sort and its not the same) and more so having been the MTV VJ for so long which is more a live, hosting, standup thing that he would seem so nervous.

            I think given another season he might settle in though.

    • L says:

      Yeah loved Cee Lo and Vicci rocking out Love Is a Battlefield! Great 80s classic (can’t believe it’s the lowest duet on iTunes! it got the judges standing O and the biggest crowd reaction). Vicci would sooo have this thing wrapped up if this show had been held in the late 80s haha. She sounds totally like an established 80s star.

      Somehow makes me thing of Pink/Benatar/Jett/Karnes or something.

      And I actually fine her original of last night the most listenable iTunes. Sounds absolutely 100% polished, not a thing missing or wrong or amateur about it, pretty catchy.

  10. Confirmed says:

    With great sadness it was officially confirmed: though he’s a talented and entertaining writer, Slezak has poor musical taste. That’s a shame.

  11. rth3 says:

    Dia said “magnificent Tom Petty.” It was fitting they did a tom petty cover… she practically mentions him in all her other interviews :)

    • Tamara Díez says:

      That’s what I heard too. I’m not sure why it was hard for Michael to unsderstand it. I’m not an Enlgish antive (it’s my 3rd language) and I understood it the 1st time without a problem.

      Anyway, Dia FTW!! :)

    • Chris says:

      Michael, closed-captioning is your friend. Trust.

  12. Michael says:

    I was so sad that Beverly’s “Lovesick” was so dense lyrics-wise, but she belted it out amazingly. Who else could put that much soul into that song? No one, but Bev.

    However, I actually liked Javier last night for the first time ever. I think it’s because he was flawed a bit. And I think his song is the most radio ready of all four originals. Dia’s was nice, during the performance, but hearing the studio version… well something was lost.

    And Vicci has always been an afterthought for me, including her original song. Love Is a Battlefield was a great way to end the show, though.

  13. J says:

    I’ve only been feeling Beverly’s performances. It would be amazing if she won, but let’s face it… there is no chance of that happening.

    Dia’s probably gonna take the crown. I don’t really care for her; I have enough music by indie girls like herself and unlike Dia, they not only have the quirky tone and style, but also a pleasant voice. I’ve tried listening to Dia’s studios before and they kind of fell flat for me. There just isn’t any emotional connection, and it’s pretty clear that her cool style is a cover up for her very weak voice. It’s so thin, there’s no depth, it’s just…not pleasing to hear.

    • L says:

      Yeah now that i’ve heard her itunes, she has really given me pause, she seems to lose the magic and connection in the studio and then ends up sounding thin at times and even some harsh timbres.

      Vicci studio records really well though.
      Comparing the recordings from the two last night, not even close.

      All the harping on Dia, somehow I still might like to see her come in ahead of Bverly or Javier though, since sometimes she can still be just interesting enough. I fear she might not stay for a long time though unless she fixes her studio ability a bit.

      Vicci seems set for radio or concerts. 100% ready this second.

  14. Suzy says:

    She said “By the magnificent Tom Petty ” ;)

  15. B.Rich says:

    Should win: Dia
    Will win: Dia
    Best last night: Beverly

  16. d says:

    I wanted to like Dia best, I have since the beginning. I even liked her original song best but the live performance was too breathy for me. Every intake of air was a screech through my speakers. I’m sure the studio version is better.

    • adamziggied says:

      Yes! I was thinking the same thing through that performance. She needs to learn to back away from the mike when breathing in as her breathiness was really distracting and I thought the song could have been the best of the night if I didn’t have to listen to so much air intake!

    • marie says:

      I think that’s poor singing technique. I too find it unbearable to listen to; she sounds like she’s gasping for air, which is a shame, because the rest of her voice is quirky and interesting. She should really work on that with a good vocal coach, I think.

    • Kristina says:

      I thought the same thing last night. It sounded like she was asthmatic during those breaths, it was very distracting.

  17. Amy says:

    Turns out one of the shadowbox dancers was Alex “freaking” Wong from SYTYCD last year. I love Alex and I hope he ends up as an All-Star this year. Now I have to go back and watch the dancers again- I think he was the first one. I’d be fine with anyone winning The Voice. I like the tone of Dia’s voice and love the personality and power of Vicci.

  18. m says:

    “…by the magnificent tom petty”

  19. George says:

    The Voice stayed true to it’s entertainment first theme. I really wish that, for the performers sake, they got to do 2 songs last night instead of just 1. The duets were fun, but it malkes it difficult for the American public to judge it based off an original only song.

    Therefore I think the voting public is going to be basing it more on the body of work throughout the show. if so, I think Dia will win tonight. Javier peaked with ‘time after time’ and really form’t impress me as much after that. But, maybe Adam enlisting the Biebs support may keep it close enough to almost win.

    in Vicci and Beverly’s case, I think they had a shot if it wasn’t’t for their respective coaches. Cee Lo should have guided Vicci more down the Rock path and XTina should have directed towards a more contemporary bluesy/rock feel. Jusst my opinion.

    Looking forward to the duets on the Finale tonight. Especially Vicci and Monahan (Train) & Dia and Mitanda Lambert!

    • bluedevil says:

      “Therefore I think the voting public is going to be basing it more on the body of work throughout the show. if so, I think Dia will win tonight.”

      Isn’t that how they’re supposed to vote? They’re not judging the performance. They’re voting for the performers, e.g. not Beverly’s Lovesick but Beverly.

  20. Eli says:

    Vocally Beverly was actually the best of the night, but Dia is still my favorite by a landslide and her original song really was the best of the bunch.

    Also, am I the only one who feels Javier is totally fake?

    • T says:

      Yes, you are the only one.

    • Really Javier? says:

      If anyone is the fake one its Dia…why cant she ever smile on the show or have any sort of excitement that she is in the finals. Atleast the others were pumping their fists in the beginning just so excited to be there and she can barely crack a smile. I don’t believe her act and she was part of a duo before this where is her partner meg now? Javier is genuine and has been trying to get into the industry for years now Dia is already established and has been on tours I saw her in DC before. I really think that out of everyone she shouldnt win but looks like I am the minority on this one which is fine but Javier is doing this for his family not just to make a name for himself. Hopefully though no matter what all 4 will have good careers ahead of them.

      • One more thing says:

        I know Javier has had contracts and has had CD’s come out before but he has been screwed over many times too ok now im done lol :-)

      • B.Rich says:

        Ummm, Meg is her sister. I’m sure she is in the audience supporting her. Dia was the lead vocalist so obviously Meg wouldn’t be competing on the Voice.

  21. jason says:

    All of the original songs were pretty terrible and the fact that Dia’s is topping the ‘favourite performance’ category is utterly confusing and makes me severly doubt the musical taste of the people on this site. Any one of the duets were FAR better than the originals

    • mickey says:

      completely agree. And as another poster mentioned earlier its simply luck that a performer wound up with a slightly better original song. They all sounded like pretty bad ‘inspired’ songs which is disappointing there are so many talented songwriters and I feel pretty confident in saying that an original song written by the performer (which they had worked on and perfected through their previous career before the voice) would have FAR exceeded the incredibly boring songs that were performed

  22. MrTemecula says:

    Holy Moly! Battlefield was the best moment in TV this year. That performance was as entertaining as anything Gaga has done. Cee Lo is the worth his weight in gold for this show and Cee Lo is not a small man.

  23. Lauren says:

    I’m sorry but did anyone else think that “Lovesick” felt and sounded like Meat Loaf song???? The whole last minute or so all I could think of was Meat Loaf belting out the chorus and jumping on the piano before collapsing, out of breath, on the stage.

    Which isn’t to say that didn’t make the performance better…..because I mean I like Meat Loaf.

  24. Jacquelyn says:

    Is it just me or does Dia sound like a less talented version of Vanessa Carlton??!!??

  25. elegantine says:

    I continue to be baffled by the Dia love. I think she sounds like a teen in the school talent show and doesn’t have what it takes to be a professional singer. Not that the others are any better. I do think that Dia will win though.

  26. Yo says:

    Dia showed vocal weakness in her duet with Blake; I didn’t like the terrier version at all, but I did go look for an old Tom Petty cd. I think Vicci is under-rated. The show would not be nearly as interesting without her theatrical command of the stage, for which she rarely gets any credit. Cee Lo makes me laugh; he and Vicci are perfect together.

    As for Dia’s “nerves,” I have trouble believing anyone very nervous can sing; I was asked many times to sing with bands, but the first thing that leaves with severe stage-fright is voice. Dia should try moving a lot; it is a mental diversion and works.

  27. IntelliFan says:

    I cannot believe that everyone is fooled by Dia. No offense to her, but she has a thin voice with only one gear–that part’s a fact. My perception of it is that it’s cloying. To me, head and shoulders above the field, is Vicci Martinez. And I agree with our esteemed blogger Mr. Slezak: I will be following Ms. Martinez’ career no matter what happens. Over the course of this show, she has moved me in a way no female singer has since Alanis Morissette. Thank you, Vicci…

    • scorpo says:

      THANK YOU! I was beginning to think I have been watching a completely different tv show with all the support for Dia. I assumed it was widely accepted that she is the weakest of the group and has no shot at all of winning, that is until I come on here and see the results of the polls and read the comments. Then I remember that people are voting based on looks not talent or voice.

    • Lina says:

      I could not agree with you more. I find Dia’s voice extremely grating, and her phrasing is so obnoxiously affected. With all the Dia love, it seems like a long shot for Vicci to win, but she has absolutely earned it.

    • Michelle says:

      Thank you! I feel like I’m on a different planet sometimes. Vicci has such a powerful voice as does Beverly. They have a large range, varied vocal timbre and control of both ends of the dynamic spectrum. Dia has one vocal timbre, small range, and sings generally at one dynamic level through the entire song. I got my 10 votes in without buying an itunes single so I can only hope that others did the same.

      • Ablo says:

        Well range is important — But it isn’t everything. I can’t imagine listening to Vicci very much (I honestly don’t think that’s going to be a problem). Bev perhaps — if she got a little control of herself. I think it is nerves more than anything, but the adding of the falsetto “woooooooo” to almost every song is a deal breaker.

    • larry says:

      You said it perfectly! I don’t even feel like I am on the same site anymore since Idol ended! I was way agreeing with everyone and now it’s like as if everyone suddenly became Scotty fans here or something. Well aside from Mr. Slezak, who is still calling it well.

      Haley and Vicci FTW!
      I have a horrible, horrible feeling it will be third for both though. After last night I thought Vicci really might beat out Javier but the tracking sales are so strong for Dia, oh well.
      Save the best for third as they say haha.

  28. IntelliFan says:

    P.S. And to be fair, Dia’s original song was certainly the best of the night, and the only one I can hum now, a day later. But that’s the SONGWRITER’S win, not Dia’s. Sadly, Vicci’s song was dated, which breaks my heart because, given a song like the “F***in’ Perfect” she ate up earlier this season, she would have blown everyone’s mind in my humble opinion. Bottom line: given the choice between “Inventing Shadows” and “Afraid To Sleep,” the former wins every time. Given the choice between Dia and Vicci, it’s Vicci in a landslide.

    • bluedevil says:

      The songwriter, aka Dia you mean? She cowrote the song you know

      • NedPepper says:

        Yes! People keep saying, “She had the best song so that’s why she’ll win.” She co-wrote the song. That alone gives her more credit. Not sure if the others didn’t have any material or what, but it would have helped them. Songwriting is a great other tool to a performer other than just the voice. In fact, it adds legitimacy to her as an artist.

  29. Suzy says:

    I loved Javier’s original song the most !

  30. Cathy says:

    I guess I’m missing the whole Dia thing, I think she’s the least talented of the 4. I hope either Vicci or Beverly wins.

  31. Lauren says:

    Dia haters – her voice isn’t exactly spectacular, but she has a great and unique tone…and is an amazing songwriter in her own right. The songs she wrote for Meg & Dia were far better than any of the leftovers these contestants had to choose from for The Voice.

    And ALSO all of these original songs were head and shoulders above the horrors we have to live through during the Idol original song round. Yeeeeeeeeesh.

  32. Paul says:

    I like dia and I wouldn’t mind her winning, but vicci is my girl, she can sing anything!

  33. Suzy says:

    Dia-The Voice??? Really? Come on people-don’t forget that this show is about finding “The Voice” and honestly Dia has the weakest voice of the 4 left! It’s not called “The best interpretation of a song” it’s called “The Voice” !!!

  34. christine merlino says:

    Christina needs to “get rid of her STRAW Like hair!…Gezzzz
    Such a pretty “face”, and voice…If she “wants to “look like a blond “bombshell”…Take a few lessons from “Miranda Lambrant(Sheldon”…)Xtinas hair looks like over burnt Straw!”…Drives me insane as a hair dresser…

    • Volcfom says:

      So true about the hair. I guess it comes from years of bleaching it so heavily. That, and the mix of extensions.

  35. Joe Strummer says:

    It really doesn’t matter who wins. The show is lame and will see a big drop in ratings next year. The curiosity factor will be gone. I can’t see it lasting after that.

    It seems like they are making up these rules as they go along. It was a TERRIBLE idea to do “original” songs for the final. Very hard to judge talent this way. None of the “original” songs merited any airtime. You would never hear anything like these “original” songs on the radio or anywhere.

    Also, what qualifies for an “original” song? I know at least 2 of the songs were written by other people for other singers? The contestants didn’t even write the songs themselves. How are these original?

    They also need to get rid of that stupid tweeting room thing. The contestants sound stupid when they are answering these trite and foolish questions. “Vicci, how much sleep did you get?” Huh??!!

    Lastly, Carson (Mr. Bland) Daily is no Ryan Seacrest. He needs to go. Get somebody hosting, with wit, that can keep things moving.

    • jessica says:

      I’m a fan of the show but I really don’t see the show succeeding in the fall. Like So you think you can dance, the voice should stick to being a summer show. With American idol, The X-factor etc. there are only so many singing competition shows that can be on air at a time before becoming exhausting!

      • Stephen says:

        I would have to disagree. The Voice started on April 26, against pretty heavy regular season competition, and did well from week one (beating Glee, DWTS, etc. in 18-49’s). Idol was on this spring too, and both shows did well in the ratings.
        I think–especially given its premiere after the 2012 Super Bowl–The Voice will do just fine next year.

  36. Erin says:

    I think Dia is going to win the whole thing, but I don’t think she should. I find her voice annoying and childish. I can see why people might like it, but she sounds too much like a character from Rugrats to me. Vicci is my favorite, but I think there’s a slim chance of a win for her. But really, I’ll be fine with whoever wins. I don’t think we’ve seen the last of any of the final 4.

  37. Volcfom says:

    Michael, it’s not just you in regards to your “Dog Days” comment. I have the song in my head now, thanks.
    I don’t like your “should be” lists this time around. Vicci is a fireball, but this competition should be about the “voice”. You, my friend, have picked according to performance quality.

    Based on voice alone, it should go to Javier. He was miles above Adam in their duet (some of that I blame on sound mix, though). I think he will do the best in the long run.
    However, Beverly really proved her place last night, so she could be an upset (even though she’s lagging in iTunes sales).

  38. Linda says:

    I am someone else who totally does not understand all the groundswell of support for Dia. It truly baffles me, and I agree with previous posts that this show is supposed to be about the VOICE. I think all four finalists are good, and Dia is certainly a charming girl and a talented musician, but strictly judging on vocal ability, Dia is simply not the strongest vocalist. It is interesting how the original premise was to choose “the voice”, with the chairs turned backwards, so that appearance was not a factor. I am pretty sure that the appearance and personality of the finalists have become a HUGE factor in the recent voting results. Beverly is probably one of the strongest vocalists, but I have heard people say things to me personally, like, “I couldn’t vote for her, she is bald with tattoos”. What is that about? Anyway, I like Vicci the best, and Beverly second, but I am pretty sure they are not going to win, based on the itunes results. I wonder what the results would have been if no one had EVER seen the contestants as they sing, but all of the show had been done “blind”? (Obviously not practical, but an interesting question nonetheless). Xenia might have actually done better under those circumstances, as her nerves and lack of stage presence were probably a huge issue in her elimination, but she has such an interesting tone to her voice, her itunes releases could be at home on the radio today.

  39. dbaj says:

    Can’t get that nasty image outta my head of Cee Lo in the background, right at the end, fluttering his tongue between his fingers. YUCK. Come on…on NBC prime time you gotta do that? Love him, but that was classless.

  40. ddutchie88 says:

    I’ve never read recaps I agree more on than your also excelently written The Voice recaps dear sir. I too am rooting for Vicci, Dia, Beverly and Javier in that order. Javier seems like a genuinely nice guy, but I thought his performance last night very underwhelming and shakey. He still hasn’t been able to match his beautiful audition song and I really don’t get his popularity.
    Vicci was awesome, in both singing and stage presence, but her original song was totally lackluster (she made the best of it though, except for that one glory note..) Her duet with Cee Lo was perfection. Dia is lovely all around and also very talented, if she wins I won’t be disappointed. I actually kind of wrote the same rant on some boards about the ridiculous accusation of her shyness being an act. Beverly made me cry with her “I am beautiful”. Chills all over.
    I’ll really miss this show. It’s such a warm and talent-driven show. I am definitely looking forward to Vicci’s, Dia’s and Beverly’s albums that will hopefully follow their succes on The Voice.
    Oh also, I love the coaches. Especially Cee Lo and Blake. I even love the ridiculous diva that is Xtina (she makes me roll my eyes a lot, but somehow I still find her an adorably awkward little fire cracker)

  41. Taylor says:

    It’s amazing how bitter some people are. Dia’s my favorite because of her talent, not her looks. Something about her tone just gives me the chills that I like.
    I bought the original songs of the girls, and I liked all of them a lot. Die’s was surprisingly catchy and just grew on me the more I listened. Vicci’s was powerful and amazing. Beverly’s was rocking, but I detected a hint of her jazzy side.
    I’m glad I’m not the onl one who thought Dia and Blake’s duet was cute because of their matching outfits. I had a smile plastered on my face the entire time.

  42. Louis says:

    Michael, spot on recap. Not sure everybody recognized it.. but the Lusky Stank reference was hilarious.

  43. Sivat says:

    All the duets were amazing, but Vicci and Cee Lo blew me away! Dia and Blake were a close second.

    None of the original songs were that great, and considering the musicianship of the contestants, I wish they had contributed to the songwriting. But I guess they need a “guaranteed hit” and fast.

    Anyway, I’m rooting for Bev, Dia or Vicci. If ANY of those three win I’ll be a happy camper.

    • Sivat says:

      Also, I had never even heard of Blake before this show, but he’s my favourite judge. He has the best comebacks. Love!

    • michael says:

      personally i think all 4 of those songs were incredibly mediocre and that none of them will be a hit but I agree that thats probably why they had the songwriters come in instead of having the contestants write their own songs

  44. shannon says:

    According to my closed captioning Dia said “the magnificent Tom Petty”

  45. Chad says:


  46. RD says:

    How ironic will it be if the winner of the first season of ‘the voice’ doesn’t really have one?

  47. Geoirge Frazze says:

    I liked that the finalists sang “original” songs – it distinguished itself from other singing competitions. I just wish that instead of the duets, that the finalists would have been required to sing a ballad or acappella – to actually showcase their voice talents – there was so much production that the whole concept of “the Voice” was lost after the blind auditions which was too bad.

  48. wtfnyc says:

    Agree 100% on your should/will order. I think on balance, Vicci’s 2 performances added up to more than the others’, but I still think Dia will win. Which is fine, because (1) I do really enjoy her voice and what it does with songs and (2) I can’t help but root for Team Papa Bear/SoFreakinHot/Blake.

    One thing I was not fine with, however, was Xtina’s attitude when commenting on the non-Beverly performances. She was begrudging and dismissive (watch it back — she was SHRUGGING), and honestly downright rude to Javier and Vicci, and she didn’t even MENTION Dia’s performance, choosing instead to spend her time jabbing at Blake. Yes, they were right, but Xtina’s sole focus on it: RUDE and b!tchy (Adam bugged much less). LOVED Blake’s comeback.

    • Liz says:

      I completely agree with you on everything you said. Blake is the epitome of classiness while Xtina is pretty much the opposite. He gives amazingly helpful critiques to ALL of the contestants, while Xtina really does shrug everyone off. From the very first day I thought and strongly believed that he would be probably the best coach for his team. I couldn’t imagine what this show would be like without him.

  49. andrea says:

    completely agree with slezak, i absolutely love vicci, she is my favorite and i want her to win but i know is not gonna happen, i like all of the contestants but she is my favorite, then dia, beverly and javier

  50. Danielle H. says:

    Dude, it’s the kids from Hook in the video you provided! ROFL