Season 2 Finals, The Voice

The Voice recap: Who should win


Well, The Voice kept the music coming Monday night, didn’t it.

In addition to the promised solo from each artist and in addition to the promised duet with their mentors, we got an added bonus.

Each of the four finalists also sang a solo tribute to his or her mentor.  In other words, one of that artist’s songs.

My only quibble is with the format.  If we’re only supposed to vote based on each artist’s critiqued solo performance, why weren’t all of those at the end of the show?

Why were they mixed in with the duets and the tributes?  Poor Jermaine Paul sang his solo first.  Eleven performances and nearly two hours later, did anyone but his most avid fans remember.

And how do we ignore that rousing duet of “Born to Be Wild” by Juliet Simms and Cee Lo Green?  Or that mismatched duet when I just kept wishing Chris Mann’s wish never came true so that he would have been singing “The Prayer” alone?

Oh, well, on with the recap:

Best of the night:   I’ve said all along he has the show’s best pure voice, and he displayed it again last night.  Chris Mann had Christina in tears before he finished “You Raised Me Up.”  He didn’t have me in tears, but that was a special vocal by a special singer.

Runners-up:   Christina balked and sulked and sniped, but I loved Tony Lucca’s take on “99 Problems.”  Of all the performances Monday night, that’s probably the one I’d be most prone to download.  Another crowd-pleasing performance from the guy Christina once called too “one-dimensional.”   I was less thrilled by Juliet Simms’ song choice — “Freebird.”   And for the first minute, I thought I was going to be disappointed by the performance.  Then Juliet went into that possessed place she always seems to go when she takes the stage for a wild ending that salvaged it all.

Worst of the night:  “I Believe I Can Fly?”  Really?   That’s what Jermaine Paul decided to open the night with?  The vocal wasn’t bad.  It was pretty much like most Jermaine performances — OK, not really special, not even with the flourish at the end.  And certainly not something I’d remember by the end of the show.

Dueling T-shirts:  Judging from some reports I’d read, Adam Levine probably knew Christina had a problem with Tony’s song, “99 Problems.”  Particularly the line where he kept skipping a key word in the lyric.  That’s why he donned the Team Xtina T-shirt to show off at the end.  But Cee Lo Green gets the award for clever ploy of the night.  With Juliet Simms on his team, he proclaimed he has no problems, then showed off a T-shirt emblazoned with those words.

Best duet:  Call it a tie.  Watching Juliet and Cee Lo rock out to “Born to Be Wild” was a blast.  Watching “shuffling Shelton” and Jermaine Paul take on “Soul Man” was a lot of fun, too.  Hey, Blake held his own, didn’t he?

Best tribute song:  Juliet might have won this one if her vocals weren’t half buried under too loud backing music, a recurring problem on The Voice this season.  When you drown out Juliet, you know the background music is too loud.  In the end, my favorite was Tony Lucca’s take on Maroon 5’s “Harder to Breathe,” after which Tony confessed it was hard to get all those words out.  Another nice job, Tony.

Who should win?   Juliet Simms, of course.  Why do you think she closed the show?  Again?  And, folks, she’s not just a lady rocker.  Listen to the mostly acoustic “The Kids Will Take Their Monsters On” album released last year by Automatic Loveletter.  It’s mostly acoustic, and filled with Juliet Simms-penned songs.  Anyway, this isn’t just about Monday night, when her “Freebird” performance was no better than second best in my mind.  It’s about what’s transpired this season on The Voice.  About that version of “Roxanne” that sounded better than the original.  About that version of “Cryin'” wearing those black wings.  And, most of all, about that brilliant version of “It’s a Man’s, Man’s, Man’s World” last week. Juliet Simms is the show’s undisputed breakout star.

Now, if she weren’t on the show, I’d be pulling very hard for Tony Lucca.

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1 Comment

  1. Debbi May 8, 2012 at 12:32 pm -  Reply

    I love “The Voice”. If the finals were last week, I would have said Juliet Simms won. But this show is based on last performances. First I thought Juliet looked amazing. Every song she has sung on The Voice has been old school rock. If you doubt this, look at the character who has been sitting with her boyfriend lately. The first song we hear her sing is “Crazy”. I love this song, but I didn’t like her singing it. Next she sings a duet with Cee Lo. What I could hear I didn’t like. She is last again, so she could still sing something awesome. Of all the songs she could have sung, she picks “Free Bird”. Not a good choice. No, I don’t think she will win.
    Chris Mann did very well. First, we hear him sing a duet with Christina. Although I think it is a mismatched duet, it makes him sound great. His dedication song is very good too. “You Raise Me Up” is a crowd pleaser, but it’s hard not to compare him to Josh Groban. My sister thinks Josh is in the crowd, but it’s Joel Osteen. Chris could win this.
    Jermaine is such a talented guy. “I Believe I can Fly” by R Kelly always reminds me of Space Jam, but I love the way he sings it. His duet with Blake is funny and shows his other side. I hope he comes in second.
    I have nothing against Tony Lucca, but his last three songs have been aimed at Christina. I thought it was very clever in the beginning, it’s very childish of Adam to continue. Christina doesn’t like Justin Timberlake and when he supported Tony, she turned on Tony. The organization “Vote for the Worst” is backing Tony because they want to anger Christina. No offense, Tony, but I hope you come in fourth.

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