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The Voice 2, April 9: Everybody Wants to Rockby Barbara McDowell -- 04/10/2011
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Welcome back to The Voice – I’m glad you made it back for another dose of the live rounds. I’ve been looking forward to this week because it brings back some stronger talent and fan favorites. The coaches appear to be in good spirits, Cee Lo has discarded his ‘70s gear to return to this decade, and I hear Purrfect cat will be making an appearance. Host Carson Daly reminds us that voting can be done via calling the 866 numbers, texting from Sprint phones, downloading your favorite artist’s song from iTunes, or voting via Facebook. Voting closes at 10:00 am EST on Tuesday.
Katrina Parker – “Tonight Tonight”
Katrina is one of Adam’s strong-voiced contestants. During some of the earlier rounds, he’s coached her on having confidence and trusting her natural gifts. For this week, he’s wanting her to find the connection to the song and just sing.
Okay, the stylists have dressed her with a hairstyle and dress reminiscent of Adele. I don’t think this is a good thing because it might cause some to make that mental comparison and then judge her against it. The song itself is a bit bland because it has been arranged to be more mid-tempo ballad versus a rock song. There are better choices that would have fit her voice and highlighted the unique strengths. As it is, Katrina sings it with a happy air that doesn’t fit and she does what she can with the basic melody.
Christina says she was worried about what Katrina’s connection would be to the song and wanted her “to rock out a bit more.” She praises her beautiful voice. Cee Lo says the song isn’t meant to be a “show tune,” thus it lacked the connection that the original version has. Adam disagrees and says he’s happy with the song choice fit and with her performance.
Cheesa – “Don’t Leave Me This Way”
Cee Lo mentions how, after her battle round, people on Facebook and Twitter were posting that Angie Johnson should have moved forward instead of Cheesa. I say they were right. As I stated that week, “Angie has the better, more emotionally connected voice.” Cheesa just went to warp five loud and that is what Cee Lo favored.
Cheesa’s performance feels like it is cruise-ship, Vegas-night theme worthy. If the live rounds are the opportunity to reintroduce yourself to the audience and show what you aim to be as an artist, she has failed. Is her goal to bring back disco? Does she fancy herself to be a dance/club song performer? The singing itself is generic in the beginning, melting down into out-of-breath, unsupported notes from the stage stalking and occasional dance moves. This isn’t a good performance and I wonder how the coaches will address it.
They don’t. Blake says he loved it and it was “like watching Solid Gold.” He says the performance had “Cee Lo written all over it.” Adam agrees that the performance has Cee Lo’s signature on it, but worries that Cheesa didn’t stand out over the other great singers in the competition. Cee Lo disagrees with Adam and feels it was “wonderful” and the performance lent itself to a fusion of power vocal and dance. Interesting that Christina doesn’t get to weigh in.
We are kicking back to the Sprint Lounge and Christina Milian, and just as last year, I’m not sure what the point is.
Tony Lucca – “In Your Eyes”
Tony, our former Mouseketeer, has picked a song that appears to be a good fit for his voice. Adam says he coached him to stretch and hit some falsetto notes that are out of his comfort zone.
Tony starts off strong and brings some different turns and pacing to the verses that provides for a few nice moments and highlight his warm tone. In terms of performance, the initial connection is lost when he moves from standing at the mic to walking around the stage smiling and bending over to hit the hands of people in the audience. That pulls me right out of believing what he is singing.
Christina says, “obviously we go back,” as a reference to their time in The Mickey Mouse Club together as kids. She then pulls out what feels like a pocket knife and digs in hard saying, “I find you to be very one-dimensional” and would love to see where he “would grow from this stage” in terms of versatility if he makes it past this point. She then notes that Tony has gotten a lot of support from her (um, doesn’t feel like it), the old Mouseketeer buddies, and Justin Timberlake in particular, but feels this is a contest really about the voice and that “there are just better voices on the show versus a celebrity sway” type of thing. I’m not sure what has been brewing behind the scenes, but that critique felt like it swung to a bit of a personal attack.
Adam addresses Christina’s stabbing commentary by saying, “that was honest,” but doesn’t formally take anything she’s said to task. He says that Tony worked his way around the falsetto piece in a way that made him proud. He feels that Tony met the challenge of the song. Cee Lo and Blake are not given time to comment, which does not allow us to know if they would have counteracted Christina’s view.1 2 3 Next-->
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