The Voice “Live Final Performances” Revivew


The second season of The Voice is coming to a close. The four finalists – Tony, Juliet, Jermaine and Chris – faced off one final time with the hopes that viewers would crown one of them the second season winner. The finalists performed three songs which included a duet with their coach, a song dedicated to their coach and a song chosen with their coach.

Jermaine

Although singing “I Believe I Can Fly” with a gospel choir may not have been the most original choice for Jermaine, it allowed him a great opportunity to showcase his tremendous singing ability. Jermaine has been a consistent performer week after week but he somehow still managed to elevate his standards with his stirring rendition of the song.

Jermaine dedicated “God Gave Me You” to his coach, Blake. I’m not familiar with the song but I enjoyed Jermaine’s performance and Blake seemed pleased with it too. Over the last two seasons of The Voice, Blake has proven to be a really supportive coach. He is still actively involved with season 1 contestants as well as eliminated contestants from the current season. It is a shame that his support of and camaraderie with his contestants has been largely overshadowed by the nonsense with Adam, Christina and Tony.

I loved that Jermaine and Blake chose to sing “Soul Man” together. As Blake noted, it was fun to see Jermaine cut loose a bit. This was not only my favorite duet, it was my favorite performance of the night. It was the only song from last night that is now on my iPod.

Juliet

Despite battling pneumonia, Juliet gave solid final performances. I liked her rendition of Cee Lo’s “Crazy” the least. It was a predictable choice and was not the best vehicle for her voice. The choice was understandable because it is arguably Cee Lo’s most commercially popular song aside from “F You.” I think a different arrangement would have improved the performance. Nelly Furtado covered the song with a different arrangement that I think would have better served Juliet. Actually, Nelly Furtado’s cover would have also been a perfect song for Lindsey Pavao on Christina’s team.

Juliet paired up with Cee Lo to perform “Born To Be Wild,” which was quite fitting for the two. Despite having some of the night’s most literal staging (motorcycles, really?), the performance was solid. Juliet appeared to be a bit encumbered by her bout with pneumonia. She sounded fine but lacked some of the power in her delivery to which I’ve grown accustomed.

A caped Juliet performed “Freebird” for her final song of the night. After a slow start, Juliet found her stride and gave her best performance of the night. Unfortunately, non of these performances captured the same magic as her rendition of “It’s A Man’s, Man’s World.”

Chris

Of all the finalists, Chris was the most surprising this season. He’s been a consistent performer but emerged as a viewer favorite much later in the season. Chris and Christina began his series of performances with a powerful rendition of “The Prayer.” Like the selection of “I Believe I Can Fly” for Jermaine, “The Prayer” was a bit safe and predictable for Chris. That aside, the pair sounded great together.

In honor of his coach, Chris sang “The Voice Within.” I applaud the selection as Chris had a pretty vast catalog of Christina’s songs that would have been more predictable. The selection was fitting because Christina has allowed Chris to stay true to himself this entire season. Christina’s continued digs at Tony/Adam aside, I appreciated Chris’s heartfelt words of gratitude.

For his final song, Chris performed “You Raise Me Up,” which was the perfect choice to allow him to be contemporary while staying true to his style. Of all of his performance throughout this competition, this was my favorite.

Tony

Many, many weeks later, Christina’s “one-dimensional” comment is still a topic of discussion. *Sigh* For his first performance, Tony made the interesting choice to perform Jay-Z’s “99 Problems.” I could spend this entire review on this performance. Let’s start with the staging. What did the fire have to do with the song? Was it supposed to be symbolic of a hard-knock life? The band was my favorite part of the performance but what was with the signs on some of the instruments? So strange. Now the big controversy – was the choice derogatory? Although Jay-Z’s “bitch” may have been a metaphor for life, I’m not convinced that Tony’s bitch was not a living, breathing woman named Christina. You can’t do an entire intro package focused on Tony and Christina and then perform that song without the suggestion that you are not talking about a metaphorical bitch. Let’s review Tony’s post-one-dimensional criticism song selections:

“Hit Me Baby One More Time” This was arguably a direct response to the criticism and a thinly veiled acknowledgment of Christina’s frustration with Tony benefiting from his Mouseketeer connections. A Justin Timberlake song would have been too literal and would have done nothing to refute the critique.

“How You Like Me Now” After the “success” of “Hit Me Baby One More Time,” the song could be viewed as another dig at Aguilera.

And finally, “99 Problems.” Sorry Adam, this bitch ain’t metaphorical.

Further, I don’t understand why neither Adam or Tony acknowledged that his “rendition” was originally done by Hugo. Even Carson called it Tony’s take on the song. I’m sure Hugo was somewhere at home thinking “what the hell man?” Hugo did it better as does Linkin Park. As far as singing rap songs on The Voice, Dia Frampton set the bar high with her rendition of Kanye West’s Heartless – a standard I think Tony failed to meet. Simply put, I’m over this entire Tony/Adam/Christina thing.

Following bitch-gate, “Kindred spirits” Tony and Adam paired up to perform “Yesterday.” This is easily my favorite song by The Beatles so it was difficult to listen without being a bit biased. Surprisingly, it was actually my favorite of Tony’s three performances. However, I thought he was overall the weakest of the finalists.

In a tribute to Adam, Tony sang “Harder to Breathe.” Did Tony flub the words? Did it seem like it was literally hard for him to breathe? Did anyone notice Christina on her cell phone during the performance?

Finals on The Voice means much more than preparation for final performances, it also meant serious social media campaigning for some of the teams. Blake implored his fellow musician friends to help him rally for Jermaine Paul. Blake also sent out a barrage of funny tweets, such as Jermaine was the Pope’s choice for the season 2 winner. Jermaine’s former employer, Alicia Keys, also appealed to her twitter followers as did Blake’s celebrity coach, Kelly Clarkson.

Things got really interesting after the finale, when Cee Lo took to twitter to state that he did not have to buy votes or campaign for celebrities and that he would sign Juliet if she was not the winner of The Voice. Clearly frustrated with twit-ics (Twitter critics), Cee Lo then tweeted the following:

Cee Lo Green (@CeeLoGreen)
5/8/12 12:07 AM
I reply back to you shit talking cowards on twitter cause I’m not one! I hate haters and I wish death on you and your loved ones kids too

Of course, those tweets have since been deleted. So um, yeah, interesting night on the show and social media for The Voice.

What did you think about the final performances? If it was based on the final performance, I thought Jermaine was hands down the best. If based on the best performance of the season, I’d have to give it to Juliet. Sound off below.