On Tuesday night, “The Voice” aired its semifinal episode. It was another ambitious episode comprised of four eliminations, 10 performances (eight with contestants and two with the coaches) and a new rule. Unlike previous weeks in which viewers had nearly a week to cast their votes, this week America has less than 12 hours and their votes will be tallied along with the coaches’ scores (a la Dancing with the Stars) to determine which four contestants will head into the finale next week.
This week coaches Cee Lo Green and Adam Levine each faced the arduous task of seeing their group of four contestants whittled down to two. For Mr. Green’s team, America chose the powerful Vicci Martinez as a semifinalist and Cee Lo chose Nakia, saying goodbye to the Thompson sisters and country-boy Curtis Grimes.
In Adam’s group, it was favorite Javier Colon that was saved by America’s votes, while Adam Levine selected Casey Weston to move on to the finals. Devon Barley and Jeff Jenkins were the final two eliminations of the night.
Tonight Frenchie Davis performed Madonna’s, “Like A Prayer.” Christina insisted that Frenchie was going to take this song someplace it has never been before by adding a gospel feel. Apparently Christina missed Madonna’s music video that takes place in a church . . . with a choir.
Despite Christina’s assurances, the arrangement of the song stripped it of its soul and left little gospel feel at all. Frenchie looked a bit uncomfortable – not just with the part where she had to navigate the steep stairs in stilettos – through the entire song. The judges/coaches all loved her performance with Adam remarking that she seemed to have more command of the performance than last time. (It’s remarkable how Adam Levine can be so handsome and so wrong at the same time.)
Next up was Beverly McClellan, who showed Frenchie what real command of a song looks and sounds like with her rendition of, “The Thrill is Gone,” by B.B. King. Christina remarked that Beverly is one of the reasons she is so thankful she signed on to do the show.
Team Cee Lo:
Cee Lo selected, “What Do You Want From Me,” by Adam Lambert for Nakia. Nakia managed to pull it off. Cee Lo predicted that Nakia was going to be the next big star. Let’s hope that Cee Lo has someone with more acumen managing his investments because despite Nakia’s modicum of talent, this five minutes of fame is not likely to make him the next household name.
Vicci Martinez. Sang Florence and the Machine’s,“Dog Days are Over.” Adam and Blake were in synch and spot on when they deemed it the coolest and most powerful performance of the night.
Somehow when the show began, it seemed as though Blake would be the underdog but he ultimately ended up with two of the best performers of the show.
Dia Frampton, unlike Nakia, is the one to watch as an emerging star. This week she proved that her Kanye West cover two-weeks ago was not a fluke with her ingenious and artistic performance of REM’s, “Losing my Religion.” Dia Frampton may be to “The Voice” what Kelly Clarkson is to “American Idol.”
Xenia was up next and she chose The Script’s, “The Man Who Can’t Be Moved.” Blake described Xenia, 16, as the voice of her generation. One may be tempted to dismiss such strong accolades when they see Xenia’s self-conscious and rigid performances but underneath the guise of an introverted 16-year-old, Xenia definitely has the gift of a unique tone and many years to perfect it.
It is not clear if Casey Weston chose “I Will Always Love You,” by Dolly Parton or if it was Adam Levine’s decision. What is clear is that Adam and Casey would butt heads over it; Adam and his protégé don’t always see eye to eye but ultimately they seem satisfied with the product of their dysfunction. While the performance started off rather rough, Casey was eventually able to infuse her unique sound into the song – making it seem more like an original than an attempt at being Whitney Houston.
Javier Colon: selected the mellifluous “Fix You,” by Coldplay. Javier gave a solid performance and though Adam maintained that Javier has one of the best voices he’s ever heard, the hype of Javier hardly seems appropriate. His performances, though good, have not produced images of future grandeur like Dia Frampton’s.
“The Voice,” will air a special results show Wednesday night in which America will learn which four contestants will compete in next week’s finale.
- Beverly McClellan
- Vicci Martinez
- Dia Frampton
- Javier Colon