Hello again, fans of The Voice! As you can imagine, I was very much upset by last week’s elimination of Amanda Brown, but even I have to admit that last night’s Semifinals was mostly impressive, especially from one dude that I’ve been picking on for most of the season. The final four battled it out — two from Team Cee Lo; two from Team Blake — to garner the necessary votes and iTunes sales that will propel them into next week’s finale. Based solely on their performances from yesterday’s show, here is how I stack up each of the Final Four:
4. Terry McDermott “Let it Be” — If Terry wins The Voice, it’ll be because of the heartstrings he pulls whenever America sees him interact with his family. How can you not root for such a father and husband that wants nothing but the best for those he loves most in life? That being said, the winner needs to be someone who has been vocally stellar across the entire season, espousing knockout performance after knockout performance. I can’t sit here, look at America in the eye and say Terry McDermott has accomplished this necessary goal. Can you? So how did Terry do tackling one of The Beatles’ most celebrated tracks? From what my ears were telling me, Terry was rushing the song and not fully experiencing those gut-wrenching lyrics. The fear in his eyes still concerns me and makes me wonder if he’s trying too hard to impress. Desperation at this late stage of the game can only hurt instead of help. Also, his voice got a bit whiny and off-track several times during the song, and I just wish he had employed more control over that terrific natural instrument of his. I hated the arrangement and was emotionally unresponsive to the version presented to me. His falsetto at the end was a bit pretentious, and there was no doubt in my mind that it was the least affecting performance of the semifinals. I know America will likely disagree with me, but the quick pace and rock embellishments turned me off.
Performance Review: (**1/2)
3. Trevin Hunte “Wind Beneath My Wings” — Trevin Hunte has grown so much throughout this competition, and I’m getting a bit misty-eyed remembering where he started and now how he’s finishing. What a glorious first song with some very controlled notes, and that chorus was beyond anything I could have imagined. The way Trevin attacked those notes was powerful but also rather angelic. Yes, the middle portion slowed down a bit and I can see how the audience may have trailed off, but the smooth, velvety beginning and gusto finish should stick with viewers for as long as their voting fingers can text and call. Or at least I hope so…
Performance Review: (***1/2)
2. Cassadee Pope “Stupid Boy” — Cassadee Pope may not have the pipes of Celine Dion, but what she can do is tell a story like the best of them. Every enunciated note had a purpose, and that is the mark of a true artist. I wasn’t just hearing sounds emerge from Cassadee but a novel that sang. Christina was absolutely correct when she said that Casadee’s “autotune” voice shouldn’t be dismissed – that’s her natural sound, and I’m sure many singers who struggle singing live are poking little needles in a Cassadee Pope voodoo doll right about now because they lack such talent. There were some moments of noticeable vocal strain, but as far as pure ballads are concerned, Cassadee sucked away the sappy and infused the emotional authenticity with some much needed 21st century cool. I am beyond impatient — let’s just crown Cassadee Pope the winner already! This girl is radio, Billboard and iTunes gold, platinum & diamond as far as I’m concerned.
Performance Review: (***1/2)
1. Nicholas David “You Are So Beautiful” — I’m not sure why Nicholas was making angry faces while performing a song that is about expressing another person’s beauty, but okay. Jokes and minor quibbles aside, this was easily his strongest vocal to date. The way he swallowed those notes up like it was nobody’s business was astonishing. More than anything, I loved how completely focused and centralized this performance was. As far as covers go, I don’t remember one being quite so respectful, sincere and honest. I have been so very harsh towards Nicholas David throughout the competition, but I did say that if he showed some creativity he might be worth something to the music scene. I won’t go that far yet, but with one incredibly powerful and moving performance, he undeniably deserves a spot in that finale. Nicholas, my hat is off to you. I was wrong.
Performance Review: (****)
Should Be Bottom Two: Trevin Hunte and Terry McDermott
Will Be Bottom Two: Trevin Hunte and Nicholas David
Should Go Home: Terry McDermott
Will Go Home: Trevin Hunte
So what did ya’ll think of the Semfinals? Am I too hard on Terry; too lenient on Trevin? Like me, do you just want this season to be over since we all know those iTunes sales are going to guarantee Cassadee Pope as Season Three’s winner? Or will Terry McDermott and his family man charm steal the presumed victory away from Cassadee? Share your thoughts below in the comments section! See you for the finale where I’ll also be announcing the five best performances of The Voice: Season Three! Stay tuned and stay in tune!