Published on June 29th, 2011 | by Melody Simpson1
‘The Voice’ Episode 1.11 Review: The Final Performances
Last night’s episode of The Voice provided for quite an entertaining evening of live television, minus the opening performance. The coaches opened up with a special performance of ”Under Pressure.” This was perhaps the messiest arrangement ever this season, so thankfully, fans were not subjected to this hot mess for too long…
The final four Javier Colon (Team Adam), Beverly McClellan (Team Christina), Vicci Martinez (Team Cee Lo), and Dia Frampton (Team Blake) performed two songs in this two hour broadcast, one duet with their respective coach and one original song. The original songs were much more intriguing to say the least. Viewers finally got a true taste for each artists’ own personal style. Colon worked with Rodney Jerkins (perfect choice) for his original song, “Stitch by Stitch” which was magnificent. Colon’s voice is beautiful and the lyrics were equally heartfelt. The only criticism towards this performance is that the band, the instruments could barely be heard. Yes, this show is all about the voice but every other element of the music is just as important as the voice, so not getting the full sound was slightly disappointing. Butch Walker produced “Afraid to Sleep,” the original song for Martinez which was just as powerful a song lyrically as Colon’s but provided for much more of an energetic performance. And still, for some reason, I would have absolutely loved this number performed acoustically. Still, her performance was phenomenal. Does anyone else want to see Martinez sing a duet with Melissa Etheridge?
When it was revealed that McClellan’s original song was titled “Love Sick,” I immediately had to get Emily Osment’s “Lovesick” out of my head. Depending on your genre of choice, Osment’s own may be more satisfying than McClellan’s original rock tune. The lyrics to this song were quite powerful though. The piano that Frampton took to for her original song, “Inventing Shadows” could not be heard as much as some would have liked but Frampton’s voice is hypnotic enough. The most entertaining part? Shelton knocking Aguilera after she tried to knock the mimes in the shadow boxes during Frampton’s performance. Levine even said that the mimes were distracting but Shelton did not back down. He knows Frampton will sell well. We all do. No matter the distractions, her song and voice are as captivating as it gets.
As for the duets… Frampton and Shelton took on Tom Petty’s “I Won’t Back Down” and if this wasn’t the best duet of the entire season, I don’t know what was. Have these two considered recording an entire album together because that’s how good they sound together. What a magnificent duo these two make. Frampton’s stage presence has also noticeably grown since her blind audition. She’s quite the performer! Frampton could pack the house at Hotel Cafe in Los Angeles, so hopefully that is in her future after the tour. McClellan and Aguilera performed Aguilera’s own, “Beautiful” written by Linda Perry. McClellan definitely put her own personality into the song, which is what the song is all about, so that was refreshing. Their harmonies were also more spectacular than many may have expected. However, this is hopefully the first and last acoustic performance full of singing screams.
Colon and Levine took on “Man in The Mirror” by Michael Jackson and their performance was just as sweet as viewers would imagine it to be even though they were almost identical to the original, not leaving much room for their own personalities. It is not easy to do this with any Michael Jackson song, so the two clearly just had fun with this number, as Levine pointed out beforehand. Closing out the show were Martinez and Cee Lo with “Love is a Battlefield” which was the perfect song for these two. As Martinez predicted, this performance was a show stopper! It was over the top and drama filled, as expected. Perhaps Bono should ask Cee Lo for some ideas for his next Broadway venture. Anyway, this was the perfect ending to the night and a great peak at what to expect in one explosive season finale tonight!
Special musical guests, Neyo and Pitbull performed their song, “Give Me Everything” which fit the final performance show thematically perfectly. However, when I think of “The Voice,” Pitbull does not come to mind. He just comes with the package given he is featured on the song. Brad Paisley also performed his song, “Don’t Drink the Water” which surely pleased the country audience, especially when Shelton got up from his chair to join in. Viewers checked in with Alison Haislip three times (not enough) throughout the broadcast and also checked in with American Idol alumni and actress, Katharine McPhee of the upcoming NBC series, SMASH. McPhee performs “Beautiful” in the new series, so it was important for her to show her face and promote this project. As someone who will be watching SMASH, I did not mind this shameless self promotion. What did you think? Will you be watching SMASH? Which original song did you enjoy the most last night? Who do you think will win?
Favorite Moment: Host, Carson Daly made a reference to his TRL hosting days.
Note: The top 8 artists are going on tour beginning late July 2011. Go to NBC.com/TheVoice for more details.
Watch The Voice season finale live tonight at 8/7c on NBC.
*Photo Credit: Lewis Jacobs/NBC