A Season 2 semifinalist, I blog about the NBC competition for TheWrap
Wow, I can’t believe we’re at the end of this long “The Voice” journey on NBC. Season 5 – despite your excessive use of a smoke machine — I’m sad to see you go. Now one last time – let’s talk about my favorite (and least favorite) moments from this week’s final performances.
1. Coach wardrobe check
Coach Adam Levine was going to the country club for a Great Gatsby themed party, while coach Cee Lo Green was wearing what appeared to be fancy tire treads. We can always count on Cee Lo, eh?
2. Queen of the night
OK, let’s get straight to my favorite performance this week. Tessanne Chin’s “I Have Nothing” was nothing short of phenomenal. She seemed a little intimidated by doing such an iconic piece in rehearsals but then tore through it onstage like it was her last night on earth (appropriate for a final song!). While the effort was more obvious here than in some of her other performances, it worked well for the song’s sense of urgency. When she reached that peak towards the end of the last chorus, it was ferocious and elegant at the same time. I think Whitney Houston would be proud.
Watch the performance again above.
3. Wait, is this a rerun?
Monday night's repeat of blind audition songs was an interesting concept, but it did feel a little like we’ve been there, done that. Jacquie Lee was the only one who truly breathed new life into her song with a wonderfully unpredictable “Back to Black,” showing us how a repeat should be done.
4. Most badass drummer
The most exciting thing about the coach performance was seeing Rick Allen kill it onstage – the man fans refer to as the “Thunder God” played drums for Def Leppard, lost his left arm and then learned to play drums again with one arm like a BOSS. P.S. Seeing coach Blake Shelton crouch his way through “Pour Some Sugar on Me” has altered me in unspeakable ways.
5. Limitless Potential
Jacquie Lee is a dynamo, one of the most fearless performers on the show this season. That being said, I didn’t think “And I Am Telling You I’m Not Going” was the ideal choice for a final song. After hearing it seamlessly performed by Jennifer Hudson and more recently by Jessica Sanchez on Fox's “American Idol,” it’s hard NOT to compare and hear the hits and misses in Jacquie’s rendition. Her passion is CLEAR, but her technical ability is still in progress. However, she has limitless potential and could very well take this whole thing.
6. To space and back
Did anyone notice all the space-inspired staging on Monday night? We had a starry sky for Will Champlin on “Not Over You,” an opera house in the bowels of space and time for Jacquie and coach Christina Aguilera’s “We Remain” and a speed of light voyage for the group performance of “I’ll Be There.” Someone has clearly been reading the space cats twitter feed and feeling inspired. I’m totally down with that.
7. Everything I do, this song doesn't do it for you
Will Champlin is a great singer and a wonderful instrumentalist. Despite a strong start, he’s been an underdog the whole season – changing teams three times and being saved once by his coach. He’s had to fight and claw his way out of a corner every week, and I can’t help but root for him, so I wanted to throw a shoe at my TV when Adam assigned him “Everything I Do, I Do It For You.” Yes, it’s an awesome 90’s song, but it’s also a little insipid and ponderous. Most importantly, it didn’t allow for one of Will’s wild card vocal performances where he just goes for it and lets loose (which doesn’t always work, but when it does? It’s fantastic). I also wonder why he didn’t play one instrument last night. He and Adam even bonded over being multi-instrumentalists – then they stood on a stage to do their duet hands-free. These were all very disappointing creative choices that hindered Will’s ability to do Will.
8. Ouch, Adam!
Dear Adam – we get you love Tessanne, but maybe now (right before Will’s final performance) is not the time to say Tessanne has won “The Voice.” I get that you’re genuinely blown away by Tessanne (I am too), but while you still have two of your team members on the show, a little restraint is a good thing. Just try to keep it a baby’s breath more subtle. For the children (and by children I mean me). Love, Katrina.
9. Let it be reggae
Both of Team Adam’s coach duets were solid (I won’t mention Team Christina’s, ok? Let’s just act like that didn’t happen), but the real standout was Tessanne and Adam’s “Let it Be.” It was relaxed, lovely and actually felt like a duet. The surprise reggae breakdown was icing on the cake.
10. Chillest baby
This award has to go to Will’s daughter who slept through one performance and then played it cool during his last song – staring at the camera like “What?? Deal with it.” I like the cut of your jib, baby!
I just want to say THANK YOU for hanging this season and letting me give a 50 percent serious/50 percent absurd take on one of my favorite shows. Your comments and shares have been greatly appreciated.
If you’re near a computer this Wednesday, tune in to see my holiday show live via Stage-it (Wednesday, Dec. 18 at 9 p.m. ET / 6p.m. PT)! Tickets are pay what you can, so join us (no pants required)!
My new holiday single “That’s What I Want for Christmas” is available now on iTunes (see the video below)! Don’t forget to check out my album “In & Out of the Dark,” which is also available on iTunes. For more updates, follow me on Twitter at @katrinapmusic and visit my website, www.katrinaparker.com. Happy Holidays!