10 Highs (and Lows) From ‘The Voice’ Final 5 Performances (Guest Blog)

A Season 2 semifinalist, I blog about the NBC competition every week for TheWrap

Well folks, we are down to the Top 5 on NBC’s “The Voice.” There are no more instant saves or second chances, so cradle your heating pad and wrap up in a warm blanket. Let’s talk about my favorite and least favorite moments from this week’s episode (in order of appearance).

1. Coach wardrobe check
The show opened to find coach Adam Levine dressed like he should be sitting by a fire singing about chestnuts and coach Blake Shelton wearing a Cole Vosbury inspired beard. Side note: My roommate wore a beard just like that to be a goat sheriff for Halloween (no offense, Cole!).

2. Waiting for lift-off
James Wolpert did a fine job on “With or Without You,” but I don’t know that the iconic song was right for this stage of the competition. Part of the song’s charm is the steady build without an obvious climax, but in this context it felt like James was treading water in a situation where every second counts. Also? I hate to be harsh, but I think we’ve heard enough about last week’s illness. Almost everyone on Season 2 struggled with illness at some point due to the grueling schedule, stress and vocal fatigue. Hell, my roommate had to go to the hospital one night and get onstage the next night. It’s an unfortunate side effect of the scenario, and unless you have laryngitis, it shouldn’t continue to be a topic of conversation.

Also read: ‘The Voice’ Top 6 Results: The Better Musician Gets America's Save (Video)

3. Breakfast at Adam's
It's 80 percent less heartbreaking than “Breakfast at Tiffany's” and involves Team Adam hanging out having a brunch and some bonding moments. These segments were nice, but are we really supposed to believe Adam made those eggs? Come on, y’all. I’m no fool.

4. Tessanne, MD – Life Coach
I love that Tessanne Chin has basically become everyone's personal counselor on Team Adam, giving words of wisdom and encouragement to her teammates as good or better than their coach’s advice.

5. You’re never fully dressed without a smile
Will Champlin did a solid job on “Carry On,” opening up and hitting all the right emotional notes (even if his pitch was a bit uneven). However, all the coaches went on about was how they loved seeing him smile and how he should do more of it. Really, coaches? You remind me of all the creepy men on the street that randomly say, “You’d be pretty if you’d only smile.” You know what? That’s patronizing and total BS, so step back. Will is cool with or without a smile (however, I do think that song could have used more banjo).

Also read: 11 Best (and Worst) Moments From ‘The Voice’ Top 6 Performances (Guest Blog)

6. Keep your day job(s), Carson.
Host Carson Daly tried to impress his new friends from “The Sing-Off” with an impression of Blake that amounted to a weak drinking mime. You know what, Carson? It’s a good thing you have like five day jobs to keep you busy, because that was kinda dismal.

7. Don't think about the puppies!
Thanks to Jacquie Lee's more inspirational, uptempo arrangement of “Angel,” I almost forgot those poor shivering puppies in that haunting ASPCA commercial. ALMOST. Jacquie did a beautiful job (and successfully showed more restraint than she has before), but still. This song is kind of sacred and makes me really sad and should be taken out of rotation immediately before America has a tissue shortage. P.S. Hey coach Christina Aguilera, the song isn't about “innocence and love.” I'm pretty sure it's about suicide, but good work reframing that!

8. Hey, did you know “The Sing-Off” was coming back?
How would you know with all the subtle lead-in advertisements? No seriously, I can’t hate. Any show that utilizes Ben Folds and introduced the world to the incredible Ruby Amanfu (pre-Jack White) is a winner in my book.

See video: Watch NBC's ‘The Sing-Off’ Teaser Airing During ‘Sound of Music Live’

9. Right suit, right beard, wrong song.
Oh, Cole Vosbury, you’re the man. Yay for piano and yay for finding yourself, but boo for doing one of my least favorite country songs and kind of ruining your gentle mojo. We prefer you and your beard soft and tender-hearted. I like the idea of going country, but this was probably not the best time to break out the Garth Brooks song penned by Billy Joel, you know? I still love you, man.

10. The night belongs to Tessanne
Tessanne Chin had me tearing up before she even started tonight. First, she was everyone’s voice of encouragement during “Breakfast with Adam.” Then she was crying in her rehearsals due to some unnamed personal issues. Then she channeled all of that into a stunning and emotionally connected performance that was one of the high points of the season. I was made of stone last night, and it STILL really moved me. I’m Team Tessanne all the way now.

Watch Tessanne sing “Bridge Over Troubled Water” again above.

Also read: Best & Worst 2013: TV's Biggest Winners and Losers of the Year

My new holiday single “That’s What I Want for Christmas” is available now on iTunes (see the video below)! You can also tune into to see my holiday show live on the internet next Wednesday (12/18) at 6PM! Tickets are available now at Stage-it, and I’m telling you – Christmas music is MY JAM. You don’t want to miss this!

Don’t forget to check out my album “In & Out of the Dark,” which is now available on iTunes. For more updates, follow me on Twitter at @katrinapmusic and visit my website, www.katrinaparker.com.

  • DM

    Agree!! Tessanne deserves to win so I hope it works out that way. Team Adam!! I know Jacquie will probably be safe, but I think the others are more deserving of the finals.

    • Katrina Parker

      Were you happy to see Tessanne make it through tonight? :)

      • DM

        YES!!!

  • David Perkins

    The Sing-Off, as always, was tons of fun. And that Jewel is a gem. I could watch her for hours (two, at least). Wow! But, I digress. BTW: The Adam Levine collection is now available at K mart. Still, I digress.

    As for The Voice, it was a show on which the artists pretty much did what they needed to do. It was a panderfest of great proportions, as required when the race to the finals is very, very close.

    Tessanne soared to #1 on iTunes with a surefire song that Matthew should have performed weeks ago (thereby keeping him on the show). Jacquie finally chose a more popular song by a more current artist — sad puppies notwithstanding — and followed Tessanne into the Top 10. Cole went country and soared to #1 on the iTunes Country chart, grabbing up untold riches of voters. Will (#10) got the iTunes bonus as well, at just the right time. And, James’ finish at #15 on iTunes would have been brilliant on any other week. Alas, it wasn't any other week.

    I'd say Tessanne and Jacquie are probably safe for the final three. Cole and Will are neck-and-neck for the third spot. The scale could tip to Cole because of the country vote, or it could tip to Will with his 5x iTunes bonus. Slight advantage to Will.

    • David Perkins

      Yup, pretty much as expected, with Tessanne, Jacquie and Will in the finals. I'd give Jacquie the early frontrunner status, in spite of Tessanne's #1 on iTunes. Hey, did you notice (n the promo) that NBC has made Danielle Bradbery's ‘My Day’ the theme for the Sochi Olympics? That is HUGE.

      • Katrina Parker

        Your picks were accurate! :) & honestly I had the same ones (based on iTunes).

        I did notice that (they played it for us in the studio also). It's enormous for her! Love it.

        • jackie

          Tessanne is one of the best voices out there right now, from the very first time she surfaced on the show , she can sing any song , hold any note , I will be shocked if she does not win, she is flawless. For the hater who said he is tired of hearing about Jamaica, we are all Americans therefore , this is a free country , that is the reason why people come from all works of life to look for an opportunity , if you do not like it then too bad. Tessanne you are the best

          • Nd

            Just to add to that, it's not Tessanne that constantly brings up Jamaica……it's the Judges.

            And I see nothing wrong with someone showing pride in their culture

          • Katrina Parker

            Agreed – I don't know why anyone had an issue with the Jamaica references? It's a part of her story and nothing to be hidden or minimized?

          • Katrina Parker

            Tessanne is a truly great singer (and I'm not getting all the hate for her backstory either?).

  • miru

    Clear winner on this show is Jacquie. Tessanne is getting overrated sympathy votes for her story. Jacquie #1 Any of the guys #2and 3. Tired of hearing about Jamaica

    • P. Cole

      What story is that? They all have their own stories. Tessanne is so very humble.

  • David Perkins

    And Katrina Parker gets a shout-out from Carson on the live show! How great is that? Congrats!

  • TTW

    Tessanne all the way!!!!!!! I say this not because of any sympathy vote but because she has the best voice, the best performance and deliver every single episode, without fail. So like her or hate her (considering that she seems like a decent human being, which is a rare commodity theses days) she deserve to win!……and she will! Team bread and butta all the way!!!!!

    • Katrina Parker

      Yeah I'm not sure what the “sympathy vote” thing meant either? I haven't seen any ploys for sympathy. I think she seems like a genuinely sweet person, & she is technically the best singer on the show right now. While I love everyone left for different reasons, her singing ability is above and beyond.

  • Doug

    When it comes down to who is the best singer, Tessanne Chin is the clear choice. If I was going for the best overall artist/musician, I would say Will and if I was going for a talent for the future, I would say Jacquie

    • Katrina Parker

      Tessanne is definitely the best singer from a technical standpoint (she is also very emotionally connected which I appreciate). & I think I gave Will my “Best Overall Musicianship” award last week? So I agree wholly with that. Great minds think alike!

  • dee

    Tessanne was great. The last three standing should have been her, Cole, and Will. They all deserve it!

    • Katrina Parker

      While I didn't think Monday was Cole's best night, I would have loved to see him stay (& would have been so happy with that top 3). I'm going to miss that beard!

  • NO TALENT TESSANE!!

    Tessanne couldn't carry a note in a bushel basket and is highly over rated. She is a screamer that seems to impress you wanna be singers out there. No talent, Just goes to show why no one from this show has really hit it big like the competitor shows have. Jackie or Will knows how it should be done.

    • P. Cole

      Screamer?

    • Guest

      Obviously you don't know anything about singing. The lady is that good but there got to be a hater like you to talk crap!!!!!!!!!!!!smh keep on hating cause im sure you cant sing like her

    • Katrina Parker

      We'll have to agree to disagree on that. Even if she's not your cup of tea, there's no doubt Tessanne is one of the most technically proficient singers on the show this season. I think everyone in the top 3 this year is really talented.

    • mich

      Sorry but Jacquie at 16 needs to finish high school give her talent time to develop so she won't end up having to twerk and swing nude on wrecking ball to get attention.

  • John

    I thought this was about amateurs showcasing their singing skills. 2 out of 3 of the finalist have contracts and albums out. Something does not sit well.

    • LDH

      It's never been just for amateurs. There have been numerous contestants with either failed contracts, former groups,or some other professional experience – many times it's been specifically mentioned in video segments about the artist's background, etc.
      Sometimes the record label goes bankrupt or simply drops an act they aren't wanting to work with any more. Vaguely recall one who'd been contract less numerous times for various reasons…
      There are a bunch of rules & regulations posted on the website for those who are curious (roomie and I were).

  • Jennifer

    Will is my favorite, I like his style and he obviously knows his way around musical instruments. I love Tessanne, she has a rich full voice and I believe she is one of those wonderful people, that has love in her heart for everyone, especially her family. Jacque is a future potential if she still has a voice. She has a tendency to screech that raises the hair right off my head. I love the show but I sometimes have an issue with the song choices of the coaches.

    • Dani

      Will is my favorite too. I think his over all talent is exceptional. I love his devotion to his craft. Tessanne is also a good singer, but I am not fond of people who are so forceful in trying to show their power. Jacquie is such a screamer, I am afraid she will loose her ability to carry a note if she does not tone it down. Can't wait to see who wins. If it isn't Will, I hope someone picks him up. I would love to hear more from him.

      • JudyeBell

        Will Champlin is my Favorite by far!! And that is even before I knew his dad is the famous Bill Champlin from ‘Son's of Champlin’ a San Francisco Band in the early 70s. I saw them open for Doctor Hook at Marine World, and the crowd literally walked out on Doctor Hook… Then, for those of you younger than fifty, Bill Champlin is the leader of ‘Chicago!’ One of the best bands of all thime by my standards… I loved Will from the start. And part of that was beneath his shyness came a voice beyond miraculous! Totally absorbing. He's just got it. Talent, looks and heart. It isn't because of his dad at all. Because to be honest, I thought Bill Champlin's name was CHAPLIN! So Go Will! We love You! And Daddy and your adorable family!

    • Katrina Parker

      Haa, I've definitely had some issues with the coach's song choices (see previous blogs) and I'd have to agree. Jacquie has a lovely instrument that just needs a little training to reach its full potential (and she's made a ton of progress). Agreed on Will and Tessanne.

  • Dave

    Song choice is the key. Don't like it when the judges push them out of their strong suit. It seems if you don't have a song with huge notes they can't win. Christina is the only judge that could win the ‘Voice'. The rest and many big time singers don't hit big notes, they sing. I think it is a toss up and if Jacquie gets a softer song she could steal it. Let her sig, not scream coach.

    • Katrina Parker

      I also prefer Jacquie when she's not on the more scream-y side of spectrum.