The Voice: The last stand
I've been trying to think of something negative to say about The Voice's final performance show so I don't sound like a total booster.
Okay, the coaches' group number, "Under Pressure," sounded off on the harmonies; Christina Aguilera got a bit petulant with Blake Shelton; Blake was a bit offside with his joke about Vicci Martinez getting into Adam Levine's pants; there was a gratuitous promo for NBC's new TV show Smash involving a slightly self-absorbed Katharine McPhee; and I'm not so crazy about the woman who does the show's social media segments.
But that's not much of a price to pay for a madly entertaining two-hour episode.
And here's another thing: Pitbull, Ne-Yo and Brad Paisley; who needs guest stars? They were just filler. The best part was watching the four finalists sing original songs and duets with their coaches.
The great news for fans is that those singers, along with the four semifinalists, will go on tour this summer, beginning July 27 in Los Angeles. The bad news: there are only six dates listed and none of those are in Canada. C'mon NBC, if Fox can send the Idols to Toronto, we're worthy of The Voice.
I really don't know who's going to win on Wednesday night. My guess would be it's between Javier Colon and Dia Frampton, but that's only a guess.
Javier's performance of his original song, "Stitch by Stitch," was my favourite, but Dia Frampton also sounded fabulous on her new tune, "Inventing Shadows" (I agree with Christina and Cee Lo Green, though, the silhouetted dancers in the background distracted from Dia's awesomeness).
My favourite duet was a tie between Christina and Beverly McClellan on "Beautiful," and Javier and Adam on "Man in the Mirror" (which managed to permanently erase Jacob Lusk's American Idol version from my memory banks, thankfully).
And performance of the night in terms of presentation has to go to Vicci and Cee Lo for their duet on "Love Is a Battlefield." There were flames; there were pint-sized Rage Crew dancers; there was Cee Lo with a cherry red mohawk and nasty spikes on the shoulders of his red tunic, and Vicci in a leather and metal breastplate and feathers. Yeah, Cee Lo knows how to put on a show.
But in picking favourites, I'm not saying that any of the performances were bad.
Beverly, for instance, whose voice I really, really love, was her usual full-out self on her original song, "Lovesick." Because it's a rock song I'm not sure it will resonate with the viewers doing the voting as much as the ballads will, though.
Dia was strong in her duet with Blake on "I Won't Back Down," particularly on the choruses.
(Only the solo performances counted for votes, by the way, but all the songs are available as downloads on iTunes.)
Vicci was typically intense on her new single, "Afraid to Sleep," although the enunciation could have been clearer on the verses and I could have sworn I heard a bum note or two. But Cee Lo could be right when he said, "I don't think nobody's gonna beat you."
(Blake's crack about Adam's pants had to do with the fact that he got Vicci a pair of leather jeans after she admired the pair that he was wearing.)
Javier told host Carson Daly, "I think we'd all like to win but, at the same time, we all genuinely love each other and I say that so seriously, so I think ... we'd all be so happy for either one of us."
Really, I feel the same way. It's a pleasant sensation to be writing about four talented people who all deserve to win, instead of grumbling about how this or that singer managed to last so long in the competition, which is sometimes the case on Idol.
It's been a fun first season on The Voice. I've enjoyed the performances and how high the level of talent was from the get-go, and the interactions between the coaches and the singers, and I've developed new respect for the coaches as performers in their own right, if that doesn't sound too Pollyanna of me.
But it's not over yet: we still have to find out who wins the $100,000, the recording contract with Universal Republic Records and the title of The Voice.
Tune in at 8 p.m. Wednesday on CTV and look for the recap here.