Glenn Gamboa writes about music for Newsday.
Is everyone having "The Voice" fatigue?
Though it's still a major hit for NBC, ratings have been dropping, with "NCIS" even passing the show on Tuesday among viewers ages 18-49. And after his tirade last week about artistry and pandering among the finalists, coach Adam Levine also seems a little tired, after being anchored to those turning chairs with Blake Shelton essentially year-round.
"We're sick of the things people do all the time on this show," Levine said. "I don't think we want to sit here and do karaoke. We want to surprise people. We want to impress people."
Of course, America responded by voting both of his singers into the bottom three. Maybe they're a little tired of him, too.
In any case, the suspense of the finale (Monday night at 8 and Tuesday night at 9 on NBC/4) should shake off some of the fatigue -- along with special guests Coldplay, Ed Sheeran, Tim McGraw and OneRepublic. After all, there's no clear-cut front-runner among the final three -- Team Adam's Christina Grimmie, Team Usher's Josh Kaufman and Team Blake's Jake Worthington. All three have already scored Top 10 singles on iTunes and the coaches already have plans to build on that.
Levine wants to position Grimmie as a slightly left-of-center pop star like Ellie Goulding or Sia. Usher wants Kaufman to fit in with a new wave of R&B-influenced adult-rock stars like Ray LaMontagne and Amos Lee. And Shelton sees Worthington as the next big "real country" star, following in the footsteps of Eric Church and Jason Aldean.
However, as Levine's complaints pointed out, the show has yet to launch a major star. (Baldwin's Melanie Martinez is one of only a handful of the show's contestants to land a major-label deal, releasing her EP "Dollhouse" tomorrow on Atlantic Records.)
Will one of this season's finalists change that? Time will tell. But regardless of the results, maybe "The Voice" could take a rest so that everyone isn't quite so tired.
STYLE Soulful, old-school R&B
CHANCES Well, he's the best singer left. Does that mean he'll win? Hard to rule him out, but he'll have a tough road to the championship.
HOMETOWN Marlton, New Jersey
STYLE Straight-up pop, with some big-note embellishments
CHANCES Her coach, Levine, says, "This girl will win the whole thing." He could be right, but she didn't have a strong semifinals.
HOMETOWN LaPorte, Texas
STYLE Classic country
CHANCES He may not have the strongest voice, but he's the odds-on favorite. There's a reason Shelton has won more than half of "The Voice" championships and Worthington is one of the most likable contestants ever on the show.