First things first, “The Voice” finals not only provided great music, but great TV as well – something “American Idol” has lacked in recent seasons.
There will also be drama tonight, because it's totally unclear which of the powerhouses – R&B belter Javier Colon or pop songstress Dia Frampton – will take it. They were both at the top of their games and it showed.
You can still vote at the website and by buying the songs on iTunes until 10 a.m. As of this morning, it looks like Dia is slightly ahead – with her “Inventing Shadows” at No. 1 on the iTunes singles charts and Javier at No. 3. Vicci is at No. 14 and Beverly is at No. 35. (If you can't get enough, they'll all be on tour, along with the rest of the Top 8, stopping at the Beacon Theatre on Aug. 6.)
Here's how they stacked up:
1. Dia Frampton, “Inventing Shadows”: It's a weird little Fraser T. Smith song that's perfect for her unique voice. She makes it work, with her lovely phrasing and ability to power through at just the right moments. There's a bit of Norah Jones and a little Adele in her delivery, but there's also a whole lot of Dia and that's what will make it a smash.
2. Vicci Martinez and Cee Lo Green, “Love Is a Battlefield”: What an amazing performance of the Pat Benatar anthem, complete with fire pots, what looked like the dance troupe from Willow Smith's “Whip My Hair” and a whole lot of incredible vocals. It's the kind of big production number that would swallow up a lesser singer, but Martinez held her own.
3. Javier Colon and Adam Levine, “Man in the Mirror”: A moving, pretty much spot-on version of the Michael Jackson classic, showing off the vulnerability and strength in both of their voices.
4. Javier Colon, “Stitch by Stitch”: It's a gorgeous Rodney Jerkins ballad that Javier delivers beautifully, holding back on his showier tendencies and showing that he can simply sing a song. It's a breakthrough for him at exactly the right time.
5. Dia Frampton and Blake Shelton, “I Won't Back Down”: Somehow they turn the Tom Petty classic into some sort of new-country winner, with Dia's sweet-but-tough vocals fitting in perfectly with Shelton's.
6. Vicci Martinez, “Afraid to Sleep”: It was a powerful performance of an OK song that seemed a little dated (maybe Bonnie Tyler from 1982?). It doesn't exactly set her up as a potential winner, though.
7. Beverly McClellan and Christina Aguilera, “Beautiful”: This was excessive and over-the-top from the beginning, which showed off both of their voices, but also did a disservice at times to the powerful song.
8. Beverly McClellan, “Lovesick”: Wow, this was a disappointment. Think Melissa Etheridge singing a cast-off from Rick Springfield's “Working Class Dog” album. Um, yeah. The song feeds into all of Bev's worst tendencies, unfortunately, and doesn't show any of the expressive vocals that got her to the finals.
SHOULD WIN: Dia
WILL WIN: Dia
ACTUALLY WON: Javier
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