Too Much of the Voice pt. 5
JK and I texted each other while watching yesterday's episode and did the same today. It was weird to rush home to watch something on TV as it was broadcast. While we were not in the same room as it happened, it was weird to share the moment like this with someone in real time. The last time I can recall doing such a thing was in 2008 when Obama was elected President.
I even attempted to tweet about the Voice a few times but I am rubbish at the Twitter.
When it was all over this one of our last exchanges -
JK: "Is your faith in humanity restored?"
Me: "It is."
I am sure that this feeling will not last. But at this moment, I feel like something very right happened. So let's have chocolate cake for breakfast.
Jermaine Paul is the winner. He won the Voice!
They announced that he was the winner, they brought his family up on stage, they dropped confetti from the ceiling. And then they handed him a mic and announced that he was going to sing a song.
(!?) Really. Really?!
You take an emotional moment, the culmination of a long hard journey, the moment when you get the thing that you were striving so hard for, a moment where you want to laugh and cry. Maybe you want to be alone to take it all in. Maybe be with the ones you love. Hug them and kiss them. Then someone sticks a camera on that scene. Then they hand you a mic and insists that you sing. Have you ever tried to talk when crying and overcome with emotion? Have you ever tried to sing in that condition?
WTF. That is beyond bananas. It's redonkey donkey. I say go the beauty pageant route. Let them cry, wave to the crowd and hug people with that crooked crown barely perched on the head.
At first he was a little shaky but then he started to sing. And then while singing while he hugged his family, friends and loved ones. He did both, he did it all. The only things he didn't do simultaneous with this are make an omelet, burp a baby and change a spark plug. This is must be what separates the pros from mere mortals.
Perhaps it was part of the auditions before the Blinds. They hit you with a hammer and then force you to sing "I Will Always Love You."
I did not know what to expect from the Finale. I thought they would just show a bunch of clips from previous episodes, interview people and announce a winner. Maybe bring in established recording artists to perform their new single or an oldie or have a new artist sing their single. There was a little of that. Only a little.
Instead, they had a great big grand old singing jamboree / contestant reunion.
"I Want You Back" Jermaine, Jamar, James, and Pip were a smash. It was as if they had been singing together forever. Seamlessly smooth, matching outfits and choreography.
"Bittersweet Symphony" Chris, Lindsay and Katrina were compelling and enjoyable. So interesting. It was a strange trio to bring together but it worked. That particular mix kept them all sharp. A nice turn away from Schmaltzville which vocally is probably due to Lindsay. Surprisingly, they had pretty good blend and performance-wise were very integrated on stage. I attribute this to Chris. He seemed really attuned to Lindsay and Katrina while up there.
"With a Little Help from My Friends" Juliet, RaeLynn, Erin, and Jamar had a Voltron moment. Four strong singers came together and created an invincible performance without losing what made them each so unique. Soul, country, rock, soldier, sister, brother, friend. They seemed to sing and individually really well. And I loved seeing Jamar onstage a second time rocking his red jacket.
"Superstition" Kim, Cheesa, Sera and Naia had a diva-off. Actually it was more of a diva-fest. When Kim Yarbrough was preparing for her battle round Whitney Myer, she asked her advisors how she should handle herself on a stage that she was sharing with another performer. Robin Thicke told her to be respectful and feel the love. And that is how the performance felt. It felt like an showcase of amazing singers and a celebration of a fabulous Stevie Wonder song.
"Go Your Own Way" Jordis and Tony were two seasoned veterans sharing the stage. I was happy to see Jordis again but their vocal ranges are not compatible. Jordis was singing too low in her range to have enough control and Tony was really pushing the upper part of his range. Also, they had no blend. I sympathize. I am a singer who rarely blends. But if you add the right third voice to the mix and all kinds of magic can happen, trust me. The addition of Gwen Sebastian or Angel Taylor or Lex Land or the Shields Brothers would have smoothed out that mix into something very listenable. That or have them do "Stop Draggin' My Heart Around." That song would have killed. If fact, I want to hear them do that.
Everyone should sing a song with the Shields Brothers. I would watch a TV show where the episodes consist of all the other contestants on the Voice performing duets with the Shields Brothers. Well, maybe not a whole show but I would definitely subscribe to a Shields Brothers duets channel on youtube. I would pay good money to see the Shields Brothers do a duet with Lindsay. It's hard to imagine how it would work but it would probably be worth hearing. She would make them sound less conventional and they would subvert the Pavao process and give it a wink and some zip.
It was great to see singers free to cross team lines and perform together. Much respect to the musical producers/directors for this episode and the show as a whole and to the band. Wow.
But I digress. I could digress further. And I may on a future occasion.
I'm just kind of lingering here, steeping in the dregs of the moment, nibbling on the potato chip crumbs at the bottom of the bag and having a cup of coffee before hunting down my coat, thanking the host and heading home.
The Voice did not hold the meaning of life but it did hold my heart and my attention for several weeks. I listened to music. I was a fan. I was invested in the stories and songs and fates of these people. It has been a long time since I was able to say such things about myself. And yes, it did restore my faith in humanity a little bit. Or at least made me feel for a brief moment, like, America and I heard things the same way.
I hope that winning the Voice opens all sorts of doors for Jermaine and all the other contestants. I hope that they have forged real connections and made lifelong friends. I hope that really great music and breathtaking performances come out of this. And that they find happiness, contentment and fulfillment.
I am not sure what I will do with myself now. Maybe I will get to bed earlier. And then look for something else to hold my heart and my attention. Invest in my fate. Work on forging real connections, making and keeping lifelong friends, making music, doing a bit of performing and finding contentment, happiness and fulfillment.
I hope the same for you too.