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The Voice Finds its Voice

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I have never actually tuned into The Voice because, even with the weirdly awesome selection processes, it still seems to fall into the same dilemma that faces American Karaoke: mediocre singers singing crappy songs. But since NBC sends me regular e-mails that include the week’s performances, I’ve cherry picked some performances that have caught my eye. There were really only three singers that caught my ear in the blind: Nakia, Xenia, and Dia Frampton (for those keeping track at home, that is one singer more worth listening to in one season of The Voice than American Karaoke has produced in its ten seasons ).

But back to things that have caught my eye in the e-mails, nothing piques my interest like seeing that a chick was singing a Kanye West song. Dia had this breezy feel with unique phrasing during the blind auditions and battle round (well before her partner came in and made it a trainwreck), but I was not prepared when I clicked on the link to see her first live performance (click here to see Dia perform “Heartless” here). Where all of the singers on the show are doing bland karaoke covers, Dia went all Jimi Hendrix on the Kanye track and took a decent song and perfected it (yes better than The Fray’s version and vastly superior than the unlistenable version that was on American Karaoke a couple seasons ago).

A big assist to Black Sheldon (Who would have guessed before the show he would end up with the best team?) for suggesting that Dia take a seat at the piano. I am sure her standing in front of a mic would have been good and all, but the piano took it to iconic status from the shoulder shimmy at the :30 mark to a release of channeled nervous energy from 1:22 to 1:45 when she takes her fingers off the keys. In two minutes she went from the shy one on the show to the gold standard for any singing competition.

The only complaint I can make is how she could cover “Heartless” and cut out the Dr. Evil verse? That would be like singing Panama but skipping the part when you reach down in-between your legs… and pull the seat back. Luckily it was returned for the studio version, but the studio version is not nearly as great as the live one. I am excited to see what she does next (assuming she makes it to the next round). Considering she was one of only two singers this week to crack the Top 200 iTunes music charts this week, she should be safe, although the other singer to chart was teammate Xenia. They should just axe Christina’s entire team to make sure Dia and Xenia advance. I may have to start to tune in live if only for the drinking game of taking a shot whenever a coach speaking in hyperbole which could get drunker than my Deadwood drinking game of taking a show whenever Al Swearegen’s favorite word is spoken.

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