It’s the final three on The Voice, and the voters (or the producers) have made sure that the minorities are represented: Danielle Bradbury is young, The Swon Brothers are men (a minority in this show), and Michelle Chamuel is queer. While the first two contestants are obvious with their minority representations, Chamuel’s is not—for good reason. At a time when votes are crucial, she doesn’t need an outside reason to hurt her chances at winning. In this discreet way, queer voters can make note of her representation, while the rest of the audience can just focus on her badass stage presence.
Don’t worry, I haven’t let the unwanted cat out of the bag. Chamuel’s been out since an AfterEllen interview for her band Ella Riot (then called My Dear Disco) back in 2010, for their entry into the music festival Lollapalooza. It makes sense that she’s not explicitly out on The Voice, since she doesn’t think of herself a queer musician:
“I don’t think of myself as ‘a lesbian musician’ or a ‘Jewish artist,’” she told AfterEllen, “It’s not one and alone. I think of myself as a musician. I’m not into labels, which makes it so that I don’t live by them anyway, so I’m not trying to fit into a category. I think people should do whatever they want.”
Rather than focusing on her sexuality, she focuses on her extraordinary stage presence. Chamuel kicks her legs, pumps her fists, skips around stage, and, her signature, squats with one outstretched arm while hitting a particularly strong note. Coach Blake Shelton commented on Monday about the “power of the squatting… As if you didn’t know that the notes she’s hittin’ are awesome, I’m gonna squat to prove it to you.” Her talent at the stage was obvious during her audition, with Katy Perry’s “I Kissed A Girl,” (an appropriate queer song!) but it most certainly improved after working with Usher. I mean, did you see his opening act this week with “Twisted”? His superiority at the stage is unquestionable compared to Shelton and Adam Levine. Shakira can put on a mean show, but her type of performance—all hips and seduction—probably wouldn’t be a good fit for Chamuel’s style.
With the final three, each has his or her main advantage, in addition to their exceptional singing. Chamuel rocks a great performance, and she engages with the audience in an explosive way. Bradbury only has to keep up with her peers, and her unbelievable age automatically makes her singing ten times more impressive. And, of course, the Swon Brothers have the advantage of creating their own harmonies, plus playing instruments in every performance. There are no ordinary singers here. Now, it’s up to the voters (or “America” as Carson Daly calls them) to decide which skillset is the most valuable—or, more accurately, which skillset is the least valuable, and which person will go home next week.Powered by Sidelines