They wrapped up another season of The Voice, and even though we generally hate all of the reality/competition bullshit on TV, this one had us hooked to the end, again this season. I think there are a lot of reasons for that, which I'll get to in a moment.
First though, I have to bitch and moan that once again Americans have poor taste in music, and reward sameness. People like to hear the same shit over and over again. That's not a dig on the winner, Jermaine, as I truly believe that he had every right to be up there, and in the top four. It's just that I feel like I've seen him before, and I'm kind of tired of him. I would have actually put him last (Chris third, Tony second).
I said from the first episode that Juliet Simms should be the winner. Hands down. While she had a couple of performances that weren't great, most of them blew me away to an extent that few female singers ever have. I'd buy tickets to see her perform haikus. The power, control and feeling in her performance is something so rare. She is the real deal, rock-n-roll to the core. And if her ability weren't enough, she's flipping gorgeous.
There were a lot of standouts that didn't make the finals, especially Jamar Rogers, Lindsey Pavao and Katrina Parker. Even that little teenage country girl, RaeLynn, was impressive. I think they've all got a future if the screwed up music industry will allow it. For the most part, the entire field of the final 16 or so was exceptional, and much better than last year.
What I dig about the show, more than anything, is that it really celebrates live performance. The blind auditions get people in the game for the right reasons (though, let's be honest, they've been screened by the producers). I think the middle part of the season, the battle rounds, are full of contrived bullshit. I don't care for that part.
When they do get down to the last few people though, the whole tone of the show changes. Let's be honest, the final four will all likely get work if they choose to. So to some extent, the pressure is off, and the competition matters less. When they sing with each other, and their coaches, it's a lot of fun to watch. When Tony and Adam covered the Beatles, that was one of the most special things I've seen on the show. Similarly, to see Juliet do "With A Little Help From My Friends" with some of the eliminated folks, it just makes you a fan of music, and live performance. It doesn't get more awesome.
Fortunately, we DVR'd everything, so we could skip through the non-contestent appearances that add little value to the show (ratings aside), but otherwise, it was really satisfying to watch. The coaches seem very genuine, too, and especially now that they have more of a rapport, are fun to watch. I have a lot of respect for them.
I can't wait to hear what's next for the finalists, especially Juliet.