Note: This post is about The Voice. If you really don’t care about the show. Don’t bother reading.
It’s been a good season on The Voice. There are two artists who I would be happy to win, which is unusual. Since one of them, Sawyer Fredericks, is far and away the front-runner, that works.
Two type of contestants enter The Voice: singers and performers. All performers have to be at least decent singers — or they don’t make it past the blind auditions — but unless the singers become performers they don’t last. Joshua Davis, my favorite, came in clearly as a seasoned performer. It showed once he got to the live shows: he was able to connect with people, and clearly felt quite comfortable — joyful, even, at times — before the audience. Sawyer Fredericks, a sixteen year old phenom, came in a singer: he would stand in front of the mic with just his guitar and his voice. Over the course of the competition he came out of his shell, and started interacting with the audience, becoming a performer.
Performers excel on television, singers in the studio. Deanna Johnson, a woman with a remarkable voice who suffered from extreme stage fright, never got to performer mode, and went home earlier than she might have otherwise.
Most extreme example of this is Michelle Chamuel from Season 4. I like her studio recordings, but I love watching her televised performances on YouTube. Her version of Taylor Swift’s “I Knew You Were Trouble” makes Swift look like a wimp.