I have all this … stuff… I need to write about. Donald Trump and his lawyer, Jonathan Pollard, Bernie Sanders, the Rio Tinto Mining Company’s horrible plans for sacred lands and the general scandal that is the use of public resources by private companies generally, ruminating on faith and other issues. I actually have a post started about how annoying Malcolm Gladwell is. And so I am writing about…. The Voice.
Yes, I know, The Voice is still scheduled to start another season on September 21, Blake Shelton’s divorce not withstanding. Blake’s behavior at times last season was occasionally erratic, even for a guy as over-the-top as he has tended to be. The drinking schtick has gotten quite old, for example, as well as his flirting with contestants. I don’t know what precipitated his divorce with Miranda Lambert, but am sure none of that helped. My hunch is that the show won’t be quite the same.
So herewith my favorite Voice performances (keeping in mind that I started watching in Season 4) in no particular order:
“I Feel Good,” Anthony Riley, Season 8. (Best blind audition ever, demonstrated by all four chairs turning within about ten seconds of him starting. His undeniable talent made his withdrawal from the competition due to substance abuse issues and subsequent suicide even more tragic than it would have been otherwise.)
“Stay With Me,” Josh Kauffman, Season 6. (Josh Kauffman, Season 6 winner, got a starring role in the revival of Pippin on Broadway. How cool is that?)
And the best, by far,
“I Knew You Were Trouble,” Michelle Chamuel. Season 4. Chamuel turns an uptempo pop song into growling rocker. I love this woman.
I would have included Caroline Glaser’s performance of Ed Sheeran’s “The A Team,” but unfortunately her live performance was merely adequate. (In fact she didn’t advance.) Her studio version is wonderful — it is one of my favorite songs from The Voice. It is also one of the songs (in addition to several listed above) where I prefer The Voice version to the original. (“Fields of Gold” is kind of tricky — I prefer Joshua Davis’s version to Sting’s original, but both pale next to the Eva Cassidy cover.)
So I’ll be tuning in next season, with the hope that the talent keeps improving as it did the past two seasons. (Season 6 was kind of a low point.)
What about you?