Handicapping The Voice Final Four

The finals are set for the inaugural season of NBC’s The Voice and really, there are no surprises; I guess Team Cee-Lo’s representative Vicci Martinez barely beating out Nakia was the only mild surprise, and yeah, I was hoping Frenchie Davis could pull out the victory over Beverly McClellan, but McClellan was too strong and she deserves to be in the finals.  
That said, let’s take a look at the finalists:
Team Blake-Dia Frampton
 Okay, yes, Dia has been able to score the highest sales figures on iTunes with each passing week (downloads count as votes on The Voice, something another singing competition show should consider), she has the youth factor AND guess what, she was once part of a major-label act, Meg and Dia.  OMG, I’ve heard of them, but I don’t think I ever heard their music; plus Frampton has several YouTube performance videos out there, so her momentum is very good for the win.  I’m not sure she has the best voice in the competition, but she has a very eclectic style; she’s not your typical pop singer…always a win in my book. 
Team Adam-Javier Colon
I admit when I first heard Colon’s rendition of “Time After Time” in the blind audition rounds, it brought tears to my eyes, really.  His soulfulness made Cyndi Lauper’s 1984 hit seem so fresh and so moving.  If Frampton doesn’t pull off the upset, Colon is the winner.  He had a record contract at one time, he released two albums with no success on Capitol and he was also a member/vocalist for The Derek Trucks Band.  So he has the experience in the grind of writing, producing, touring, and promoting music for a living.  In my opinion, he has the best shot at becoming a commercial success.  Who knows.
Team Cee-Lo-Vicci Martinez
Seattle’s Vicci Martinez is my dark horse in the finals.  However, I don’t think she has the best voice, she has the performance ability and the personality.  Oh, and she’s one of two out contestants in the finals, check!  I wasn’t sure she would make it past the blind auditions; if you recall, even the tv audience didn’t get to see Martinez until the coaches’ chairs started swinging around.  She took on “Rolling in the Deep” with much fearlessness and it was okay; I just wasn’t sure, but now, she has a shot.  Martinez has released several independent albums and she has opened up for major artists like Annie Lennox, Avril Lavigne, Jonny Lang, and, Christoper Cross?!?  Feisty!
Team Christina-Beverly McClellan
(Here looking like Linda Perry in her 4-Non Blondes days) 
Beverly McClellan can also win, but is she commercial enough?  She has so much raw talent and her voice, it’s bluesy, it’s rock n roll, it’s ballsy!  I’m sure at this point, McClellan has the “fan favorite” moniker taken and quite appropriately.  Being the other out competitor hasn’t stopped her and she has nothing to prove.  She’s done it!  McClellan has also gone the route of independence in getting her music out there.  Can she pull off the upset?  Maybe.
So there you have four very able artists ready to take over the world, but which one will?  Final live performances next Tues. night and the winner will be announced live next Wed.  Again, the winner of The Voice will receive $100,000 and a recording contract with Universal Republic.  WATCH IT!

 
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Same DNA Indeed!

Oh yes, I fondly remember this moment from October 2009 on Saturday Night Live; two music icons, Madonna and Lady GaGa compete for diva dominance in a sort of hilarious fashion.  I’d say Madonna is either really flattered or really pissed at GaGa today. 
“Born This Way” is phenomenal; I’ve already listened to it countless times, but I noticed something, it has a very familiar melody.  I won’t go to the trouble of posting “Born This Way” alongside “Express Yourself” but I think you already know the almost identical similarities.  The melody is pretty much dead on, only sped up a bit, plus GaGa evokes a little “Vogue” with her raps in the song.  Now I look at this two ways, Madonna can cry foul and she should have already with GaGa’s “Alejandro” video, or she can be honored and really is any kind of good pop music original these days?  Of course not.  It’s neat that we already have that familiar melody in our heads; we are ready and willing to listen and by God, make a purchase. (I’ve decided Target may have the better deal, all iTunes is doing is reducing the price on GaGa’s other cds, lame)  I will purchase it, oh yes I will…May 23rd–or earlier or the Grammys–can’t get here fast enough!