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Name: Adam Bernard
Home: Fairfield, Connecticut, United States
About Me: Entertainment journalist with 15+ years of experience. Supporter of indie music. Lover of day baseball, fringe movies, & chicken shawarma. Part time ninja. Nerdy, but awesome.
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Handicapping The Voice - My Bold Predictions
Monday, April 02, 2012

Last year I picked Javier Colon and Dia Frampton to finish 1-2 on The Voice, which they did. You can credit those picks to over a decade of covering music and seeing a lot of acts. You see, I had seen Javier years ago (opening for Mya), and Dia Frampton twice (on Warped Tour), so I knew what they brought to the table. This year I have far less advanced knowledge of the contestants. I do, however, have some strong opinions regarding what we’ve heard in the blind auditions, and the battle rounds, and I think it’s time to put those thoughts down in the form of some predictions for each team.

Team Adam

From the blind auditions it was clear Mathai, despite being a teenager, was ready for this competition. She not only has a unique voice, but her stage presence, and pure enjoyment of playing with the crowd, make her a favorite from Team Adam. Pip, however, should not be ignored. The man with the short name and penchant for bow ties and suspenders has a fantastic voice, and he can probably sing just about anything. Hopefully his look won’t hold him back. I can see people trying to change that look, but if he isn’t comfortable in what he’s wearing it could negatively affect his performance, so I think he should keep the suspenders and bow tie unless he already has another option picked out.

Karla Davis
really surprised me in the battle round. The crystal clarity, and cleanness, of her vocals was phenomenal. Big voiced Kim Yarbrough is a power singer, but my only question about her is whether she can do anything else. As Frenchie Davis proved last year, power will only get you so far in this competition. Former Mousketeer Tony Lucca is a solid singer, but other than his former affiliation with Christina Aguilera he hasn’t done anything truly memorable yet. He needs that kind of a moment to make it to the next round. Katrina Parker has drawn Adele comparisons from the judges, but so far I’m not seeing it. She still seems overly reserved on stage. I understand she’s an amateur, but now is not the time to be scared, especially when the rest of this group seems to know how to work a stage, and an audience.

Top 3: Mathai, Pip, Karla Davis

Team Cee Lo

Between the soulful comeback kid Jamar Rogers, and the Broadway experienced Tony Vincent, Team Cee Lo has quite the competition for the team’s top spot. Both are equally talented, and both know how to work a crowd. Jamar can hit, and hold, some amazing notes, while Tony can do just about anything and, at times, sounds like he could front Queen if he was given the opportunity. Rocker Juliet Simms may be a darkhorse for Team Cee Lo, as last year a throaty rocker, Beverly McClellan, landed third overall.

The remaining contestants on Team Cee Lo are not up to par, as far as I’m concerned. James Massone and Cheesa’s wins in the battle round were highly debatable, and Erin Martin was just plain terrible. The Shields Brothers didn’t just play to the crowd better, their voices were better. Maybe Cee Lo knows something about her that I don’t, but just having an interesting voice and model good looks isn’t enough in this round, plus her queen bee attitude is irritating.

Top 3: Jamar Rogers, Tony Vincent, Juliet Simms

Team Christina

Team Christina may very well be the most diverse out of all the teams this year. My personal favorite from the team is Lindsey Pavao, who does some really unique renditions of songs, and seems to appreciate a diverse catalogue of music (from Trey Songz to Nirvana). I’m not sure what her range is vocally, but she may get the Xenia vote from last year, the only differences being she is certainly not shy, and she has a good stage presence. Both teen singer Ashley De La Rosa, who did a fantastic cover of V.V. Brown’s “Shark in the Water” during the blind auditions, and opera singer Chris Mann, who can fill a room with his voice, are also legitimate contenders to represent Team Christina in the end.

Soul veteran Jesse Campbell is looking to make a comeback on The Voice, and I honestly don’t think he needs to win to do that. I think having his name, and voice, out there again will be enough for an R&B label to pick him up. Moses Stone is the real wild card of the group. I originally wasn’t sold on him, but as soon as he showed he can sing, as well as rhyme, and Christina made the Drake comparison, I realized what she was hoping to do with him. Plus he really knows how to work a crowd. Sera Hill, much like Kim Yarbrough on Team Adam, can belt it out with the best of them, but again, that might no be enough to get her much further if she can’t do anything else. I have a feeling her singing Mary J. Blige with Christina may have been her Voice moment.

Top 3: Lindsey Pavao, Ashley De La Rosa, Chris Mann

Team Blake

Let’s not beat around the bush here, this is Jermaine Paul’s competition to lose. The Alicia Keys backup singer has already proven he deserves to be front and center, and as long as he doesn’t get cocky, which it doesn’t seem like he will, he’s not just the frontrunner to represent Team Blake at the end, he’s the frontrunner to win the whole thing. Paul, however, does have some pretty good competition on Team Blake in Jordis Unga and Charlotte Sometimes. Jordis is an experienced singer, and Charlotte has the Dia Frampton advantage of having had an album out (on a major, no less), and having spent an entire summer on Warped Tour.

Country singer RaeLynn has a good voice, but may need more honing as an artist than this competition has time for. Erin Willett falls into the “big voice, but what else can she do?” category. Finally, Naia Kete, who sounded good in the blind audition, has yet to prove she can do anything but breezy reggae tunes, which will not get her much further in this competition.

Top 3: Jermaine Paul, Jordis Unga, Charlotte Sometimes

So there you have it, my picks for this round of The Voice. I may do another set of picks once they’ve whittled it down to eight contestants.


posted by Adam Bernard @ 7:28 AM  
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