What I love about The Voice is that unlike American Idol, it doesn’t shove singers into the pop star cookie-cutter. Instead, it allows contestants to develop into muffins, pie, or even lasagna. The perfect example comes from performances on Tuesday night by two shy artists from Team Blake Shelton – Dia Frampton and Xenia. Both girls had displayed common qualities during their initial appearances on the show – unique tone quality, charming stage presence, and a bad case of performance anxiety. Whereas others singing contests may have weeded the girls out, Shelton helped them to break out of their shells and showcase their distinctive musical personalities.
Dia first auditioned with a cozy but timid rendition of “Bubbly”. Next, she struggled against stage fright in the battle round against Serabee. As Shelton prepared Dia for her solo performance, he searched for a way to overcome her nerves. He mentioned that he had seen her sing while playing piano on YouTube, and thought that the piano might be a good place for her to place her nervous energy. And it worked. Dia seemed to go to a special artistic place with her soulful performance of “Heartless”. Rival coach Adam Levine called it the best performance of the show so far.
Xenia’s audition for The Voice featured a cautious performance of “Breakeven”. During the battle round, her unique vocal quality earned her a win over fellow timid teen, Sara Oromchi. In rehearsals for Xenia’s solo, Shelton worked to bring out the fun side of the serious young lady’s personality. Along with a choreographer, Shelton worked out some hand motions to accompany the song. He also encouraged Xenia to break the habit of nervously clasping her hands together by “buzzing” her each time it happened. Finally, he encouraged her to smile. All of Shelton’s advice seemed to come together for Xenia during the live show. Although she won’t be challenging Lady Gaga’s stage presence anytime soon, Xenia pulled off a cheerful version of “Price Tag”. Shelton was so proud of her performance that he raced up to the stage and gave her a bear hug. Rival coach Christina Aguilera praised her voice, saying that she would love to listen to an entire album of her singing.
It’s been fascinating to watch Dia and Xenia’s growth since the beginning of the show. Next week, we’ll find out who received enough audience votes to move onto the next round. Dia’s powerful performance should hopefully keep her on the show. I’m not so sure about Xenia, although it’s possible that Shelton might choose to save her with his vote. Whatever the outcome, I’m looking forward to watching the artists continue to develop their own unique personalities. And who knows. Maybe The Voice will finally topple American Idol from its singing competition pedestal.
- Singers Compete As ‘The Voice’ Goes Live, But Judges Ribbing Of Each Other Takes Center Stage (omg.yahoo.com)
- The Voice: Needlessly Complicated Math (timesunion.com)
- Blake Shelton’s Very Odd Battle Round Pairing on ‘The Voice’ (VIDEO) (tvsquad.com)