It’s hard not to like Adam Levine’s chances of being the winning coach in this season of “The Voice.”
With three of the final four singers from his team, Adam is the heavy favorite to win the show, but Team Blake’s Craig Wayne Boyd is the pesky fly that just won’t go away.
Boyd was the second singer selected for the finals on Tuesday’s show and with no shock.
Since Boyd’s transformation by Gwen Stefani, and a pair of saves earlier in the show, Boyd has become a one-man wrecking crew for Blake Shelton. He’s performed hit after hit and still remains standing.
Adam may have the numbers, but Blake’s remaining soldier is entrenched in a great position to win the show.
Regardless of who wins, this season has become the best season of the show in sheer talent and it may be the first season of the show where the winner becomes a star.
I’ll leave my choice for the winner at the bottom of the column.
Photo courtesy NBC
Chris Jamison’s journey on the voice can be characterized from a lyric from the Jay Z classic “Dirt off your shoulder,” — “from the bottom of the bottom, to the top of the pops.”
Jamison has been saved twice by America – a move I thought was slightly based on his appeal to younger (more technology friendly) viewers. However, his performance this week solidified him as a potential breakout star after the show concludes.
Adam’s pick of Maroon 5’s “Sugar” was an excellent choice. It show’s off Jamison’s best trait – his falsetto.
He’s consistently had the best falsetto on the show – a trait so different than others on the show. Damien can reach a falsetto, but it’s nowhere near as good as Jamison’s.
“Sugar” also shows off the blend of normal singing and use of falsetto that he could use in his own songs in the future.
Jamison struggled on his own pick of “When I Was Your Man,” where he missed a section of high notes in the first chorus he tried to hit with his regular voice. The second chorus was much better, when he nailed that same note with his falsetto.
While Jamison could easily win the show, the real question is what happens to him after. Adam’s other two winners – Tessanne Chin and Javier Colon, haven’t been able to turn “Voice” success into mainstream success. Jamison has a voice for pop stations across the country, but the question is, can Jamison turn around Team Adam’s lack of post-show success?
Craig Wayne Boyd.
Photo courtesy NBC
Craig Wayne Boyd
Coach’s pick: “Workin’ Man’s Blues” by Merle Haggard
Craig’s pick: “The Old Rugged Cross” by Alan Jackson
Go ahead and tell me that Boyd isn’t a bonafide star, and in three years when he’s headlining tours with Blake Shelton in Hershey Park I’ll tell you that you’re a liar.
What else could you want from a singer? He may not be your style, but you can’t deny he’s impressive and multi-faceted. In just a few months on the show, we’ve seen him go from blues, to country, to southern rock, to softer ballads all without losing a step.
Boyd’s biggest appeal is his blue collar approach to songs – a trait showed off best in “Workin’ Man’s Blues.”
Boyd takes a simple song – one that may have not been the best choice for “The Voice” – and turns it into a song that showcases all of Boyd’s vocal talent.
Boyd’s not simply a singer, but a storyteller. Here’s a guy who’s worked for everything in his life, and he’ll gladly tell you about it in “Workin’ Man’s Blues.”
Boyd then showed off his diversity in his own pick in Alan Jackson’s “The Old Rugged Cross.”
This was the moment Boyd needed – showcasing a diversity outside of the country/southern rock genre that he’s used throughout the show – even if this was a country ballad.
Boyd just makes things look effortless with the same simplicity he has carried throughout the competition. He never tries to out-perform the song, but rather, stays within his own limits to just put on a great performance.
After the show is all said and done, Boyd – win or lose – will have done more than enough to earn a spot on country stations everywhere. Fellow Team Blake stars such as Raelynn, The Swon Brothers, Cassadee Pope, Danielle Bradbery and others have gone on to become rising stars in the country music industry, and Boyd is well on his way to being the next star.
Photo courtesy NBC
A few weeks ago, Bruce Springsteen and Chris Martin tried their best to replace Bono in a concert in New York City after Bono hurt his arm in a biking accident, and both failed. Maybe the concert organizers should have just called Matt McAndrew.
His performance of U2’s “Still Haven’t Found What I’m Looking For” was truly impressive. Not only did McAndrew perform the song well as Bono would have performed it, but he was able to take subtle breaks in the song to show his own sense of style.
A little bit of background, I caught Monday’s show on Tuesday afternoon and put on his performance as I was working on a different project. It took me a few minutes to realize that they actually hadn’t brought Bono to perform with McAndrew, but that McAndrew had performed the song solo. That’s how convincing he was.
He fits right into the radio niche of the artist he’s covered the most – Ed Sheeran. They have a similar ability to provide the right amount of power without destroying a song’s passion – a quality McAndrew exemplified in this week’s performance of “Make it Rain.”
I’m eager to see what his performance for the finals will be. As long as he keeps his passion for a song, and his chemistry with Adam, McAndrew has a good shot of winning the performance.
Photo courtesy NBC.
I’m really just puzzled by Damien Lawson. Maybe that’s why I should just learn never to mess with the TSA.
Lawson’s been a great singer, but if you’ve read my previous columns, you’ll know that I’ve never been a huge fan of his work.
I’ve been begging and pleading for weeks now for Damien to break his shell and get out of these ballads, but week after week it’s another ballad.
The task of taking on a Michael Jackson song was tough, but Damien did a good job making the song his own. I would’ve actually mistaken the song for his own if I hadn’t heard it was from Michael Jackson earlier.
Damien’s performance of “I Don’t Want to Wait” might’ve been his worst performance of the show – not exactly great timing for the California native.
A few times in the song, Damien’s voice cracks reaching for some of the high notes and it was just a poor song choice. You can see his R&B roots, but between the cracks and a few points where he lacks pronunciation made him a tough choice to move on.
Damien did a much better job making Bruno Mars’s “Grenade” his own. It was a song that he could put his passion behind and sing in non-falsetto. This was more a song that you could see him perform on his debut album.
Whether it was Adam’s choice or his own, Damien hit a home run with that song.
Out of these four, Damien’s got the longest odds of winning, but he’ll see post-show success with an R&B niche not seen often. Look for him to become similar to a John Legend-type singer in terms of future success.
If’ you’ve been reading this blog since the beginning, you’ll know I’ve been a big fan of Craig Wayne Boyd ever since Blake let him go against James David Carter. I’ll still sit here and tell you Gwen Stefani made the biggest mistake in letting him go. I think he’s the best singer in this competition, and he’ll be the most successful after the show.
But he won’t win.
That’s right. My big pick? Chris Jamison.
I’ve had him out of the competition for several weeks now, but I think he finally turned a corner this week with his performances. Most of all, he’s got America behind him. With a still-blooming talent and the backing of the voters, Jamison is my pick to win the most talented season of “The Voice” yet.
Need to catch up before next week’s big finale? Read all of my previous blog posts here: