The Voice 2 Battle Rounds for Lindsey Pavao (vs Lee Koch)

Lindsey Pavao is a singer who is competing on the 2nd season of The Voice. Lindsey has made it past the blind audition, where she ended up on Christina Aguilera’s team.

Many think Lindsey is an early favorite. She has that kind of quirky style that a certain portion of the audience seems to latch onto in these singing contests. The Voice’s second audition is comprised of a Battle Round, which is a head-to-head competition between two singers on the same team. In this case, Christina Aguilera will pick Lindsey’s opponent, and she also picks the song choice and the winner.

Based on how these things have gone before, I predict an easy victory for Lindsey Pavao in the Battle Round. Once you establish yourself as one of the favorites, you may as well go out there and sing the “Alphabet Song” in the Battle Round. You are going to win it. This is one of the weaknesses of this round. It’s not really as much a  head-to-head battle as it is a gimmick for the show. And the favorite could be outsung and will still get through with little to no reasoning provided by the coach who picks the winner.

At any rate, it is what it is for now. Lindsey Pavao will easily win her Battle Round if it goes down anything like it did the 1st season. The Voice 2 will have its Battle Rounds early in the month of March.

The writing was on the wall as soon as Lee Koch was placed against Lindsey Pavao, as Lindsey has caught a lot of attention and is clearly one of the favorites to make the finals of the competition. The pair sang Nirvana’s “Heart Shaped Box.” So it was obvious before the first note was sung who was going to win this battle round. Lindsey now moves to the live singing rounds. Lee is eliminated from The Voice 2.

Tony Lucca The Voice 2 Audition and Predictions

Tony Lucca is a former Mouseketeer. He worked with The Voice judge and coach Christina Aguilera. Lucca auditioned for The Voice 2, and he chose Adam as his coach. Christina turned her chair, but she did not recognize Tony from their Mickey Mouse Club days.

Tony sang Ray LaMontaigne’s “Trouble.” Apparently, this guy has a preexisting list of 500,000 Twitter followers. While that obviously can’t hurt on a voting show, it certainly does not make Lucca a lock to win. Of course, millions of people watch The Voice, and most of them are eligible to vote. So 500,000 Twitter followers (most of whom probably would not bother either watching the show or voting) really isn’t super impressive as an advantage.

Despite the numbers, it could be the difference between winning and losing if Tony does make the finals. He will need some help in that department, as the judges choose who advances in the battle rounds with no public vote, and unless Tony is the top vote getter each round, Adam could choose to pick someone else to advance to the next round.

With all that said, I predict Tony Lucca will be the favorite to win the 2nd season of The Voice. He is a good singer and seems marketable. There is no obvious reason why Adam would not want him as the favorite.

There really is not a super standout just yet among the contestants, but Tony seems to potentially be the most marketable of the lot. He has some soul in his voice, and he clearly has musician skills to go along with the singing. This is a powerful combination in singing contests with public voting.

There will be competition, but this seems a lot like the first season so far. Tony is likely the favorite, and then a bunch of girls like Jordis Unga will have some decent shot of pulling an upset against him. If there were no auditions left, I would waste no time predicting that Tony Lucca will win the 2nd season of The Voice.

 

The Voice 2: Erin Martin Audition and Predictions

The Voice 2 initial auditions continued on February 13, 2012. Erin Martin sang “Hey There Delilah.”Blake and Cee Lo turned their chairs, and Erin eventually picked Cee Lo Green as her coach. According to Erin, she has met with many major labels, but they felt she needed some “development” before getting a record deal.

On the non-singing side, Erin is great. She is beautiful and sexy, and she has a bubbly personality that lights up the room. Unfortunately, the assets end there.

This contestant is proof that The Voice is not actually always about the voice. Erin has an odd voice. It is nothing like her speaking voice. She clearly cannot project any kind of power, and it makes her sound like some kind of cartoon character. She tries to make up for it with some kind of jazzy phrasing, but it doesn’t compensate for the ridiculous vocal tone.

Usually, predicting who will win The Voice or any other show is not that easy. I did pick Javier Colon, but just about anybody could have made that pick. He was so clearly the favorite that Javier was the only logical choice. With Erin Martin, though, there is no reason to even wait to put out a prediction. She simply will not win. No way is the public going to vote for a singer with a cartoon or puppet voice as the winner of a national singing contest. You can tell she will not improve because no one would intentionally sing like that. She sang like that because she does not have the power to project her speaking voice like good singers.

This is nothing personal against Erin Martin. But she is there for short-term ratings for her personality, not as a viable contestant who could win. I wish her all the best, and she could easily do acting with her great personality. But there is no way she is winning The Voice 2.

The Voice 2: Jordis Unga Audition and Predictions

Jordis Unga is no stranger to TV singing contests. She was on Rockstar: INXS and finished in 5th place. Jordis has now reemerged in The Voice 2, where her audition aired on February 13, 2012. Unga sang Paul McCartney’s “Maybe I’m Amazed.” She got good reviews from all coaches. Only Adam did not turn his chair, but that was surely on purpose for some unknown reason.

Like in Rockstar, Jordis will start out as a likely favorite. She is attractive and has a strong voice for rock wailing. The pick of Blake is somewhat odd in that Blake seems to prefer country singers or those with a softer voice. Jordis is undeniably a rocker, so I don’t get the pairing. If not for that, I could easily predict a Top 8 and possible Top 4 finish for Unga. But seeing the odd coach selection, there is some question whether she will even get advanced to the later rounds. Blake could dump her immediately in the battle rounds.

Despite the strange pairing that could hurt her, I predict that Jordis’s overall talent and probable marketability will see her through the battle round with a shot to vie for the title. We really don’t know if she will be popular with the public in terms of voting because it was the band that made the cuts on Rockstar: INXS. But all things considered, she seemed like she was fairly popular at the time.

However, regardless of what happens in the early rounds, I predict that Jordis will not win The Voice, either. Does she have a good rock voice? Yes, but it’s mostly for those excellent wailing notes. If you watch her performances, there is not much there in the rest of her performances. Unless she is wailing, which you can’t do throughout a whole song (and that wouldn’t even be singing), then her vocal tone is pretty average, and she doesn’t do much with her voice.

Jordis Unga has that one great asset – her wailing. And these kinds of limited assets do not tend to get you very far when it comes to winning a contest like The Voice. In the end, Jordis has a good chance of making the Top 8 on The Voice 2. But she will not win.

The Voice 2: Pip Audition and Predictions

The 2nd season of The Voice continued airing its initial auditions on February 13, 2012. Pip is a 19-year-old singer. He came out in a bowtie and dress shirt with blue jeans and sang “House of the Rising Sun.”

By the end of the performance, everyone turned their chairs. After lots of rambling back and forth among the judges, Pip finally chose Adam Levine as his coach.

Pip doesn’t look too much like a pop star. He looks a bit more Broadway, but I was pretty impressed with his voice. Pip has clean notes, and he is similar to Clay Aiken. I’d have to put him a step below Clay in the power department, but Pip is certainly a good singer. He also seems to have a great deal of confidence both on and off stage. I would not expect him to have any bad performances due to nervousness like you see with some contestants.

I predict that his pick of Adam may hurt him. Adam picks on talent first and then seems to start focusing on looks or other nonsense in later rounds. The judges/coaches have a lot of power on these shows, but when they have the chance to make picks, those picks are often made on the basis of looks and perceived marketability or the ability to win The Voice’s public voting (perceived public popularity). Thus, I could see Pip singing really well and then getting passed over by Adam for a hot chick or hunkier guy. I don’t trust Adam’s judgment for a second.

Pip is cool from what I have seen. He is one of the best singers I have heard on the show during auditions so far, although he may not be the best. I predict that he can make the Top 8 if Adam gives him a chance. However, he seems to have more of a Broadway style that seems to never win these singing talent contests. Thus, I predict that Pip will not win The Voice 2 unless he adopts more of a mainstream style, which is unlikely to happen because you have to be yourself in these contests. He is a great singer, but The Voice is just not the place where he is going to win.

 

Tony Bennett Album Sales

In 2012, Tony Bennett won a Grammy for his collaboration with the late Amy Winehouse. The pair won with “Body and Soul” in the Best Pop Duo/Group Performance category. Bennett has been charting on Billboard since 1951. Interestingly, though, a large percentage of his gold and platinum albums have only been certified since around 1990, showing that album sales are only a small part of longevity in the music industry. While Tony has certainly had success selling albums, his live performances have done as much to keep his career alive as any album sales, which have not always been great.

Bennett’s “All Time Hall of Fame Hits” album was released in 1972, and none of his albums released before that date have been certified either gold or platinum. “All Time Hall of Fame Hits” was finally certified gold in 2001.

Although Tony’s “I Left My Heart in San Francisco” is a classic released in 1981, it was not certified platinum until 2005.

The next album released by Bennett to eventually achieve gold or platinum was “16 Most Requested Songs,” which came out in 1986. It was finally certified gold in 2000.

Tony released the album “Steppin Out” in 1993. It also achieved gold certification in 2000.

Bennett’s “Duets: An American Classic” was released in 2006. Unlike the other albums that took years and years to go gold or platinum, “Duets” went platinum the same year it was released.

Tony followed up his 2006 success by collaborating with 17 other singers for “Duets II.” This is the album with the “Body and Soul” duet with Amy Winehouse. “Duets II” was quickly certified gold the month after its release, and this would be considered a success in modern album sales even if it is not certified platinum later.

According to Billboard, “Duets II” is actually Tony Bennett’s first No. 1 album. At 85, he is also the oldest to get a No. 1 Billboard album on the Top 200 chart.

Resources:

Billboard: Tony Bennett Becomes Oldest Living Artist to Top Billboard 200

RIAA Searchable Database

Whitney Houston Dance Songs Just As Good As the Ballads

After the shocking death of Whitney Houston on February 11, 2012, fans around the world will no doubt reminisce on Whitney’s great ballads, such as “I Will Always Love You” and “The Greatest Love of All.” But Houston also had some great dance tunes. One of my first early favorite dance songs from Whitney was “I Wanna Dance With Somebody.” There are some other great ones like “So Emotional” out there, as well.

Whitney’s songs are popular choices for good singers. Singing contestants in shows like American Idol love to pick Whitney songs. However, they tend to pick the ballads, with “I Will Always Love You” seemingly the most popular pick. That song, which was originally written and performed by country singer Dolly Parton, is now the one song I see trending in Google Trends in the wake of Whitney’s death.

No doubt, these songs will still be performed by aspiring artists throughout the world. But it seems that the dance tunes are often forgotten. Growing up as a teenager in the 80s, I have very fond memories of “I Wanna Dance With Somebody.” I remember watching that on MTV all the time back when MTV actually played music videos almost all day long.

“So Emotional” is another great dance song performed by Whitney. A DJ friend once told me that he doesn’t play Whitney dance tunes because people don’t want to dance to that. She was always appreciated for her ballads but underappreciated by some for her excellent upbeat pieces. Whitney was very versatile and not just one of the best ballad singers of all time.

Her career in music is a legacy of #1 hits, and she was the main player in “The Bodyguard” soundtrack, which is one of the biggest selling albums of all time. While sharing fond memories and enjoying her music, don’t forget that there was a fun side there, as well. Her dance tunes will get you moving and put a smile on your face as much as the tears will flow from her ballads.

Resources:

YouTube: Whitney Houston’s “So Emotional” Music Video

YouTube: “I Wanna Dance With Somebody” (Whitney’s Second Huge Dance Hit)

YouTube: “How Will I Know” (Houston’s First Smash Dance Hit)

YouTube: Whitney Houston’s “I’m Your Baby Tonight”

 

Chase Likens American Idol 11 (2012) Spoilers and Predictions

Chase Likens is a country singer. He is auditioning for the 11th season of American Idol. Chase was briefly shown in the initial auditions for the Nashville round. Likens is 19, and he is a college student from Point Pleasant, WV.

According to spoilers from TheIdolPad, Chase has made the Top 24 for American Idol 2012. If true, then he will sing for America’s votes against 11 other guys, 5 of whom will make it to the Top 12.

I suppose the guy is handsome, which might be good for getting early votes. But Chase doesn’t seem to be getting featured in Hollywood, and he seems to be the token country singer that is thrown in as an afterthought just to appease the country fans. While he sounded pretty good in his audition clip (although it was very short), we are not talking another Scotty McCreery or Lauren Alaina here. Chase is a competent country singer, but his tone and other singing aspects seem average to above average. In a season that is following up on the heels of a Season 10 that had two country singers in the Top 2 (that has never happened), I’d suspect only the hardcore country fans are looking for another singer to repeat that success. Others will likely be looking for something different this year, and the producers have chosen to focus on one cowboy during Hollywood Week that probably won’t even make the Top 24.

If a country singer is going to do well this year, I am more likely to predict that Skylar Laine may have a decent chance to go far than Chase Likens. This is just not a good year for country singers to be competing, and none of them is getting featured as of yet. Conversely, Scotty was one of the star attractions during Hollywood Week last year, and Lauren’s auditions were shown over and over again.

Chase Likens is a decent country singer, but that’s it. Other than being handsome, there is nothing there that seems very appealing or marketable that would give him an edge. Look for Chase to go out in the Top 24 round or early in the Top 12. It is not that easy to predict exactly how well he will do, but it is clear that Chase is not being edited as a favorite for the show. Thus, it is easy to predict that he will not win the 11th season of American Idol.

Sources:

TheIdolPad Spoilers for Season 11 Contestants

YouTube: Chase Likens Interview About American Idol Auditions

YouTube: Chase Likens Audition for American Idol 2012

Adam Brock Spoilers and Predictions for American Idol 11 (2012)

American Idol’s 11th season is currently airing its Hollywood Week auditions. Adam Brock was not shown in initial auditions, but he was featured during the first round of Hollywood Week.

Adam even got a little backstory, but it was pretty lame. He is sad to be away from his daughter, as this is the first time he has been separated from her for several days in a row.

Brock has a nice, strong voice. Some people say he reminds them of Season 8’s Danny Gokey. They are both soul singers (although Danny made a country album that was moderately successful by modern standards). Other than that, I don’t get this comparison at all, but they are both good singers for sure.

According to spoilers at TheIdolPad, Adam Brock was chosen for the Top 24. The people behind that site have been pretty accurate in the past with their spoilers, but they do sometimes change based on previous bad information. It’s fair to say, though, that Adam has probably made the Top 24, which is the first voting round.

Predictions

I can’t predict high success for Adam. It seems he is going to focus on soul singing. While the power is certainly there, his voice is a bit shrill when going for the big notes. That lowers the quality of his vocal tone, which is going to be very important to a lot of voters. People compare him to Danny, but he seems more like Gokey Lite than the full banana.

In the end, if the spoilers are true that Brock has made the Top 24, I suspect that there is about a 75% chance he will be cut immediately in that Top 24. Of course, he has some chance of making it to the Top 12, especially because there are wildcard spots given by the judges. Adam could also be helped by the fact that this seems to be a pretty weak group of guys, which is in contrast to what seems to be a very strong group of girls for Season 11. But that help him will only get him so far. Adam has a lame backstory, he doesn’t seem to have a star personality and his singing is good but a notch below other singers of his type who have been on the show before. This means he has little to no chance of winning American Idol 2012.

Sources;

TheIdolPad Spoilers for American Idol Season 11 Contestants

Will Whitney Houston Be a New Judge on the US X Factor?

Recently, host Steve Jones and judges Paula Abdul and Nicole Scherzinger were all fired after the first season of the US X Factor. Ratings were decent but not as expected, so fingers are being pointed left and right. Nonetheless, the show did well enough for a second season. The latest is that Whitney Houston has been offered a spot as a judge and mentor on the show.

Like the record industry as a whole, Whitney has had declining results in her album sales, but her last concert tour had pretty good results. As seen from her Dancing With the Stars performances, her voice is just not the same, so this would likely be a good gig for her to make a few more million while also resting the voice.

This is kind of an expected pick. I don’t really know how warm of a personality Whitney has, but she certainly has some sarcasm in her if she wants to play those stupid judge wars that X Factor seems to think are good for ratings. Houston is also one of the best singers of all time, so she does bring some credibility in that arena.

One thing that would be nice about having her as a judge is that we could stop hearing those lame critiques that people can’t sing her songs. In fact, many, many contestants have sung her songs. It is hard to match her vocal quality. But loads of singers can at least hit the notes. I’m sure Whitney Houston would judge performances of her own songs fairly instead of blowing smoke like these other judges do whenever someone tries to tackle one of her songs.

Ratings

Will Whitney be good for ratings if she takes a judging role on the US X Factor? I doubt that any one person could dramatically change the ratings. The show needs a complete overhaul, not just cosmetic changes. At any rate, I doubt that she would hurt ratings, so the show will just have to decide whether Whitney’s asking price is too much for its bottom dollar.

Whitney never struck me as a particularly smart person. After all, she did marry Bobby Brown. Is there really anything else to consider? And she made her bucks as a singer, not as a songwriter, so doing cocaine is about the dumbest thing she could have ever done for her career. Thus, I’d lay decent odds that she will demand more than what she is worth and not get one of the open judge/mentor spot on the X Factor. If she and her manager come to their senses and engage in realistic negotiations, however, then surely she will be there for the 2nd season.

Sources:

The Hollywood Reporter