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Try Wait: ‘The Voice’ tops them all
BY GARY CHUN / firstname.lastname@example.org
I am a fan of “The Voice.”
My unabashed love for the NBC singing contest first grew from watching Hawaii-born Cheesa Laureta (now relocated to Los Angeles) compete for the attention of superstar judges Christina Aguilera, Cee-Lo Green, Adam Levine of Maroon 5 and country’s Blake Shelton. Like her fellow contestants, she passed the blind auditions by being chosen by Green to be on her team.
“(Green has) taught me to do it for me and always trust myself,” she told our John Berger in March of 2012. “Don’t think too much, just sing with your heart.”
Although ultimately she didn’t win “The Voice,” she has kept busy with her burgeoning career, releasing a single in September, “I’m Not Perfect,” with help from Filipina pop star Charice. Laureta was a guest at Charice’s concert at the Blaisdell Arena earlier this month.
Now Season 3 of the now-influential show (arguably besting “American Idol” and “The X Factor” and the ratings numbers prove it) heads into Monday and Tuesday’s Top 12 performance shows, recorded live those very days. Winnowing down the large number of singers from each team every week after the blind auditions, viewers finally had the opportunity to vote for two of their favorites from each team, leaving the judges to move on one more of the favorites from their teams.
Singers from “Team Adam” and “Team Blake” have won the first two seasons with Javier Colón and Jermaine Paul, respectively. This year, I feel “Team Cee-Lo” and “Team Xtina” have a good shot of producing this season’s winner of “The Voice.”
As befitting Green’s eccentric nature, two of his most promising singers couldn’t look any different, although both share great soulful voices. The bearded and bespectacled Nicholas David from St. Paul, Minnesota, dubbed “the feelin’,” has been a part of the Twin Cities scene for more than a decade, while the young and relatively raw Trevin Hunte of Chicago has been a force to be reckoned with on the show, and the odds-on favorite to win it all.
Aguilera’s strongest singers include heartthrob Dez Duron of Shreveport, Louisiana and powerhouse Egypt-born Sylvia Yacoub of Michigan. They have a good shot as well.
But hold on. “Team Adam” may make this two out of three, based on his great, emotive singers Bryan Keith and Amanda Brown, both of New York City. The two of them have great backgrounds: Keith’s father is an award-winning Latin vocalist and Brown sang background for Adele and Alicia Keys on tour.
David, Yacoub and Keith have given me some great moments on this season’s “The Voice,” but nothing will top the thrilling performance Hunte and Brown gave on Mariah Carey’s “Vision of Love” during the knockout rounds (which Hunte won, with Brown surviving, thanks to a “steal” by Levine).
“The Voice” airs at 7 p.m. Mondays and Tuesdays on KHNL. After the current season, Aguilera and Green will take time out to pursue their own careers, allowing Shakira and Usher to join the show next year as judges with Levine and Shelton.
Gary Chun is a features reporter at the Honolulu Star-Advertiser. Email him at email@example.com and follow him on Twitter.