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My books can be purchased as e-books for only $1.99. If interested, just click here: Books.
Match Play is a golf/suspense novel. Dust of Autumn is a bloody one set in upstate New York. Prairie View is set in South Dakota, with a final scene atop Rattlesnake Butte. Life in the Arbor is a children's book about Rollie Rabbit and his friends (on about a fourth grade level). The Black Widow involves an elaborate extortion scheme. Doggy-Dog World is my memoir. And ES3 is a description of my method for examining English sentence structure.
In case anyone is interested in any of my past posts, an archive list can be found at the bottom of this page.
My newest novel, Happy Valley, can be found here.

Wednesday, May 24

The Voice, Season 12

I wrote this last night, so what I say is one day old, but my prognostications about who will win were pretty much on the mark. I’m talking about the finale of The Voice, which was on last night, two hours of hype, hype, and more hype. We’ve watched this twelfth season more closely than any in the past and my observations are in most ways just a repeat of what I’ve already said.

Overall, the vocal talent is better on The Voice than on other such contests, even better than on American Idol. My positive takes? So many of the contestants are so very attractive. Are they naturally so or are the makeup people magicians? The sets of all of the performances are unbelievably intricate and beautiful and how they manage to get them ready between performances is beyond me. The backup singers and band musicians are excellent, although maybe a little too intrusive. The judges are cogent and funny. Negative takes? Those awful out-of-synch arms waving from the front boxes. Why do the producers of Voice as well as Idol feel they’re necessary? The volume of the backup singers and orchestra too often makes it hard if not impossible to hear the contestants. Then there’s the audience reaction during performances, all the screaming and applause during instead of after the performance, and unless I miss my guess, they have someone out in front of the audience directing them when to amp it up. That’s too much like forcing laugh tracks on the audience watching tv sit-coms. There’s also too much time spent on banter between judges (especially that artificial duel between Adam Levine and Blake Shelton) and not enough on the actual performances. The voting seems to be too dependent on the number of ITunes downloads. Tonight’s winners? Chris Blue will win, with Lauren Duski second, Jesse Larson third and the delightful 15-year-old Aliyah Moulden fourth. See, I told you I was pretty much on the mark, with only Jesse and Aliyah trading reversed.

Now, what about the two hours last night? It was nice to see so many of the contestants who didn’t make the final four come back to sing duets with their coaches or other star singers. I loved the duet between Usher and Chris Blue, “Everybody Hurts.” I loved the twosome of TSoul and Vanessa Ferguson who joined the incomparable Gladys Knight for an extended “You Are the Best Thing That Ever Happened to Me/If I Were Your Woman” How can Gladys Knight look and sound almost exactly as she did forty years ago? ‘Tis a mystery. The two best singles were Chris Stapleton singing “Either Way” and Jennifer Hudson singing “Remember Me.” Wow, has Jennifer Hudson ever come a long way from that stint she did on American Idol in Season 3, the year Kelly Clarkson won and Jennifer finished . . . SEVENTH!! Her new single “Remember Me” should be a big-time winner.

Will we watch another season of The Voice? Too soon to say if the negatives will outweigh the positives. If only they would have all the contestants sing at least once acapella so we could really hear how good or bad they are. Dream on.

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Any comments? Write me at jertrav33@aol.com