“The Voice” Gets Set to Reveal Its Finalists

Vicci Martinez wins highest praise from celebrity coaches in semi-finals

By DANIEL MACHT
|  Wednesday, Jun 22, 2011  |  Updated 11:32 AM PDT
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More singers will depart

More singers will depart "The Voice" Wednesday, leaving just four of the eight remaining contestants for next week's finals. The NBC reality show has been a ratings hit for the network.

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"The Voice" Finals Near

More singers depart "The Voice," leaving just four contestants for next week's finals. The NBC reality show has been a ratings hit for the network.

"The Voice" Hopeful Nakia

Nakia chats with PopcornBiz about life on Team Cee Lo and which contestants inspire him.
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“The Voice” is one week away from crowning its champion.

NBC’s top-rated singing competition kicked into semi-finals mode Tuesday with eight would-be pop stars hoping their latest live performance would edge them closer to the show’s $100,000 grand prize and record deal. Only four will advance past Wednesday’s results show to the finals.

Two members from Team Christina and from Team Blake advanced to the semis last week. On Tuesday, host Carson Daly kicked off the show by revealing which four artists from Team Cee Lo and Team Adam were still alive in the competition.

Vicci Martinez, who last week sang “Jolene,” scored the most viewer votes for Team Cee Lo to earn her spot in the semi-finals. Cee Lo then exercised his coach's vote to save Nakia, whom he called his “brother from another mother.”

Team Adam was up next and the celebrity coach said he'd spare Casey Weston despite the singer’s “stubborn” streak. The decision came after America had voted to save soulful crooner Javier Colon.

After dispensing with the results, the show then transitioned to a new round of live performances.

Frenchie Davis was the first up and said she was a little intimidated that coach Christina Aguilera had asked her to sing a “churchy, soulful” version of Madonna’s “Like a Prayer.”

No matter. The celebrity judge had nothing but praise for Frenchie's rendition.

Next up was Nakia, who donned a black shirt underneath a white suit for his performance of Adam Lambert’s “Whataya Want from Me!”

Adam Levine said that even though he didn’t know the song Nakia had “forced” him to like it. Blake Shelton also fawned on the big man for having a “freakin’ award show performance.”

Dia Frampton, who won over judges earlier this season with a haunting piano performance of Kanye West’s “Heartless,” took the stage next with a guitar in hand.

Adam praised the singer for again taking a risk by choosing REM’s “Losing My Religion.” Christina said that, to her, Dia had shown the most growth of all the contestants this season. Blake then talked up the singer for putting her “heart and soul” out on the stage.

Casey Weston followed up Dia’s performance by singing “I Will Always Love You.” Before the gig, Adam had told Casey he wanted her to interpret the tune somewhere between Dolly Parton and Whitney Houston’s versions.

He was shown trying to rein her in during rehearsals and said after the main event the performance “proved that our arguments paid off.”

Team Christina was up next, and the pop star had Beverly McClellan sing B.B. King’s “The Thrill is Gone” – to show her softer side. But that didn’t mean the performance was muted.

Afterward Cee Lo said he loved Beverly as a competitor because “if someone didn’t allow you to be yourself, you’d kick their ass.”

Christina said having Beverly in the competition was one of the reasons she was thankful for having  signed up to do “The Voice.”

Javier Colon took the stage next to sing “Fix You” by Coldplay. For the first time in the competition, he removed his signature cap to reveal Frenchie and Beverly aren't the only ones left on the show with shaved heads.

“I wanted to show folks a different side of me,” Javier said, though Cee Lo assured him that he could “do no wrong.”

Adam agreed Javier was the “real deal” and said that his was one of the best voices he’d ever heard in or outside the competition.

Xenia went next and sang "The Man Who Can't Be Moved" by The Script.

Adam said afterward that while he enjoyed Xenia’s unique voice the tune was a little too “sleepy.” Christina called Xenia one of her favorites and said she was “baffled” by the shy 16-year-old's on-stage maturity. Xenia scored the strongest praise, though, from Blake.

The country star said he anticipated one day hearing her voice on the radio while driving.

“Im glad that I knew you when,” he told his protégé.

Despite the earlier accolades, the coaches reserved their strongest show of support for Vicci Martinez, who closed out Tuesday’s “Voice” with a percussion heavy version of “Dog Days are Over” by Florence and the Machine.

After the faux-hawked singer rocked the stage, Adam said it was the “coolest” performance of the night.

Cee Lo added that that he was on the edge of his seat throughout her show.

On Wednesday, "The Voice" will reveal which performer from each of the four teams will advance to the finals and who’ll be cut.

The decision is based on viewer votes combined with celebrity coach scores.
 

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