"American Idol" this season, perhaps more than any other season, was full of elimination shockers, from Pia to Casey to James to Haley. But on "The Voice," there are few such surprises. The real surprise is just how frequently America gets it right when it comes to the voting on this awesome show.
Wednesday night, on the all-important results show before next week's big final showdown, the four singers that punters believed would--and, more importantly, should--make it through actually, well, made it through. Yes, the four mentors' votes counted too; they all assigned a certain number of points to each of their remaining team members. But only one of those mentors, the ever-controversial Adam Levine, stacked the deck lopsidedly in favor of one of his contestants (a contestant who surely didn't even need the help). So really, this week's "Voice" results represented the voice of the people. The voice of America.
And that was perhaps what was most surprising about this week's results: their transparency. The viewers at home actually got to see the coaches' point tallies, as well as the public votes--and that, along with recent iTunes chart rankings (since download sales also count as votes), was more than enough to silence the sort of vote-fixing accusations and conspiracy theories that plague other reality competitions (like "Idol"). And personally, I'll take honesty and transparency over shocker eliminations any day of the week.
So here, "Voice" viewers, are your extremely deserved final four (all of whom, it should be noted, were the popular-vote-getters during the quarterfinals):
TEAM CEE LO: Vicci Martinez
This was, truthfully, the only result I was a little bummed about...NOT because I don't dig Vicci (I adore her, and would actually be cool with her winning this whole thing), but because her victory meant one of my other "Voice" favorites, blues belter Nakia, was going home. If only the four best/most popular singers, regardless of team affiliation, could've made it through to the finale, Nakia may have had a real shot. But up against Vicci, he was doomed. Cee Lo Green was pretty diplomatic, giving Vicci 49 of his points and Nakia 51, but when the public votes were read off, it was a clear landslide, with Vicci's combined total of 124 to poor Nakia's 74. I shall miss you, Nakia, but if you're reading this, take solace in knowing that you lost out to a very worthy opponent, someone who will do Team Cee Lo proud in the finale.
TEAM ADAM: Javier Colon
Well, even on a non-shocker night, this was especially unshocking. Let's face it, Javier would have easily prevailed even if Adam hadn't assigned him 65 points (compared to Casey Weston's paltry 35). The gap in overall scores between Javier and Casey made the Vicci/Nakia pair-up look like a tight race (Javier: 138, Casey: 62). But considering that Casey was a second-chance contestant who was initially passed over in the first round of the Blind Auditions, I'd say she did quite respectably this season, and she can leave the show with her pretty blonde head held high.
TEAM BLAKE: Dia Frampton
This was a much closer race, with Dia's score of 106 to Xenia's 94, and tactful mentor Blake Shelton splitting his own points 50/50 (a slight shock; I thought the proud papa figure might actually give Xenia an edge, since he always seemed to adore and coddle her so much). But Dia is a more seasoned singer (so seasoned, in fact, that she was a member of Warner Bros. Records signing/Warped Tour band Meg & Dia, who had a sizable cult following), and high school kid Xenia simply needs more time to develop her stage presence. So America was right to let Xenia go. Xenia would have had a rough time competing against the likes of Vicci and Javier, but Dia, if she comes up with another creative cover like "Heartless," might have a real shot next week.
TEAM XTINA: Beverly McClellan
This was another tough, close competition: two powerhouses with incredible flair and fighting spirit (and 50 percent apiece of the mentor points from neutral Christina Aguilera), going bald head-to-head. Frenchie had a chance here, given her "Idol"-related backstory and established following, not to mention her incredibly fierce and fiery "Like A Prayer" performance this week. But anti-pop star Beverly has been the unlikely breakout contestant of "The Voice" all season long, and America apparently thought her "The Thrill Is Gone" performance from Tuesday night was more thrilling than Frenchie's clubby/churchy Madonna cover. So Bev edged out French by a mere 14 points (107 to 93). However, Miss Davis took the news very well; I think after her "Idol" disqualification/disgrace in Season 2, all she really ever wanted was a chance to finally compete on live TV, and her mission had already been accomplished. So now it is up to Beverly to represent bald, bold ladies in the "Voice" finale. Oh, I think she can handle that.
This is a strong and diverse final fabulous four, people: a supercool rock chick who knows her way around a tribal drum and does a mean Florence cover, a handsome Latin American man who croons smooth rock 'n' soul, a winsome indie-folk songstress, and a fortysomething blues-rock badass with a shaved head and neck tattoos. Javier has seemed like the golden boy from day one, but really, I think ANY of them have a chance to win.
However will voters decide? I'm not quite sure, but I hope America gets it right again next week...