Sunday, October 6, 2013

The Voice Philippines Wrap-Up: 20 Best Performances

Not since Jesus turned water into wine has there been as miraculous an upgrade as what we saw when The Voice Philippines premiered a couple of months ago. What once was an exercise in frustration during X Factor Philippines (Thanks Kedebon!) became something that was equal parts thrilling and satisfying, despite having some momentary annoyance (Thanks Mitoy!). Haha.

I mean, I can't be alone in scratching my head that when contenders like Taw Muhammed were eliminated early on, especially when the pedestrian singers like Isa Fabregas somehow hit the reality singing competition lottery and got a second chance on the show. The format was obviously faulty, but hey, when the talent level was as high as it was deep, do I still need to complain?

So yes, the first ever season of The Voice Philippines was a success - despite having a shouter as the winner - and with that, let me end my "writing season" of The Voice Philippines, with my usual wrap-up post of the best performances all season.

So, without further ado..

Here are the TOP 20 Best Live Performances of The Voice Philippines Season 1:

20. Without You
Maki Ricafort
[TOP 24]
This was actually a pretty brilliant strategic song choice. Without You allowed Maki to sing to the best of his ability and do what he does best: connect with the audience. Sure, he didn't hit perfectly all his notes comfortably and I had a problem with some of the higher placement and the lazy diction, but he has a serious instrument and an outstanding vocal tone.

19. So Far Away
Eva Delos Santos
[TOP 24]
I knew Eva had enough vocal power, but I didn’t realize how much technique she holds as a vocalist. This was actually pretty impressive. Yes, there were some slightly disjointed moments, but the placement of her falsetto notes were spot on and I liked that she actually played piano on stage. It was an unexpected yet pleasant surprise.

18. Hallelujah
Miora Dela Torre
Her voice was as delicate as a soap bubble and pretty as the first flower of spring. There’s something optimistic and sunny about Moira's voice and she didn’t miss a single note of her rearranged Hallelujah song either. It's such a shame that she was unable to go beyond Battle rounds as I was really looking forward to hear more from this McDonald's jingle singer.

17. Balita
Daryll Shy
[TOP 16]
So much soul, so much blues, so much promise. I was seriously ready to write him off just because I don't really gravitate towards his style, but when I saw his subdued, but unbelievably honest interpretation of Balita, I instantly became a fan. The effort that was seen on his face as he told a story was palpable and measurable. Throughout the competition Darryl Shy has shown us flashes of greatness and that night was one of those moments, this was just sublime.

16. Kundiman Song
Juvie Pelos
Loved how this girl brought her unique song choice to the auditions while managing to showcase a big range and enviable vocal accuracy. That moment, I figured that she's one of the few genuine threats on Team Lea. I mean, she sounded authentic with strong vocals and will probably go down as the bravest song choice this season.

15. Give Me Love
Myk Perez
After Janice and Mitoy's ear-splitting versions of their predictable song choices that night, it's very refreshing to hear Myk's take on Ed Sheeran's Give Me Love. His soothing tone is on full display here and the vocal was light, and tender, yet equally compelling. His connection felt effortless. Myk, you know you’ve done something right when you give me chills. Either that, or my aircon's just too cold. Haha.

14. You Give Me Something
Paolo Onesa
[TOP 24]
That night, I wanted to just clear my throat here so I can scream something from the rafters.. Ahem.. I told you, Paolo could be a potential dark horse!! The tone he displayed in this James Morrison ditty reminded me why I was such a fan of his since the blind auditions. There's something inherently soulful about his voice and while he still needs further work on his vocal control, he deserved the praise and accolades - aside from his good looks and charm. Yes, the redemption arc has begun for Paolo.

13. No More Tears
Morissette Amon & Lecelle Trinidad
I wish there was something on my keyboard that could accurately sum up the intense display of diva off Morissette and Lecelle gave on No More Tears. I mean, come on, this duo treated the song like it was an intense volleyball match - they lobbed it, they spiked it, they served it hardcore. Morissette proved once again that she's indeed a vocal beast, but to see Lecelle holding her own against her was quite riveting.

12. Tulak Ng Bibig
Klarisse De Guzman
This girl has a sublime phrasing, and an equally intriguing tone when she starts navigating the verses. I thought her version was incredibly underrated as Klarisse’s mixture of restraint and attack, nuance and bombast, managed to make it seem like she was tackling a song that had been written especially for her. Very good.

11. What About Love
Maki Ricafort & Hans Dimayuga
So pretty. It’s not easy coloring inside the lines of the song, but Maki and Hans undoubtedly proved they've got the necessary vocals to pull this one off. Hans' glory note was insane enough that it would’ve been locked inside Mandaluyong all in itself, but Maki's gorgeous tone and unexpectedly wide vocal range and inherent musicality somehow sealed the deal on this one. But again, they both complemented each other creating a duet with fantastic harmonies and all around soothing vocal performances. 

10. I'm Yours
Myk Perez
With an acoustic guitar in hand, Myk put together a rousing, high-energy cover of Jason Mraz's I'm Yours, which was pretty typical on paper, but he did enough to make his version stand out. Plus, his phrasing was lovely and the passion and musicality was palpable. He unknowingly made himself a contender after the performance.

09. Ironic
Taw Muhammed
I instantly became a fan as soon as Taw opened her mouth and delivered that first note of Alanis Morissette's big hit. I could tell that she had enough vocal horsepower to handle big song, but the deliberate restraint and nuance on her take was lovely while managing to play with the melody just enough to keep it from being karaoke. Her tone was as clear as a cloudless sky, her phrasing was gorgeous, and her voice was divine.

08. Let It Be
[TOP 8]
She sang The Beatles' Let It Be and showed us that she was a born performer and seemed quite ready to take the next step and become a star. In my opinion, these are some of the greatest lyrics written in popular music, and Radha absolutely killed it. Her voice always hits me hard, but this song was a beautiful match to her powerful vocals. It went slightly overboard towards the end, but I didn't really care.

07. What About Love
Morisette Amon
[TOP 16]
Morissette completely blew it that night. She was flat, sharp, off-key, off-time, and I’m pretty sure she hit all her notes wrong. Ok, none of that’s true, because this was fantastic! She delivered an incredibly controlled version of this overdone song choice and blew me away. It was passionate and intensely delivered, and I found it amazing how rich and layered this performance was. Very nice

06. To Love Somebody
Klarisse De Guzman
[TOP 8]
Klarisse obliterated To Love Somebody! I sat there in stunned silence as I watched an incredible singer that this show was lucky to find stand there and take a song she'd never performed before and make it new again. Some people were too foolish to underestimate her as there was no denying the vocal domination of this performance.

05. Skyfall
Paolo Onesa
[TOP 16]
Skyfall suited Paolo's voice perfectly and allowed him to send in a much needed solid performance just to prove that You Give Me Something wasn't a fluke. I thought the song was a beautiful match to his haunting tone, he gave it subtlety that was quite riveting ,and this allowed me to hear a new dynamics to his vocals. But the thing that I started to like about Paolo that week? I don't think we've had a voice like his in a very long time (or ever) on a reality singing show in the Philippines and it will be great to see him continue to evolve.

Radha & Marissa Saroca
This looked like a major mismatch on paper: Radha's Blind Audition was probably one of the most talked about this season, while Marissa's was so forgettable I didn't even know she existed. But I’d be lying if I said that when the ladies finished tearing into this Aretha Franklin anthem, I wasn't finding it impossible to choose a winner. I mean, even if the complaint for Radha and Marissa was that they went too much with their holleration, it was nevertheless an impressive display of raw, unrestrained vocal horsepower. Radha had the technical edge, but Marissa held her own against her and that ultimately made this battle deeply compelling.

03. Anak / Angel
Lee Grane
Before everyone hated Lee Grane for eventually being a one trick pony, it's hard not to give her credit for giving, arguably, the most talked about blind audition this season. In fact, this was the reason why people hated her. She gave an outstanding blind audition, but never really delivered something of that caliber again. Her take on Anak was something special. She took liberties with the melody without ruining the song, and her phrasing was sublime. When she get to Sarah McLachlan's Angel, you'd then be convinced that she's a real deal despite her lazy diction. Lee Grane went downhill after this episode, but again, it's hard not to just forget that this happened.

02. Without You
Taw Muhammed & Kimpoy Mainit
If you’d have told me beforehand that Kimpoy was destined to defeat Taw, I’d probably smack you in the head and call you a lair! Haha. Kimpoy certainly has talent on his side, but he has yet to develop any real personality in his voice. Taw, on the other hand, has power, clarity and unique tone as an asset. But I guess, that was irrelevant as I genuinely loved the energy and connectedness Taw and Kimpoy brought to the surface during their duet, and frankly, it was hard to fault either singer when it came to pitch. Taw, though, took more chances and that made her the clear winner in my book.

01. Jar Of Hearts
Morissette Amon
[TOP 24]
She had a beautiful moment with her performance of Jar Of Hearts. Her voice was pitch perfect, the phrasing just oozed natural ability, and there was fierceness to her delivery that urges you to root for her. I think she's a very dependable vocalist that if she was able to keep up this momentum and gets better as the weeks go on, that’s a really ominous sign for the rest of the contestants - Morissette will be like a snowball rolling down a hill and the other contestants are just harmless twigs in her way. Haha. Of course, that didn't happen, but her interpretation of the song - very different from the original - backed with strong vocals just made it the best performance of the season. Enough said.


Anonymous said...

#13 is called 'No More Tears'

Anonymous said...

no Mitoy? hehe.

Also, No More Tears was the title of Morissette/Lecelle duet.

DAM said...

Is that right? Hehe. Sorry for the error. I will edit. Thanks.

DAM said...

No Mitoy for me. He annoyed the heck out of me, haha

Yeah, i'll edit that one. Thanks! :)

Smarla said...

I love Morissette and Maki. Stopped watching nung wala na sila pareho :P

Anonymous said...

Jar of Hearts. Hands down. Wishing well for Morisette

Unknown said...

Morissette Amon is really great! thanks for this sir! :)

Anonymous said...

Jar of Hearts by Morissette at no. 1 spot? AGREE! Ang galing ng batang yan grabeh, every performance niya laging pang GRAND FINALS. hahaha! Thank you The DAM Nation. ^_^

Anonymous said...

yes,Morissette is great.

Anonymous said...

Yes Morissette Amon

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