18 August 2013

Spectacular Sing-Off Between Two Divas Concludes the Voice’s Battles

I do not for one moment think that the so-called ‘Battles’ of the Voice of the Philippines could have ended better than it did last night, with a titanic confrontation between two supremely talented divas. I was simply blown away by the two artists’ performance; and apparently so were the four coaches as well as the audience.

Radha, a former band vocalist looking for a way back in; and Marissa Saroca, a Fil-Australian looking to build her own career in this country, received a deserved standing ovation from everyone in the studio. This was a first, presenter Toni Gonzaga pointed out; and only appropriate given the calibre of the performance.

The song was Aretha Franklin’s classic ‘Respect’ and it was sung with remarkable technique and passion by both singers. Lea Salonga had earlier told both ladies that she was leaving it all to them to interpret the song since both not only knew the song well but also were equally accomplished in their chosen craft.

The result was sensational!


In the end, it was all up to her coach Lea Salonga, who opted to put Radha through. I did not really mind because either one of the two ladies would have been deserving. It was all down to personal preference.
Theirs was not a well-coordinated duet with pleasing harmonies like those of the previous weekend between first Daryl Shy and MJ Podolig on Saturday and then between Maki Ricafort and Hans Dimayuga the next night.

Instead, theirs was a battle in the truest sense of the word and arguably the fiercest fought in the gladiatorial arena that is the Voice. Two equally matched singers were at each other’s throat without compromising quality. If anything, the fierceness of the battle contributed to the spectacularity of the performance.

Those were not two amateurs trying to win a singing contest but, instead, two extremely gifted professionals at the top of their game. That anyone had to lose was unfortunate and regrettable.

I myself picked Saroca because she showed a slightly better vocal range than Radha and her voice sounded better to my ears. I never would have thought she had it in her to sing that way because I thought she gave only a passable performance during the blind auditions.

In the end, it was all up to her coach Lea Salonga, who opted to put Radha through. I did not really mind because either one of the two ladies would have been deserving. It was all down to personal preference.

Naturally, all the other battles paled in comparison to the final battle of the night between the two divas.

The night opened with the sing-off between Cora dela Cruz and Jessica Corpuz, both from apl.de.ap’s team. The song was ‘Makita Kang Mulî.’

This was the first time that I was pleased when two singers from apl.de.ap’s team blended their voices. Regrettably, while the two were harmonious with their blending, they were also fairly average singing solo. I was also annoyed by either singer’s exaggerated enunciation which was so barangay singing contest. And it was already an OPM that they were singing, mind.

It was an easy enough decision for apl.de.ap to slip dela Cruz through despite the theatrical attempt to seem undecided. For one, she has this raspy but melodic rocker’s voice not unlike Sampaguita’s. For another, Corpuz sounded pitchy almost from the start.

Bamboo slipped Myk Perez through at the expense of John Duka after the duo performed a medley of Beatles classics: ‘Hey Jude’ and ‘Come Together.’ I do not feel as strongly about this as when Bamboo sent the Cordovaleses packing; but I still thought that, on the night, Duka gave the better performance.

Bamboo was correct to point out one or two pitch problems for Duka. I thought these were negligible. In contrast, Perez sang the medley like he would a Bruno Mars song and I thought the result was a total disconnect.

‘Come Together,’ in particular, is a high energy rock classic and the sissy way that Perez sang it just did not do it for me. I thought Duka won the night but then again, who knows what goes on inside Bamboo’s head.

The only other battle of last night was one of my hated trios: Gabriel Ramos, Klarisse de Guzman and Roxette Swinton. Coach Sarah G tasked the three to do ‘Somebody That I Used to Love.’

I usually have a hard time making my mind up whenever a trio is performing in a battle; but this was one of those that I found relatively easy to call. I thought de Guzman stood out among the three of them not so much because she was vastly superior but more because both Ramos and Swinton had to contend with pitch issues for most of the performance.

Ramos, in fairness, got better with the higher notes midway through the songs. As for Swinton... well... she’s young...

Acknowledgment: Photo captured from video on http://www.iwantv.com.ph.











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Outstanding Male ‘Battles’ Over the Weekend in The Voice
Mixed Fortunes for Batangueñas and Who Knows What Bamboo is Thinking

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