Posted in Commentary, TV Program

TVI: Semifinal

Next week is the final, no kidding. Before they finally get to face other team’s representatives at the grand finale, they need to be the last man standing of their own group first. It was either or. Either you or your team member; either you make it or you don’t. The panel, especially Armand, repeatedly said they wouldn’t shower Top 8 with praises anymore, but would they really tell it as it is – drop a critic or two?

The Performances

Team Sherina:
1) Pritta <I love you – Dewi Sandra>
2) Agseisa <L.O.V.E. – Ashlee Simpson>

Team Giring:
1) Abdi <We are young – Fun>
2) Billy <Fix you – Coldplay>

Team Armand:
1) Ferdinand <Bukan untukku – Rio Febrian>
2) Leona <Aku wanita – Reza>

Team Glenn:
1) Tiara <Bebas – Iwa K>
2) Saptoto <Yogyakarta – Kla Project>

The show’s opener and closer last week switched place for this week’s lineup, so we got Pritta to open and Saptoto to close the semifinal week. Singing Dewi Sandra’s I love you, Pritta wowed me at last. The balladry, a capella part on the first half was stunning; her polished vocal technique was put into good use, embellishing the song in appropriate parts. Let’s fast-forward to see how her powerful-voice rival fared. With that huge fairy-wings set, Leona palled in comparison. She still inserted keroncong for the interlude, the high point of her performance, but I didn’t feel the lovestruckness in her. It was bland and the long notes were shaky.

Next was Abdi who took on Fun’s recent anthem, We are young. Nate’s voice is quite distinct, but Abdi as usual managed to keep his identity prevails; his beltings were steady too. It wasn’t as explosive as I’d expected it to be, but it was solid. Both he and Agseisa seem to struggle with English songs and their respective coaches keep assigning them to English songs with complicated lyrics. While her I’m with you was far from nifty, her rendition of the catchy L.O.V.E. this week was good and was actually enjoyable to watch and listen to, if not too similar to Ashlee’s.

Ferdinand… was Ferdinand. No surprises. He’s invariably rooted to a spot onstage and crooned simple yet heartfelt love song. That’s his forte and the kind of record he’s gonna make, but competition-wise, his selections thus far lack variation and versatility I’d like to see him do. When the rest of TVI’s remaining contenders aim for big grand numbers, he sticks to modest love song sung straightforwardly with minimal improvisation but his vibrato. Tiara on the other hand proves that her big figure is no hindrance to move her body and rock the stage whilst performing. Always a show-stealer, she went on full-rap this time. She suits groovy, upbeat songs better than ballad.

Last but not least we saw Billy finally got his wish to perform Fix you granted and Saptoto belted a song of his hometown, Yogyakarta. For me, Billy vocally lacks distinction and Saptoto lacks culmination; both did well though. Pritta, Abdi, and Billy gave me chills at certain notes, only Leona’s was a miss for me, and Ferdinand’s a near-miss.

On a side note, although The Voice technically is for soloists, Abdi’s seriously giving me vibe of a band’s frontman. The feeling I don’t get from Saptoto or Agseisa. Bete was Agseisa’s strongest performance and felt sooo her that’s probably what her future venture should be. If Ferdinand bears resemblance to Mike Mohede, one of the nation’s most underrated singers, Tiara reminds me of Indonesian Idol’s most recent winner, Regina, if they are at all comparable. Tiara is more fluid though 😉

The Results and Comments

Two factors determined who’s going to the grand finale the following week – one from public votes, one from respective coach’s score, each proportioned to 100%. The Voice’s coaches are fully in charge of their team members’ fate more than X Factor’s mentors are. The other coaches can’t interfere, but can each of them be thoroughly objective in making the judgment? How far can they go from being 50:50? I bet the margin wouldn’t be wide enough to twist the votes around. I bet it won’t make much of a difference unless a third point from the other three coaches is added into the final count.

Glenn’s 60:40 margin was the widest; Giring and Sherina were more impartial with 55:45; Armand was the craftiest with his narrow 53:47 tug-of-war. Couldn’t do 50:50, couldn’t make it 51:49 either, thus Armand’s close percentage. They were also given a chance to explain their number – was it really necessary? Was it to buy more time? – and they happily took their own sweet time, going verbose and taking circularly spiral routes to make their point across. Honestly, I didn’t follow it, or get it. Long story short, Giring took everything into consideration, from blind audition till that night; Glenn and Sherina decided on who fits The Voice’s premise better; and Armand weighed confidence level that night, a very important aspect a singer must possess.

They say that today’s viewers are smart (to discern the good from the mediocre, to tell who’s doing great and who’s lacking in something) but the panel always feels a need to educate the audience at every possible moment. Glenn is particularly keen on stressing that TVI is not just another platform to produce instant singers, but to consider it learning process because be(com)ing a singer requires more than just singing well. Meanwhile, Giring is the closest the panel can get to deliver constructive feedback. He oftentimes tries to be frank but hesitantly stops halfway without finishing what he’s trying to say, as if fears such criticism would affect a contestant negatively in terms of votes-getting. The assessment eventually came off as half-assed and the long winding comments were befuddling as it’s hard to follow their train of thought.

This brings us to the result-reading. The two-point system to decide who made it to the final went anticlimactic when Team Glenn and then Team Sherina’s summation, unlikely as it is, ended up in a tie of 100:100. Whoopsie! Two exact coincidences, TVI? (That’s why I said we need a third point.) So, the chosen way to get out of this deadlock is? Easy, revote for two minutes. Geez, no other creative option? Anyway, after much delay and many yawns, here are TVI’s four finalists: Billy, Leona, Tiara, and Agseisa. One guy vs. three gurls; one adult vs. three young adults. Until Sunday~

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