Posted in Commentary, TV Program

TVI: Grand Final

Who won?! Who won!? Team Giring did.

Did you watch the last live show of The Voice Indonesia Season 1 on Sunday night? Did you enjoy the show? Who mesmerized you the most? If you’re here to know who won, well, you’ve got the answer above (hint: highlight the blank space). If you’re willing to read more on my thoughts of the finale, read ahead 🙂

Each finalist performed three times, two solos and one duet with a guest singer who already etches a name in the commercial music industry. However, the show’s opener and closer were done by Noah. The band collaborated with all finalists for the closing performance before the winner was announced, but it was more of them backing-up Ariel rather than a decent collaboration. Anyway, let’s focus more on our finalists. As we all knew, Team Armand had Leona, Team Sherina had Agseisa, Team Glenn had Tiara, and Team Giring had Billy.

The Performances

Round 1:
1)    Billy <Laskar pelangi – Nidji>
2)    Agseisa <Makhluk Tuhan paling sexy – Mulan Jameela>
3)    Leona <Yesterday – The Beatles>
4)    Tiara <Ya sudahlah – Bondan ft. Fade2Black>
(Billy opted for songs with meaningful lyrics and chose Laskar pelangi for his first performance. The challenge for him has always been to tackle Indonesian song as well as he’s done English song, and this wasn’t moving or anything special to conquer that mountain. Agseisa came out fierce and swag-full. I hate the original song, especially the aw-aw-aw-ih-ih-ih part, but Agseisa tweaked it and delivered the hook in rock style I totally loved her performance. Leona took on yet another legendary song, thankfully re-arranged and sung with improvised-full melody it wasn’t dead-boring. Tiara went with Bondan’s uplifting anthem fused with ethnic tune (greetings from Papua!). What a smooth and flawless crossover — they totally blended well together.)

Round 2:
1)    Billy <When I was your man – Bruno Mars>
2)    Leona <Sang dewi – Titi DJ>
3)    Agseisa <Just Give Me A Reason – P!nk ft. Nate Ruess>
4)    Tiara <Malaikat juga tahu – Dewi Lestari>
(Two of my favorite Indonesian songs were sung here. I believe some songs are so deep, meaningful, and beautiful that they need nothing but heart to get conveyed. Billy and Tiara depended on nothing but emotional connection to the song’s context. Result? Heartfelt renditions that gave me chills (Billy’s) and tugged at my heartstring (Tiara’s). Leona again inserted keroncong to Sang dewi, switching to original melody on every chorus. Again, I felt that her keroncong part was mesmerizing, but the fusion never worked. The switch has always been abrupt and felt disjointed. I love Agseisa’s garb here and appreciate the way she beckoned the audience to sing along.)

Duets:
1)    Leona ft. Iwa K <Only girl (in the world) – Rihanna>
2)    Agseisa ft. Judika <Aku yang tersakiti – Judika>
3)    Tiara ft.Tompi <Menghujam jantungku – Tompi>
4)    Billy ft. Afgan <Dia dia dia – Afgan>
(Not gonna comment on these (intermezzo?) duets because they were rightfully collaborations that are meant to be enjoyed. Though I’d love them to be grand and unified and all, let’s be honest, great duet is hard to achieve even by two great singers. To make things worse, the lineup consisted of Judika(!!) and Afgan(!!!). Did you notice it? Sherina and Afgan threw meaningful glances, hmm… By ‘project together’, were they referring to their duet? *hopeful*)

Comments

Armand gave a pass for Billy’s Laskar pelangi, merely saying, “This is the final, so… I love you.”  Was the panel not gonna comment on the performances or simply refraining from giving negative feedback? Nope, Glenn was still fixated on Billy’s Indonesian vs. English songs comparison. He’s undeniably good singing in English, can we drop this discussion already? Nope, the panel kept on restating comments I’ve heard a hundred times before they sounded like a broken record.

Like how they gushed over Leona’s vocal and unfailingly brought up her young age and where she’s coming from. She’s 17 and came from a small country outside Kediri, I geddit, but why only her? Agseisa is only a couple years older and she’s from Banjarmasin, doesn’t anyone remember? TVI’s not trying to set her to win by pushing this story, was it? Well, her hometown-visit VTR was also noticeably longer than the other three’s.

Fortunately, Glenn quickly took a stand to state several wise remarks and advices to the finalists regarded as future recording artists. Meanwhile, Armand was hands down TVI’s ice-breaker with his unsolicited wit and sense of humor. Before going to the result, let me map out the four’s SWOT analysis:

Leona: wide range, long breath, good at power ballad (honestly, her song choices have been heavy I hope she’d sing lighter songs befitting her age. She reminds me of Putri Ayu from Indonesia Mencari Bakat who specializes in seriosa).
Agseisa: easiest on the eyes, great stage act, mid- to up-tempo accentuated pop-rock selections bring out her gruff tone best.
Tiara: easiest to watch, most versatile, fluid performer. Great vocal but sing not to impress. (For me, she is already a pro and so ready to release single(s) and album(s) rightaway.)
Billy: (This puts Billy as the underdog — he’s the only one receiving a critique that night.) instruments-literate, soulful, straight, clear tone. Put emphasis on words, medium- to slower-tempo songs suit his singing style, wherein his textured voice is able to show.

The Result

The method to determine the ultimate victor of the first TVI was by votes only. Whenever it’s voting-based system… *braced for the unexpected* All season long, the competition has been internal, against own team-mates, that it’s rather hard to predict how the votes would go team vs. team. While watching the performances that night, I couldn’t help wondering how long this episode would last, whether the winner would be crowned that night or would be delayed till the following week instead – yunno, so-called inaugural/reunion show.

The four finalists were lined-up on the center stage and I was waiting and waiting for the result. Cue: cut to Darius: “Leona – Selamat! Kamu berhasil masuk ke dua besar perolehan vote terbanyak.” Sho~ot! That was close! Did they indicate they’re announcing the Top 2 first? Anyway, Billy rounded up the Top 2, and he took the title home.

Final Thoughts

Honestly, it was surprising, though not unexpected. And I won’t delve into who should’ve won or deserved to win because it is completely futile. Like it or not, he was the winner – supporters gonna defend and haters gonna hate. It’s endless and it’s going nowhere. I too had my favorite (if you follow my posts long enough you’ll know who that was) but since Tiara told us “ya sudahlah” (Ketika mimpimu yang begitu indah tak pernah terwujud, ya sudahlah / Saat kau berlari mengejar anganmu dan tak pernah sampai, ya sudahlah / Apapun yang terjadi, ku kan s’lalu ada untukmu / Janganlah kau bersedih, ‘cause everything’s gonna be okay…) and then “malaikat juga tahu” (Malaikat juga tahu siapa yg jadi juaranya…) through beautiful melodies I decided to take the result easy.

I read people bashing on Billy’s inability (lack of ability thereof) to sing in Indonesian well. So what if his soulfulness shines whenever he sings in English? In comparison, can Leona sing upbeat song well, I ask you? Everybody has a niche, and let that be his. Simple, right? Why people like to be a jerk? One can state a negative opinion about something, but being trashy is just… sigh.

Imho, winning isn’t everything. It matters, but it isn’t all that important. I believe that the finalists are all winners – they’ve made their presence known to a larger audience, been seen, noticed, and supported by more people, and most likely by music producers as well. This program has brought them to the threshold of music industry, opened that door and allowed them to take the first baby step into the world ahead. The winner may have the advantage of getting a record deal first, but all of them have equal chance to create one soon as well. They’ve done a great job re-arranging and covering songs from existing singers, the real challenge and competition starts now – can they produce something that public likes aka hit-song(s)? I am particularly intrigued as to what kind of record Billy’s gonna make. Look forward to it.

_
p.s.
I particularly love how many TVI’s hopefuls were present and showing support, then gathered onstage, all celebrating, all looking happy and close to one another as if the finale was a reunion for them. Lovely little details~ As for The Voice Indonesia, it is a nice program that ends a little too soon. It’s not without rooms for improvement but overall it provided a nice weekly dose of good performances and entertainment.

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