Monday, July 24, 2017

The Fantastic Four

I'm happy for Jona Soquite, Isabela Vinzon, Jeremy Glinoga and Mica Becerro. Such talented teenagers!
The finale of The Voice Teens is right around the corner, so I thought this would be the perfect time to sound off on the final four.

ISABELA VINZON, KAMP KAWAYAN


When Isabela launched into “Feelin’ Good” by Nina Simone during her blind audition, I couldn’t help but think of my pal AJ Tabaldo, whose American Idol journey ended when he sang this song in week two of the season six semifinals. Luckily, this song didn’t torpedo Lala’s chances like it did AJ’s.

I like Lala because not only does she have a unique tone, but she also has a backstory I can relate to. Lala is the daughter of character actor Roi Vinzon, and she joined The Voice Teens because she wanted to establish herself in an arena that’s not her father’s. My mother Tinna Bonifacio is also an entertainment journalist with decades of experience in magazines and newspapers under her belt. Journalism is a shared passion of ours, but I also want to make my own name in this industry. But I digress.


I remember being very upset at Coach Bamboo for pitting Lala and Reign against each other in the battles. I liked Reign’s audition too and I didn’t want either of them to be eliminated. But I loved that he chose Alessia Cara’s hit “Here” for them. It fit both Lala and Reign, but in my opinion, the former simply outperformed the latter.


I was pleasantly surprised that Lala sang this Etta James classic during the knockouts. If I ever get to talk to her in person, I’m going to ask her why she’s such an old soul when it comes to music. I love that Lala really tore into this song, showing off her gorgeous tone in the process.


If I’m being completely honest, I didn’t really enjoy this performance of Lala’s. I simply couldn’t get the Christina Aguilera rendition out of my head long enough to appreciate hers. I love Lala, but this performance just didn’t do it for me.


Now this is much a better fit for Lala. This song is a precursor to every cut on Lady Gaga’s Joanne album. I think Lala should record songs that sound like this. She sounded confident and in control here as opposed to her previous performance, where it seemed like the song was controlling Lala instead of the other way around.

MICA BECERRO, FAMILEA



I love classically trained singers because classical technique is the best foundation on which one can build a singing career. Mica is an intelligent singer. Her technique is so amazing. No other The Voice Teens artist can sing quite like she can. I love how she handled that snippet of “Starting Over Again,” but nabitin ako.



This song was a very smart choice on Coach Lea’s part because it played to both singers’ strengths yet forced them to stretch themselves too.



David Archuleta, one of my all-time favorite American Idol contestants, sang a poppier version of this song during his season. So listening to Mica sing it brought back a lot of fond memories for me. I really thought Mica did this song justice. There aren’t many teenage singers who can say they sang this Andrew Lloyd Webber composition well, but she can.



I thought this performance was a good way to show that she could take a pop song and make it her own, but I want to see how Mica will do singing something without making it sound like a classical music piece. Like, I want to hear her try hitting high notes in her chest voice and middle voice. Let’s all hope she’ll get a chance to do that in the finale.



In my opinion, this is Mica’s best performance to date. It came together perfectly. She managed to adapt her classical technique to a pop song by a classically trained pop singer, as Coach Lea said. 

This performance gave me a glimpse of the kind of recording artist Mica could become. I would love to see her shine even after The Voice Teens, so she needs to adapt her technique to what the masa would enjoy. If she’s truly serious about bringing classical music to the masses, she needs to adopt a stealthier approach. She should present classical music and/or technique within pop music, if that makes sense.

JONA SOQUITE, TEAM SARAH



I fell in love with this girl the second she started singing “Anak ng Pasig” during her blind audition. That Geneva Cruz original is special to me. It was one of the first songs I learned to sing before my voice broke. But that’s beside the point. I liked Jona from the get-go because of the raw emotion she brought to the song. Coach Bamboo had concerns about her tendency to shout with tone—which reminded me of something one judge said about Kelly Clarkson on World Idol. But I think Jona just needs to learn how to control her voice a little more and she’ll be alright.



I thought this was a perfect battle pairing. But Jona had the edge here because it seemed like Chloe was aiming to impress rather than express. Jona was the one who seemed like she really got into the spirit of the song.



One of my favorite things about Jona is how clear her voice is even when she’s bubbling over with emotion.



Jona reminded me of a little Sarah Geronimo on this song. Parts of this performance were fantastic. It was good that she did something upbeat. Frankly, she was getting to a point where she had to surprise viewers to sustain their enthusiasm for her. IMHO, this performance did the trick.



Jaw-dropping. ‘Nuff said.

JEREMY GLINOGA, TEAM SHARON



I firmly believe with all my heart that even if this guy doesn’t win, he’ll still have a successful career. Jeremy has “superstar” written all over him. He has the X factor. When I watched his blind audition, I remember thinking he has serious vocal chops—and his next few performances more than proved me right.



As of this writing, the video of this performance has been viewed more than four million times on YouTube. I remember being completely bowled over by the fact that Heather and Jeremy were able to sing so well in Tagalog despite not having grown up in the Philippines. I loved how great Jeremy’s voice was here, and his chemistry with Heather was off the charts.



My favorite part of this performance was the beginning. It was tasteful because Jeremy didn’t start singing his face off immediately. He began intimately, quietly and built up to a rousing—yet no less touching—second half.



This song showed off the texture of his voice perfectly. I just want him to work on strengthening his falsetto. It’s nice enough as it is, but I kind of feel like if he pushed it a little more and supported it with better breathing, it will become stronger. 



Whoa. I didn’t expect this from Jeremy. I mean, I know he’s good, and he’s been one of my favorites from the start, but I was surprised by how well he sang this Harry Styles hit. It fit him like a glove. In case the MCA Music team is reading this, this is the kind of music Jeremy should make in the future. He could do very well with this style. Besides, this country is already lousy with balladeers.

CONCLUSION

I haven’t seen a final four this captivating since Darren Espanto’s time on the show. They each have a distinct style, which bodes well for their future in the industry. Right now, Jeremy and Mica are my favorites, but I honestly wish all four of them the best.

All photos and videos c/o The Voice Teens Philippines.

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