Tuesday, June 18, 2013

My Tribute to Michelle Chamuel of The Voice

Ever since the blind auditions, when Michelle Chamuel sang Katy Perry's I Kissed a Girl, I've been a huge fan of Michelle Chamuel. There were no cookie cutters around when she was born.

Each week on the show, I've watched her master different music genres, grow in confidence, and become a rock star with range. She's the real deal. Clearly, Usher thinks so too. The affection between them is sweet, and I sure hope he takes good care of her once the show is over. He can open big doors for Michelle, the University of Michigan graduate who calls herself an introverted nerd.

Michelle is fierce when she performs. Her voice is clear and strong, and her athletic mannerisms on stage rev the audience every time she sings. Her spark creates the thunderous applause. She has made the show worth watching for me - week after week. I even bought her songs on iTunes. I've never made an iTunes purchase in my life - ever - before this.

Do I think she will win? Like many professional music critics, I think she should, but I fear she won't. The country block of teenaged voters will likely push bland little Danielle Bradberry over the top. She's a cute girl who sings well (although country twangy-whiny), and these shows always seem to bring out the votes for the country singers. That's probably why year after year of American Idol's country winners finally took its toll on that show's ratings. The same could happen to The Voice if Bradberry wins. Everything Blake did kept her safe - they took no chances with her song choices.

Danielle has a good voice that, with training, could make her a masterful presence in country music. While pure, I didn't find her voice unique or particularly strong. Her stage presence was almost nonexistent. She always has a silly teen grin on her face. She should stay in high school and learn how to speak properly ("I have growed" was one of my favorites). Also, although I may sound like a prude, I found her love song duet with Blake Shelton last night uncomfortably creepy. She's 16, and he's a married man already in the tabloids for cheating.

On the other hand, Michelle's duet with Usher was riveting. Watching them perform U2's One reminded me that the song is about unity, a special moment for her and her coach. It was perfect, right down to their synchronized choreography.

If the show has to go Nashville, I'd rather see the Swon Brothers take it. They don't sing all that well - really - but they are so gosh-darned entertaining, I really like them. Endearing is the word I'd use to describe them. The Voice producers gave them the slot of death two weeks in a row, so I doubt they have a chance. I'll smile for them if they win.

I shouldn't watch these reality shows anymore. I'm always angry with the outcome. When those dancers won over Susan Boyle on Britain's Got Talent, I was devastated. At least she got the last word. She's a star now. Has anyone heard from Diversity since?

One final word about The Voice, which is more a reflection on those who vote than the show...How in the world did Judith Hill and Sasha Allen and Amber Carrington get voted off this past month?

You know what I'll be doing tonight. Watching my favorite Michelle - the gal with the black glasses, the one who is never pimped out in sequins or tragically uneven hemlines - hoping that she wins, but expecting she won't. No one can beat those teenaged voters (one of whom bragged on Facebook that she had voted 400 times, which would be called voter fraud in most circumstances). If I'm wrong in my prediction, I'll have a renewed confidence in American voters - and be thrilled.

There will be no contestant singers tonight from what I understand, but plenty of entertainment, including Cher. That will be worth watching. I'll miss Shakira and Usher next season, if I watch.

I know the country music fans will come out in droves with their comments. Keep it "nice," gals. The pro-Danielle/anti-Michelle comments on Facebook have demonstrated how rude people can be when commenting on the Internet.

Photo courtesy of zap2it.com


Eileen said...

FIERCE! That describes Michell's style perfectly. Before I ever saw her, her voice captivated me with it's earthiness and lack of wannabe pretense. Then, when I actually saw her, I was completely sold on the whole package. I'd definitely buy her work. Win or lose The Voice, she's won something more important: a loyal fan base and the support of a highly respected music industry insider. You rock, girl!

Unknown said...

My son who is 9 years old buried his face, then went to bed and cried when Michelle lost. So offended was his sense of justice. “I do not think this is a singing competition. They are looking for perfect people to put on covers of magazines. All of the good people – the best people: Judith Hill, Sarah Simmons, Michelle – did not win.” The Voice lost me too. Your blog captures everything that is special about Michelle. Thanks, we needed that.

Anonymous said...

I love Michelle! Loved her from the auditions. She's just endearing and super talented, sadly, she didnt win- boring Danielle won....but if its any consolation. No winner of the voice has gone on to any musical success as of yet, unlike idol of years past. A maybe Michelle losing the voice will turn out for the best. I hope usher signs her and sticks with her- she's a breathe of fresh air in today's cookie cutter music industry,

Charlestongirl said...

Hi Everyone,

I'm glad you also loved her. Wasn't she fabulous last night?

Jackie, I felt awful when she came in second. I can only imagine your son's disappointment. What an astute kid!

Anonymous said...

I think I'm done with The Voice. When Judith and Sarah Simmons got cut over who was still left, I couldn't believe it. I whole heartedly agree with Adam's comment "I hate America." I don't hate America (and he doesn't either), but I sure do hate our general taste in music. The Swon Brothers made the final over Judith, Sarah, Amber, Sasha - are you JOKING? I guess all I have to do is turn on the local radio station to realize I don't have the same tastes as the masses, but this severely disappointed me. I think I'm done with the show. I did like Michelle as a person, but did not think she was anywhere near as talented as those other ladies.

Susan said...

As a faithful viewer of "The Voice" since season two, this was the season where I thought all three finalists were deserving. Any longtime viewer will know there are a lot of country artists on there, that the majority of female contestants do dress in "flashy" attire.

Do not fear for Michelle Chamuel's musical career. I feel very certain that Usher will take her under his wing and help her any way he can because she is an amazing artist.

The tabloids regarding Blake Shelton are just that - tabloid trash. If he comes out and admits he cheated, then I'll believe it. The duet that he sang with Danielle was a song originally done by Patti Loveless. It was no worse than the duets that Michelle and Usher sang together. I did not view it as an older man having a crush on a 16 year old girl.

Charlestongirl said...

Hey Susan, I didn't say I believed the tabloids about Blake. He seems like a really nice guy.

I tried to make the point that the song choice was bad, for several reasons, and since I wrote this, even Danielle agreed that she tried not to look at him when they sang it. :)

Charlestongirl said...

Hi Anonymous 4:53,

I agree that the flap over Adam's comment, which I heard slightly differently, was silly.

I am always appalled that they real great voices are left by the wayside. No matter what goes on, there are always bad votes. My tastes are very different from those of the teens who buy lots of records and vote.

Anonymous said...

Hi Everyone,

Michelle was a multi performer. She may not be as sweet looking as Danielle but let me tell you she has THE VOICE. I know and I believe that Usher will do something to justify her talent.

Lisa said...

Michelle did a beautiful rendition fo Annie Lennoxs' "Why?". When the announced that she was singing it. I said "Oh no you don't, you don't mess with perfection"! But she did it proud. Having said that, she wasn't my pick. I thought she would because the country vote would be split between the Swon brothers and Danielle. I was pleased that Danielle won. She has perfect pitch, she is beautiful and moreover has a definite style already established (unlike Michelle she sang a few different genres). Danielle is also beautiful and will be easy to market. I think this will be the first success from the voice. I will continue to keep watching the show because the winners are selected based on VOTES. I also like that all the judges give positive feedback to all the contestants.