The Voice

by (@unclegrambo)

New Sing-Off Judge Sara Bareilles Looks To Cee Lo As Her Reality Show Role Model

When NBC’s a capella singing competition The Sing-Off returns this fall, there will be some changes to the judging panel since the series last aired. With Nicole Scherzinger departing for a spot on Simon Cowell’s X-Factor panel, the Peacock Network made the wise decision that longtime VH1 fave Sara Bareilles was the perfect person to join Ben Folds and Boyz II Men‘s Shawn Stockman on the judging panel. Once we heard the news, we decided to give Sara a ring to congratulate her. We caught up with her by phone this afternoon while she was in Missoula, Montana, preparing for a sold-out show this evening. Sara spoke to us about whether her judging style on The Sing-Off will lean more towards Simon or Paula, her new “old soul/kind of Motown feeling” EP that she’s about to record with Ben Folds in the fall, and what director Jonah Hill brought to the next video she’s going to make for her single, “Gonna Get Over You.” (Hint: It may have a “kind of a ’50s greaser vibe.”)

VH1: When did you first hear that becoming a judge on The Sing-Off might be a possibility, and what was it about the project that appealed to you?

Sara Bareilles: I’ve been a fan of the show since the beginning, so it was really exciting to me to have the opportunity to even be considered as a potential judge. A couple of weeks ago, my manager came to me to gauge my interest in doing it. And I was like, “Oh my God, yes, of course.” Then I had a meeting with the executive producers, who are super sweet, and it felt like I was a really good fit for the show. Because I have a background in a capella, it just felt like a very organic, natural, worlds colliding kind of thing. It’s very exciting.

Did you ever harbor any desire to be on television in any capacity other than as a performer?

It didn’t really cross my mind until this show. This is the only way I would sort of consider it, because I can bring something to the show in terms of a level of expertise with a capella performing. I get a little nervous about being put in the position of having to judge people, but I know from experience that we can always improve in our craft. I really love getting constructive criticism from people I respect when it’s put in a good way. To me, it’s all about how you phrase things and how you deliver your opinions. It’s something that I’m going to have to feel out and test the waters a little bit, but I think it’s going to be a lot of fun. The best part is that I still get to watch the show, but now I get to watch it closer.

If you were to describe your judging style, would you say you’re more of a Simon or a Paula?

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by (@unclegrambo)

Exclusive Video: Watch Javier Colon Watch Himself Perform On A 2003 Episode Of VH1 Unplugged

Ever since being crowned the winner of The Voice two weeks ago, Javier Colon‘s life has been a whirlwind of interviews, press junkets, and plane flights (nine of them, to be exact). We here at VH1 have been fans of his going all the way back to 2003, when Javier performed on VH1 Unplugged. So when he popped by our offices the other day to chat, we took the opportunity to show him video from that 2003 Unplugged session, which just so happened to be the first time he had seen the video in eight years. We captured the moment on our iPhone cam, and we’ve got it for you above.

Javier was also cool enough to answer some of our questions about his experience on The Voice, what it was like to duet with the legendary Stevie Nicks, the strategy that came into play when it came to ditching his trademark cap, and what his new album is going to sound like.

VH1: Well, first things first. Congratulations on winning The Voice! What has your life been like for the last two weeks since winning it all?

Javier: The first week I had nine flights, it was a lot of back and fourth, a lot of press and stuff. It’s been amazing, it’s been a whirlwind. I felt like I was living someone else’s life. Walking as someone else, walking through the mall or through the airport with people are yelling ‘Congratulations!’ from across the concourse, or you see people looking at you funny or doing a double take. It feels like your out of your own skin.

It seems like one of the big things that came through on the show, aside from your incredible talent and incredible voice, is that people really seemed to make a connection to your choice of headwear.

I got a lot of hats man, I got a lot of hats, I mean all types of hats. From Kangols to fedoras, all kinds of stuff. On the show, I only did baseball hats for the most part. But I’ve got a lot of different hats.

Do you consider that to be one of your trademarks?

Yeah, it is! I mean, the hat is definitely one of my things, there is a lot of people that actually took issue with the fact that I didn’t take it off, in the beginning and I was like “You know what? I’ll take it off actually in the middle of a song,” so I took it off in the middle of a Coldplay song.

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Tuned In: The Voice Winner Javier Colon Gives His All On “Stitch by Stitch” On Leno

Javier Colon was probably happy that the other late-night shows were in reruns last night when he appeared on the Tonight Show, but considering the ratings that The Voice pulled in for NBC, other musicians would probably have been just as happy not to have to face off with the show’s champion. He played the original composition that helped him win the reality competition, “Stitch by Stitch,” and it sounded great—an amalgam of the best bits of his performance on The Voice (e.g. live drums) and the studio version (a more fleshed-out, but not obtrusive, arrangement). As a conclusion to the televised promotion of both himself and The Voice before the show’s summer tour kicks off, it couldn’t have gone better.

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by (@unclegrambo)

Before He Won The Voice, Javier Colon Appeared On VH1 Unplugged


 
Javier Colon got a fresh shot at music superstardom when he was announced as the winner of NBC’s The Voice last night. But before he caught his (second) big break, he recorded two albums with Capitol Records, 2003′s Javier and 2006′s Left Of Center. While he was working the promotional circuit in support of his eponymous self-titled album back in ’03, he stopped by our VH1 offices for a lively Unplugged show. We decided to unearth two of the clips from this session, his cover of Bill Withers’ “Use Me” (above) and his very first single as a major label recording artist, “Crazy” (which is below). As you’ll see, even then, his trademark cap was in place.
 
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by (@unclegrambo)

Javier Colon Named The Winner Of The Voice

A hearty congratulations are due tonight to Javier Colon, the winner of the first season of NBC’s The Voice. The 34 year-old, who was dropped from his label Capitol Records after releasing two albums under their watch, triumphed over his competitors Dia Frampton, Vicci Martinez, and Beverly McClellan.

We first felt like the Javier wave was about to crest last week after his stirring rendition of Coldplay’s “Fix You,” a performance which also saw him shed his (then trademark) cap for the first time. At the time, we opined that he might have pulled this maneuver a week too soon, but you know what they say about hindsight.

Last night, though, Javier proved himself to be one of this competition’s frontrunners with an engaging performance of his original song, “Stitch By Stitch” (which we have for you below). And tonight, he proved he had nerves of steel when he stood toe-to-toe with Stevie Nicks during a duet of the Fleetwood Mac classic, “Landslide,” never losing confidence despite Stevie’s not-so-subtle direction on how he should inflect his vocals. Judge/coach Adam Levine described it, perhaps with a smidge of hyperbole, as “one of the most beautiful duets I’ve ever heard in my life,” but there is no denying that Javier Colon is having one of the best nights of his life. He’s got a second chance at music superstardom, but only time –and perhaps the ticket sales for this summer’s The Voice multi-city tour– will tell if he’ll end up making Capitol Records regret their decision to let him go.

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by (@unclegrambo)

Javier Colon And Dia Frampton Look To Be The Favorites In Tonight’s Finale Of The Voice

The Voice Finalists: Dia Frampton, Beverly McClellan, Vicci Martinez and Javier Colon

On the penultimate episode of NBC’s The Voice last night, two music business also-rans and two “singing lesbians that America loves” (to paraphrase a recent Los Angeles Times piece) wowed viewing audiences with their passionate final performances. However, as we have come to expect from The Voice, there was one very big twist: Over the course of the last ten weeks and change, Javier Colon, Dia Frampton, Vicci Martinez and Beverly McClellan have built themselves a passionate fan base with their personal renditions of already familiar songs originally performed by other artists. Last night, though, the contestants showed off something new. Namely, their own original songs!

Obviously, this last-minute twist gives a HUGE advantage to the two performers who already have experience writing and recording their own material, Javier Colon and Dia Frampton. They both took advantage of the opportunity given to them to not only showcase their voice, but also their artistry, and America seemingly approves. As of this morning, Dia’s slow-burning, piano-driven ballad “Inventing Shadows” and Javier’s slow-burning, guitar-driven ballad “Stitch By Stitch” are sitting atop the iTunes singles chart.

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Christina Aguilera: The Voice “Inspired” Me


 
Last week on NBC’s The Voice, Maroon 5 premiered “Moves Like Jagger,” a new single featuring Christina Aguilera that creeped its way onto our Song Of The Summer chart this week. The collaboration may have seemed inorganic or (dare we say it) promotional on paper, but on record, the song is certainly on par with the rest of Maroon 5′s catalog. Aguilera now says, in the above interview with Rolling Stone, that she will take her experiences on The Voice into the studio with her when she records her latest album.

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by (@unclegrambo)

A Handy Guide To Which Of The Four Finalists On The Voice You Should Root For

From L to R: Javier Colon, Dia Frampton, Vicci Martinez and Beverly McClellan.


 
Thanks to a combination of high wattage star power and a weakened roster of American Idol candidates, NBC’s The Voice was able to capture the fancy of American television audiences this springtime and delivered huge viewership numbers to its network. Last night, the judges and audience voted to select the show’s four finalists. If you haven’t been watching (or even if you have!), we put together a quick primer for you on who the remaining candidates are and why you should root for them, which you can use to prepare for next week’s finale, airing on Tuesday and Wednesday of next week.

WHO: Javier Colon (Top Left)
COACH: Adam Levine
SOUNDS LIKE: Brian McKnight
WHY YOU SHOULD ROOT FOR HIM: Funny, the reason you should root for him is the same as why some are rooting against him. You see, Javier Colon released two albums —he was simply called Javier at that time— on Capitol Records in the mid-aughts. Some would argue that he never really got a fair shake from his label during those tumultuous years for the industry, while others would say that he’s already got his shot and doesn’t deserve another one.

WHO: Dia Frampton (Top Right)
COACH: Blake Shelton
SOUNDS LIKE: Vanessa Carlton
WHY YOU SHOULD ROOT FOR HER: Much like her competitor Javier Colon, Frampton has a major label background; along with her sister Meg, the two released the album Here, Here, and Here on Sire Records in 2009. They were later dropped by Warner Bros., Sire’s parent company, in July of 2010. Will America give her another chance to make it big?

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by (@unclegrambo)

Last Lap: Wednesday’s Odds And Ends In Music News

KATY PERRY‘S NEXT RECORD, THE BALLAD OF BROOKSLEY BORN, SET TO BE A ROCK OPERA ABOUT OTC DERIVATIVES
We kid, we kid. However, in the new issue of Rolling Stone, which hit newsstands today, the California Gurl talks at length about her newfound awareness of what makes this great land of ours tick. “It just feels like the thing running our country is a bank, money,” she tells RS contributing editor Erik Hedegaard. “I know it sounds like an intense viewpoint, but I’m only slowly but surely getting the wool taken off my eyes. When I was a kid, I asked questions about my faith. Now I’m asking questions about the world.” Lest you think she’s totally lost her way and turned into a stuffy economics obsessive, she then goes on to talk about her boobs. [Rolling Stone]

BEYONCÉ RUMOR MILL CONTINUES TO CHURN
Hot on the heels of last week’s rumors that Beyoncé‘s new album, 4, was going to be pushed back to September, this morning’s New York Post contained a juicy item planted by someone who clearly isn’t on Team Bey. According to the snitch source, Columbia Records execs are “very nervous about Beyoncé’s new record” because “it doesn’t have the hit songs that her fans are used to. They asked her to make changes, but she said no.” The last time we remember this much behind-the-scenes drama playing out in the gossip rags before a record came out was when Kelly Clarkson and Clive Davis got into a very public beef before My December hit shelves. [Page Six]

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by (@unclegrambo)

We Tip Our Caps To The Suddenly Hatless Javier Colon’s Performance Of “Fix You”


 
We’re nearing the end of the first season of NBC’s The Voice, the show that has revitalized the entire genre of glorified karaoke singing competition programming. The show has been a massive ratings success for the struggling Peacock Network; so much so, in fact, that NBC has the confidence to air a 1-hour special of The Voice in the plum post-Super Bowl slot come February (that is, if an NFL season actually happens) and program it against the reigning champ of the genre, American Idol.
 
While it remains to be seen whether or not American audiences will be able to stomach two high-profile singing competitions on network television at the same time, The Voice has proven itself to be just what the doctor ordered for the summer network TV viewing season, which is ordinarily filled with either reruns or new shows that network execs have very little faith in. Big name talent like Christina Aguilera, Cee Lo Green and Maroon 5‘s Adam Levine have all upped their profile considerably, Carson Daly seems to be having the most fun he’s had since his TRL heyday, and heck, the competitors themselves have turned out to be fairly engaging, too.
 
Take Javier Colon, for example. The amiable 34 year-old father of two (and former Capitol records signee) seems to be the consensus favorite at this stage of the competition, and his performance of Coldplay‘s “Fix You” last night was such a knockout that it briefly clawed its way into the iTunes Top 10 singles chart. Not to take anything away from Colon, but everyone knows that it’s the majestic, shimmery guitar crescendo that gives “Fix You” its rousing power, not its lyrics or Colon’s (or, for that matter, Chris Martin‘s) voice. That said, Colon made sure to seize the moment by tossing his trademark cap into the audience and showing America his gleaming pate for the first time. Now, if we were coaching Colon, we would have advised him to save that move for the finals but, as such, it looks like his path to the next round is secure.

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