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?
To usher in the next stage of the Rube Goldberg competition structure on NBC’s The Voice, the show opened with another judge-quartet performance, this time a medley of three of Queen‘s biggest hits. For the myriad sing-alongs the band inspires, Queen is really tough to cover, and unfortunately, it shows a little in this performance. Read more…
Buoyed by an extended onslaught of promotion, the premiere of NBC’s new series The Voicescored big ratings, outranking stiff competition in its two genres: music (Glee) and reality (Dancing with the Stars). The show’s structure is overly complicated (the four judges each recruit a team of eight singers, then train their team for competition against the other judges’ teams), and a few suspense beats that would have worked on series creator Mark Burnett‘s biggest success, Survivor, fell flat, but overall, the show works. So, a quick rundown:
By way of introduction, The Voice‘s four artist/judges performed Gnarls Barkley‘s “Crazy,” with Adam Levine on drums, Blake Shelton on guitar, and Christina Aguilera joining Cee Lo Green on lead vocals. The quartet won’t be forming a super-group anytime soon, but their rendition was polished, and successfully communicated the artists’ willingness and ability to succeed in a variety of musical genres.
The contestants range from rank amateurs to near-professionals: After belting Faith Hill‘s “Breathe,”Tarralyn Ramsey tearfully ad-libbed a few bars of “What a Girl Wants” when she was selected by Aguilera, confessing that she sang along to all of Aguilera’s songs, “even the Spanish ones.” She didn’t mention that in 2003, she won VH1′s Born to Diva competition, performed on Divas Duets, and got a one-record deal with Universal?the same grand prize offered by The Voice.
When Christina Aguilera released her video for “Dirrty” back in 2002, her assless chaps and aggressively sexual come-ons made it patently clear that she had no desire to live out the rest of her career as a cookie-cutter pop star. That overtly adult gamble paid off in spades; not only did her legions of fans stick by her as she matured as both a woman and an artist, but it went a long way towards proving that she could successfully emulate the career path that Madonna chose, trying out different personas as society’s taste in musical styles undulated.
Speaking of Madonna, there are more than a few nods to the Material Girl in Aguilera’s new boundary-pushing (and slightly NSFW) video for “Not Myself Tonight,” the first single off her highly anticipated Bionic LP. Over a club-friendly bed of pounding Polow da Don synths, Aguilera brandishes S&M fetish gear (whips, diamond-studded crotch flaps, leather masks!) in a way that recalls Madge’s “Human Nature” video. At other points, she leads a bevy of shirtless hunks in a series of vaguely militaristic series of dance moves that pay homage to “Express Yourself” (by way of the rain-soaked finale of Step Up 2: The Streets). Oh, and while we’re cataloging some of this video’s influences, we’d be remiss if we didn’t point out Christina and director Hype Williams’s visual shout-out to George Michael and his landmark “Freedom 90″ video.
So, we want to hear your thoughts. What do you think of this video? How do you feel about Christina’s new musical direction? Are you going to be blasting this from your car radio all summer long? And don’t forget, if this song (or any of her others) serves to inspire you, we encourage you to share your story over on our VH1 Storytellers site.
Where were you when you first heard “Genie in a Bottle”? If you’re a Christina Aguilera fan, you can probably recall that very moment ? and many others throughout her career ? when her star power truly spoke to you.
Here at VH1, we have been following her career since those very early days, which is why we?re so thrilled to have her on tap for the next chapter of VH1 Storytellers: Christina Aguilera. Now, here’s the part where YOU come in. Share your own story with us about the Christina Aguilera songs you love most, and your video or written submission may become part of the Storytellers legacy and make their way into the program, which premieres on June 13!
Was an Xtina song ever your anthem? With so many amazing hits and videos to choose from, we’re guessing that there has to be at least one that holds special meaning for you. Did the self confidence-building mantra from “Beautiful” lift your spirits when you were down? Did you stay strong after a bad breakup because “Fighter? helped to pull you through? Did ?Ain?t No Other Man? make you realize how much you loved that someone special in your life? Let us know! Read more…
It seems almost unfathomable that Christina Aguilera, for all of the impact she has had on the music world, has only released three full-length studio albums during the course of her ten-plus year career. Her self-titled debut stormed the pop charts way back in 1999, she got herself all “Dirrty” in 2002 with her Stripped LP and went Back To Basics with a big band-influenced sound in 2006. But after taking the last few years off to focus on raising her first child, Max, she’s gearing up to release her latest album, Bionic, in June. As a means of whetting the public’s appetite for the project, Aguilera debuted the first single, “Not Myself Tonight,” on her official website last night.
Judging from the electro-flavored synths and pulsating, dance floor ready rhythms of this Polow Da Don produced banger, it’s immediately apparent that Aguilera recognizes that her biggest competition these days is no longer her old Mickey Mouse Club rival Britney Spears, but rather the omnipresent Lady Gaga. To wit, Aguilera begins the song by announcing that she’s feeling “out of character” and “in rare form” as she hits the club, ready to embrace the kinds of pansexual behavior that Gaga has built her reputation on. Although she promises (Her lover? Her husband? Herself?) that “In the morning, I’ll go back to the girl I used to be,” tonight she’s unrepentantly “taking shots” and “kissin’ all the boys and the girls” who cross her path. Got a problem with that? Aguilera has two simple words for the haters: “F*** you.”
Mama Christina Aguilera appeared on Larry King Live last night to promote her PSA for Rock the Vote.
The “Dirrty” singer revealed to the veteran talk show host that last year was the first year she exercised her right to vote and that she felt “ashamed” for waiting so long. To make up for it, Christina picked up her 5-month-old baby Max Liron, wrapped him in an American flag, and posed for a PSA to promote the organization, which helps register young voters.
Christina, who follows a long line of artists to be the face of Rock the Vote, including Madonna as the first almost 18 years ago, was referred to by Larry as a “soft” singer. Xtina cooly set him straight, letting him knowing that she is actually known for her powerful vocals. Max’s mama will again show off her powerhouse voice when the Rock the Vote PSA is revealed, which features the singer belting out her special version of “America the Beautiful.”
We’ve been seeing an awful lot of Christina Aguilera lately, and it looks like she’s back to her old Xtina ways. Several times in the past few weeks the new mom has been spotted tottering out of clubs, in some cases being lead out of a bar by her hubby Jordan Bratman, or a pal. But the new mom is coming to her own defense, telling Access Hollywood that she needs to blow off some grown-up steam.
“I spend all day with my son and once in a while if I want to go out and have a mommy-daddy night with my husband, I am more than allowed to do that.? We imagine a mommy-daddy night might entail drinking a lot of adult juice, having a tantrum on the dancefloor, then someone driving her Big Wheel home. Then she and daddy will get ready for bed by taking their clothes off and hugging in various positions.
Ugh. Dump this quote in the Too Much Info zone and leave it there, please. New mom Christina Aguilera posed for some pics with baby Max and her hubby Jordan for Hello magazine and then talked wayyyyy too much about her decision to have a C-section. Stomach this:
“I didn’t want any surprises. Honestly, I didn’t want any [vaginal] tearing. I had heard horror stories of women going in and having to have an emergency C-section [anyway]. The hardest part was deciding on his birthday. I wanted to leave it up to fate, but at the same time I was ready to be done early!”
Blergh. Christina also revealed that Jordan taped the entire thing, and that she cried when she first heard Max cry after giving birth. They were probably just tears of joy that came on after she realized that her vag was rip-free. Max is gonna LOVE it when kids at school dig up this interview and post it all over whatever social network they’re using in the future. Nice one, Mom.
Christina Aguilera hit up a Best Buy in West Hollywood this week to sign copies of her new DVD, but the real exciting part of her first post-baby appearance was her awesome mom bod! Christina is looking big in all the right places, and we’re pleased to see her embrace her position as Hollywood’s newest – and hottest – MILF, at only 27-years old. Her pregnancy has also helped her creativity to blossom, as she told Ryan Seacrest earlier in the day, “I?m very excited! I?m so inspired. This whole incredible thing that?s taken place in my life, between the pregnancy and the birth? I?ve got so much in me to write about.”
She also divulged the deets on her son Max’s bris: ?He did have a bris! It was really interesting because I?m not Jewish, but my husband is. I never really knew a lot of Jewish people growing up, I never knew about a bris. It?s all a learning process. Of course, we?re such a non-conventional couple that we had penis balloons everywhere.?
It’s good to know that she’s still the same dirrrty girl deep inside, even with a baby on her hip. More pics of the singer’s sexy new look below!