America has named its "voice." After a short, successful 10-week run, NBC's singing competition The Voice announced its first winner. "Soulful crooner" Javier Colon defeated fellow finalists Dia Frampton, Vicci Martinez, and Beverly McClellan on Wednesday night's finale of the American Idol-style series, earning $100,000 and a recording contract. The Voice — in which celebrity judges including Christina Aguilera each "coach" the contestants — was a surprise hit for NBC, becoming its highest-rated series of the year. But did America choose a winner capable of achieving the same success? (Watch Colon's highlights from the show.)
"He deserved it": Colon is the perfect victor, says Jill Mader at Inside Pulse. He boasts a "beautiful, smooth, radio-friendly voice" and he can play an instrument. On top of that, he has an "adorable" family and a suitably inspiring story, having struggled for years to pursue his singing dream. Not only is he a "great musician," but "he needed this."
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Actually, the girls were more deserving: An early frontrunner, Javier Colon peaked too soon, says Hillary Busis at Entertainment Weekly. The singer made a huge impression with his "soulful, surprising" audition, covering Cyndi Lauper's "Time After Time." But throughout the competition, he lost ground, performing "melisma-soaked ballad after melisma-soaked ballad" while his fellow contestants "delivered inventive, electrifying" performances. "Quirky" runner-up Dia Frampton would have been a more satisfying choice.
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Still, it's hard to be "shocked or upset": "If I ruled The Voice," says Michael Slezak at TV Line, "Javier would have wound up in fourth place." The singer became less confident and engaging after his "lilting" audition. While Dia Frampton seemed the smart-money choice, America had only 10 weeks to get to know the contestants and four "rock-solid" finalists from which to choose. Colon, with his "super-pretty" voice, is as good of a winner as the show could have hoped for.
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