by Dan Bolles
I'm usually not much for reality TV unless it involves Padma Lakshmi, but this is kinda cool. Or horrifying, depending on how you feel about Radiohead.
It seems a UVM pre-med student, Devon Barley — who is also the music director of UVM a cappella group the TopCats, of which I was a member, many years ago — is doing quite well on NBC's latest Star Search ripoff, the Voice. For the unfamiliar, the show, hosted by Carson Daly, is a reimagining of a Dutch TV show of the same name, in which aspiring pop singers compete for the right to be on American Idol. Or maybe to win a ton of money and a record deal. I can never remember.
The contestants are judged by a panel of pop stars, including Cee-Lo Green, Blake Shelton, Christina Aguilera and Maroon 5's Adam Levine. In tonight's episode (NBC, 10 p.m.), Barley squares off against another hopeful — on a stage that vaguely resembles a boxing ring, no less — to move on to the next round. This particular contest seems loosely based on the rap battle concept, with contestants alternating verses of a song. Except that instead of freeestyling, they tackle a poppy karaoke rendition of the radio edit version of Radiohead's "Creep." (video below) Thom Yorke must be rolling in his grave.
All kidding aside, congrats on your success so far, Devon. And best of luck tonight.