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‘The Voice’ all-stars return to the spotlight

Season 6 of “The Voice” ended in May, but for the next month, the NBC reality competition series will continue to enjoy the spotlight.

An all-star team of nine past finalists – including five from Season 6, three from Season 5 and one from Season 1 – rolled into Ovens Auditorium Monday night as part of the show’s summer tour.

The concert was equal parts gimmick and powerhouse vocal performances.

There was a blind “audition” featuring three audience members, mimicking the format of the first round of the show.

Group performances of Taylor Swift’s “We Are Never Ever Getting Back Together” and Cee Lo Green’s “Forget You” were admittedly cheesy and a bit contrived, but executed with a bubbly energy that made them difficult to resist.

Cowboy hat-clad Texan Jake Worthington proved a crowd favorite, crooning country favorites like Keith Whitley’s “Close Your Eyes” and Lynyrd Skynyrd’s “Sweet Home Alabama.”

Other highlights included Season 5 runner-up Jacquie Lee, who received a standing ovation for her rendition of Screamin’ Jay Hawkins’ “I Put a Spell on You”; a duet of Rihanna’s “Stay” by this year’s winner, Josh Kaufman, and Season 5 champion Tessanne Chin; and Season 1’s Diana Frampton performing her new band’s original song “I Need You” – barefoot and quirky, of course.

“The Voice” has produced some stars over the years. But not for lack of vocal talent, none of its contestants have gone on to enjoy mainstream success like “American Idol’s” Carrie Underwood or Kelly Clarkson.

So for the singers, this tour is largely about allowing the former contestants to enjoy the fame cast on them by the show before they continue their long struggle to find success in the industry.

And for fans of “The Voice,” the concert was a chance to cheer on favorites – perhaps for the last time.

Williams: 704-358-5294; Twitter: @byclairew
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