Watch Surprise's Destinee Quinn Wow Christina Aguilera on The Voice (VIDEO)

Watch Surprise's Destinee Quinn Wow Christina Aguilera on The Voice (VIDEO)

I'm not here to tell you why or how you should watch your reality singing contests, so I'll just offer this as a value-neutral option: If you've given up on the Cardinals already and are looking for another way to root for Arizona on NBC, this week's set of auditions on The Voice have you covered. Season 5's contestants include Surprise's own Destinee Quinn, whose rendition of "Cowboy Take Me Away" moved Christina Aguilera and Cee Lo Green (but not, oddly enough, Blake Shelton) to press their novelty-sized buttons and argue for her unstinting loyalty.

(At least, I think that's what all the Soviet Realist imagery is pointing toward.) Quinn's performance was near-perfect, as far as reality singing contests go: Maybe a little over-emoted but extremely competent, attached to a genre that does well on these, and tied up with a compelling-enough story of perseverence etc.

I don't mean to sound dismissive at all, though--that is, of anything more than Christina Aguilera's half-hearted attempt to sound like she loves Arizona. This isn't my kind of prefab music, sure, but I definitely love other kinds of prefab music. And Destinee Quinn isn't a hard-scrabble indie musician starting from the bottom--she made it to Hollywood on American Idol back in 2011--but she's clearly put in the hours to become Destinee Quinn.

In fact--one important thing you'll notice if you succumb to the weird not-quite-voyeuristic impulse to read through her Facebook page, which has been up for two years now, with the dramatic irony of knowing she wins a spot on The Voice at the end of it: Destinee Quinn is one of those infuriating people who seems to turn every minute of free time into another job or hobby or self-improvement-campaign or charitable endeavor without allowing you any room to resent or deride them for it.

She is your friend who makes much more money than you, has a remarkably happy home life, and just refuses to rub your face in it so that you can say you didn't want the money or the adoring kids anyway.


I'm just going by a Facebook page, here, so I reserve the right to be wrong, but if you scroll down you will see, in no particular order: A successful campaign to become "Miss Fiat of Scottsdale"; some modeling gigs; some not-especially-glamorous local music gigs; an Etsy shop; a series of charities; and a string of inspirational quotes about success and striving and never giving up, some by her, some from other strivers and success stories and not-giving-uppers.

All she has to show for it right now is one appearance on The Voice, but that's definitely progress. More importantly (and infuriatingly), progress in a direction she's been aiming all along--everything she's done since, say, 2011, when her Facebook page gets going in earnest, has led up to this moment. And she's done a lot of things.

By comparison, I basically just go to work and then sleep. This is probably not the only reason I was not selected for The Voice this week, but we Normals should be more than a little impressed/terrified by the absurd reserves of energy that even first-round reality-TV-show candidates are able and required to draw on for their 15 episodes of fame.

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