A new winner was crowned on “The Voice” Tuesday night. But did that champion emerge from a dark chrysalis as the world’s largest and most glittery butterfly? Sorry, Madelyn Jarmon — that is a parking spot that is still very much reserved for overall life champion Taylor Swift, who took to the NBC telecast to perform “Me!” on live television for the second time, having previously premiered it on the Billboard Music Awards telecast.
Everyone’s favorite bullet with butterfly wings stepped down from that backdrop to be joined by a cadre of similarly minidress-wearing dancers, who looked like they might have been biding time on the back lot since serving as extras on the network’s production of “Hairspray Live!” two and a half years ago. Edna Turnblad would have been proud as the males in the cast came bearing tuxedos existing somewhere on the magenta-to-pink scale, save for their summery white shoes. It was a look soon echoed by the main man of “Me!,” Brendon Urie of Panic! at the Disco, joined in as ever for his part on the single, which is best described as an explosion of post-domestic-squabble makeup sugar.
No marching band, this time, unlike the BBMAs; this eye-popping extravaganza counted as the slightly bare-bones version of a “Me!” production number. Anyone expecting any fresh TS7 data will have to wait for it elsewhere as there was no chat time scheduled with Swift, whose sole spoken-word contribution was replacing the line “Spelling is fun!” with “Finales are fun.” And the show did, after all, also have ex-boyfriend Joe Jonas and his brothers, Halsey, OneRepublic, BTS and Hootie & the Blowfish to get to — those last two not in tandem, sadly, despite everyone’s fondest hopes for a “Hold My Hand”/”Boy With Luv” mashup.
Plus, amid this cavalcade of stars, there was the small matter of coronating the season’s winner, Jarmon, who looked like a young Hillary Scott who had transported herself to the future from the ’90s, bypassing her whole Lady Antebellum career for the far less certain future that awaits a “Voice” champion.
Where Jarmon landed was the “Me!” decade, with Swift and Urie doing their best to make this the song of the summer. If it did nothing else, this performance zeroed in on a slightly narrower color scheme — pink and gold, pink and gold, lots of pink and almost as much gold — until the performance went out on an unexpected dominance of blue. A twist ending like that has to count as an Easter egg.