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TAKE OF THE DAY: As Jon Caramanica points out in his N.Y. Times wrap-up, “The Voice never explicitly pitched itself as the anti-American Idol, but arriving on the heels of a key transition season for Idol, and in advance of the fall arrival of The X Factor, helmed by former Idol center of gravity Simon Cowell, The Voice had a narrow window of time to justify its existence, to demonstrate that it could do things that Idol could and would not. Quite by accident, it achieved that with this week’s finale, which celebrated two constituencies historically underserved by Idol. Two of the four finalists were major label refugees: Javier Colon, onetime neo-soul footnote, and Dia Frampton, late of the pop-punk band Meg & Dia., were openly gay. The other two finalists, Beverly McClellan and Vicci Martinez, were openly gay, notable because of how silent the “Idol” universe has been on homosexuality. In the end, on Wednesday night’s result show, the second chance beat out the big break. Colon was the winner, and Frampton placed second: two professionals given a chance to be professional once more. Each of them, though, are fighting in a different weight class than they used to.” (6/30a)

NEAR TRUTHS:
CHART WARS
Blind leading the blind. (8/4a)
AIRHEAD: MODI OPERANDUS
(OR SOMETHING)
Dysfunctional AF (8/3a)
CHART STORY: A BIG FOLKIN' DEAL (UPDATE)
The year's biggest debut. (7/31a)
NEAR TRUTHS: A HEALTHY MARKET
Star power. (8/1a)
MICROSOFT GETS CLOSER TO TIKTOK ACQUISITION
The clock is ticking... (8/3a)
TAYLOR SWIFT
Taylor Swift Taylor Swift Taylor Swift. Taylor. Swift.
VOTE BY MAIL
It's a conspiracy, because everyone does it.
MARY TRUMP
Family is everything.
BILLIE EILISH RETURNS
Unleash the giant spider!
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