Three top-notch contestants gave one last push for the win on tonight’s “Voice” finale, and the performances were so close, it almost doesn’t matter who wins.
Terry McDermott, Nicholas David and Cassadee Pope all rose to the occasion tonight, with three performances each, a feat that led Christina Aguilera to gush to Terry about how much work it is to be a singer.
They did have a lot of work: the selections were a new song, a reprise of a breakout moment for the contestants, and a duet with each contestant’s coach.
To celebrate the big night, there were lots of shiny sequins to go around, from coaches Christina in a black sequined top hat and matching and jacket and Cee Lo Green in a sequined zebra-print shorts-suit, to Cassadee in a mirrored gown and Nicholas in a variety of sparkly blazers.
As exciting as the show was bound to be, it opened on a somber note, with all current and former Season 3 contestants holding cards with the names of Newtown shooting victims, and signing backup to the coaches on “Hallelujah.” Sad and poignant and simple and moving—there’s no way this didn’t make half of America cry tonight.
But then it was all fun. Each contestant had opening videos that reunited them with their families and had them visit with their coaches, and a retrospective of their entire run on the show so far.
Nicholas David kicked things off with a medley of “Great Balls of Fire” and Jimi Hendrix’s “Fire,” the latter of which would have been just enough of a song in itself. It was high-energy, with some high-kicks to boot. Adam Levine liked that Nicholas showed a different side of himself, even this late in the game. For his breakout reprisal, Nicholas did “Lean on Me,” which was just as soulful as the first time. And in a silly but happy duet with Cee Lo of “Play that Funky Music,” both singers were upstaged by a mini-Cee Lo named Milo, dressed in a matching zebra shorts-suit and dancing like a maniac. It was amazing.
Terry McDermott and Blake Shelton’s duet of “Dude Looks Like a Lady” also got upstaged—by Adam Levine! Topless and wearing a long, red wig, Adam played guitar and looked a little insane and again, it was amazing. Terry’s reprise was “I Want to Know What Love Is,” and it was even better than last time. Instead of sitting in a darkened center of the stage, this time he stood and walked, and gave it a little more command. For Terry’s new song, he did an effortless take on Mr. Mister’s “Take These Broken Wings.” Luckily in a coaching session, Blake was overheard asking Terry, “Is there a way to de-‘80s it?” The result was kind of timeless, and the judges adored it.
Cassadee Pope started out reprising her breakout moment, which, of all the breakout moments on the show, was the breakout-iest, most momentous of all, because it gave Cassadee an identity she was lacking. And tonight, it was really, really good. Blake said the song transcended what he wrote it for, and even Cassadee’s performance, and became a song for America tonight. Cassadee’s duet with Blake was Sheryl Crow’s “Steve McQueen.” We’ll ignore the part where she rapped into a bullhorn, and just focus on how great and at ease she was in a flannel and jeans. Finally, Cassadee closed the show with Faith Hill’s “Cry,” firmly putting her into the country category as we go into voting. It’s a good place for her. She should win the show.