Well, “Voice” fans, this is it –the week we’ve been waiting for. Our Top 3 are prepping to take the stage and sing for America’s votes one final time. With Season 4 down to just Danielle Bradbery, Michelle Chamuel and The Swon Brothers, will coach Blake Shelton have a threepeat or might newbie coach Usher take the title? As fellow coaches Adam Levine and Shakira watch on, it’s in America’s hands. Who will earn the crown? Let’s get started.
Before the fun can begin, it’s time for the obligatory look back at everyone’s road to the finals. Interesting fact: Each artist in the Top 3 had three out of four coaches turn for them during the blind auditions.
Kicking things off, musically, our Season 4 coaches are treating us to a group performance of The Beatles’ “With A Little Help From My Friends.” It’s a fun treat for fans, but the numbers seems to be a little under-rehearsed, if you ask me. No blaming them with the intense schedule they’re on, but under-rehearsed nonetheless.
First finalist up tonight is the first duo to ever make it this far in “The Voice” history — The Swon Brothers. Looking back at their blind audition, I’m shocked at what a bad haircut Colton had. Beyond that, these guys have stayed pretty true to themselves throughout the season. They’ll be singing “I Can’t Tell You Why” by The Eagles, hoping to prove their vocal strength to America. The falsetto employed throughout is quite lovely, but the subdued nature of the song leaves the performance feeling just a bit lacking. But it’s just the first of the night. No reason to worry — yet.
Michelle’s taking the stage next, the first finalist to sing the song that “defined” their performance throughout the season. Usher chose Taylor Swift’s “I Knew You Were Trouble,” saying it was a pivotal moment for Michelle. She handles the song much in the same way she did when she first performed it — expertly. Watching Usher watch on with utter glee is a rare treat. You can tell he’s really, truly invested in his final team member. Also a treat? The way the audience goes crazy over Michelle. She generates the sort of audience reaction that I think has been largely unparalleled this season. Will it translate to votes?
Danielle will take the stage for the first time tonight with her coach Blake. First, we’re treated to a package of Blake sitting down with her entire family in an appropriately rustic-decorated restaurant called Tinhorn Flats. (We get it, Blake. We get it.) It’s charming, but not as charming as their duet. As I’ve made clear week after week, I’m not Danielle’s target audience, but this performance of “Timber, I’m Falling In Love” by Patty Loveless was adorable. Not really technically challenging or anything like that, but adorable nonetheless.
For their “defining moment” song, Blake has chosen “Danny’s Song” for The Swon Brothers. For those keeping track, that’s two downbeat songs in a row for the duo. Here’s hoping their final number has some energy involved in it. The guys sounds great, as they did before, but I stand by my assertion when they first performed this that Colton looks a tad awkward just sitting and swaying next to his brother. Oh well.
For her second performance, Michelle is tackling “Why” by Annie Lennox, which Usher says will “knock it out of the park.” At first, the staging seems a little hokey, but when it’s revealed that she’s not singing into a mirror and is, in fact, silencing a video of herself? Pretty cool. She handles the song deftly. It’s a truly stirring performance of a rather intense song.
Before taking the stage with The Swons, Blake is back at Tinhorn Flats with their family to have some bonding time. For their performance together, they’re taking on Brad Paisley’s “Celebrity.” The performance is good, but not anything revelatory. Also, those dancers behind them? Completely unnecessary and awkward.
For her “defining moment” performance, Blake chose Pam Tillis’ “Maybe It Was Memphis” because it was the first time, in his opinion, Danielle proved to America what a powerful vocalist she is. As has been the case with all these reprisal performances tonight, Danielle’s just as good on the song as she once was. It’s nice to hear her sing it again. Adam proclaims her the winner of the competition, much to Usher’s chagrin. He’s probably not wrong, though.
For the last time in Season 4, the final three are taking the stage together on Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeroes’ “Home.” It starts off nice, with photos of the finalists and their families streaming behind them — and then a whole slew of former contestants filed out. It was a real joy to see the Top 16 together on the stage, singing together on a song that’s a personal favorite of mine. Maybe I choked up a bit? Maybe.
Usher sat down with Michelle and her family for brunch, learning about her family’s history in Egypt. For their duet, they’re taking on U2’s “One.” Michelle seemed to drop out on some of the lower register notes, but watching her and Usher drop into her now-infamous crouch stance together was priceless.
Closing the night, Danielle is taking on “Born To Fly” by Sara Evans. Blake’s giving America their first, and last, chance to see the 16-year-old perform a full-on uptempo track before they go to vote. Danielle handles the song just as you’d expect: with her preternatural ease. Might that song have just clinched the whole thing for her? If I were a betting man…
Who do you think deserves to win Season 4 of “The Voice” after tonight’s final performances?