The Voice 9 Recap Final 4 Performance Live Blog VIDEOS
Tonight, the Final 4 contestants, Team Blake Shelton’s Emily Ann Roberts and Barrett Baber, Team Adam Levine’s Jordin Smith and Jeffery Austin from Team Gwen Stefani will battle it out for The Voice crown. Pharrell Williams lost his remaining team member last week during the bloody semifinal round. He’ll be watching and cheering from the sidelines.
The singers will perform for YOUR votes! Click for Voting Rules. No phone. No texting. Online voting only at NBC.com, The Voice Facebook or via The Voice smartphone app. And of course, iTunes downloads count as votes! Finalists who enter the Top 10 will have their iTunes votes for that song multiplied by 10. Coach duets do not count as votes. AND if you haven’t downloaded all your favorite’s live show performances. DO THAT NOW! Every download from the Live Playoffs onward count as a vote. Don’t download tonight’s songs until 10 pm ET! Voting during the show ONLY on the smartphone app. Click for tonight’s Final 4 Song Spoilers.
The show begins with a little intro featuring the Final Four. Let’s meet them! “God has signed your voice” says Pharrell about Jordan Smith. Maybe he’s singed off on his inevitable win.
Host Carson Daly introduces the coaches and the ENTIRE Top 24, who are sitting in the audience. Jordin is first. I’m sure they’ll mix up the order.
Jordan Smith – Team Adam – Climb Every Mountain from Sound of Music – The clip of Adam declaring “You are the most important person who has ever been on the show” at the beginning of the competition airs again. Just in case we forgot. Carson reminds the audience of the singer’s amazing iTunes run. Adam says the song is all heart, and perfect for Jordan. Many say he’s the frontrunner, says Adam, but there’s one more night of performances. Jordan still has a hill to climb. Get it? Jordan tears up as he opens up about finding himself on The Voice. I was so SURE this song would close the show. Interesting it’s the opener instead. Jordan has a phalanx of strings behind him. This is less bombastic than I was expecting. He saves the big notes for the last verse. HERE COMES THE CHOIR. I was wondering when they’d show up. Jordan ends big. Too many runs in that for my taste, and surprisingly squeaky high notes. Jordan usually doesn’t have pitch problems, but he’s got them here. He’s had better vocal performances, for sure. Have ya’ll heard Audra McDonald’s performance from NBC Sound of Music Live? Check it out on Youtube. You’ll thank me. Jordan gets a huge standing ovation from everyone. Blake says there’s nothing left to say, noting his consistency and greatness. “It’s boring to hear me talk about it” he says. Pharrell calls Jordan an “incredible form of humility” He urges EVERYBODY to stand up. “That was incredibly moving…fantastic.” Gwen loves The Sound of Music. She says she had to hold back “the flood” and thanks him for his “message.” Adam loves Jordan’s self-belief and the humble way he presents himself. – Download from iTunes
Emily Ann Roberts – Team Blake – Blue Christmas by Elvis Presley – Oh my. Emily starts off with pitch problems and never really recovers. She’s failing to navigate the bluesy cadence. Her affect is flat and dull. There’s no spark, warmth or longing. It’s like she’s reading the lyrics for the first time. She picks up on the second verse, adding a little flavor and a yodel. But overall–that was a yawn. I’m disappointed. Pharrell calls her consistent and classic. Adam anoints her the “real deal.” “A beautiful performance,” says Blake, and compliments her “vocal power.” He loves the way she ramps it up. “So unbelievably ahead of your time sis,” he says. The coaches. They lie. – Download from iTunes
Barrett Baber & Blake Shelton – Team Blake – Rhinestone Cowboy by Glen Campbell – Barrett os so excited to pay tribute to a great artist like Campbell. Look at them. Bros. Blake hugs Barrett as they sing along to the track. The duo start at opposite ends of the audience and make their way to the stage. Blake’s sounds good in his lower register. Barrett’s voice is thin by comparison, but it’s a solid effort, despite some pitch problems. Aw. Shot of Gwen grinning from ear to ear as she watches her boo. Now, I’m wishing they had changed the song up a little bit. It’s a respectful tribute to one of the greats, but a rote, karaoke performance. – Download from iTunes
Jeffery Austin – Team Gwen – O Holy Night – Even Jeffery struggles with pitch at the beginning. It’s a lovely performance in spots, but he’s not as connected to the lyric as he could be. I’m not feeling this, and I love Jeffery. Betting if he had his druthers, he wouldn’t be singing a Christmas song tonight. But it is what it is. Adam notes the sweet spot in his voice. “I really enjoyed it, man,” says Pharrell. His grandparents love that song, he was happy to sing it. Pharrell congratulates him on a good job. “You look so cute tonight,” gushes Gwen. She’s so happy that he’s in the final. – Download from iTunes
So far, these final performances are disappointing. Let’s get this party started, The Voice!
Jordan Smith & Adam Levine – Team Adam – God Only Knows by The Beach Boys – Adam compliments Jordan on his level head. They are rehearsing their duet. Adam rightly dubs the song one of the greatest ever written. “We sound like the freaking Beach Boys” he exclaims. Uhm. They sing in unison. The Beach Boys were known for their harmonies. Go figure. Is anybody getting a solo? What the hell? Something dropped out during the bridge. Did somebody forget their lyrics? Still singing in unison. This is pretty boring. And terrible. Finally, Jordan gets a solo, as they sing the final chorus. Adam’s vocal is so nasally. Brian Wilson continues to cry. – Download from iTunes
Barrett Baber – Team Blake – Die a Happy Man by Thomas Rhett – Barrett loves the creative freedom that Blake has given him. The song he’s singing has a soulful edge. It’s new, but has a throwback vibe. The lyrics make him think about his wife, and the sacrifices she has made for him. This IS the perfect song for Barrett. He’s so much better when not showboating his “arranging skills.” A simple, soulful tune in his wheelhouse. It’s the kind of song he’ll record out in the real world. This is the best performance of the night so far, and one of Barrett’s personal bests. Cameras cut to his family out in the audience. “I love you!” Barrett shouts out to them. The recording should do well on iTunes. Gwen is tearful, thinking about his entire journey. “I feel like you were so calm in that performance.” The lack of “try hard” is notable. Adam loves that his four favs are in the finals. Blake has never worked with anybody who puts more heart into his performances. – Download from iTunes
Emily Ann Roberts & Blake Shelton – Team Blake – Islands in the Stream by Dolly Parton & Kenny Rogers – “This is our song!” exclaims Blake, to a teenager. Uhm. “What people like about you,” says Blake, “is that you don’t sound like anybody else.” Emily’s vocal sounds clear and pure on this song. Very pretty. Out of all the contestants, Emily does upbeat the best. Her perky optimism and sweet tone carry mid-tempo pop songs like this. Blake doesn’t over power her. I’m shutting him out, to be honest, because the lyrical content still seems inappropriate, even with the squickiest lyrics excised. – Download from iTunes
Jeffery Austin – Team Gwen – Stay by Sugarland – Jeffery talks about the six years he spent away from music. Gwen had to help him strip away his pretenses. He thanks her and feels he broke through emotionally during the Playoffs. Cher tweeted him after he covered “Believe”! It was everything, he says. Here we go. This is the Jeffery we know and love. When the boy is feeling it, so are we. A full orchestra for Jeffery! Once again, the singer leaves his heart on the stage. SANG IT JEFFERY SANG IT. Channelling some major-league pain here and making the most of his last moments on The Voice stage. Bravo. Who broke your heart, Jeffery? I want to fight him! Or maybe not, because that pain is informing your powerful performances. “I like you doing country!” says Blake. “You’re the guy who snuck up on all of us.” Pharrell thinks he’s inspiring other singers who have put down the microphone to pick it back up. Gwen is standing! “You are going to make real records after this!” she says. She implores fans to vote for Jeffery. PERFORMANCE OF THE NIGHT SO FAR. – Download from iTunes
Barrett Baber – Team Blake – Silent Night – Barrett does a somewhat upbeat, countrified version of “Silent Night.” This would have been an opportunity for Barrett to really show off his soul chops. A little less twang, and a little more blues would have worked for me. He’s got some pitch problems. The second verse picks up some. The audience waves around candle shaped glow sticks. Cheesy. The Thomas Rhett cover is his standout of the night. After the performance, we see his baby, asleep in his wife’s arms. That should be good for a few votes. Pharrell can feel his life story every time he sings. Adam admits it’s difficult to come up with comments. So maybe don’t make any? “There’s nobody out there like you,” says Blake, recycling a similar remark he made to Emily Ann. – Download from iTunes
Jeffery Austin & Gwen Stefani – Team Gwen – Leather & Lace – They actually sound nice in rehearsal. FINGERS CROSSED. Gwen teases “I sing way better than you…” Yes, she’s teasing. Alas, during the live performance, Gwen is underpitch on the verse, and the harmonies are off. I was afraid this performance would be a trainwreck. It’s not. But there isn’t a ton of chemistry between them, and the vocals feel off–even Jeffery’s–although he’s still better than Gwen. The recorded version is better. – Download from iTunes
Jordan Smith – Team Adam – Mary Did You Know – Jordan delivers a pretty version of a Christmas classic, with all the runs and big notes you could ever want. Or not. He might consider putting out a Christmas song/album next year. Having said that, this isn’t the huge, gut busting performance I was expecting as Jordan’s last The Voice performance. The heir apparent is not delivering his personal best this week, but it hardly matters. Pharrell thinks people are ready for him to make a record. “My greatest hope for you,” says Pharrell, “is that…dream is realized in the proper way.” Pharrell continues, “…you go to a label that really understands everything that you need, and everything that these people have come to fall in love with…not becoming something else. Not chart chasing. Just Jordan Smith.” DID PHARRELL JUST TAKE A BIG OLE SWIPE AT REPUBLIC? I think he did. SHADE. Adam admits he had another idea for a Christmas song, but he’s so glad that Jordan prevailed. It was the right choice. – Download from iTunes
Emily Ann Roberts – Team Blake – Burning House by Cam – Emily shares her enduring love for Dolly Parton. Blake notes the country stars who have acknowledged the young singer’s talent. Emily LOVES this song. She believes it’s the perfect time to go out on a limb. Blake deliberately chose a contemporary song for her. “This song gives you a shot at this thing,” he says and adds that she could be the next Taylor or Carrie. That’s overstating Emily Ann’s potential, but I won’t be surprised if Scott Borchetta signs her to his Big Machine label group. Emily performance is in the zone. On pitch and on point, featuring a gorgeous vocal. She’s interpreting the song well beyond her young years. I’m not sure what kind of experiences Emily Ann is tapping into, but she’s found something. She ends on a lovely and simple adlib. Emily leaves The Voice on a very high note. Her best performance of the season. Almost as if she were possessed, Emily comes out of that performance in a daze. The judges rave. Blake believes she could pull an upset. He implores folks at home to vote. That’s cute he believes Emily Ann can win. Jordan has had this contest sewn up for weeks. But she did the thing she needed to do–show the world she’s a viable country artist. – Download from iTunes.
Emily and Jeffery had the best performances of the night, with Barrett behind them. Jordan had an off night, but I don’t think it will matter. At this point, fan bases are set in stone.