Here we are. A The Voice season 12 winner will be crowned tomorrow. But tonight, the Final Four contestants–Chris Blue from Team Alicia Keys, Jesse Larson from Team Adam Levine and Aliyah Moulden and Lauren Duski from Team Blake Shelton. Team Gwen Stefani is sitting this one out.
The four singers perform an original song, a new cover and a duet with their respective coaches.
Viewers can vote online via NBC.com/Facebook, The Voice smart phone app, or iTunes downloads/Apple Music streams. Cumulative iTunes totals are now in effect. Click for Voting Rules.
Host Carson Daly opens the show with thoughts and prayers for the people in Manchester UK affected by the explosion at tonight’s Ariana Grande concert.
Aliyah Moulden – Team Blake Shelton – Never Be Lonely (Songwriters: Fancy, Jesse Frasure, Jonathan Yip, Steph Jones, Ray Romulus, Jeremy Reeves & Ray McCullough) – The song is about having a crush on somebody who only sees you as a friend. It’s got that annoying Meghan Trainor cheesiness. It’s age appropriate and Disney radio ready. So there’s that. Aliyah looks age appropriate too. It’s not a great song, but is the kind of thing she could put out as a first single. Gwen loves her age appropriate fashion sense. “I think you’re adorable.” Blake is sure the song is a hit. He calls the performance “freaking Glee!” whatever that means. – Download at iTunes
Jesse Larson – Team Adam Levine – Takin’ it to the Streets by the Doobie Brothers – Ahead of the covers, the video clips feature Carson interviewing the contestant and coach, along with a review of the singer’s Voice journey. Jesse thinks this classic 70’s song is perfect for him. Adam calls Jesse a “renaissance man.” This is such a ROUSING song. Terrific pick for any blue-eyed soul singer. Jesse sounds good. Here comes the gospel-y choir. Gotta have that. GUITAR SOLO while out in the pit. Good stuff. Alicia calls it “dope” and “fresh” and his vocal “pristine,” and “authentic.” Adam felt they got to the end without deviating from who he is. “I genuinely believe he should win the whole thing.” Adam admires Jesse’s humility. – Download at iTunes
Chris Blue & Alicia Keys – Diamonds and Pearls by Prince – This song might be too complicated for a singing show audience to digest in 3 minutes. In any case, the performance is ambitious, kudos to both of them–they’re swinging for the fences tonight. – Download at iTunes
Lauren Duski – Team Blake Shelton – The Dance by Garth Brooks – “I never expected this to happen,” Lauren says of her Voice journey. Blake declares that future hopefuls will be auditioning with Lauren’s hit songs. More effortless radio-ready singing from Lauren. This beloved Garth Brooks tune is a good choice for her. She’s probably going to win the whole thing. But even if she doesn’t, I bet she gets signed somewhere anyway. Adam calls her voice “comforting and familiar.” Hm. Is that a compliment? “It’s been a joy and a pleasure to watch you.” He says she looks like a “chandelier” in her outfit. He’s got a point. Blake says Lauren made him feel he was hearing that song for the first time. Blake begs music fans to vote for Lauren. – Download at iTunes
Aliyah Moulden & Blake Shelton – Dancing in the Streets by Martha & the Vandellas – Eh. Aliyah doesn’t have the gritty soul chops to sing these classic Motown songs. But then, what were these two going to sing together? Pretty underwhelming. – Download at iTunes
Chris Blue – Team Alicia Keys – Money on You (Songwriters: J hart, Talay Riley, Mike Dupree, Scribz Riley & Tinashe “T-Collar” Sibanda) – “You are so ready!” Alicia assures Chris as they record in the studio. “There’s not a soul in the world that’s not going to dance to this….Usher, Bruno Mars, Chris Brown….that’s your world.” So far, these original songs sound like artist cast-offs. Often, that’s what these winners singles are. A songwriter isn’t going to waste a great song on a record that has zero chance for radio play. It’s a good performance from Chris, as always. I just wish the song had more verve. “I’m already at your show,” gushes Alicia, “There’s an electricity that happens when you come into the room…you are ready man.” – Download at iTunes
Jesse Larson & Adam Levine – Let’s Go Crazy by Prince – Adam admits that like Jesse, he was a guitarist first. Hm. The best songs for these coaches duets are upbeat fun and familiar songs like “Let’s Go Crazy.” This performance highlights Jesse’s guitar skills and the mutual musical admiration between coach and contestant. Lot’s of fun. Jesse, so far, is having a great night. Good song choices. – Download at iTunes
Lauren Duski & Blake Shelton – There’s a Tear in My Beer by Hank Williams – It’s time for some easy going old school twang from Blake and Lauren. Blake, back in his element, is no longer giving me second hand embarrassment. – Download at iTunes
Jesse Larson – Team Adam Levine – Woman (Songwriters: Timothy James & Chris Stapleton) – Jesse says it’s an honor to sing a Chris Stapleton song. It’s his first solo single, he admits. Huh. This isn’t a 5 star Chris Stapleton song. But even a throwaway from him is a worthy tune. Jesse is having a good night. Performance-wise, he’s peaking. I figured he’d come in fourth, but now I’m not sure. But then it’s 9:20 and he’s finished for the night. It’s not good to be an early performer. “This show is called The Voice. Don’t vote for Jesse Larson unless you want that quality back.” What is he talking about? Did Adam just say previous winners were not good singers? That’s silly. Sundance Head? Alisan Porter? Jordan Smith? OK then Adam. – Download at iTunes
Aliyah Moulden – Team Blake Shelton – Signed Sealed Delivered by Stevie Wonder – Aliyah, at 15, is the youngest to ever be in a The Voice finale. Ballads got Aliyah this far in the competition, but Blake hasn’t handed her any for the final performance. I guess he’s done trying to advance her. Time to concentrate on pushing his favorite, Lauren, over the finish line. It’s a fun performance–Aliyah is back to the growly, energetic vocals she brought into the competition. She doesn’t change the pronouns: “I could be a broken man.” You couldn’t really. But I guess there’s no way to re-write. Epic balloon drop! “I think those balloons coming down are a sign,” says Blake, “You make people smile. America you’ve got to vote for Aliyah.” – Download at iTunes
Lauren Duski – Team Blake Shelton – Deja Vu (Songwriters: Cody Tarpley, Lauren Elizabeth Duski & Daniel Doron Henig) – She’s been in Nashville for a couple of years, and Lauren is finally recording one of the favorite songs she wrote. This song is the best of all tonight’s originals, and Lauren wrote it. Impressive. I’ll be surprised if she doesn’t win. Really surprised. Lovely song, lovely melody. Her artistic identity is strong. If things fall through with Republic, I could see Blake helping her get signed by his label Warners. This is how to end a final run, with an emotional song well sung. “Let me be the first to congratulate you on writing your first No. 1 song….I don’t know if we’ve ever heard an artist come out here and sing a song that was that beautiful, that perfect,” says Blake – Download at iTunes
Chris Blue – Team Alicia Keys – Rhythm Nation by Janet Jackson – Chris needed to sing at least one ballad tonight. His original song and cover are too similar. When Chris sang that gospel song a few weeks ago, he really hit a chord. The Janet Jackson background dancers are cool, though. And Chris knows how to entertain. Dance moves without sacrificing the vocals. Dude is so talented. Alicia is hooting and hollering so loud, she’s gonna shred her voice! “You showed people that you are everything…there’s nothing that you can’t do…we started Chris Blue’s career tonight.” – Download at iTunes
See you tomorrow for the finale!