Tonight, it’s The Voice UK 2018 LIVE Grand Finale. The Final Four, Donel Mangena from Team will.i.am, Ruti Olajugbagbe from Team Tom Jones, Belle Voci from Team Jennifer Hudson and Lauren Bannon from Team Olly Murs will perform for viewer votes. The episode airs Saturday (April 7) on ITV 1. After the LIVE vote, the WINNER of the crown and a record deal with Polydor will be revealed.
Each finalist will perform a solo and a duet with their respective coach. After the solo, the first vote takes place. After the duets, the Top 2 will be revealed. Each of the final two will sing a favorite song from the season. After another vote, the winner will be crowned.
The show opens with all four coaches performing The Beatles’ “Come Together.” How is Sr. Tom still such a great singer? Wow. Jennifer is sporting an insane purple dress with gigantic ruffles. Oh. Will is rapping. Eu. No thanks. They exhort the crowd to sing along…
Donel Mangena – Team Will – Let Me Love You by DJ Snake Ft Justin Bieber – Aw. His cute grandmother has also become a star. The performance got off to a slow start, until Donel broke out his dance moves on the bridge. Not the greatest song choice for the young artist at this point in the competition. He’s best with super-upbeat songs. The hook on that song isn’t great. Oh. Grandma is sitting in Will’s chair. She’s shouting her approval. Don’t mess with grandma.
Belle Voci – Team Jennifer – O Fortuna by Carl Orff – It’s the Opera duo. WHYYYY. Ha ha. This is basically the X Factor theme! I’ll bet Simon Cowell’s ears are perking up. So I guess that was good? I don’t know. Classical acts don’t belong on The Voice, in my opinion. “You snatched our ponytails, and we don’t even have them,” gushes Jennifer. Again, she says the two are “ready for the Oscars” whatever that’s supposed to mean. Olly says he got goosebumps. Tom mentioned that the song is from The Omen, but they bring beauty to it.
Ruti Olajugbagbe – Team Tom – If You’re Not The One by Daniel Bedingfield – She and her mom used to sing this song in the car. She struggled early in rehearsals. Ruti is my favorite and I hope she wins. Her beautiful rendition of this Daniel Bedingfield song is ethereal, full of emotion. She struggles a bit on the high notes though. Tom emphasizes her authenticity, sincerity and how she connects when she sings. She has performed better. Jennifer calls her rare and special. “I think you’re a star.” Will says he can’t help but love her voice.
Lauren Bannon – Team Olly – Stay by Shakespears Sister – Welp. If I had to bet now, I’d bet on Lauren taking it all. She’s got a strong, rangy voice and sings with confidence. Although, her performance last week was better. This is sort of a weird song choice. Nevertheless, she’s hitting those big notes, and has the pimp spot right before the first vote. She’s Top 2 at the very least. Olly was ADAMANT that she do that song. Hm. He’s so proud of her. “You’re a star,” he says. Will calls the performance “stunning.”
TIME TO VOTE!
Belle Voci and Jennifer Hudson – My Heart Will Go On by Celine Dion – Jennifer hasn’t sung classical music since she was 16. Is she going to sing in an operatic style? YEP SHE IS. This is kind of…weird. They sing clumsily in 3 part harmony. But then, Jennifer abandons THAT on the chorus so she can belt out the lyrics. But then she’s back to singing operatic 3 part harmony to finish. Yes…that was very very weird. The duo call the experience “insane” which is one way to describe whatever the heck happened there.
Lauren Bannon and Olly Murs – Ain’t No Mountain High Enough by Marvin Gaye – Lauren’s wife is apparently a “massive” Olly Murs fan. Super growly version of the song is pleasant enough. Nice adlibs from Lauren though–she’s putting a bit of her own flavor on a pretty straightforward arrangement.
Donel Mangena and will.i.am – OMG by Usher and Will.i.am – Obviously, Donel will be performing the Usher part. Will changes up the arrangement to give the song an African groove. The arrangement is a little turgid? But there’s no doubt that 16 year old Donel has a ton of potential, and is the most commercially viable of the four finalists. Prince Harry sent him a letter? He’s invited to perform at the Queen’s birthday party.
Ruti Olajugbagbe and Tom Jones – What a Wonderful World by Louis Armstrong – Oh this is lovely, and really suits Ruti’s voice. She seems more relaxed and sure of herself here. Good song choice, Tom. He notes how her confidence has built over the course of the season.
After another recap. THE VOTE IS NOW FROZEN. After the break, the Top 2 will be revealed.
Belle Voci and Lauren Bannon are eliminated
OK. I’m really surprised that Lauren was eliminated. Maybe I’m missing some UK regional advantage? Like being from the South in the US? Hm. OK. Now I think Donel is going to win.
The Vote is open again! Vote for Donel or Ruti.
Donel Mangena – C9ld Water – Ha ha. He’s dancing with grandma. Everybody’s going to be voting for grandma.
Ruti Olajugbabagbe – Dreams by The Cranberries – That was very pretty. But she’s going to have a tough time beating grandma.
The Vote is closed? Three seconds after Ruti finishes her last number? That doesn’t seem fair.
AND THE WINNER IS….Ruti Olajugbabagbe!!!
Welp. My predictions have been off all night. But I’m glad, because I love Ruti. Will looks disappointed, but hopefully, he’ll stay involved with Donel’s career. I wouldn’t be surprised if he got signed anyway. Ruti is literally speechless. I don’t think she was expecting to win.
*You can watch The Voice UK live, online. ITV streams the show through the ITV Player. However, ITV blocks viewers from outside of the UK. To get around that, you need to use VPN connection. If Google Chrome or Mozilla Firefox is your preferred browser, install Hola extension and set them to UK server. Then open the ITV Player, make a free account and pick the right channel. The player will ask you for a ZIP code. Find an active UK ZIP code HERE. Make sure you have the cookies enabled. You can also try to find a working ITV stream on MyiPlayer.com, TVPC.com or FilmON.com.