Nine performances. Three finalists. One and a half hours of musical magic.
This entire night was pretty fantastic from start to finish. Each finalist had three opportunities to wow: one original song, their favorite past performance/pivotal point for them in the competition, and a duet with their coach. We’ll go by finalist and look at each of his/her three performances.
St. Nick started off the live finale with an unbelievably awesome and very literally hot performance of Jerry Lee Lewis’s “Great Balls of Fire,” complete with what appeared to be a baby grand piano that was actually ON FIRE. No lie. Aside from the outstanding production value we have come to love and expect from The Voice, and especially from Cee Lo, this was probably one of Nicholas’s best performances to date. A phenomenal song choice allowed for a lot of fun, freaky mouth moves, and wobbly knee action, all of which made me sweat just watching him do it surrounded by so much fire. It was perfectly weird and unique, just like Nicholas. Enough fire-ball-blazin’ fun for the whole family!
For his blast from the past performance, Nicholas chose “Lean on Me.” I mean. Duh. It was lovely to see the gospel choir back in action, albeit a little more laid back this time. This song perfectly epitomizes who Nicholas is as an artist, and what kind of music his sound hearkens to. But I can’t talk about this performance and not give a shout out to Adam Levine for his wardrobe commentary: “Nicholas, I like this outfit, man. You look like a principal.” That he did, Adam. That he did.
Of the three duets performed, this HAD to be my favorite. Does it get any better than Nicholas David and Cee Lo Green singing “Play that Funky Music White Boy,” in all of their strange and splendid glory?! Oh wait, it does. YOU BRING OUT A DANCING MINI-CEE LO. And I do mean mini. I nearly fell out of my chair when that tiny child human came stepping and strutting on stage. But I digress. This performance illustrated exactly why Nicholas and Cee Lo made such a perfect team. An excellent final performance for the Bearded One.
Of Terry’s three performances, I liked this first one the best, and it just so happened to be his duet with Blake to Aerosmith’s “Dude Looks Like a Lady.” This is yet another example of Blake putting his artists before himself, because this song was all about Terry’s killer pipes up in the stratosphere and… not about Blake’s. And then there was that awkward moment where the backup singers who happened to look like street walkers started rubbing all up on Blake and Terry right after that touching video about the importance of family… I think we’ll choose to overlook them in light of ADAM LEVINE’S AWESOMENESS. Yes, that was Adam all shirtless and ridiculous in that wig playing guitar. God love me some Levine.
Now I’m a big fan of Terry doing the whole 80’s classic rock thing, but I was simply not a fan of his rendition of Mr. Mister’s “Broken Wings.” Like at all. I concede that there were obviously some technical difficulties happening in the beginning and Terry either couldn’t hear himself or the band. Fine. I’ll let the horrendous opening go. But then throughout the rest of the performance Terry sounded like he was in physical pain trying to land some of those loftier notes. Maybe he gave a little too much in his first performance and didn’t have enough gas in the tank? And then… and then he went even higher?! It just didn’t work.
Terry chose “I Want to Know What Love Is” for his favorite past performance/breakthrough moment, and I think he chose wisely. Unfortunately, he didn’t sound as awesome as he did the first time. Three very ambitious songs in one night might have taken their toll on dear Terry. The coaches were pulling for him though, attributing his lackluster performances to fatigue and difficulty, but ultimately, the viewers are going to hear what they hear. That and Terry really didn’t do enough throughout this competition to showcase what kind of performer he would be today, in 2012, as opposed to 1985. In summation, Terry won’t win The Voice, but he sure is adorable.
Cassadee started off with her throwback song, and really, was there any question as to what it would be? But I have to hand it to her. This second take of Blake’s “Over You” might have even topped the first. She’s that good. That and her sparkly-disco-ball-corset dress was off the chain. This performance solidified Cassadee as a serious contender, because she is as close to flawless as you’re going to find nowadays, down to her freaking teeth.
Cassadee’s duet with Blake to Sheryl Crow’s “Steve McQueen” was probably her weakest performance of the evening. If by weakest I mean STILL INCREDIBLY AWESOME but just ever so slightly less awesome than her other two performances. And only because the verses got so low she bottomed out a few times. But this was a fun, personality-filled song that was a much better fit for Blake than his first go with Terry. And watching the two of them together was really awesome. I think no matter what happens with the final results, Cassadee will have a career in music. She could probably start touring with Blake right now, because lord knows she’s a whole lot better than Rae Lynn and does a bang-up job with country music.
But good gracious was Cassadee’s final performance of the night a winner. A great song choice in Faith Hill’s “Cry,” visually enhanced with some serious staging/prop work that made her look freaking magical, and then those teeth again! She really took it home, and for me, won the whole show. She’s consistently incredible, looks like a star, sounds like a star, can cover a slew of genres, has experience on stage, and should be on the radio yesterday. TEAM CASSADEE POPE, Y’ALL. There I said it.
All right now. Final predictions:
3rd place: Terry McDermott