Wow, Season 12 of the Voice has already concluded, and a winner has been crowned. You would think after shocking early eliminations like Kawan Debose, Stephanie Rice, and semi-finalist Hunter Plake, I should have been prepared for the shock of the season. But, as you’ve probably figured out, I wasn’t. Below, I recap each finalist’s performances (covers, duets, and original songs) and discuss the result show.
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Part 1: Covers
Jesse Larson-“Takin’ It to the Streets” // Grade: B+
I was curious as to what Adam would select for his dark horse finalist, and after watching Jesse’s performance, I’m not sure if I agree with the choice. In a night filled with belters like Chris Blue and inspirations like Lauren Duski, Jesse blended in. He was quite forgettable, and it was an unfortunate time for a favorite of mine to have a mediocre performance.
Lauren Duski-“The Dance” // Grade: A
Even though Lauren hit some unexpected rough notes, her overall presentation and performance was undeniably impressive. Not only did she deliver a mesmerizing, breath-taking vocal, but she convinced me that she deserved to win the show. I was rooting for her for the rest of the show.
Aliyah Moulden-“Signed, Sealed, Delivered, I’m Yours” // Grade B+
I don’t know why Blake though that this upbeat song was the best decision for Aliyah’s finale performance, but I, and many others, can firmly disagree. With Aliyah’s success with “Jealous” and “I Can Only Imagine,” she was poised to sing a powerful ballad like “Hallelujah” and sneak into the top two, or even win the entire show. However, this performance was easily forgotten, just like Jesse’s.
Chris Blue-“Rhythm Nation” // Grade: A
Closing off the night, Chris delivered his best performance this season in my opinion. While, I did not think he was going to win, I thought that this rendition felt like a winning anthem. Chris sounded amazing and DANCED his butt off. Incredible.
Part 2: Duets w/ Coaches
Chris Blue w/ Alicia Keys-“Diamonds and Pearls” // Grade: A
WOW. Alicia sounds flawless recorded, and identically flawless live! The two soul singers sent sparks flying with this show-stopping duet. Certainly, the best collaboration of the night.
Aliyah Moulden w/ Blake Shelton-“Dancing in the Street” // Grade: C
What a mess. Aliyah sounded good of course, but not only did the song choice fail, but so did Mr. Blake Shelton. The country powerhouse sounded terrible, completely ruining the entire performance. But its all right; after all Blake isn’t known for his “pop” vocals.
Jesse Larson w/ Adam Levine-“Let’s Go Crazy” // Grade: B+
This was more of a guitar showcase full of mad shredding than a powerful vocal performance, but either way this was exciting and refreshing.
Lauren Duski w/ Blake Shelton-“There’s a Tear in My Beer” // Grade: B+
I think it’s safe to assume this isn’t the last time these two country stars will team up to put on a successful performance. Very good job by both sides, just didn’t stand out against the rest.
Part 3: Original Songs
Aliyah Moulden-“Never Be Lonely” // Grade: B+
Kicking off the show, Aliyah delivered a fun and entertaining performance to a song that had some jazz and pop influences that would sound great on the radio. Definitely not a strong vocal performance, but certainly fun to watch
Chris Blue-“Money on You” // Grade: A-
This was the only song of the night that I downloaded on Apple Music, and this was certainly an exhilarating performance. If it wasn’t for the lack of success of previous Voice contestants, I could see Chris gaining many fans with music like this.
Jesse Larson-“Woman” // Grade: B+
I would’ve honestly preferred if Chris Stapleton had sang this song himself, but Jesse did a great job with this tune. I figured that this would be Jesse’s highest charted single on iTunes of the season (and I was correct).
Lauren Duski-“Deja Vu” // Grade: A
Far and above, the best original song ever released during a Voice finale. This performance was heart-breaking and beautiful. I absolutely adored it and Lauren certainly solidified a new fan in me after this emotional song.
Part 4: Results
Going into the results show on Tuesday, there was a clear top two (Lauren and Chris) and a clear bottom two (Aliyah and Jesse) based on each artist’s individual performances and their iTunes ranking. My prediction remained the same as it was prior to Monday’s show; Lauren wins, Chris is runner-up, Aliyah and Jesse third and fourth respectively. I really did not expect any other order. And boy was I wrong. I will get to the announcement of the placing in a second, but first I’m going to share some highlight performances from Tuesday’s show.
Hunter+Gwen-“Don’t Speak” // I was thrilled to learn that semi-finalist Hunter Plake would be returning to the stage to perform “Don’t Speak” with his coach Gwen Stefani. This did not disappoint, with the angst captivating the audience, and Hunter’s vocals nearly upstaging Gwen’s. This performance was captivating.
Jennifer Hudson-“Remember Me” // AHHH I LOVE JENNIFER HUDSON. I am highly anticipating this powerful vocalist’s debut on the Voice Season 13 this fall, and this performance was the icing on the cake for my anticipation. She looked and sounded fantastic, and I was nearly drooling over her awesomeness.
Anyways, after Jennifer Hudson’s amazing performance, Carson Daly brought out the four finalists.
First, he announced the finalist in fourth place: Jesse Larson.
Then, he announced the finalist in third place: Aliyah Moulden.
Neither of these placements shocked me, so I was eagerly anticipating the winner’s announcement, but of course Carson cut to a commercial break to further my anxiety;)
After the seemingly endless intermission, Carson revealed the winner to be the last person to audition this season; Chris Blue.
Meaning, Lauren Duski, long-time favorite, was runner-up.
With this shocker, Chris Blue gave Alicia Keys her first win as a coach, became the first one-chair-turn to win the show, and proved that its best to save the best for last.
-Sean from Competition Shows