“The Voice” Season 7 final four contestants sang their hearts out on the Dec. 15 episode as the show draws to a close. It was a night of high-concept songs, high-stakes performances and high praise from the judges.
Top 3 finalists Matt McAndrew, Craig Wayne Boyd and Chris Jamison took to the stage along with “The Voice” first ever wildcard performer, Damien, who America sent home last week only to rescue him through a round of late-night voting. The finalists performed three songs each, including a cover, an original and a duet done with their team mentor. Below is our breakdown of the final four performers as they battled to take the 2014 crown in the penultimate episode of “The Voice” Season 7.
Original Song: "Soldier"
Cover: "A Song For You" by Leon Russell
Duet: "Don't Let The Sun Go Down On Me" by Elton John, Performed With Adam Levine
Damien came in as the first wildcard performer ever in the history of the show. He had a lot to prove with his final three songs. Luckily, his coach knew exactly what to do for him in order to give him a shot at redemption after America tried to say goodbye last week. His cover and duet both highlighted his incredibly smooth voice. The singer showed that he's able to connect with literally any song that comes across his plate and make it his own. However, Damien shocked the audience when he came out with an original that was already his own going in. "Soldier" was by far the best original of the night and showed exactly the passion and hard work this performer brings to the table. The talent of each performer in the final four is unquestionable, but, with "Soldier," Damien put the cherry on top of a phenomenal season of personal and professional growth and proved why he deserves to still be on that stage and why he'll be a star someday, whether he's 2014's "The Voice" or not.
Craig Wayne Boyd
Original Song: "My Baby's Got A Smile On Her Face"
Cover: "In Pictures" By Alabama
Duet: “Boots On” by Randy Houser, Performed With Blake Shelton
The deck was stacked against Boyd going into his performance. Not only is he the only person in the final four who isn't on Team Adam, he's the only remaining performer who leans country. Still, Shelton bet all his chips on the talent of his contestant and it paid off. Wayne's original song shined and not only sounded like a hit but really gave the performer a chance to showcase why America deserves to see more of him after the Dec. 16 finale. He and Shelton took to the stage for a duet of "Boots On" that came at a much-needed time in the show when the audience was itching for something that rocked. He capped things off with his third song dedicated to his son, who was sitting in the audience. The tear-filled last at bat for Boyd was exactly what a final performance on "The Voice" should be. Whether or not America agrees that he deserves to be "The Voice" of 2014, it's hard to argue that his rise isn't one of the better Cinderella stories of Season 7.
Original Song: "Velvet"
Cover: "Cry Me A River" by Justin Timberlake
Duet: "Lost Without U" by Robin Thicke, Performed With Adam Levine
While each performer has made leaps and bounds over who they were at the beginning of the competition, no one has progressed further as a well-rounded contestant than Jamison. All three of his performances highlighted a different aspect of the talented college-aged singer's appeal. His cover, like every song he sang, leaned so hard on his phenomenal falsetto that it almost snapped. Luckily, as Levine says, he's got one of the best high voices in the business, so leaning on that was the smartest move coming into the finals. His duet showed that he's one of the most fun performers in the show as well. Finally, his original song proved that he could create something wonderful off-stage that will hook America and brings them into arenas and stadiums to see his polished performance. Jamison is a true contender for the final spot in this competition.
Original Song: "Wasted Love"
Cover: "Over The Rainbow" by Judy Garland
Duet: "Lost Stars" by Adam Levine, Performed With Adam Levine
McAndrew is a voice performer that defies categorization. He's proven time and again to not only be the most unique performer in the competition this year, but the most genuine performer probably ever. He closed out the show with a tear in his eye after his cover of "Over the Rainbow" caused the judges, the audience and those watching at home to pause their lives for a second to listen to this heartfelt singer do what he loves. His original song was second only to Damien, but still managed to keep up his ongoing streak of mind-blowing performances that stick out from the pack. His biggest low point of the night was being drowned out in his duet by the incredibly versatile voice of Adam Levine -- which is kind of the definition of a good problem to have.
There are no wrong answers in this crop of four singers from Season 7. However, I have to give it to Matt McAndrew. He is the only performer on the show who feels unique enough to deserve the prestige that comes with being a "Voice" winner. The 2014 season has something very special in this original talent. He's something America hasn't seen before but can bring a lot to the world of music with, what I hope, will be a long and stellar career.