After last week’s dramatic elimination on "The Voice," the final 4 took the stage one last time in the biggest live show of the season. Remaining contestants Sawyer Fredericks, Koryn Hawthorne, Meghan Linsey and Joshua Davis left it all on the stage during tonight’s penultimate episode.
Host Carson Daly explained at the top of the two-hour episode that each artist would take the stage three times to sing a new cover, a duet with his or her coach and a very first original single.
Each artist poured his or her heart out with each song, hoping to leave a lasting impression on America as the voting goes live. To help you decide who should go forward to take it all in the 2015 competition, below is a rundown of each of the top 4 singer’s final showings on “The Voice” stage:
Koryn Hawthorne (Team Pharrell)
Songs: “It’s a Man’s Man’s Man’s World” by James Brown, “We Can Work It Out” by the Beatles and “Bright Fire” by Koryn Hawthorne.
Hawthorne’s first song of the evening was the soulful James Brown hit that really showcased the kind of singing style that’s propelled her to the final rounds. Normally each artist is fighting to innovate in the final rounds, but with only three songs to prove she’s the No. 1 choice, Hawthorne opened strong with a little bit of the familiar.
Hawthorne took the stage next accompanied by her coach, Pharrell Williams, singing a funky version of the popular Beatles hit. It’s hard to tell if Hawthorne is just thrilled to have made it as far as she has or if her coach simply has a way of inspiring people to be “Happy” (get it?). Whatever the case, it’s hard to deny her entertainment value after the duet.
Hawthorne’s final performance was an original written for her by her coach. Unfortunately, the 17-year-old church singer felt a little out of place with such a creative song with almost no vocal runs. While it really showed off her stage presence and attitude, it wasn’t quite the showstopper a contestant hopes to go out on.
Meghan Linsey (Team Blake)
Songs: “Change My Mind” by Meghan Linsey, “Freeway of Love” by Aretha Franklin and “When a Man Loves a Woman” by Percy Sledge.
Linsey has been the designated professional throughout this competition. She’s an experienced performer that is hoping “The Voice” will help finally launch her much-deserved career. She was the first to sing an original tonight and it proved that she’s got a lot more going for her than just a voice. Her ability to write a soul song that perfectly matched her style and attitude inspired a lot of confidence in what she’d do with the grand prize.
She took the stage next with her coach, Blake Shelton, who accompanied her on guitar and backup vocals for the Aretha Franklin hit. It was a big number and felt a lot like a showstopper. It was a phenomenal addition to her three-performance repertoire for the evening.
To end her time as a contestant on “The Voice,” performing “When a Man Loves a Woman,” she stepped out onto the stage singing with the confidence of someone who feels she’s accomplished all she can on the show. That lack of fear gave her final performance an edge and ease that really left a lasting impression. She hit the final note knowing full well that things are in America’s hands now.
Sawyer Fredericks (Team Pharrell)
Songs: “Summer Breeze” by Seals & Crofts, “Please” by Sawyer Fredericks and “Old Man” by Neil Young.
This 16-year-old folk singer is a favorite to win it all after discovering his massive hometown fan base during last week’s visits home. He took the stage with his coach Pharrell Williams to sing “Summer Breeze,” which was a welcome departure from his usual style. The two opted for a stripped-down performance, simply sitting side by side on bar stools with microphones in hand.
He came out for his second performance singing his original single “Please.” His absolute favorite artist, Ray Lamontagne, wrote the song for him and it felt tailor-made as a result. The song was perfect and it really felt like the young performer was having a ball singing it. If there is a complaint about Fredericks tonight, it’s simply that he didn’t prove an ability to write his own songs, which some of the other artists vying for the win did.
Fredericks closed out the show and the night with his cover of the Neil Young classic “Old Man.” Once again the singing prodigy proved why he's a contender to win it all. His gravelly voice and wisdom for music beyond his years is the exact unique spark that shows like “The Voice” are always hoping for. His last performance onstage was met with the same humble smile as his lowest-level performance on the show thus far.
Joshua Davis (Team Adam)
Songs: “The Working Man’s Hymn” by Joshua Davis, “Hallelujah” by Leonard Cohen and “Diamonds on the Soles of Her Shoes” by Paul Simon.
Davis also opened with his new original single, “Working Man’s Hymn,” which showed a drastically different side to the performer we’ve gotten to know all season. It was a little peppier and actually showed some small hints of country, a genre that’s been dangerously lacking this season since the exit of Corey Kent White. The song was also a nice departure from the usual love songs the artist is known for.
The singer then sang “Hallelujah,” which felt like an inevitable cover for this passionate guitarist to tackle. He didn’t disappoint and ended up owning every second of the powerful song, turning his last cover into one of his most memorable of the competition.
Davis’ last song as a contestant on “The Voice” was a duet with his very faithful coach, Adam Levine. It really captured the singer’s attitude as it was both fun, soulful and showed a deep appreciation for music. If it was his last-ever performance on “The Voice,” it was a fantastic way to go out.
Tune in to see who America names “The Voice” Season 8 winner Tuesday night at 9 p.m. EDT on NBC.