At long last, it’s come down to this as NBC’s “The Voice” gave its remaining four artists one last chance to show America what they can do before a winner is crowned for Season 9. Although the live eliminations don’t take place until Tuesday, Monday’s last live show was the contestant’s last chance to make it work for America’s vote.
Although coach Pharrell Williams had all of his artists eliminated, he was still there to lend the remaining contestants on teams Adam Levine, Gwen Stefani and Blake Shelton some advice. It all came down to a collection of three performances for singers Jordan Smith, Emily Ann Roberts, Barrett Baber and Jeffery Austin. The top 4 picked one last solo performance song, their favorite holiday song and a duet with their respective coach for their last night on the live stage. After their last at bat on the singing competition, they now have to wait as America decides their fate ahead of the winner’s reveal. To help make sure everyone knows what they need to before casting a vote for the winner, below is a rundown of each artist’s final showcase:
Jordan Smith, Team Adam
“Climb Every Mountain” from “The Sound Of Music”
Smith took the stage first during the finale performances and, like many of the contestants who would come to sing on that stage, he felt very aware that it may have been his last performance on “The Voice” stage -- even if it wasn’t very likely given his current front-runner status. The young singer’s arc on the show has always been his journey to feel comfortable in his own skin. He took on the inspirational song and delivered a triumphant and moving rendition of the classic Julie Andrews song that felt a lot like a final triumphant bookend to his journey of self confidence.
“God Only Knows” by The Beach Boys
The singer took the stage with his coach to sing, what Levine described as, the best song ever written. It was a perfect song for the two naturally high-pitched artists, but it wasn’t necessarily the most entertaining stage performance of the night. The song is pretty basic, which isn’t a bad thing, but it offered neither the contestant nor his coach a chance to really show off their abilities. However, it was still a flawlessly performed cover of the Beach Boys hit, which is important in maintaining Smith’s record of having no weak links in his on-stage game.
“Mary Did You Know”
For his last performance of the competition before a winner is crowned, Smith belted out his incredible Christmas song that allowed him to show exactly the kind of singer he is. He hit every vocal run the song had to offer like his life depended on it and proved, once again, that he deserves to be in the finals. What really made this song interesting is the confession from his coach that he had never heard the song before and hadn’t planned to assign it to his artist. However, he admitted that what he had in mind wasn’t the right choice and that all credit goes to Smith, whom he considers to be a fully realized musician by this point in his career.
Emily Ann Roberts, Team Blake
“Blue Christmas” by Elvis Presley
Blake’s first of two country singers took the stage to sing her holiday-themed pick and opted for a low-key performance without much of the pacing command of the stage that made her semifinal performance so popular. Instead, with more than one song ahead of her, she decided to let her opener rely on her pipes alone to carry her through the country performance. Although it wasn’t the same show stopper that Smith opened with, it wasn’t meant to be. Instead, it was a classic and soulful example of her talents.
“Island In The Stream” by Dolly Parton And Kenny Rogers
After his semifinal performance of a Dolly Parton song did so well, Shelton thought it was a no-brainer to give her yet another one in the finale. The duo sang the classic duet and managed to make their voices mesh quite well despite coming from two very different styles of country. After her much more subdued opener, this gave her a chance to strut her stuff and rub a little bit of her attitude on the music to prove that she deserves to be a top contender for the win. At certain points, it even felt like Shelton was getting in her way as this untamable singer had fun living her dream.
“Burning House” by Cam
After proving that she’s capable of show-stoppers in her duet, Roberts decided to make her last performance of the competition a more soulful and slow number. While her voice has been used mostly for country and attitude, it was nice for her to bookend her time on “The Voice” with such a triumphant song. It was clear by the glimmer in her eye and unflappable vocal performance that, at the very least, she gave it her all in the competition. As her coach noted, if anyone could pull off a spotlight steal in the competition, it’s her with this song.
Barrett Baber, Team Blake
“Rhinestone Cowboy” by Glen Cambell
Baber kicked his night off with his duet performance with his coach, Shelton, who lent his star power to his second performing contestant of the night shined brightly. Unfortunately, Baber seemed to draw the short straw as far as openers go given that it’s hard to really shine next to a seasoned professional like Shelton. His song was good, but he floundered on a few notes, which was very noticeable in relation to Shelton. While the duet performances are meant as a garnish on top of the solo songs, this artist clearly suffered by having to start with his.
“Die A Happy Man” by Thomas Rhett
Baber chose this country hit as his last performance in order to acknowledge the struggle that this competition has put him through. He’s a family man that’s had to be away during the competition. It was his chance to connect very emotionally to a song and show the audience he’s capable of more than just belting out soulful country ballads. Unfortunately, it ended up being bit of a struggle for him and the showcase relied a lot on his trademark belting of the high notes. It wasn’t necessarily his best performance on “The Voice” stage, but it was certainly his most moving.
Baber took the stage for his last performance of the night singing the classic holiday carol. Although he may not be favored to win against his three remaining artists, it cannot be said that anyone else had more fun during the finale. He took the powerful carol and managed to make it a country-leaning cover that was very uniquely his own. It was a quiet note to potentially end his run on, and he clearly felt proud of it when the crowd finally died down and he exited the stage as a finalist for the last time.
Jeffery Austin, Team Gwen
“O Holy Night”
Austin hit the stage strong with his holiday selection, choosing perhaps the most difficult Christmas song there is and making it his very own. All anyone cares about with this particular carol is how the artist nails the final crescendo. To be blunt, Austin nailed it, but he could have done more with it. This singer is known for his amazing ability to connect emotionally to his music and stretch his voice to new levels. While he made no errors in the song and brought his coach to tears, it was hard not to feel like he was holding back.
“Stay” by Sugarland
Austin took the stage and did what he does best. If he was holding anything back in his holiday performance earlier in the night, he left it all on stage this time as he gave America there last and best look at him as an artist, likely leaving a great taste in the voting public’s mouth as they look to pick a winner. However, as his coach reminded us, after his musical journey on the show, it is almost impossible that this will be the last we’ll hear of Austin no matter what the outcome of this competition may be.
“Leather and Lace” by Stevie Nicks and Don Henley
There was perhaps no better coach and contestant pairing than Austin’s duet with Stefani. Together they created a stage presence that allowed them to do what they do best, connect with their music and move everyone in the audience. While performers like Smith, Roberts and Baber have a talent for creating vast and sensational performances, Austin proved with his last song on “The Voice” stage that he’s got much more in his repertoire than a phenomenal voice.
To find out who wins the entire competition in Season 9, fans will just have to tune in to “The Voice” finale on Tuesday at 9 p.m. EST.