7:09pm PT by Kayla Kumari Upadhyaya
‘The Voice’: Final Four Sing in First Night of Finals
In part one of The Voice Season 11’s two-part finale, the top four artists of the season sang one last time for America’s vote. Adam Levine had Billy Gilman and Josh Gallagher representing Team Adam. Blake Shelton had country singer Sundance Head. Alicia Keys had 16-year-old artist Wé McDonald singing for it all. And Miley Cyrus unfortunately had no teammates represented in the finals. The artists sang three times tonight, performing an original song, a new cover and a duet with their coach. There was minimal coach feedback tonight.
Gilman went first, singing “My Way” by Frank Sinatra. He had incredible dynamics, and the song choice was great. Gilman always does well on bold, emotional songs. Levine was very pleased with the performance, saying that “the song matched up so beautifully.”
Gallagher followed, debuting his original song, “Pick Any Small Town.” It was a very typical country song. The lyrics were not that impressive, but Gallagher put on a good show, tapping into his performance skills. Even Shelton was impressed, which is a solid stamp of approval for any country artist.
McDonald was up next, singing her duet with Keys. They decided to sing the Stevie Wonder version of “Ave Maria” and both played pianos during the performance. It was unsurprisingly beautiful, complete with a children’s choir. It wasn’t the most exciting song choice, but McDonald of course nailed it, using her opera training to hit all the notes. McDonald’s voice is so striking, and she has proven able to sing just about anything. If anything, Keys held her back with this duet by singing a little flat.
Head followed, debuting his original single “Darlin’ Don’t Go.” The songwriting was a bit better than Gallagher’s was. Head is the more seasoned artist. But everyone was struggling to match the energy that Gilman kicked off the show with. The coaches loved it, though, and viewers have backed Head consistently.
Gilman did his duet with Levine next. They sang “Bye Bye Love.” It was straightforward and fun, which is all these duets really had to be. As with McDonald and Keys though, Gilman actually out-sang his coach.
McDonald was back up with her original song, “Wishes.” It was a strong example of what kind of professional singer McDonald would make. Her round, low voice was on full display. It was the best of the original songs thus far. McDonald’s age means nothing; she seems like an experienced artist who is ready to launch her career. Keys said she has “unlimited potential.”
The next Team Adam duet was up, with Levine and Gallagher singing Santana’s “Smooth.” Again, it was straightforward and fun. Levine had the right approach to these duets. Both men played the guitar and had some fun with it.
Head and Shelton took the stage next for a duet of “Treat Her Right” by Head’s own father, Roy Head. It was another fun duet without much weight to it.
Gallagher was up again with his cover, singing “Jack & Diane” by John Mellencamp. It was a solid song choice for him. He worked the crowd and had great energy on stage. This late in the competition, it’s already clear that everyone has a great voice, so the artists have to stand out by putting on a show. Gallagher did just that.
Head followed with his cover of “At Last,” which he turned into a country song. Head showcased his artistry and originality by bringing his own twist to the song, and it was memorable. His voice sounded strong, too. The coaches all loved it. Head has been a fan and coach favorite from the start.
Gilman debuted his original song, “Because Of Me.” His quest to transition from being a country artist to a pop artist all season has gone very well, and this single solidified the new Gilman. The song was very him, and it was very radio-ready, too. He struggled a bit on the higher parts, but overall, it was strong and emotional. Levine called it the most definitive moment of his career.
McDonald closed out the night with a spectacular performance of Barbra Streisand’s “Don’t Rain On My Parade.” She sang for her life, mastering the vocally complex song, which is no easy feat. Without a doubt, she is the most technically impressive singer in the competition. It was a showstopper of a final performance and could very well be the moment that catapults her to the top for the season. We’ll find out soon enough.
Tonight’s votes and downloads will determine the next champion of The Voice. Who do you hope seizes the season 11 title? Tune in for the results tomorrow.