7:11pm PT by Kayla Kumari Upadhyaya
'The Voice': Finalists Sing for the Win
The finale of NBC's The Voice season 12 kicked off Monday night with the four finalists giving three performances each, all in pursuit of the winning title. Gwen Stefani, unfortunately, did not have any artists in the finale. Team Alicia’s Chris Blue, Team Adam’s Jesse Larson and Team Blake’s Aliyah Moulden and Lauren Duski all performed original songs never heard before, covers and a duet with their respective coaches.
Moulden opened, singing her original song “Never Be Lonely,” a bouncy, fun, youthful single that on the surface seems like it would be a great fit for Moulden, but despite her young age, she actually sounds better on more vocally complex and mature songs. It was a cute performance, but it wasn’t much more than that. Moulden has impressed all season by transcending her age and proving she can sing anything, while this single just boxes her in. Stefani called her adorable, and Shelton said her song could easily be a hit.
Larson followed with his performance of The Doobie Brothers' “Takin’ It to the Streets,” which was a perfect song choice for him. Larson gave a soulful and entertaining performance, tapping into his showmanship and making it sound like his own song. The song’s blend of rock, blues and soul was ideal for Larson’s voice. It also gave him a solid excuse to remind viewers of his guitar abilities. Levine described Larson as a “Renaissance man.”
In the first duet of the night, Keys and Blue sang “Diamonds and Pearls” by Prince, and it was unsurprisingly emotional and stellar, both artists delivering huge vocals. Blue didn’t let his coach outshine him, and their voices truly blended, leading to a captivating duet.
Duski sang “The Dance” by Garth Brooks, which was another great song choice of the night. The performance will likely be embraced by country fans. It was a safe performance, but it played to her strengths, showcasing her style and vocal abilities. Shelton said he felt like he was hearing the song for the first time.
Moulden and Shelton delivered the next duet, singing “Dancing in the Streets” by Martha and the Vandellas. The coach and artist had fun together, though it wasn’t nearly as ambitious of a duet as Blue and Keys’. Still, it entertained and kept the energy for the night going.
Blue followed with his original song, “Money on You.” The Voice’s original singles at the end of every season are always underwhelming, and that was definitely the case tonight, but Blue made the most of his, bringing his strong stage presence to the performance and lighting up the stage with his energy.
Larson and Levine also sang a Prince duet, performing “Let’s Go Crazy.” Though they chose a more popular song, it wasn’t quite on par with Keys and Blue, who had the best duet of the evening. Larson and Levine don’t really mix well, but it was clear the artist and coach have a lot of respect for each other.
The duets kept going with Duski and Shelton singing Hank Williams' “There’s a Tear in My Beer.” It was a solid country performance, and they didn’t take themselves too seriously.
Next, Larson performed his original single “Woman.” Larson gave another good performance that highlighted his showmanship, but it still wasn’t a very exciting single. In his last performance of the night, Larson looked comfortable and confident.
Moulden finished out her performances by singing Stevie Wonder's “Signed, Sealed, Delivered.” This was a much better performance than her original song, highlighting her strengths. As always, she sounded great in her lower register. She sounded strong, ending her night on a high note. As the youngest artist to ever make it to the finale, Moulden has a lot to be proud of.
Duski sang her original song, “Deja Vu.” It was the best original song of the evening, and Duski’s personality and artistry both were on display during her performance. She saved the best for last with her three performances, finally dazzling with this number. Shelton called it perfect.
Blue closed out the night by covering “Rhythm Nation” by Janet Jackson. It was a solid performance, but it didn’t really show anything that he hadn’t done in his other performances throughout the night. Blue is a versatile artist, but that didn’t come through in tonight’s performances, which were all pretty similar. Still, he’s an incredible vocalist, and he gave three really strong performances. His duet may have been his best of the three.
Season 12 of The Voice is almost over. On Tuesday night, one champion will be crowned. Who are you rooting for?