The coaches are all dealing with the emotions of the season finale in their own way. Adam Levine tells host Carson Daly, “I’m kinda sad, man.” So deep. Blake Shelton, dealing with a hangover, was out celebrating last night. “I was really excited about Terry and Cassadee and Nicholas,” he explains. Birthday girl Christina Aguilera looks ready for it all to be over. Cee Lo shields himself from possible disappointment with his armor — that is, his literal clothing armor. Dressed like a Mario Bros. villain, Cee Lo’s white spiked get-up officially outdoes Monday night’s zebra print as the most ridiculous outfit of the season.
The finale is also filled with performances by special guests Rihanna, The Killers, Bruno Mars, Kelly Clarkson, Smokey Robinson and Peter Frampton, along with coaches and, of course, finalists Terry McDermott, Cassadee Pope and Nicholas David. In addition to duets with coaches and all stars, each contestant hosts a “Bring Back” performance from a pool of 20 finalists — an exciting walk down a three-month memory lane, indeed.
Terry’s Bring Back performance of Kiss’ anthem “Rock & Roll All Night” draws from all of our favorite rock singers of the season. Powerhouse Amanda Brown is back on the stage again, along with 16-year-old punk rocker Michaela Paige, (still) fedora-wearing Bryan Keith and Meat Loaf-esque rocker Rudy Parris. It’s nice to see the return of Amanda, who rocks it, and we’re even a little nostalgic for Bryan’s fedora. Sort of.
Up next is Nicholas David. We’re guessing when Nic got on stage during the Blind Auditions a few short months ago, he had no idea that he would ever be performing live with Smokey Robinson. It’s just one of the many miraculous moments of The Voice! It’s hard to tell whether Nicholas, Cee Lo or Adam are the most excited, and Carson calls it “the coolest duet we’ve seen all year.”
The “heartthrobs of Season 3” belt out Fountains Of Wayne’s “Stacy’s Mom.” MacKenzie Bourgh, Dez Duron (he’s so handsome), Julio Cesar Castillo, Cody Belew and Diego Val reunite for the jam, and other than Diego blending it with another hit and pronouncing it “Jesse’s Mom,” it’s lots of fun. The performance definitely looks like a Grease revival, but let’s face it: there’s a certain amount of regional theatre in the future for some of these guys. Except for Dez. He’s just so handsome.
Kelly Clarkson joins Cassadee Pope and Terry McDermott to perform Greatest Hits: Chapter One single “Catch My Breath.” The newly-engaged Clarkson is simply flawless, and Cassadee Pope, who covered “Behind These Hazel Eyes” earlier this season, could always fall back on being a Kelly Clarkson back-up singer. The real shock here, though, is Terry McDermott. The classic-rock-exclusive crooner actually nails it on a non-classic rock song! If The Voice were to go on just a few more weeks, maybe he’d attempt Carly Rae Jepsen next.
Cassadee’s Bring Back performance has some of our favorite ladies from the season back on stage. D’Borah, Melanie Martinez and Liz Davis join the finalist for a performance of “It’s Time” by Imagine Dragons. Donning all back and white, the ladies give a fun performance. And, man, how we missed D’Borah’s energy!
Another legend, Peter Frampton, makes his way onto The Voice stage. He duets with Terry McDermott on “Baby I Love Your Way,” and Carson Daly robotically sums it up with, “Okay, that was awesome.” We agree with the sentiment, but we’re more and more concerned that Carson was taken over by a pod person in the late ’90s.
In a slightly less-awesome performance, Sylvia Yacoub, Adriana Louise, Devyn DeLeora, Joselyn Rivera and Loren Allred perform The Emotions‘ “The Best Of My Love.” They are all just fine, but no one delivers a performance that makes us question their exit. Basically, if Christina was given her own Voice spinoff, this is the type of finals we would have to look forward to. Let’s nip that idea in the bud.
The next guest, Bruno Mars, performs “When I Was Your Man” from Unorthodox Jukebox. Oh, how the ladies love him, and there are moments when the perfectly-executed performance is drowned out by screams.
Nicholas David’s Bring Back performance gets Trevin Hunte, Amanda Brown and Dez Duron back on the stage. Did he get to pick first, or something? Great choices! They do “End Of The Road,” which does scream of Trevin’s input. Personally, we liked the higher energy performances a bit more, but it’s good to get a little bit of Trevin’s Affirmations before The Voice wraps.
At this point, all of the finalists are brought to the stage, and we think an elimination is coming. Nope! Instead, “St. Cee Lo Green” comes out dressed like a Cee Lo-fied version of Santa Claus, and gives a Kia to all of the contestants. It’s product placement at its worst, certainly, but the contestants seem excited, and it even gets a final “Holy Buckets!” from Nicholas.
The contestants’ performances are wrapped up with a duet between Cassadee Pope and her hero, Avril Lavigne. The two sing “I’m With You,” which Cassadee had performed earlier in the season before Blake tried to make her a country girl. As they raise their fists in the air together at the end of the performance, like the true pop-rockers that they are, it’s clear that Cassadee Pope is having a highlight moment in her life. Avril is just glad someone invited her to perform on national television.
In the final performance of the night, the current lineup of coaches take the stage for the last time on The Voice (Cee Lo and Christina are exiting at the end of this season). Because it’s a super emotional moment, they opt to sing Green Day’s “Time Of Your Life.” There’s even a montage of some favorite button pushes and a whole lot of self-congratulatory, meaningful looks at one another. Balloon’s fall from the ceiling. The performance would be so cool…if we were at a junior high graduation in the ’90s. Come on, Cee Lo, we expected more from you.
So just before it’s time to announce the winner, it’s time to downplay the importance of the whole “competition” aspect of The Voice. Adam Levine tells the three hopefuls, “As far as I’m concerned, you guys all win. This is just a technicality.”
So let’s find out who wins on a technicality, shall we?
And the winners are:
3rd place: Nicholas David (Cee Lo looks livid, and Nicholas has trouble hiding his disappointment).
2nd place: Terry McDermott (we barely get a moment for a reaction from him before the cameras pan to…)
1st place: Cassadee Pope! She freaks. Understandably. “I feel amazing!” she tells everyone, and then awkwardly gets thrown into reprising a performance of Faith Hill’s “Cry” as the title credits roll.
And thus wraps up another season of The Voice, and the end of Cee Lo and Christina Aguilera’s run as coaches. Will you be tuning in for Season 4 in March, as Usher and Shakira take over their spinning red chairs?