Lady Gaga! Celine Dion! Christina Aguilera! Ne-Yo! OneRepublic! The Voice Final 3! The other 17 contestants from this season that have already been forgotten! There is no marquis big enough to fit the superstar names that performed on Tuesday nights’ finale of The Voice, especially when the slightly-less superstar names of the Top 20 who also performed are added.
All of the coaches come dolled up for the occasion, and whereas Adam Levine and Blake Shelton went safe with suits, Cee Lo goes with a sparkly pinstripe outfit he describes as “disco balls.” Christina Aguilera is also dressed like a slightly more svelte disco ball…or shall we say a disco stick? Perhaps a subliminal nod to Lady Gaga.
Between some incredible duets, requisite “Bring Back” performances and the grand debut of the first ever original single from The Voice, there was a lot happening on Tuesday night beyond a simple results announcement. Here are the highlights.
Kicking off the show, the Top 20 from Season 5 return to sing Outasight’s “Tonight Is The Night.” To name them all would require an appendix*, but it was certainly a walk down memory lane. Or lack of memory lane. It was like a 10-year high school reunion where you want to remember everyone’s name, but so much has happened since you last saw them. Sure, it’s only been a few weeks, but perhaps next year The Voice can institute name tags.
Jacquie Lee solicits the help of Matthew Schuler, Caroline Pennell, Cole Vosbury and James Wolpert for her bring back performance. The gang sings Queen’s “Bohemian Rhapsody,” with Cole standing out above the rest. They all get major credit for overcoming the off-beat audience clapping, which re-emerges with vengeance for the finale.
Celine Dion is up next, and sings “Love Can Move Mountains” with Tessanne Chin. Prior to the performance, Tessanne is actually in tears of excitement. On stage, however, there are no tears to be seen: just pure, fabulous, professional divas. Tessanne pulls off the duality of humble and diva perfectly.
Before premiering his new Voice-exclusive single for the upcoming winner, Ryan Tedder leads OneRepublic in a performance of “I Lived.” He gets ahead of the audience’s rhythm problem, and starts them in a rhythmically-correct clap. Smart move, Tedder, smart move.
Nic Hawk, Preston Pohl, Matthew Schuler, Ray Bradbury and Josh Logan return to the stage to sing Bruno Mars’ “Treasure.” It’s a fun, feel-good performance, but that group could have really gone bigger with the outfits than the yawn-inducing black and white suits. Only Nic is brave enough to go out of the box and wear white shoes. Luckily, the stage design provides more than enough pizzaz to overcome the wardrobe monotony, and the vocals are on point.
Jonny Gray, Cole Vosbury, Caroline Pennel and Austin Jenckes are on hand for Will Champlin’s bring back performance of Bob Dylan/Old Crow Medicine Show’s “Wagon Wheel.” The performance is very straight forward, with minimal choreography and almost a camp sing-a-long feel.
Jacquie Lee joins Paramore to perform their new single, “Ain’t It Fun?” Well it IS fun, however just about the most mismatched pairing possible for Jacquie Lee. Next to a completely comfortable Hayley Williams letting loose on stage, Jacquie Lee loos like she’s uncomfortably jogging and skipping in place, while simultaneously trying not to look completely out of place. Jacquie Lee leaves nothing to be desired in the singing, but Kat Robichaud’s stage presence would have been a better fit.
Speaking of Kat Robichaud, she’s back on stage with Shelbie Z., Stephanie Anne Johnson, Tamara Chauniece, Grey and Amber Nicole, joining forces to become a non-finalist Lady Super Group of sorts. The team sings Kelly Clarkson’s “My Life Would Suck Without You,” and all diva it up in their own ways. Kat even throws in a few kicks for old time’s sake!
When Celine Dione makes a television appearance, she doesn’t mess around. Taking the stage for an encore (sort of), she performs “Incredible” with Ne-Yo. Finalists, take note: that’s what pitch perfect sounds like (and, incidentally, that’s what “smizing through Botox” looks like).
Will Champlin is joined by Aloe Blacc to sing “Wake Me Up,” which was previously performed this season by Caroline Pennell. The back to basics performance of the song, backed by a string section, is refreshing.
James Wolpert, Preston Pohl, Olivia Henken and Grey join Tessanne Chin in her bring back performance of “Hold On, I’m Coming.” Preston’s soulful voice and dance moves make a splash, and there’s a whole lot of “woo!”ing going on up on stage on all fronts.
In arguably the most exciting performance of the night, Lady Gaga sings “Do What U Want,” sans R. Kelly, but with Christina Aguilera! Best. Surprise. Ever. The gold-clad, platinum haired, chaise lounge loving, dramatic pop stars are definitely sisters from another mister, despite the fact that they only met when this performance came about. “She’s like the most down to earth person I’ve met in this business,” says Christina after the performance, semi-shattering everything Gaga goes for. Please collaborate more often, legends!
With all of this sparkle, it’s easy to forget that the whole point of this finale is ratings/to announce the Season 5 winner! Carson Daly gives himself plenty of time for dramatic pauses in said announcement, so stare into space for 30 seconds between each reveal to experience the results as they were intended.
Third Place: Team Adam’s Will Champlin. He looks bummed, but luckily the other 17 contestants of the final 20 are there to remind him that last place on the finale isn’t actually last place.
Second Place: Team Christina’s Jacquie Lee. So close, yet so far away. She should take solace knowing she’s just as likely to make an appearance on the show next year as the winner.
And the Winner is…: Tessanne Chin. She flips out, and the pyrotechnics that follow all but make her faint. There’s no time to celebrate, though, as she jumps right into the debut performance of the Ryan Tedder-penned “Tumbling Down.” It’s an understandably breathless performance to start, but she’ll be reprising it during the Rose Bowl on The Voice float. Big things ahead.
And with that, Season 5 comes to a close, with a whole two months to wait before Season 6. How do you feel about the results? Do Tessanne or any of the finalists stand a chance for big success off The Voice stage?
*Appendix time! The final 20: Tessanne Chin, Jacquie Lee, Will Champlin, Cole Vosbury, James Wolpert, Matthew Schuler, Ray Boudreaux, Caroline Pennell, Austin Jenckes, Kat Robichaud, Jonny Gray, Josh Logan, Preston Pohl, Stephanie Anne Johnson, Olivia Henken, Amber Nicole, Tamara Chauniece, Shelbie Z, Grey, Nic Hawk
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