It’s been written in The Voice stars all season long. That’s no exaggeration, either.
Ever since the blind auditions when Adam Levine first made that offhand comment about his sheer jealousy that Christina Aguilera had already won season 10 by snagging the “Blue Bayou”-belting Alisan Porter, she’s been the far and away fan favorite and her coach’s vet for the very “definition” of this show.
Tonight, our all-grown-up Curly Sue has finally, officially won her title as this season’s Voice (and by extension, Team Christina has finally broken the dreaded “girl curse” just in time for the female-to-male coaching ratio to even out a bit with Miley Cyrus and Alicia Keys taking the red seats Xtina and Pharrell Williams are vacating). If you didn’t see that coming, now might be a great time for a check-up with the optometrist because Alisan Porter winning tonight was basically the big “E” on the proverbial vision test of this season.
That’s not to say she came to this moment easily, though.
Country crooner Adam Wakefield was certainly a consistent threat throughout, especially since iTune sales on his new original number “Lonesome, Broken and Blue” from this week were stellar, making a coup very possible. Meanwhile, Laith Al-Saadi and Hannah Huston were formidable foes as well, as they both played to different audience interests (bluesy rock’n’roll for the former and a sultrier pop feel with the latter).
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Alisan Porter’s was the running story of the season, though: The child actress who fell from grace, healed herself, made a family, and then started from the very bottom all over again to win the spotlight she really wanted all along. It’s practically a movie script, her tale. So, with that instant headline fodder plus her stunning set of pipes and an almost flawless series of song selections, she did what she needed to to win right away and then keep on doing so again and again until the end. And here we are:
1st Place: Alisan Porter (Team Christina)
2nd Place: Adam Wakefield (Team Blake)
3rd Place: Hannah Huston (Team Pharrell)
4th Place: Laith Al-Saadi (Team Adam)
In addition to giving the champ her shiny new W, we were also treated a mini-talent showcase from all four finalists — each paired with celeb guests and their choices for bring-back performer groups. Where last night’s duets were lacking in charisma somehow, most of the comeback quartets here manage to accomplish something special, even with all their voting stakes out of the way for good.
NEXT: The contestants give us one more set of shows …
The Celeb Duets:
Hannah Huston and Cee-Lo Green: “Crazy” by Gnarls Barkley
If there’s one thing that this week has proven for Hannah Huston, it’s that she’s finally found her true sound because this is a pretty great style match for her in just about every way. Honestly, this might have been a major feather in her cap if she’d gotten this in yesterday instead of that facepalm-y Pharrell Williams pairing.
Laith Al-Saadi and Joe Walsh: “Rocky Mountain Way” by Joe Walsh
Finally we found a slide guitarist who’s got more passion for slide guitar play than Laith. Bucket list moment much?
Adam Wakefield and Alison Krauss: “Willing” by Little Feat
It’s not the most groundbreaking thing in the history of ever, but hey, Adam making another friend in Nashville couldn’t hurt!
Alisan Porter and Jennifer Nettles: “Unlove You” by Jennifer Nettles
Well, we already knew Alisan was a good fit for country mood blues before, but this confirms that this is the space we should be watching for her to thrive.
The Bring-Back Performances:
Alisan Porter with Kata Hay, Paxton Ingram, and Ryan Quinn: “Straight On” by Heart
Alisan recruited her old roommate (Kata), her personal hero and rock on this show (Paxton), and her “vocal male counterpart” (Ryan) to help her prove that the only reason her last rock anthem effort didn’t land is because it wasn’t a Heart song (aha!). Ya live, ya learn.
Hannah Huston with Bryan Bautista, Caity Peters, and Brian Nhira: “When We Were Young” by Adele
Quick, someone organize the internet petition to have these four team up and start a pop group because they are alarmingly wonderful together tonight. Each of them sound so smooth and complementary to one another, and the fact that they’re slaying with an Adele song, no less, is just a dream.
Laith Al-Saadi with Katie Basden and Shalyah Fearing: “Georgia On My Mind” by Ray Charles
Laith picked Owen Danoff to join him for this, but he apparently wasn’t feeling well, so instead he’s teamed up with Shalyah and Katie, who take him for a series of runs and add some new flavor to his deep dish. Not bad.
Adam Wakefield and Nick Hagelin, Justin Whisnant, and Mary Sarah: “Gimme Some Lovin’” by The Spencer Davis Group
It makes a lot of sense that Adam Wakefield would invite Mr. Slickhair Suspenders, a.k.a. Justin Whisnant, and Mary Sarah, the other Southern star of the season, to join him, but Nick Hagelin? That’s the wildcard of this bunch, but surprisingly, it all blends together fairly well anyway. Don’t expect this one to race up the charts tonight or anything, but it wasn’t a career-killer either.
As for the headline talent guests, Little Big Town had Pharrell completely losing his mind during their “One of Those Days” show — he even hopped onstage to sing along, just as happy (ahem) as we’ve ever seen him — and Sia’s “Cheap Thrills” set came along to provide literally everyone in the biz with homework because anyone can stand to take style notes from her.
Meanwhile, Zayn reminded us that One Direction is still definitely in his rearview with a stylish performance of “Like I Would,” and Blake Shelton offered up a sort of similar message with this jaw-dropping revenge anthem, “She’s Got a Way With Words.” Finally, Christina Aguilera broke it down so hard with Ariana Grande and her “Dangerous Woman” that we needed her Bryan Bautista fan to compose ourselves afterward. Hawt!
Interestingly enough, too, the final duet here was all about Christina repping some girl power, which was a fitting end to this season’s performances, then, wasn’t it?