The Voice recap: 'Live Finale'
And here we are at last!
Twenty-six episodes and three grueling hours later, we finally have a winner! Who knew it would all come down to two young women who were each almost sent home by another team?
Chloe Kohanski is The Voice‘s season 13 winner,but before we get to her victory, there are a lot of performances to sift through. And despite it being far too long, this finale proves to be one of the more entertaining pre-results rallies in recent memory…well, aside from all those digital skits that we’ll just pretend never happened.
Adam Cunningham, Keisha Renee, and Bebe Rexha
“Meant to Be” by Bebe Rexha
Kicking things off for the evening is collaboration by Adam Cunningham and Keisha Renee, who join Bebe Rexha for her pop song of perseverance. Adam and Keisha seem to be heeding the lyrics and taking the fact that they aren’t in contention for tonight’s biggest prize pretty well.
“How Long?” by Charlie Puth
Charlie Puth is here too, with his pop-jazz number, and look! He’s even got Adam Levine on the ax. It’s kind of funny that Adam’s doing instrumentals for him here because in some spots, Charlie sounds like he’s auditioning for Maroon 5.
Addison Agen and Norah Jones
“Don’t Know Why” by Norah Jones
This coupling is based on the fact that Adam Levine once compared Addison Agen to Norah Jones (with regard to her viability as a breakout star), and he couldn’t have been more right. Addison and Norah share that angelic, jazzy tone that flows so well with piano bar music, and now I’m wondering why Adam didn’t match Addison with more of Norah’s singles instead of all those Joni Mitchell jams.
Noah Mac and Bastille
“World Gone Mad” by Bastille
Noah Mac’s pretty much in his element with this moody British band, because it’s scant on instrumentals and heavy on that moan-singing style. Hey, maybe he just found himself a mentor.
“Medicine” by Kelly Clarkson
There’s no doubt that Kelly Clarkson is a force and a total success story, but what genre is this song?
“Blue Blood Blues” by Chris Blue
For everyone who’s (understandably) criticized The Voice for not doing much for its winners’ careers, there does seem to be a lot of emphasis on what Chris Blue’s up to right now. This is the third week in a row we’ve heard about his forthcoming album, and even his old coach-turned-manager Alicia Keys joins the show to introduce his debut single. The good news for Chris is that it’s highly entertaining for the same reason his whole-package appeal was a hit last season. With his dance skills, the attitude of this piece, and the many octaves he gets to play in, this should drum up strong interest in his visual album.
Brooke Simpson and Sia
“Titanium” by David Guetta ft. Sia
If nothing else, Brooke Simpson has certainly established herself as a powerhouse singer who’s pretty ready for whatever you throw at her. Case in point: She joins the unconquerable Sia for this difficult number, and although she doesn’t get as much mic time as our half-faced friend, Brooke absolutely crushes it when she finally gets at shot at that chorus. She and Sia might not be a great match vocally, but they do have a respectful power volley going on here that I quite enjoy.
Chris Weaver a.k.a. Nedra Belle and Jessie J
“Bang Bang” by Jessie J ft. Ariana Grande and Nicki Minaj
Easily the most spirited moment of the night happens when Chris Weaver returns as his drag persona, Nedra Belle, along with the divas from Stephanie’s Child (Jan Sport, Lagoona Bloo, and Rosé) and Jessie J, and they all just get it with this pep anthem. Everyone’s having a blast with nothing to lose, and I’m digging this so very, very much.
Chloe Kohanski and Billy Idol
“White Wedding” by Billy Idol
Chloe Kohanski gets more embedded in the ’80s by the minute, and tonight, she gets a chance to perform with Billy Idol in what should be a melt-the-house-down rendition of his classic jam. Problem is, neither of them seems to want to let this really rock — in fact, they never even move from where they’re standing — so it just seems surprisingly flat throughout. Pity.
“Tell Me You Love Me” by Demi Lovato
Demi Lovato shows up to perform her particular brand of breakup anthem, and the woman is nothing if not consistent on a live stage.
Davon Fleming and Jessie J
“Not My Ex” by Jessie J
Whereas Jessie J’s fist showcase was bright and colorful and 100 percent happy, this is incredibly subdued and almost AM radio friendly. There are some moments of fun vocal exploration on display here for both Jessie J and Davon Fleming, though, and, hey, why not mix up the pace with these final shows to keep us all alert before the big reveal?
Red Marlow and Vince Gill
“When I Call Your Name” by Vince Gill
This isn’t the first time Red Marlow has attempted to do a Vince Gill song this season. I didn’t like it last time, and I don’t especially like it this time, either. Granted, Vince Gill is a bit of life history for me since his was my very first concert ever, but hearing Red insert his generic honky tonk tones into what should be a sweet lament with lots of texture is…painful, even with Vince Gill there to do backup.
“Lemon” by N.E.R.D.
Pharrell Williams is back on The Voice — only this time it’s with his old friends Chad Hugo and Shay Haley to revive their late ’90s magic and promote their new album, No One Ever Really Dies. If this finale wasn’t already lit enough with Chris Blue’s production and a drag show performance, well, this dance soliloquy ought to do the trick. Looks like Pharrell’s having a lot of fun right about now.
“Snowman” by Sia
Even Sia does holiday music nowadays, even if it’s totally the kind you can picture yourself listening to after a few too many eggnogs as the fire starts to dim.
Which brings us to the results, at last. As Carson Daly announces with excruciating measure (including a commercial break), the top four shake out like so:
Fourth place: Red Marlow (Team Blake)
Third place: Brooke Simpson (Team Miley)
Second place: Addison Agen (Team Adam)
First place: Chloe Kohanski (Team Blake)
That means Chloe has managed to maintain the lead she established weeks ago and carry the edge over the equally talented Addison Agen. These two have been fan favorites for a reason, but it’s pretty clear Addison’s coach Adam Levine saw the writing on the wall here because before the top two are parsed out, he tells her again that tonight is just the beginning for her.
Meanwhile, Blake Shelton’s still just as sure as ever, and he tells his squire “sis” before she’s officially earned her trophy that he looks forward to opening her show someday. I’ll allow it, as long as they do that Roy Orbison bit again.
That’s it, folks! The Voice season 13 is done! I hope you had fun.