Biggest Heartthrob: Bruno Mars, “When I Was Your Man”
Forget the so-called heartbreakers who murdered “Stacy’s Mom” — did you hear how nuts the crowd was going for Bruno? Maybe it was because the lyrics of his song were created in a lab to make girls swoon (“Too young, too dumb to realize / That I should have bought you flowers and held your hand”), or because they were trying to persuade him to ditch those Cee Lo shades and show off his pretty face.
Best Throwback, R&B Edition: Nicholas David, Trevin Hunte, Dez Duron, and Amanda Brown, “End of the Road”
Fact: It is impossible to hear this song and not immediately yearn to slow dance at an awkward middle school Spring Fling, regardless of how old/unborn you were in 1992. The quartet performed it pretty well, too, even if Trevin’s verse was completely incomprehensible and Amanda’s strong vocals are a little too overpowering in a song that relies on blending harmonies. I hope that somewhere, ex-Sing-Off judge Shawn Stockman was watching and smiling.
Least Surprising: Avril Lavigne and Cassadee Pope, “I’m With You”
Has Avril grown weary of singing songs she wrote when she was 17? No matter — of course she’d show up to perform one of her biggest singles with Cassadee, her spiritual successor, and of course she’d wear what appeared to be silver sequined chucks while doing so. The only quasi-shock here was that Cassadee yielded to her idol on those big, climactic “I’M WITH YAA-HOOO-OOOO”s.
Most Moving: Adam Levine, Blake Shelton, Cee Lo Green, and Christina Aguilera, “Good Riddance (Time of Your Life)”
Aw, Christina and Cee Lo are graduating from The Voice — for one season, at least. To celebrate their imminent departure, the coaches got together for a performance of every graduate’s favorite and least favorite song. (Perhaps they couldn’t get the rights to Vitamin C’s “Graduation (Friends Forever.)”) And while this tune is about as manipulative as Scarlett O’Hara in a dress made of curtains, it still packs a legitimate emotional punch — even when one fourth of it is sung by an alien preacher wearing a spangly zebra-printed romper.
So there you have it: Season 3 has come to a close, and season 4 — which will replace Cee Lo and Xtina with Usher and Shakira — is quickly creeping up on the horizon. Are you satisfied with Cassadee’s win, or were you hoping for someone else to take the crown? Which finale performances had you tapping your toes, and which had you covering your ears? Do you think the new judges will have chemistry with Adam and Blake, based on that cheesy ad for season 4, or are you worried about the future of the show? And finally: who got that last brand-new Kia? There were four cars onstage, but just three finalists! You can’t pull the wool over our eyes forever, Carson!