The most important night of “The Voice” season 4 took place last night, and it’s anyone’s game. The final three competitors — Team Blake’s Danielle Bradbery and the Swon Brothers and Team Usher’s Michelle Chamuel — gave a final, stellar night of performances for America’s votes before the show crowns its new champion.
The high-energy night kicked off “With A Little Help From My Friends.” Not literally, but the Beatles song, performed by celebrity coaches Adam Levine, Blake Shelton, Usher and Shakira, whose connection was so electric they had the audience rocking out and waving hands.
But the show isn’t about the coaches, as witnessed by the tremendous popularity of the season 4 finalists, and with the vote now left in the hands of the viewers, the coaches merely cheered from the sidelines. The finalists, however, felt the pressure, performing three songs over the course of the night — one solo, one reprisal and one duet with their coach.
The Swon Brothers
Making “Voice” history as the only duo to make it to the finals, the “Oakies” opened the show with not just a new tune but a new look, swapping their casual country garb for a polished look with sleek black suits while tackling the Eagles’ “I Can’t Tell You Why.” Coach Shelton praised them for “constantly evolving” and a hard-to-please Levine finally gave in, telling them they did a “great job.” Originally the underdogs, the Swons gained serious momentum in the past few weeks, especially after “Danny’s Song,” a track they chose to reprise last night. The honest, simple performance with a piano proved their skill and ability to bring lyrics to life. For their final performance, the duo covered “Celebrity” with their coach. In true Americana, the boys donned flannel shirts and jeans, bringing it back to their fun, country roots, reminding the audience why we fell in love with them in the first place.
Team Usher’s lone fire starter has become the show’s voice for individuality, no pun intended. Being the odd one out has worked in Chamuel’s favor, but not as much as her rendition of “I Knew You Were Trouble,” which received a thumbs up from Taylor Swift herself. The quirky singer chose to re-create the defining moment, receiving a similar extended applause as her first time. Shakira called Chamuel’s energy “contagious” and Levine noted that you could not “fabricate” such a crowd reaction. For her second performance, Chamuel took on Annie Lennox’s “Why,” incorporating her signature theatrics including a mind-warping mirror trick, an emerging and disappearing choir and finally a plain blue backdrop reveal. Shakira donned Chamuel’s trademark black frames as she admired her “humility” and “talent.” She topped all that with an emotional duet of “One” with Usher. The touching performance put their friendship on full display and you could feel the coach/mentee connection through the screen.
She’s not only winning over Nashville, but fans across the country. Shelton’s country prodigy started her night with a performance alongside her mentor to “Timber, I’m Falling in Love.” The 16 year-old’s pitch perfect voice almost outshone her coach’s at times, as the clearly amiable pair delivered some lighthearted fare. Touted by her coach as the “most important singer” on the show and in country music right now, Bradbery brought back an oldie but a goodie with “Baby It Was Memphis,” a song that put her in the big leagues. “Holy cow” is all Shakira could muster, but Levine didn’t hold back, “I’m gonna go ahead and say it, I think Danielle’s the winner of this thing.” Her last song was fitting, called “Born to Fly.” Looking like a young Miranda Lambert, Bradbery went the more traditional country route and continued to have fans “wrapped around her finger.” Even competing coach Usher had to admit, “You, my friend, are a special thing.”
The performances didn’t end there. The show welcomed back its top 16, who came together with the final three for a sweet rendition of “Home.”
After weeks and weeks of anticipation, “The Voice” will reveal its season 4 winner Tuesday night (June 18). And, unlike last year, it seems too close to call.