By Emilie Cruz
With the competition coming down to the wire, the final three singers of “The Voice” hit the stage one last time Monday night (May 19) to prove why they deserve to win.
But before Team Adam’s Christina Grimmie, Team Usher’s Josh Kaufman, and Team Blake’s Jake Worthington left it all on the line, coaches Shakira and Shelton joined forces to perform their heartfelt duet “Medicine,” while coaches Usher and Levine raised the heat to a level that may have been too sexy for television with their duet of D’angelo’s “Untitled (How Does It Feel).”
The contestants sang a past fan favorite, a new song and a duet with their respective coaches. Here’s a closer look at the night’s performances:
Jake Worthington, The Returned
Team Blake’s Jake Worthington’s “Voice” journey started way back in season five, when he hit the blind audition stage, but failed to get any chairs to turn around. Since then, the 18-year-old not only returned to get three out of four chairs to turn around, but also made it to the season six finale.
With that said, Worthington’s fans voted for the country singer to perform the song that got those chairs to turn around: his blind performance of Keith Whitley’s “Don’t Close Your Eyes.” Wielding his guitar and backed by a string section, Worthington’s earned a standing ovation from his coach, and marked the moment in which he went from adorable to credible for Shakira.
For his new song, Worthington took on Richard Marx’s “Right Here Waiting.” He got another standing ovation from Shelton, and praises from Usher and Shakira for a “spotless” performance of “country-fied versions of iconic songs,” all the while pulling at our heartstrings. Shelton declared that there has never been a more “sincere narrator or messenger of a lyric” on the show before joining his artist for a shake-and-baking – we mean, “Jake-and-Blaking” – performance of Hank Williams Jr.’s “A Country Boy Can Survive.”
Christina Grimmie, The Saved
Team Adam’s Christina Grimmie was the last singer to be instantly saved before the finale, and she and her fans both agreed that the best way to commemorate how far she has come was to sing the song that introduced her to the “Voice” world. Starting on a podium high off the stage, the young singer crushed Miley Cyrus’ “Wrecking Ball” and got a standing ovation from coach Levine.
Grimmie then joined forces with Levine for an almost too perfect performance of Gotye’s “Somebody That I Used To Know” before giving an impeccable performance of Elvis Presley’s “Can’t Help Falling In Love.” Beginning the performance a cappella, the “warrior princess” earned a standing ovation from her coach, and praises for a “flawless” rendition by Shakira.
Josh Kaufman, The Stolen
Josh Kaufman started his “Voice” journey as a member of Team Adam. But during his battle round against Delvin Choice, Levine made the difficult decision to let go of Kaufman, leaving him to be stolen by Usher.
With that said, Kaufman’s fans voted to have him sing the very song that got Usher to steal him: Stevie Wonder’s “Signed, Sealed, Delivered.” The soulful singer’s effortless performance got enthusiastic head bobs, dancing, and a standing ovation from coach Usher, and twisted the knife in Levine’s back by bringing him back to the fateful moment that signed, sealed, and delivered – see what we did there? – his former artist to Team Usher.
Usher’s vocals blended beautifully with his singer’s as they joined forces for an incredible performance of Sting’s “Every Breath You Take” before Kaufman closed out the night with a performance of Adele’s “Set Fire to the Rain” that left us in complete awe. The singer succumbed to all the vulnerability and emotion that such a song calls for, and earned a hollering standing ovation from his coach.
Be sure to tune in to NBC Tuesday night at 8 p.m. ET as “The Voice” finally crowns its winner, and Ed Sheeran, OneRepublic and Coldplay perform.