Whew! The final four contestants on “The Voice” were busy-sy-sy last night, performing three times each. It’s getting down to the wire for Jermaine Paul, Juliet Simms, Chris Mann and Tony Lucca, and Monday was their last shot at wooing America before the season finale tonight.
For some of them, it worked.
Now, since each finalist performed three times — once in tribute to their coach, once with their coach, and once solo — America can only vote on their solo performance. Tricky, no? Yes. But, for the first time, coaches input has zero impact on contestant rankings. (Which means: NO MORE MATH!) It’s all on you, America, so let’s get to the performances that counted last night.
Team Blake — Jermaine Paul: “I Believe I Can Fly”
Jermaine took the stage, opened his mouth, and we were all immediately transported back to elementary school when “Space Jam” was the best thing to happen to children’s cinema since “The Little Mermaid.” His voice was flying with him, and emotions were soaring, too: Jermaine broke down in tears. Almost too choked up to talk later, Jermaine said “I tried to leave my heart on stage.”
Team Adam — Tony Lucca: “99 Problems”
I was so jazzed for this; I know every word to this song and I’ve made my poor boyfriend suffer too many times to count with my car-ride renditions. I couldn’t wait to hear Tony’s take on it, but sadly, I was disappointed. This was his last-ditch effort to prove his voice? It proved his versatility, and showmanship, with the re-working’s twangy, country tones, but I don’t think this will resonate with America. Please, voters, prove me wrong.
Team Christina — Chris Mann: “You Raise Me Up”
And with this, I finally figured out why I love Chris Mann. It’s the transitive property, really: I friggin’ love Josh Groban, and thus, I friggin’ love Chris Mann. It’s good to see Chris fully in his element still, going all-out with his opera swag, and his singing, again, had everyone in tears. “You are cool,” Cee Lo said, simply. “If I ever fall in love, sing at my wedding.”
Team Cee Lo — Juliet Simms: “Free Bird”
I hate(d) this song. Always have. I have held it in severe, inexplicable contempt. But with Juliet singing it, with her raw, raspy earnestness and grit, I finally get it. It was mournful and triumphant, it was powerful and sincere, and just, I get it now. Juliet has blown everyone away this season — Cee Lo called her the breakout star, and I agree.
Contestants also got a chance to pay homage to their coaches by performing one of the coaches songs for them; kinda seems like a self-aggrandizing thing on the coaches’ parts, but these performances had some pleasant surprises. Some brief observations:
Juliet Simms: Cee Lo’s “Crazy”
Who’d of thought: you don’t need a crazy-high voice to do this song justice?
Chris Mann: Christina’s “The Voice Within”
I mean, if anyone can sing Christina Aguilera songs better than Christina herself, it’s Chris Mann.
Jermaine Paul: Blake’s “God Gave Me You”
When R&B goes country, good things happen.
'The Voice' recap: One last chance to impress for final four
Juliet Simms performs on "The Voice." (Justin Lubin/NBC / May 8, 2012)