‘The Voice’ 926 Live Finales Kicking It

The Voice 926 Live Finales Kicking It 2015 blake bulge shelton images

The Voice 926 Live Finales Kicking It 2015 blake bulge shelton imagesIt is crazy to think season 9 of The Voice is coming to an end this week, but that is exactly what is happening! This week, each of the four remaining singers is taking the stage to show that they have what it takes to win this season’s competition. While there are still four contestants remaining, unfortunately after last week coach Pharrell Williams was eliminated out of the running since his final team member, Madi Davis was sent home.

Thus, leaving lovebirds Blake and Gwen, as well as Adam Levine battling it out against each other, as they mentor their final singers towards the winning title.

So, who is left in the competition?

  1. Jordan Smith of Team Adam
  2. Emily Ann Roberts of Team Blake
  3. Barrett Baber of Team Blake
  4. Jeffrey Austin of Team Gwen

Here’s the recap of tonight’s final performances:

Jordan Smith

Team Adam

“Climb Every Mountain” by Peggy Wood

The episode kicks off with Jordan Smith, as he decides to tackle a track from The Sound of Music. They decide to keep things simple in terms of the backdrop, as Jordan is simply suited up on some sort of metal pedestal in the middle of the stage. Unlike many artists, Jordan is one to get away with minimal movement during his performances.

After last week’s performance of “Somebody to Love,” I was a little bit disappointed. While his vocals were spot-on, I just preferred the attitude and confidence that he had last week. This week was a lot more formal feeling, which Jordan is completely capable of pulling off, but I just prefer him when he is a bit more contemporary. Nonetheless, Jordan showcases his incredible range and undoubtedly deserves the standing ovation he received from the crowd, as well as coaches Adam and Pharrell.

Emily Ann Roberts

Team Blake

“Blue Christmas” by Elvis Presley

All of the finalists also got to choose their favorite Holiday tune to sing for votes. Emily stuns in a sparkly turquoise dress, while on a snowflake shaped pedestal for her performance. She definitely puts her bluegrass twist on the song, which is what Blake has been encouraging her to sustain throughout the competition. While I thought Emily looked particularly beautiful for her performance, the song was pretty bland and didn’t give her too many chances to really show off her talent – hopefully, she is just saving it for her big performance piece later in the show.

Barrett Baber duets with Blake Shelton

“Rhinestone Cowboy” by Glenn Campbell

Barrett and Blake totally geek out over getting to duet this cowboy country hit. Both Adam and Gwen were probably jealous watching the behind-the-scenes clip, as Blake is seen hugging Barrett while they practice the song in rehearsals.

Again, I am not a huge country fan, but I didn’t feel this was a very strong performance – for both Barrett and Blake. They both seem to excel in their lower registers; therefore, the higher portions of the song seemed to be a struggle for both of them.

Jeffrey Austin

Team Gwen

“O Holy Night”

Jeffrey’s holiday song of choice was “O Holy Night,” which unfortunately did not start off too strong. He hit a few flats right from the get-go, and it took him a while to find his stride – although even towards the end there were a few moments that sounded off. I don’t think the song turned into the grand performance that he was hoping for when he choose the song. Hopefully, his big performance piece can make up for this.

Jordan Smith duets with Adam Levine

“God Only Knows” by The Beach Boys

Although Jordan has the upper hand, both him and Adam have the ability to vocally navigate their upper registers well. Therefore, this airy Beach Boys hit seems like the perfect piece for them – plus it will hopefully show a more laid back Jordan, in contrast to his first performance of the night.

However, during the performance they seemed to be singing in unison for almost all of the song. It would have been nice to hear them do some harmonies. It was only at the very end when they started (minimally) playing around with separating their voices.

Barrett Baber

Team Blake

“Die a Happy Man” by Thomas Rhett

Barrett utilizes the romantic lyrics of his performance piece to evoke his love for his wife. An interesting backdrop surrounded him, as it was set up to look like he was near a dock leading into the ocean. This was a nice change from the spotlight and gospel in the background that seems to be the default visual set-up on the show.

I don’t know what I am missing with Barrett, but I just found his performance once again extremely bland. Undoubtedly he has a great voice, but so does every other singer on YouTube.

Emily Ann Roberts duets with Blake Shelton

“Islands in the Stream” by Dolly Parton

Blake definitely came back swinging with this performance. His vocals were much better with this pairing, than with his previous duet with Barrett.

Emily’s high voice complemented Blake’s really well. They also had some really strong harmonies between the two of them. I was happy that Emily was able to utilize her duet performance to actually showcase her talents, as the previous duets have been either lacking (Barrett and Blake) or mediocre (Jordan and Adam).

Jeffrey Austin

Team Gwen

“Stay” by Sugarland

Jeffrey fully realizes that he channeled a whole other energy when he was faced with the risk of being eliminated last week. He tells his mentor Gwen that he is planning to bring that back for tonight’s performances.

The performance starts off slow but begins to pick up at the chorus. The second half of the performance was strong and allows him to show his upper register and ability to incorporate a suitable amount of grit into his vocals. Personally, I thought last week he did better but it was still a solid performance.

Barrett Baber

Team Blake

“Silent Night”

Barrett opts to country-ify “Silent Night.” Early on, he has a noticeable slip-up, as you see a slight smirk on his face as he tries to recover. In addition, there is a group of backup singers at the very back of the stage half swaying, which was kind of weird. I don’t know maybe I am being over-critical, but I am just ready for him to go home.

Jeffrey Austin duets with Gwen Stefani

“Leather and Lace” Stevie Nicks and Don Henley

I am sorry, I like Gwen Stefani and she has some good songs, but she just isn’t cut out for ballads. Her voice is much better for the spunky pop records she makes and thus, she struggles in her duet with Jeffrey. However, this isn’t the worst thing in the world because Jeffrey is able to steal the show. And Gwen does manage to get it together – a bit more – towards the end of the duet.

Jordan Smith

Team Adam

“Mary, Did You Know?”

Jordan is the only contestant who really took his Holiday song to the next level. I actually enjoyed it more than his performance piece. Both his vocals and the staging worked perfectly with the song. I am so happy he was able to have a breakout moment again – even if it came in the form of a Christmas song.

Emily Ann Roberts

Team Blake

“Burning House” by Cam

While most singers have been going with throwbacks, Emily chooses “Burning House,” which is a current hit song. Blake claims that Emily could be the next “Taylor Swift or Carrie Underwood,” which I completely agree and actually said a few weeks back.

Emily definitely had the most interesting staging of the night, as flames burned behind her voluminous, curled locks. She looks like a country star already. I thought Jordan had it in the bag after his last performance, but I think Emily is giving him a run for his money. Emily puts a lot more emotion and conviction behind the lyrics in comparison to previous weeks. It seems that she has come into her own right at the perfect moment – the finale. Although her performance was subtle, it still managed to be a lot more captivating than some of the other competitors’ performances where they were doing vocal runs left, right and center.

Ultimately, after tonight’s episode I think Emily has won me over (which is a big accomplishment considering she is a strictly country artist). I just think she has all of the factors that will lend to an incredibly successful career in the music industry. That said, I don’t think Jordan will disappear anytime soon with a voice like his.

And that’s it for tonight.

You can catch a recap of the finale performances, followed by the results that will tell us who the winner of this season’s The Voice is, tomorrow night on NBC.

Now for some Blake Shelton Gwen Stefani dish:

While taping the first part of season 9’s live finale in Universal City, California, on Monday, the duo kept up their sweet report while the cameras weren’t looking.

The singer, 46, walked over to Shelton’s chair during a break, and the two giggled and smiled while conversing. Later, after Shelton performed while Stefani looked on approvingly, the country crooner stopped to whisper in her ear. The pair hasn’t been shy about their love on set, and the latest episode wasn’t any exception.

It wasn’t all smiles for the “Used to Love You” singer, though. Stefani got emotional, tearing up during contestant Barrett Baber’s rendition of Thomas Rhett’s “Die a Happy Man.”

After host Carson Daly called out her tears, she responded, “It all came together, letting it come out and tell a story it was really really good.”

During a press conference, Shelton, who has been dating Stefani over the past few months, said he felt this season of the show was special because of the relationship between the costars.

“I’ll tell you one of the things for me personally is getting back to this particular combination of coaches,” he said of season 9. “There’s something to be said about every combination… But there’s something about this one that is a standout to me because there’s just so much history here with these four coaches. You can’t fake that. There’s friendships that go way back. When you get to work with your friends like … who gets to do that? It’s pretty cool.”

The singer, 39, also continued his push to get Stefani back as a fifth coach on the show’s next season, teasing Daly about his pull in the matter as executive producer.

“I’ll see you next season Gwen,” Shelton said, with hope.

I think we’ll all take Gwen any day over Christian Aguilera.