It’s been a long, strange trip, kids, but we’re here. We’re at the final set of performances, the final round of voting, to choose the winner of The Voice Season 2. Say it again, it’s delicious: WE MADE IT! Christina Aguilera's poor, moisture-deprived hair made it! Purrfect the wonder kitty made it! Carson Daly made it and can go back to...whatever it was he was doing before getting roped into this. Last Call? Is Last Call still on? Yes? Sweet.
Last night’s show was chock full of performances—TWELVE—to fill the entirely unnecessary two hours of air time. No musical special musical guests. I guess that budget was blown on Bieber’s upcoming finale performance. Greeeeat.
Anyway, the TWELVE performances could be divided into three distinct types, only one of which was up for judging—officially. There were the Tributes, where each of our finalists chose one of their mentors’ songs to perform as a sort of “Thank You for Not Kicking Me Off Of Your Team” card. There were the Duets, which paired our finalists up with their mentors for a performance meant to...fill time. And finally, there were the performances that actually mattered: the Final Performances. The judges have absolutely zero say in the outcome this week’s competition, with all scores being based on America’s voting results.
How did everything turn out, you ask? Pretty awesome. Kudos to Christina and Juliet Simms for their A+ efforts, despite being openly cold-stricken and, frankly, looking like they couldn’t possibly feel like anything less than hell. Seriously thought Christina was going to fall over after her duet with Chris Mann. Get yourself some Ny-Quil, lady.
Juliet Simms (Team Cee Lo)—“Crazy”
Chris Mann (Team Christina)—“The Voice Within”
Jermaine Paul (Team Blake)—“God Gave Me You”
Tony Lucca (Team Adam)—“Harder to Breathe”
Chris Mann and Christina Aquilera—“The Prayer”
Juliet Simms and Cee Lo Green—“Born to be Wild”
Jermaine Paul and Blake Shelton—“Soul Man”
Tony Lucca and Adam Levine—“Yesterday”
The Final Performances (in chronological order)
Jermaine Paul—“I Believe I Can Fly”
While the rest of America waited for Juliet Simms’ successor to her badass “Roxanne” performance and seemed to find it in last week’s “It’s a Man’s Man’s Man’s World,” I was holding out for Jermaine Paul to wow me again like he did when he sang “Against All Odds” however many weeks ago.
It happened this week. And that’s fitting, right? The title is on the line, man, time to pull out the big guns.
It was pretty and quiet. There were waify violin players in wispy prom dresses. And then BAM. Jermaine rocked it, blasting the final chorus away. That’s what I’ve been WAITING for!
Tony Lucca—“99 Problems”
The only finalist who didn’t feel obligated to get all slow and pretty for his final competitive performance, the former Mouseketeer (and won’t we all be happy not to hear that phrase repeated every week? Seriously, there is NO other way to describe the man? Really?) grabbed a steel guitar and tackled that fabulous freaking Jay-Z song. It was catchy. I don’t know if it was as breathtaking as the other performances, but it was fun, and it’s a song that people like (which I firmly believe is half the battle when it comes to snagging votes).
Oh, except Christina. Christina jumped on the “this song is derogatory to women” bandwagon (which I thought was hilarious coming from someone who basically made her career out of objectifying herself) and slammed Tony and Adam for their song choice. Adam defended it by arguing that the B— in “99 Problems” isn’t a woman, it’s LIFE, MAN.
Just...sit down. God. Both of you. You’re both right and you’re both wrong. Just. Sit. Down.
Chris Mann—“You Raise Me Up”
Ah, a Josh Groban song. Shocker. But hey, Chris Mann has flourished since embracing his opera-star side. Like Jermaine Paul who preceded him, he was also supported by a platoon of violinists and backing singers. His singers knew sign language though, so, you know, brownie points.
Mann's performance brought Christina to tears and I know, I know, I’ve called him a robot in the past, but he’s become sentient over the past few performances and tonight, I thought he brought the emotion just fine.
Clearly, this means we have to shut down Skynet NOW.
I could knock Simms for picking this Skynyrd classic and missing its entire point (the epic guitar solo), but really, it was a nice blend of the pretty that dominated most of the evening and the signature badassery she’s so proud of. Plus she pretty much owned it, despite being clearly under the weather.
I also really loved that dress. Very Cee Lo Green meets Florence and the Machine. Rawr.
Who do you think will be the Season 2 champion?