Welcome to the Danielle Bradbery coronation – er, I mean, The Voice finale!
Ok, that’s not fair, maybe something wild will happen. The rules of this show are so opaque and mysterious that I’ve had four instances in the last few weeks where I got something wrong in a recap, and the person correcting me subsequently got something ELSE wrong during the correction. So, who the hell really knows for sure anything that’s going to happen on this show?
But here’s what I do know: Past iTunes sales count as votes and Danielle very likely has the most, and Danielle’s performance last night ranked higher on iTunes than either of her competitors’ efforts, albeit by a slim margin. I’m not discounting Michelle or the Swons’ chances to win, I just don’t see any hard evidence to indicate that either will.
On the more subjective side of things, Danielle has never been at any risk of going home this season. This feels like her season. It’s definitely her coach’s season, and the way Blake Shelton saddled up season 4 and rode it right into the heart of country music is extremely impressive, even if it’s made me rather indifferent towards the show. In past seasons, I watched equally for the competition and the music. This season, it’s been a long, long time since I cared even one bit about most of the music. It’s all about the competition, as well the small moments like Usher with Michelle last night.
Not that I have anything against country music or its fans. I’ve just never had any interest in it, and now having been exposed to more country music the last three months than I ever thought possible, I can safely confirm that I WILL never have any interest in it. But then, I’ve listened to ‘Yeezus’ for something like 20 hours the last few days, and if an entire season of ‘The Voice’ was filled with Kanye songs I suspect a whole lot of people would be unhappy. To each his own.
The final show of the season is upon us, and so the final recap of the season is upon me! Hope you brought confetti. Let’s get to it.
-The hardest working artificial lifeform in show business, Carson Daly, welcomes us to the finale. Following tonight’s episode, he will be returned to his stasis chamber, where he will recharge until the Fall season.
-Not going to lie, I watched ‘America’s Got Talent’ for the first time before this, and the Chinese lady who juggled bowls while riding a unicycle is more impressive than anything I’ve seen on ‘The Voice’ this season. I might have to jump ship (no, I’m not; I’m just a little bitter about the whole season and lashing out).
-Carson announces “Performances by Pitbull…” and I immediately get up, grab a bottle of wine, and sit back down. It’s going to be a long night.
-Oh, Pitbull is performing with Xtina. That’s EXACTLY what I needed. Drinking heavily. Actually, it’s jarring to see Xtina doing something on The Voice other than making catty comments about other coaches’ singers and losing.
-Time for “Carson interviews the judges.” Shakira baked Blake a cake, Adam backs off his Danielle prediction, bespectacled Usher continues to promote Michelle like a champ, and Blake claims he doesn’t give a crap about a three-peat and is rightly called out by Adam for his BS.
-The Swons bring back Justin Rivers, Holly Tucker, and Amber Carrington for a performance. These are always fun. It’s hard to believe that Justin Rivers went home when he did, I could see a world where he’d be in this finale instead of the Swons. Alas. Anyway, everyone sounds good.
-Christina Milian introduces a video of fans doing their coach impressions. It’s as bad as it sounds.
-We’re now treated to our now-traditional Blake/Adam bromance video. Always enjoyable.
-Michelle joins One Republic for a performance. It makes me feel old that I don’t really know the difference between One Republic and One Direction, except that this is the one I like more. Enjoying this song quite a bit.
-Montage of Usher’s unique brand of coaching. He’s been awesome this season, and not just because of his unconventional rehearsal tactics. As the season’s progressed, he’s become the same kind of expert song picker that Blake has been for a few seasons now. Anyway, the bit is that Blake is doing the same kind of unconventional coaching with his team, and it’s pretty funny.
-Here’s Florida Georgia Line with…NELLY! Oh, that’s a lot of fun. Carson calls it “literally the perfect summer song,” so that’s something.
-It’s the last Christina Milian segment of the season. Drink! She’s crying. Little strong, Christina.
-Garrett Gardener, Josiah Hawley, Kris Thomas, and Vedo join up for a painful rendition of “Ain’t Too Proud To Beg”. Holly Tucker’s sax cameo is the lone highlight.
-Danielle is joined by Amber, Caroline, and Sarah to perform “All-American Girl.” A little disappointed for Caroline – whose indie coffee house vibe would have worked awesome in other seasons with other coaches – and Sarah – who can rock as hard as season 2 runner-up Juliet Simms but rarely got the opportunity. Whatever. I’m just waiting for the Holly Tucker sax solo that never comes.
-Outtakes from The Voice confessionals, which themselves are basically outtakes.
-Bruno Mars takes the stage. He was really impressive hosting SNL in the Fall, maybe the biggest surprise of the season. Admission: I may or may not have spent the last 5 minutes looking up the “Sexy Sax Man” video to make a Holly Tucker joke. Anyway, this is my favorite performance of the night. Just a whole lot of fun.
-Here’s Bob Seger and the Swon Brothers, smartly (SMARTLY!) playing a harmless acoustic song. If I switched this to a live blog of the NBA Finals, would you notice?
-KAWHI LEONARD TIP-IN AT THE HALFTIME BUZZER! … Fine, I’ll go back to The Voice.
-Montage of Shakira using big words. Like Usher, she’s come off really well this season too. I’ll miss our new judges.
-Cathia, Judith Hill, Karina Iglesias, and Sasha Allen join forces for a spirited “Never Gonna Get It”. Now this is what I’m talking about! I’ll ignore the fact that Judith is wearing a tablecloth, because Good Lord do I miss having her around. Great song choice, and an awesome performance all around.
-Montage of…moments…with the contestants. Okay. Hey, everyone gets a new car! It gives the opportunity for the little Swon Brother to bring back to the term “Swoncerts”. Congratulations on your Kia, everybody.
-Carson tells us, “We are less than 30 minutes away from the winner being announced!” Not sure I’m going to make it, you guys.
-Danielle and Hunter Hayes take the stage. They’re really good. Danielle is nothing if not polished, which is what makes her remarkable.
-Michelle brings back Josiah, Vedo, and Cathia to reunite Team Usher. They’re singing “You Can Work It Out” and having a lot of fun out there. More of a karaoke party than a serious performance, which is just fine by me.
-The contestants talk about how much they want to win. We’re down the home stretch!
-That was worth sticking around for. Who’s going to say anything bad about Cher?! Not me, that’s who.
Aaaaaaaand here we go. Everyone’s dressed for prom. Carson gets some final thoughts from all the contestants. LET’S DO THIS! BUSINESS TIME!
Finishing in THIRD PLACE on SEASON 4 of The Voice is…
The Swon Brothers.
Hey I got it right! My one and only correct prediction of the season! Let’s go ahead and make it two…
THE SEASON 4 CHAMPION OF THE VOICE IS….
Michelle Chamuel finishes runner-up.
Congratulations to Danielle and her fans, and may she be the first artist from this show to have real mainstream success.
Thanks for reading, everyone. Until next season.