With a recording contract on the line, the final three on "The Voice" returned to the stage Monday night for part one of the NBC show’s sixth-season finale.
Team Adam Levine’s Christina Grimmie, Team Blake Shelton’s Jake Worthington, and Team Usher’s Josh Kaufman reprised a fan-favorite performance from earlier in the season, and also sang one new song. Shakira does not have any artists remaining in the competition.
Here’s a rundown of what happened:
Christina Grimmie got things started by singing Miley Cyrus’ “Wrecking Ball,” which she initially performed during her blind audition. Blake said he’s not surprised the fans chose that song, because it showed what she can do at her best. Shakira said Christina has the highest register of any of the finalists. Adam thought Christina topped her audition, adding, “I’m bursting with pride.”
America’s choice for Jake Worthington was Keith Whitley’s “Don't Close Your Eyes.” Shakira said Jake has gained credibility through strong performances like that one. Adam commented that Jake has a memorable tone. Blake praised Jake for harkening back to artists like Keith Whitley, who died when he was 34.
The fans gave Stevie Wonder’s “Signed, Sealed, Delivered I'm Yours” to Josh Kaufman -- the song he performed before Usher stole him from Adam earlier in the season. Blake complimented Josh’s ad-libbing, while also poking fun at Adam’s blond hair -– again -– by calling him “Jennie Garth.” Usher declared that Josh “is the new voice.”
For the second round, Blake assigned Jake the Richard Marx hit “Right Here Waiting.” Usher said it was “spotless.” Shakira detected subtleties and nuisances in Jake’s vocals that she hadn’t heard before. Blake described his artist as a sincere narrator of lyrics.
Christina tackled Elvis Presley’s “Can't Help Falling In Love.” Blake enjoyed the arrangement. Both he and Usher felt it was a courageous song choice. Shakira said Christina continues to push the boundaries of what she can achieve. Adam stated, perhaps only half-jokingly, that Blake and Usher were underwhelming with their praise. He believed that Christina will win the competition.
Josh closed the show by performing Adele’s “Set Fire to the Rain.” Usher stood up and screamed when it was finished. Taking a cue from Adam’s critique of Christina, he predicted Josh will be the new Voice champ. Adam only had enough time to say, “You’re super-amazing.”
Throughout the broadcast, each artist teamed up with his or her coach for a duet. Josh and Usher took on The Police classic “Every Breath You Take”; Christina and Adam sang Gotye’s “Somebody That I Used to Know”; and Jake and Blake covered Hank Williams, Jr.’s "A Country Boy Can Survive.”
In addition, Shakira and Blake performed “Medicine,” their collaboration on her self-titled album, and Adam and Usher delivered a rendition of D’Angelo’s "Untitled (How Does It Feel).”
The new champion will be awarded a recording contract with Universal Music Group.