The Voice “Live Finale” Review

Nice guys don’t always finish last!

The time finally arrived to crown a new winner on The Voice! After the last two weeks of live performances, I cast my votes for Jermaine and Juliet. Truthfully, I was not optimistic about the final results. This season has been plagued with shenanigans and petty bickering and I feared that the finale would be not be any different. I decided to let the entire episode record on my DVR (while catching up on some of my other television addictions) and kept a close eye on Twitter.

As much as I love Hall and Oates, it was going to take more than the sweet, sweet sound of “Rich Girl” to compel me to view the finale the same night that it aired. Just about everyone from Justin Bieber to Terrence Trent D’arby performed on the finale. Thanks to the fast forward button, Hall and Oates was the only celebrity performance I watched and thanks to Twitter, I couldn’t wait to see the big reveal.

Of course, it would not be an episode of The Voice if Carson did not allow the judges to ramble on without limitation. Blake echoed my sentiments about the motley crew that made up the final four contestants. Cee Lo was a self-proclaimed loyalists, wore a t-shirt with the names of all of his team members and I’m pretty sure he said he was going to be Juliet. It was a slip but it made me giggle.

The finalists gave one last live performance but this time, they invited some of the former contestants to join them. First up, Jermaine decided to sing The Jackson 5’s “I Want You Back” with the assistance of Jamar, Pip and James. Songs by the Jackson 5 are in my personal vault of awesomeness where you will also find Billy Ocean, Hall and Oates and Lionel Richie’s video for “Hello.” Yes, the video. I was thrilled at the choice but if you’re doing the Jackson 5, why not add a fifth person and just make it numerically accurate? For a brief moment, I wondered if we would get a little Michael Jackson hologram action but then I remembered I was watching The Voice. I lowered my expectations from hologram to goofy dancers on the stage in afros and bell bottoms.

In case you missed it Scooter, James had the headband and Pip had the bowtie. I’m thankful that Jamar left his jeggings at home. The performance was AMAZING! James and Pip did not have the best vocal performances towards the end of their run on The Voice but they sounded great tonight. The guys even threw in some Jackson 5-inspired choreography and there were no goofy effects or silly distractions on stage. Perfection.

Random question – what did Juliet do to deserve being paired with Flo Rida? No one deserves that, not even Erin Martin.

Chris scored cool points with me when he chose Lindsey and Katrina to join him in a performance of “Bittersweet Symphony.” The Voice must have replenished its dry ice budget, which it then promptly emptied out again on this performance. This is officially my favorite performance by Chris on the show. He actually let loose and just sang the song. It was still Chris but less operatic. The uniqueness of the three voices worked really well together. This is the second song of the night that will now join my expanding iPod playlist.

Note to producers – these cross team mash ups worked really well. This would be a great addition to the next season of The Voice. Perhaps the mixed team performances could be done as a second chance for eliminated contestants to rejoin the show with a new team.

Chris, Tony and Jermaine performed Rich Girl with the legendary Hall and freakin’ Oates! I’m pretty sure their mics were on but even if they weren’t the only thing that mattered was that I could hear the sweet sounds of Darryl’s voice and John’s guitar. Again, I must ask – how did the producers justify pairing Juliet with Flo Rida while the guys got to sing with Hall and Oates???

Cheesa, Naia, Kim and Sarah returned to perform Stevie Wonder’s “Superstition.” The ladies did not have the same chemistry observed in the night’s previous performances. Although it was great to seem them again, the performance felt a little long and almost fell victim to my fast forward button.

Do you who I love more than Hall and Oates? RON EFFING SWANSON!!! He’s a simple man who loves brunette ladies (who may all be named Tammy) and breakfast foods. Although I knew there would be a Parks & Rec promo during the show, I still squealed with joy as Ron wielded the power of the swivel chair to avoid Leslie and Chris. I think Andy could have impressed Cee Lo if he had sung “The Pit.” No one can resist that song.

Juliet invited Jamar, RaeLynn and Erin to sing The Wonder Years theme song “With a Little Help From My Friends.” It is a testament to the impression Jamar left on his fellow contestants that he was invited to perform twice. Again, the eliminated contestants sounded fantastic and Juliet sounded like she was feeling much better.

There were a ton of outtakes about the judges used to fill the two-hour show. My favorite was the segment on Purrfect, who evidently pooped in Blake’s chair.

Tony asked Jordis to return and sing “Go Your Own Way.” The two got off to a rocky start, which I blame on trying to sing and walk down steps in high heels (Jordis, not Lucca) at the same time. The performance got better as it progressed and finished on a pretty strong note.

Although I fast-forwarded through Bieber, I gathered that my earlier observation about The Voice‘s dry ice budget was incorrect. The last of the budget was given to Bieber.

With Bieber and the last remnants of dry ice gone from the stage, it was finally time to reveal the winner. Carson allowed the finalists to share their thoughts and although I’m convinced they just needed to burn through the last 10 minutes of the show, it was nice to let them have their say. Results…

4. Chris Mann

3. Tony Lucca

2. Juliet Simms

and the winner, The Voice . . .

Jermaine Paul!!!!

After all the silly games between Tony, Christina and Adam, it was nice to see Jermaine holding back an ugly cry of victory! Congratulations to Blake, who has proven himself to be a great coach with a sincere investment in the success of his team members on and off the show. It was also nice to see Juliet earn a well-deserved place in the top two. She was a stellar performer. Despite all of my nitpicking with this season of The Voice, the final moments of the show reminded me of what separates it from its competitors.

What did you think of the finale? Sound off below!