NBC’s ‘The Voice’ finale review: Juliet Simms, Chris Mann step it up

Who is poised to win?

We’ve made it to “The Voice” finale — and overall, it was the perfect way to send off a singing show for the season. There was an impressive 12 performances over the course of the two hours, and they were split up into three separate themes.

1. An individual performance

2. A song from their coaches’ catalog (this had to be hard for Jermaine Paul)

3. A song with their coach

Who shined? The race for first may actually be closer to call than you would think going into the broadcast:

Jermaine Paul

Individual performance, “I Believe I Can Fly” – Before this performance, Jermaine was one of those performers that we could never really “get.” He always acted too intense on stage, and felt like he was constantly the guy who was getting saddled with the same sort of songs every week.

While “I Believe I Can Fly” was in the same vein as “Against All Odds,” it was easily his best vocal in weeks on the show — even if it started to slowly teeter out of control as it progressed from beginning to end.

Coach Tribute, “God Gave Me You” – This was unexpected … mostly in that we didn’t expect it to be as good as it was. Jermaine kept a bit of Blake’s country soul, and yet created a song that really sound like he could have been the one who originally recorded it.

Duet, “Soul Man” – Jermaine actually did a better job with “God Gave Me You” than singing with a country singer in Blake on this cheesball duet. It was a good time, though it’s hard to say how much support it will get for a competition that is technically supposed to be about the singing.

Juliet Simms

Coach tribute, “Crazy” – This “contestants performing their coaches’ songs” twist did not benefit Juliet much — mostly because she is a hardcore rocker trying to tackle a song that was more from the world of soul / funk.

This was the first time we heard Juliet perform, and she was obviously still suffering from whatever illness has messed with her the past few days. Let’s hope that it doesn’t impact the voting.

Duet, “Born To Be Wild” – What a perfect song choice for these two — it played perfectly to Juliet’s rock style, and it also allowed the two to show off some of that crazy entertainment that Cee Lo helped her to cultivate.

While this was one of the most-entertaining performances of the night, the question still remains — was it enough of a moment to actually convince people to vote for her?

Individual performance, “Free Bird” – With her new darker hair, Juliet closed the show with one of the hardest songs imaginable — and did an incredible job with it while wearing what appeared to be a cape made of someone’s red drapes.

Chris Mann

Duet, “The Prayer” – This was actually a rather big challenge for both Chris and Christina — as they were having to emulate Celine Dion and Andrea Bocelli for this classic ballad.

Outside of Christina nearly having a wardrobe malfunction during the performance, this may have been one of the most special numbers that we’ve heard in the entire history of this show. It was touching, subtle, and the complete opposite of the overdone numbers that we frequently see.

Coach tribute, “The Voice Within” – While there were a few moments when we had no idea what Chris was trying to sing, it was clearly a pretty heartfelt tribute to a song that’s not easy to sing. Admittedly, we were more than a little bit curious as to what the letter in the background said for the first half of the song.

Individual performance, “You Raise Me Up” – Even though we could smell this song choice coming a mile away, that really shouldn’t take away from the fact that it was a stellar performance. It really doesn’t matter if Chris wins, mostly because his life is not going to be the same again.

Tony Lucca

Individual performance, “99 Problems” – Once again, Christina Aguilera managed to try and throw Tony under the bus — this time for the content of the song being derogatory towards women. She does have a point in that we wouldn’t sing this in front of our wife and kid — even if it was a pretty rockin’ solid vocal.

Hats off again to Adam Levine for really pushing Tony to really do more than just be a guy with a guitar — he’s made him into a bona fide rock star.

Duet, “Yesterday” – For the first time all season, Adam Levine actually sang with one of his team members! This version of The Beatles classic was effortless in its delivery, even though it may have also been so subdued that people are going to forget about it.

Coach tribute, “Harder To Breathe” – What’s with the predictable song choices? While we would have preferred hearing Tony sing the stellar “She Will Be Loved,” he did a great job on this — which is harder than it looks at first thanks to its rapid-fire diction.

Who was your favorite from the show, and who do you think is going to ultimately to win? If we had to rank the contestants, we actually would still agree with our rankings from over the weekend:

4. Jermaine

3. Tony

2. Chris

1. Juliet

Check back Tuesday for a look at the second part of the season finale!

Photo: NBC


Love TV? Be sure to like Matt & Jess on Facebook for more updates!