CammWess, Micah, Thunderstorm, Todd and Toneisha bring it everything they've got with a round of cover songs and original singles to try and win the final vote.
It all comes down to ten final performances among five finalists on "The Voice" performance finale, and we even got a real sense of who the Top 5 are as artists.
For this finale, each of the five finalists were tasked with performing twice, once on a cover and then again on an original song, which meant they had to learn something wholly unfamiliar to them. But you can't win if you don't put in the work, right?
The show mixed up the covers and originals throughout the night, but for our purposes we're keeping them separated into different rounds -- so we can easier judge and compare them!
It was a great chance for CammWess, Micah Iverson, Thunderstorm Artis, Todd Tilghman and Toneisha Harris to give us a sneak preview of what kind of an artist we're putting our votes behind.
After what we considered a rough week for Thunderstorm during the semi-finals, he stepped up in a big way this week with some powerful performances. At the same time, one of our favorites last week just didn't connect at all.
And then, there was one contestant who really showed up to win this whole thing, absolutely blowing our minds with each performance. There were two rounds of competition, but only one dominant performer.
Just for giggles, I'm going to rank the performances from worst to first in each round to see who my favorites are. Then we can see how close America is to getting it right, i.e. agreeing with me when they vote.
("Chasing Cars," Snow Patrol - 26, Atlanta, GA) First of all, the people smiling up at Micah was strangely creepy in a way Todd's weren't last week. The smiles just looked so fake (and they probably were). And then, Micah delivered a rather sleepy performance of a song that doesn't have much dynamic range to it to begin with. He has a nice tone to his voice, but there was nothing memorable enough about that performance to urge people to vote for him.
CammWess (Team Legend)
("Purple Rain," Prince - 22, Blythewood, SC) While CammWess didn't' quite rock out as hard as Prince on this track -- but honestly, who can? -- he still did it decent enough justice. He proved that he's got the range and the strength, as well as the heart to really do the song justice. But this wasn't the kind of gobsmacked performance it could have been with such an incredible track to lay into. It was rather a very pleasant tribute. Is that enough?
Todd Tilghman (Team Blake)
("I Can Only Imagine," MercyMe - 42, Meridian, MS) Todd is a force to be reckoned with on this show with an incredibly warm and inviting voice. He leaned heavily into his faith with this Christian music track (though it was also their biggest crossover hit) , and there's absolutely no denying the conviction of his performance. Historically, faith-based songs have been really hit-or-miss on reality television shows seeking more secular stars, so it might not have been the wisest move in the finale. But Todd has a huge base already, and they may have fallen even more in love with him after this one.
("What a Wonderful World," Louis Armstrong- 24, Haleiwa, HA) What a pleasant surprise Thunderstorm was on the night, returning to that chill and cool vibe that was turning chairs during the blinds. He's truly a gifted and interesting artist and gave a heartfelt performance of this classic -- and oft-performed -- track. Thunderstorm looked confident and every bit as cool as his name on this one, but more importantly, he sounded poised and genuine.
Toneisha Harris (Team Blake)
("Faithfully," Journey - 44, Roswell, GA) Just on another level, Toneisha sang this song like she wrote it and it's her story. This was an absolutely incredible connection to the lyrics that was powerful, impressive and emotionally moving. She really took the song and the competition by the reins with this one. This is the kind of performance that wins shows like this, and the kind of vocal that should signal the emergence of a new artist on the scene.
("Butterflies," Micah Iverson - 26, Atlanta, GA) Micah's biggest flaw on this track is that when he's not wailing he sounds bored and boring. Almost every bit of each verse was a real snooze to get through, and then the chorus only stepped it up marginally. The song was definitely stronger and more meaningful than this flat interpretation. We needed a pop storyteller on this and Micah just did not deliver.
CammWess (Team Legend)
("Save It for Tomorrow," CammWess - 22, Blythewood, SC) CammWess took a chance by sharing an original song he wrote himself for this round. Honestly, it has a very cool R&B groove to it. That's an infectious bop and CammWess really sounded fantastic on it. We weren't as enamored with the lyrics as we don't think he quite told the message in the best way possible, but we were still moving and grooving with a melody we won't soon forget, and that's how you make a hit song.
Thunderstorm Artis (Team Nick)
("Sedona," Thunderstorm Artis- 24, Haleiwa, HA) Thunderstorm put himself out they by performing a song he wrote himself, with a production assist from Ryan Tedder. This was a huge statement and a big step up from Thunderstorm, after we argued last week we weren't even sure he deserved to be here. There was a melancholy sadness to the song that permeated through our screens and a tenderness to his voice that sold it perfectly. Plus, we totally dig using the guitar for percussion accompaniment!
("Long Way Home," Todd Tilghman - 42, Meridian, MS) Todd was meant to sing inspirational songs like this one. It felt personal and he really knows how to deliver that earnest sense of hope. It's a rare gift that an artist sounds so genuine and authentic all the time but Todd has that natural warmth in his voice, like his notes are just wrapping you up in a great big hug.
Toneisha Harris (Team Blake)
("My Superhero," Toneisha Harris - 44, Roswell, GA) Written by Toneisha about the person who inspires her every day, her son, this was a tour de force in strength, restraint and emotion. It was powerfully written -- though we would have liked a shorter pause between the restrained opening verses and the bigger notes at the end -- and impeccably performed. We felt every bit of her love for her son through this performance, which should be what it's all about.
When Thunderstorm took it up a notch tonight, we realized we really had a competition on our hands with five contenders who each had a legitimate shot at winning this season. But something even more remarkable happened.
After having to battle it out with four other women last week, Toneisha really showed up in this finale taking both rounds by a wide margin, based on our professional (so we say) opinion. Can she beat out her all-male competition? "American Idol" tells us it can be done.
Based on what we just saw, and her journey this season, we're definitely willing to say that Toneisha should win "The Voice," but we're not sure if we can say that she will.
Thunderstorm is a fan-favorite, and he had a good night as well, while Todd Tilghman has been a front-runner for weeks and he definitely brought his best to the finale, speaking directly to his sizable fanbase.
We weren't as enamored with CammWess as we have been in weeks past, and Micah really didn't connect with us at all this week, but we know they both have their own supporters. And we're not going to say that either of them has a bad voice, because they can both sing. They just didn't bring it quite to the same level as their competition.
We're going to go ahead and step out on a limb and declare Toneisha our winner for this season, and we'll predict that you'll give it to her as well. This way, if you don't for some reason, we can simply say that you're wrong. She gave us our evidence tonight to back that claim.
"The Voice" crowns its Season 18 winner on Tuesday at 9 p.m. ET on NBC!