Bon Jovi, Lady Antebellum, Jonas Brothers and Gwen Stefani provide the entertainment -- along with a few surprises -- as the coaches duet with their artists before the newest winner is crowned!
For its first-ever at-home finale, "The Voice" pulled out all the stops to show us just how big this could get with a star-studded opening number.
Taking on Pete Townshend's "Let My Love Open the Door," the coaches were joined by lots of familiar faes, including former coaches CeeLo Green and Shakira, along with temp coach Bebe Rexha and the Top 9.
What all of this means, really, is that NBC has two hours booked for what could have been done in less than five minutes, which means lots and lots of filler. The question is whether or not that filler is entertaining enough to slog through to find out what everyone was tuning in for. Well, let's find out together.
We did get some fun moments of banter with the coaches -- and let's face it, unlike "Idol," this show has always been more about the coaches than the singers -- kicking off with Nick adorably sending his fellow coaches a red swivel chair, though Blake's appears to have shrunk in the ... travel?
He also provided the night's strangest highlight with some rather lengthy words of encouragement for his finalists that we could not hear at all. The risk of technical challenges with a live remote show are exponentially more likely and there were certainly a few throughout the night.
("X") Well, considering it's all pre-packaged videos anyway, why not just share the official music video for your new single rather than scrape up something new. That's what Jonas Brothers did with this one, but it was nevertheless a very clever way to deal with stay-at-home measures while filming a music video, and a neat spotlight on the piece of technology most bringing people together while staying apart.
("Conversations in the Dark"/"All of Me") As a tribute to medical works in Los Angeles, John put on a special mini-concert for a large group of healthcare professionals in an even larger room (social distancing, yo!) via Microsoft Teams. And he clearly touched them when he broke into "All of Me," because they joined hilm like it was a real concert, and with enough of them singing that you could hear their chorus accompanying him. It was a powerful and moving scene.
("Champagne Night") Another cute video presentation of a feel-good song, these clips are really doing a great job of emphasizing that we're all in this together and that just because we are separated for safety doesn't mean we're now allowed to have fun and come together in the ways that we can to keep our spirits up. This track certainly did that for all involved, from the fans to the band.
("Nobody But You") We've seen Blake and Gwen perform this song before, but there was such a connection and love between them evident in this performance, it was genuinely touching. Couple that with shots of the tireless workers at America's food banks doing what they can to fight hunger in these extraordinary times and it was a truly powerful musical moment.
The Voice Olympics
Just because the Olympics have been postponed doesn't mean "The Voice" was going to just let this footage prepped and filmed go to waste. So we got a rather random comedy bit about Blake, John, Kelly and Nick trying their hands at curling, artistic swimming and table tennis. Oh, and Kelly is "not really into sportsball in general," so she opted for horseshoes. It was actually pretty cute overall, so we're not mad about it.
("I Dare You") Kelly kept her performance stripped down and simple, but with pipes like that there isn't anything more she needs to do to still blow us away and leave us in tears. Oh, adding footage from all aspects of life under quarantine is certainly a good way to emphasize how much our world has changed. And as tempers fray and divisions seem to grow louder, we love her message of daring us to love in languages from around the world. This is affecting all of us, and we are one against it ... or at least we should be.
("What the World Needs Now Is Love," Jackie DeShanon) A Burt Bacharach-written classic helped a whole slew of familiar "Voice" faces echo Kelly's sentiment that the world needs more unity and love and compassion than ever before. It was a beautiful message, well performed -- and it's always fun to see favorite slike Kevin Farris, Lauren Duski, Jacob Maxwell, Alexa Cappelli, Jake Hoot, Mike Jerel, Ricky Duran and Brutton Buchanan again.
("Until We Meet Again") Nick took social distancing to the next level in a huge empty field where he danced, sang and wrote messages of love and appreciation to healthcare workers on the front line of the battle against COVID-19. The song itself speaks about the challenges of being apart and that one thing that can help is knowing this time will end and we will be able to come together again with friends, family, loved ones and even total strangers. This, too, shall pass.
("Limitless") Jon Bon Jovi had a fun playfulness throughout this number, at one point even holding up a sign saying he needed a haircut. This wasn't a protest but a euphoric anthem about the unlimited possibilities the world has to offer. Jon has lost none of the power and grit of his voice, sounding identical to how he did back in the '80s, but it did sound as if he was behind the music a bit as he hit each chorus. A stylistic choice? Either way, the band sounds great and it was cool to see them.
("Authority Song," John Mellencamp) This is the Todd Tilghman we fell in love with through the earlier rounds, and this is the Todd we wished we could have seen last night. He might have given himself a stronger shot at winning this season. His voice was perfect on the track, and he delivered such a cool and high energy rocking vocal, we found ourselves just bopping along. It was one of his best performances of the season.
Thunderstorm Artis w/ Nick Jonas
("You'll Be in My Heart," Phil Collins) Something sounded almost unnatural about Nick's vocals on this, but Thunderstorm really did shine with a velvety smooth texture to his voice that was just soothing to listen to. Once again, we're seeing an artist shake off the nerves of competition and really show us who he is -- though Thunderstorm had a good performance finale as well. This wasn't a super-memorable performance, but it was sweet.
CammWess w/ John Legend
("Rocket Man," Elton John) After comparing CammWess to himself all season long, both men got to see if it was true with their first performance together. There are definitely similarities in their vocal affectations and choices, though John slides a little more jazz while CammWess stays more in a traditional R&B wheelhouse. Nevertheless, both have incredible voices that complemented on another well, though you could tell CammWess was a little intimidated to be singing with an idol.
("Don't Stop," Fleetwood Mac) We're not sure what it is, but we love Toneisha on classic rock tracks. She just brings so much depth to the vocals, but you can also see how much she connects with the era and the music. This was a rollicking good time, with Toneisha and Blake's voices meshing beautifully. Honestly, this was a performance that could have simply been a duet between two pros.
Micah Iverson w/ Kelly Clarkson
("I Run to You," Lady Antebellum) Look, Micah has a smooth and effortless voice, but we could not take our eyes or ears off of Kelly throughout this duet. She is just such an incredible vocalist and performer, she commands the stage with ease. Micah was capable and entertaining enough, but this only confirmed in our minds that he's not quite got that it factor that we want in an artist.
As a quick refresher, we absolutely thought Toneisha stole the show during Monday night's performance finale, But did she steal the season? Thunderstorm faltered last week, but he's been a powerhouse to this point.
Todd is a sentimental favorite with a signature sound and a sweet story. CammWess is a consummate professional, but is he too clean and smooth? And then there's Micah, who clearly has a following with his slick and effortless vocal style -- it just hasn't really done it for us.
Even though women of color have struggled to win "The Voice," we're going to take inspiration from Just Sam's win over on "American Idol" this weekend to say that quarantine America may be a different America with more people watching than ever before (thus broadening demographics).
Or maybe we're totally overthinking it. Toneisha is incredible, though, and we're standing by that. But then Thunderbolt is gonna win, right? Maybe Todd?
Fifth Place: Micah Iverson, and we couldn't agree more. It's still a lot to be proud of, but there just wasn't anything there to latch on to and get super excited about.
Fourth Place: CammWess, and so far this is lining up exactly how we envisioned it. CammWess is such a polished performer, but he didn't always consistently give that star quality.
And, then, with the three 'T's still in the running -- Thunderstorm, Todd and Toneisha -- Carson skipped the rankings altogether and jumped straight to revealing the winner. Were we right? Were you?
Well, we weren't, as family man Todd Tilghman -- the sentimental favorite throughout the season who really does have a remarkable voice -- connected with more Americans than either Thunderstorm or Toneisha, both incredibly talented in their own right, and took home the win.
We can say with some confidence, considering that it's a smaller genre of music and has been warm and inviting to reality show competitors before, we suspect Todd will have a chart-topping hit on Christian radio soon enough, and well deserved.
Could he branch out into secular radio? He has the chops for it, but "The Voice" has yet to find big success outside of country radio, perhaps, with a few artists. Could Todd break that trend, or even one of the runners-up?
"The Voice" will surely return, but at this time it's impossible to say when that might be or in what form ... or even who the coaches might be. We suspect Blake will be back, though he might try to film from his home in Oklahoma from now on.