The Top 3 finalists of "The Voice" for Season 5 hit the stage on Monday night's finale, each vying to secure the most votes in the three-way sing-off for the album contract and the title. And all three rose to the challenge of bringing their A-game to the performance round of the finale. But one seemed to rise just a bit above the others in a tribute to what Michael Slezak at TV Line described on Dec. 16 as a show overrun with covers of songs performed to death on"American Idol," and one coach did the unforgivable three-quarters of the way through the show, going so far as to toss one of his own team members under the bus in a rush to crown another "the Voice."
Of course, we're talking about Adam Levine, coach of Tessanne Chin and Will Champlin, the coach with two finalists in the season finale. After going through another speechless routine, he simply declared Tessanne the winner. Neither Jacquie Lee (from Team Christina) nor Will Champlin had performed their last songs of the night. It is unclear how Will got those treadmarks (you know, from that bus Adam unceremoniously threw him under as a sacrifice to the voting gods) off his nice jacket before he got on stage, but he not only managed to do so, he also won America's heart by singing the last line of Bryan Adams' "Every Thing I Do (I Do It For You)" to his wife and baby daughter. And Jacquie Lee simply nailed Jennifer Hudson/Jennifer Holiday's "And I Am Telling You" for the final performance of the night.
That's not to say that Tessanne Chin's rendition of Whitney Houston's "I Have Nothing" was less than superb. It was phenomenally rendered. And Tessanne also delivered on her first two numbers, Pink's "Try" and The Beatles' "Let It Be" (a duet with Adam Levine). She definitely set the mark throughout the night.
Still, her teammate, Will Champlin, did an excellent job of keeping up. He did a nice rearranged version of Gavin Degraw's "Not Over You" and did a great job on Elton John's "Tiny Dancer" (with Coach Adam). What he didn't deserve was a) his coach declaring his teammate the winner prior to his last song and b) hearing Adam Levine's lame praises and critiques in the aftermath of his last performance, listening to the Sexiest Man Alive tell him he was a winner no matter the outcome, that he had overcome so much to be where he was.
Even Christina Aguilera's non-stop self-glorification-in-comparison to her protege Jacquie Lee wasn't as obnoxious, and it was pretty bad...
Speaking of which, Jacquie Lee sang beyond her years on Amy Winehouse's "Back To Black." She even held her own with Coach Christina on the duet (Christina's own "We Remain" from "The Hunger Games: Catching Fire" soundtrack). And although she didn't have the full-throated roar of Jennifer Hudson, her final performance was better than simply great.
So who gets the win?
Adam Levine's pronouncement notwithstanding, Tessanne Chin's performances were the best. Given the title of the show, the Jamaican should take home the Season 5 victory. And that's not taking anything away from Jacquie Lee's and Will Champlin's performances, either. If either should pull in the most votes and get declared the winner, they will more than deserve it. But on a vocal level, where quality of delivery, consistency, and presence are taken into account, Tessanne was the winner.
And unfortunately for Will, his performances just weren't as powerful as Tessanne's or Jacquie's, which will most likely see him finish in third place.
But don't count the youngest finalist out. Professional oddsmakers have her edging out Tessanne Chin for the win.
To find out which of the Top 3 finalists America chooses as Season 5's "The Voice," the finale results episode airs at 9 p.m. EST on NBC Television. Prior to the night's big reveal, a parade of stars will cross the stage. Celine Dion and Ne-Yo, Paramore, OneRepublic, and Lady Gaga (ft. R. Kelly) are scheduled to appear.