America has spoken, and the top three finalists for The Voice are, in order of most votes first - Tessanne Chin, Jacquie Lee, and Will Champlin. Adam Levine's James Wolpert and Blake Shelton's Cole Vosbury were eliminated Tuesday night. That leaves Adam with two finalists, Tessanne and Will, and Christina Aguilera with one, Jacquie.
James Wolpert was the first to go on the show, singled out as the singer with the least votes right at the beginning. Which was a shame, because James is arguably a better singer than Will - James' version of U2's "With or Without You," was stellar, and could easily stand alongside U2's version, with Wolpert revealing a depth of vulnerabilty and tenderness in the song that isn't found in Bono's approach, with its customary blend of righteousness and angst-filled bombast.
Cole Vosbury was the dark horse - would Blake's belief in his soulful singer be rewarded by the public? The final answer was no, also a shame, because Cole is an authentic American voice. Not to worry, he's got a career waiting in front on him, especially by having Blake as a coach, a man who stands by his singers.
Tessanne is the odds on favorite - her "Bridge Over Troubled Water" was sublime. Jacquie is a remarkable singer with perfect pitch, great instincts and gosh, cute as a button, but she isn't seasoned and even with Christina's coaching advice (last week's version of Janis Joplin's "Cry, Baby" won audience approval, but was all show and posturing - Jacquie's only 16, after all, and admitted to not knowing anything about romantic love) she doesn't have whatever it is that gives last year's teenage winner, Danielle Bradberry, a sense of authority when singing heartbreak and love songs. Jacquie's Monday night rendition of Sarah McLaughlin's "Angel" was beautiful, but again lacked some soul connection - the feeling just doesn't rise enough above technical ability, not enough to shine.
Will Champlin is a very good singer, but it appears America voted him in more for his dogged determination than showing a finalist level in his performances. His version of fun's "Carry On" was solid, but it's more likely that Adam's remark that 'he was so happy he finally got see Will smile' after its performance, which meant that it was special, because Will is so hard on himself - was the nudge that the voters voted for - America can't help but love an underdog.
So who'll win?
Tessanne 2-1. Jacquie 10-1. Will 1000-1.
Which is fine, Tessanne is a remarkable singer who deserves it, she has an adorable Jamaican accent (more so coming from an Asian woman) and if Jacquie were to win, American would have to listen to the insufferable Christina Aquilera pretend to praise Jacquie, when in reality the whole time she'd actually be praising her favorite singer and all around person in the world, herself.