By: Jacob Elyachar, jakes-take.com
This is it, folks!
After countless Blind Auditions, Battle Rounds, Knockout Rounds and live show performances, we are down to this season’s Top Four artists.
Tonight, Jordan Smith (Team Adam), Emily Ann Roberts (Team Blake), Barrett Baber (Team Blake) and Jeffery Austin (Team Gwen) sang one last time for your votes, America!
Which artist rose to the occasion and delivered the knockout performances that were necessary to win the competition? Read on to find out…
Jordan Smith kicked off the evening with ‘The Sound of Music’s’ “Climb Every Mountain.” He conquered numerous divas such as Beyoncé, Sia and the late Freddie Mercury, now he tackled the legacy of Oscar winner Dame Julie Andrews. This was probably the biggest song that has ever been tackled on ‘The Voice’ and I was worried that Jordan was going to falter, but just like Stevie Nicks’s white wing dove…he soared to the stars! Congrats, Jordan! A+
Emily Ann Roberts summoned the spirit of the King of Rock and Roll for her holiday pick. The final female artist in this competition tackled Elvis Presley’s “Blue Christmas.” I like Emily’s voice, but after Jordan’s first performance…I found it completely boring. Hopefully, she can bounce back with her duet with Blake and her final song. B-
Barrett Baber kicked off the Duets Round! He and his four-time Voice winning coach, Blake Shelton, tackled Glen Campbell’s “Rhinestone Cowboy.” This was a nice duet, but it was not my cup of tea. There were also some moments that I thought that Barrett was flat. You cannot afford to be flat or have your voice break during this crucial night of competition. He has a long way to go in order to get back in this race. C-
Sorry, Christina! You are not the only female coach that can get a contestant to the finale anymore! Gwen Stefani’s one-chair wonder, Jeffery Austin, is the first member of Team Gwen to get to ‘The Voice’ finale. Jeffery’s holiday pick was “O Holy Night” and I got the chills from the very beginning. Win or lose, Jeffery has a bright future in the music industry! A-
One of my favorite artist-coach duets from ‘The Voice’ was Adam’s duet with Will Champlin during Season Five. Jordan Smith’s duet with Adam, the Beach Boys’ “God Only Knows,” might be at the same level of excellence. I thought that Jordan was going to sing the Maroon 5 front man off stage, but their fantastic harmonies made me smile and I will definitely download the track from iTunes. A-
Barrett Baber’s second song of the evening was his cover of Thomas Rhett’s “Die a Happy Man.” While I am glad that Barrett sang a current country classic, I wished that he would have performed Tim McGraw’s “Live Like You Were Dying,” Garth Brooks’ “The River” or even Blake’s “God Gave Me You.” I have to say that Barrett was so much better this round than his duet with Blake. B
For her duet with Blake, Emily Ann Roberts sang Dolly Parton and Kenny Rogers’ iconic duet “Islands in the Stream.” Their duet definitely put a smile on my face and it was vocal magic. I really hoped that both Dolly and Kenny were watching this duet, they would be so proud of Emily Ann and Blake. A-
Jeffery Austin returned to tackle Sugarland’s “Stay.” This time, he pulled a David Cook and an Adam Lambert when he flipped the Jennifer Nettles-penned tune on its head. With a red curtain as a background (which revealed, Jeffery ricocheted the lyrics and gave me the biggest case of the goosies of the night! I think that he could be a spoiler and take the crown from Jordan with this performance! A+
Barrett finished his set on ‘The Voice’ with “Silent Night.” As much as I bashed Barrett all throughout the competition, this was actually an enjoyable performance. I just hope that he does not go all in on a music career after this, because his students will miss having an inspirational teacher. B+
Jeffery concluded his set with his duet with Gwen! They sang Stevie Nicks and Don Henley’s signature duet: “Leather and Lace.” This was a pleasant surprise! While I wished that Gwen let Jeffery had his moment to shine, Jeffery’s vocals stole the performance and this became one of my favorite Voice duets of the year. A-
Jordan’s final song of the night was the Christmas classic “Mary Did You Know.” This was the first time this season that Jordan made me cry. The only thing I can say about this performance was this was a “Vocal Master Class.” No matter what happens tonight, Jordan Smith is a future superstar. A+
Emily Ann Roberts closed out the night with Cam’s “Burning House.” While I enjoyed Emily Ann’s performances throughout the season, I felt that this was not one of her best performances. She was flat for a few measures of the song, but by the time she recovered I completely lost interest. If she does not win ‘The Voice,’ I know that Scott Borchetta will be calling to sign her to Big Machine Records. B-
Tomorrow night, the winner will be revealed!