By: Jacob Elyachar, jakes-take.com
This is it!
After hundreds of Blinds Auditions, memorable performances, and painful eliminations, we are down to the final four artists: Team Adam’s Billy Gilman and Josh Gallagher, Team Alicia’s We McDonald, and Team Blake’s Sundance Head.
Which artists brought their A-game and could inherit the championship crown from Sawyer Fredericks, Jordan Smith, and Alisan Porter? Read on to find out.
Here’s how the night worked, all four artists performed three different songs. The songs were their last cover, an original song, and a duet with their coach. In addition to The Voice app, both the final cover and the original song will count as votes.
I think it is safe to say that Billy Gilman does not know his Reality TV history! Throughout the season, Billy has covered numerous tracks that have been famously covered by other artists from Reality TV who have run circles around him vocally (Compare his cover of “I Surrender” with Kelly Clarkson’s version and “The Show Must Go On with both Skylar Laine and Seann Miley Moore’s showstopping versions). Tonight, he did it again as he covered the Chairman of the Board’s “My Way,” a song that won Sal Valentinetti–Heidi Klum’s Golden Buzzer on this past season of America’s Got Talent. I still get goosebumps from Sal’s excellent version. However, Billy’s version left me out in the cold. Billy still lacks the emotion I need from him, and if he is going to succeed post-Voice, he is going to need to bring the passion and fire to the surface! This performance was an F.
Going into tonight, I honestly thought that: “JOSH GALLAGHER DID NOT DESERVE TO BE A MEMBER OF THE SEASON 11 FINAL FOUR! It should have been either Ali, Austin, Brendan or Sa’Rayah in his place. But, this is America’s The Voice and not Jake’s Take on The Voice. Josh was the first artist to deliver his original song: “Pick Any Small Town,” which he wrote with one of my favorite Season 11 artists Nolan Neal and Jeremy DeWayne Busey. It’s catchy, and it is very radio friendly, but this show is called The Voice, and his voice was not my cup of tea. D+
We McDonald teamed up with her coach, Alicia, for a monster of a song: “Ave Maria.” They decided to do the Stevie Wonder version and had back-to-back Steinway pianos in the style of Elton John & Billy Joel’s Face to Face Tour. This performance was just pure bliss, and this was one of the first times this season that I wept. I hope that Alicia helps usher We into the music industry, she has a one-of-a-kind voice that will take the world by storm! A
Team Blake’s Sundance Head debuted his original song: “Darlin’ Don’t Go.” Sundance wrote this song in honor of his wife. From the first note of the tune, Sundance captured my attention and his vocals on this song were exquisite! I firmly believe that this song could dominate iTunes and numerous music charts. Congrats, Sundance! You and We won Round One! A
Adam joined Billy Gilman for a duet of the Everly Brothers’ “Bye Bye Love.” I thought that both men’s voices blended very well together. I was bobbing my head along when they were singing along. Also, it was incredible to see Billy loose, because I believe all season song, he looked stiffed. Bravo, guys! B+
One of Alicia’s signature collaborators, Harold Lilly, gave We her original song to sing: “Wishes.” Mr. Lilly played directly to We’s strengths, and her voice shook the Universal Studios Hollywood soundstage to its core. Hopefully, We is ready for this wild ride known as the music industry, because the sky is the limit with her voice. A
Josh Gallagher teamed up with his coach for the worst version of “Smooth,” I heard in my life! It was bland from beginning to end and I thought it was an abysmal mess. F
Sundance and Blake teamed up to sing his father, Roy Head’s “Treat Her Right.” It put me in such a good mood after Josh and Adam’s disastrous cover of “Smooth.” I was dancing in my seat the entire time and I thought it was one of the best Team Blake performances from the past few seasons! I am so glad that Sundance got to his dad’s song, because just the expression on his father’s face said it all! A-
Josh Gallagher took to the stage for the final time to perform a song that no artist who has ever covered in a singing competition: John Mellencamp’s “Jack & Diane.” I am so glad that Josh decided to end his run with this performance. He truly redeemed himself from the last two rounds with this performance, and I truly see Josh doing this kind of music after tomorrow night’s results show. B
As much as I love Sundance Head, he does not his Voice history. If he knew the history of the show, he would not touch “At Last,” a song that propelled Will Champlin into the frontrunner position on the show’s fifth season. I remember watching Will perform Etta James’ signature song in person, and he blew the entire Universal Studios Hollywood soundstage away with his epic performance. However, I realized that I should have separated Sundance’s cover from Will’s performance and as I got to enjoy the performance, I discovered new additions to the song such a doo-wop section to the song. I have never heard anything like it on The Voice stage. Sundance’s “At Last” was an exceptional performance, and I believe that this will be a performance that made Sundance Head- a shining superstar! A
Billy’s final time on the stage was his debut single: “Because of Me.” This song was supposed to be a Maroon 5 song, but Adam gave the track to Billy. I think that the song has the potential to explode onto both the Top 40 and Billboard charts. The lyrics are 100-times stronger than “No Boundaries,” “I Love You This Big,” and “Do I Make You Proud?” and win or lose, Billy Gilman, will now a second chance in the music industry. A-
We McDonald has been the biggest revelation of the season! Ever since her astonishing Blind Audition, her velvety vocals raised the bar for any hopeful under 18 looking to turn the coaches’ chairs around. She closed the night with Barbra Streisand’s “Don’t Rain On My Parade.” Her performance was stunning, and like Barbra, We had A Star is Born moment, and I predict that we are going to hear about her for years to come. A+
Tomorrow night, “The Voice: Season 11” champion will be crowned!