Image credit: NBC
BORN TO FLY After an unbroken string of coach-acclaimed country performances, 16-year-old Danielle Bradbery sang her way to victory (and a huge trophy).
It's the final stretch before the winner is announced, and the last of the former contestants round up for a group number: Cáthia, Judith, Karina, and Sasha on En Vogue's "My Lovin' (Your'e Never Gonna Get It). In fact, the foursome has so much fun that my first thought was, What if they'd gone in on something more contemporary that could have really hooked iTunes? But then I remembered that each had already been eliminated. Sad surprise!
The producers favor us with an inside look at a "day in the life" of a Voice contestant, which seems to mostly involve hair, makeup, wardrobe, and going to photo shoots that then turn out to be car giveaways. (Burning question: Do The Swons really have to share one car? They're brothers, not the Morgan Twins.)
As teased at the top of the finale, Danielle duets with Hunter Hayes on "I Want Crazy," and his Tigger-like bounce either inspires some bounce in her or makes up for a lack of it. The whole thing is harmless, shameless synergy and it's my favorite Danielle performance to date because there's no pre-packaged "a-ha!" moment. It's just her singing with someone whose chemistry she's obviously responding to -- and hey, Hunter is cute. (We're basically the same age.) (It's fine.) Balloons then rain from the ceiling.
Michelle reunites Team Usher for Stevie Wonder's version of The Beatles' "We Can Work It Out" and while they have a spot of trouble finding a groove to start, each of the four meld joyfully by the chorus before falling into a semi-group hug by the end, as Usher jumps up on stage to meet them.
Final-final confessionals! Winning would be everything for each of them.
Cher! Hereafter "The Goddess of Pop," TGoP is premiering her new single, "Woman's World" (a solid late-'90s cut), beneath a crazy hairdo and while wearing drop crotch pants. I cannot. This outfit makes no sense to me. Describing it would break my caps-lock. Her backup dancers are all sporting variations on that theme, though, so there is some overarching purpose. WHAT THE HELL, CHER.
The lights come up and the Top
4 3 gather and thank each of their coaches and Carson reads out the order, starting with third:
THIRD PLACE: The Swon Brothers
SECOND PLACE: Michelle Chamuel
WINNER: Danielle Bradbery
Though the victory itself was hardly surprising, Danielle was surprised. Indeed, she could barely victory-sing a few lines of "Born to Fly." As a few canny commenters predicted, the cameras quickly cut to Blake, bounding up to hug his prodigy. (Burning question: Where did that trophy come from and how much does it weigh?)
So it ends, y'all. It's been an emotionally exhausting season for me, falling in and out and in and out over contestants and coaches, from the early rush of the blind auditions all the way through the rat-a-tat country factory that was most of the final episodes. I hate myself and I love myself. Now there's no more Voice for a whole season (literally -- just the summer).
Was this the series' best crop of contestants, as we heard over and over and over again tonight? Whose maybe-album are you buying first? And remember: Xtina is coming, trailing streamers.