How I am going to keep this blog entry a reasonable length, I don’t know. Every single one of Monday’s performance is worthy of mention. So good that for the finale, I am doing away with Top 3 and Failed to Impress in my previous blog entries. I can’t possibly pick just three, and seriously, no one failed. The goosebumps started with he first performance, and ended with more goosebumps on the last. I have told people to check out YouTube for some of the performances, but they don’t show the lead up or the interviews. This is one week I recommend watching in its entirety On Demand.
On part one of the finale, each artist sings a cover song, a duet with their coach, and an original song. To refresh your memories, Team Adam has Josh Gallagher and Billy Gilman, Team Alicia has Wé McDonald, and Team Blake has Sundance Head. Team Miley doesn’t have a finalist, but most of her team members were there in the audience and Miley’s outfit was on fleek!
There were some GREAT choices here. Billy started the show with a goosebump version of My Way. He got emotional at the very end, and didn’t end on a big long note because of it. But, it wasn’t jarring at all; instead, it was perfectly imperfect. When Carson announced that Josh’s cover was an 80s song, I got nervous since 80s songs haven’t been serving artists well this season. I worried for nothing. Jack and Diane was made for Josh and dovetailed nicely with his original song. Sundance surprised us yet again with another unusual choice with At Last, and I think Etta James herself would have been impressed! Wé finished off the concert with the daunting choice of Don’t Rain on My Parade. She KILLED it. It is hard to believe she is 17, and has that kind of range and versatility.
I always love this part, although I am sad Miley isn’t singing tonight. The first duet of Wé and Alicia had each of them on a piano, facing each other, to sing Ave Maria. With We’s operatic skills, it was a nice choice. Honestly though? Wé did better than Alicia, who didn’t seem to have the vocal power for this notoriously difficult song! So while it probably won’t climb the iTunes charts, it didn’t harm Wé. I did question the choice of picture on the big screens on this one. The set designers have usually been on point, but initially thought it was the windows out of the Millennium Falcon. #NerdAlert
Bye Bye Love was pitch perfect for Billy and Adam’s style. They did the Everly Brothers proud with those harmonies, and it was nice to see Billy loosen up and have some fun on stage. Josh and Adam did some great guitar playing and singing to Smooth. They had to be on their A Game with probably the most famous Santana song there is. Sundance’s father started to go into the ugly cry when Sundance and Blake performed a rousing rendition of his own Treat Her Right. Roy Head made it to the #2 Billboard spot in 1965 with it. The Beatles’ Yesterday kept it from making #1! On a staging side note, they had a film of Roy dancing almost like James Brown to this song. Sundance clearly only got his singing pipes from his Dad!
This is where the rubber hits the road, folks. Singing a cover song always means you have a previous version to either honor, or change up to make your own completely depending on your inclination and your skill set. Plus, picking something everyone knows, do it well, and it garners you attention and votes. An original song is all about you and your ability to get people to pay attention to the music and lyrics.
Josh and Sundance have a slight edge here, in that they wrote their own songs. Josh actually wrote Pick Any Small Town with another Team Adam teammate, Nolan Neal! They started writing it during the battles and the knockouts, and finished it up back in Nashville with another one of Josh’s friends. (The artists get time to go back home after filming the auditions, various rounds, etc. before the live stuff starts). I can see this song really climbing the charts. A small town anthem is never a bad thing in country music! As awesome as Sundance has been, he’s never been more powerful as when he sings his own work. Darlin’ Don’t Go was written for his wife after they had a major argument. Damn, a panty dropping song if I ever heard one. His wife was BEAMING in the audience, and Blake stood up and thanked her for almost leaving Sundance.
For Wé, Alicia sent her blind audition to a songwriter she works with, and he wrote Wishes. It has a strong message, and I don’t know if Wé has ever been this strong on stage. However, I had a hard time understanding all the lyrics and I am not sure it had a strong hook. It showed off her lower registers well. Adam was apparently writing a new song for Maroon 5 during this season, and realized it would be perfect for Billy instead. He was right. I can imagine Maroon 5 singing it, but it showcased Billy’s voice wonderfully. I can see it doing VERY well on the iTunes charts. He knew he did well too; his smiles during the performance showed that. Kudos to him for surviving that “child star” potential curse, and changing genres!
WHO WILL WIN?
I usually have a “horse picked” well before now, and I am still undecided! I think Wé will be fourth. Alicia mentioned she has all these facets, and I feel that she is still trying to figure out exactly who she is as an artist because she does have so many options. At this point, I would be happy with any of the three men winning.
If you are tempted to skip tonight and just read the results on here, DON’T! The line up of people sounds great! The list of performers includes Sting, Stevie Wonder, Kelly Clarkson, KISS, and Bruno Mars!
Note from TT: There is a recap of the season at 8 p.m. followed by the two-hour finale from 9-11. This is causing some major conflicts for me to work out on the DVR but I think I have it all worked out if I just remember to watch Bull On Demand tomorrow.
Also a huge shout out to Erica for recapping this season. Be sure to let her know in comments if you enjoyed the season and her recaps. And comment here while you are watching tonight since the post is going up before the finale!
Who do you think will win? Who do you hope will win? Are they the same person?
P.S. I forgot to include a YouTube Billy’s My Way has almost double the views of his closest competitor with 147, 486 at the moment.
We (for some reason I have lost my ability to use accent marks and it is driving me batty) has the second most viewed Youtube with her cover song, Don’t Rain on My Parade. at 78,385 views.
Billy also has the third highest viewed video from last night with his original song his duet beat out everyone else’s as well. Based on YouTube only, It’s Billy, We, Sundance and Josh in that order. I don’t even know how to check itunes, which is probably a better indicator. But I’m glad I don’t because that would probably be a straight up spoiler since iTunes purchases contribute to who wins.