It's been a long season, but we're finally at the end of The Voice
season 4. Well, actually it was just 27 episodes in less than three
months, and since I'm about to devote 100 days of summer to Big Brother 15
, The Voice
was like a piece of cake.
Recap: Watch the Final 3 Performances>>
A piece of deep-friend cake smothered in gravy and accompanied by a refreshing glass of sweet tea. When The Voice
fans look back, this will be known as the Country Season. It's when Blake Shelton ruthlessly masterminded a plot to bring five country singers to the live shows and then hand them easy, comfortable, safe country songs week after week to ensure that they get the most iTunes downloads and stick around for as long as possible.
He's like the Karl Rove of this show. You can love him or hate him, but you can't deny that he gets results. For the second season in a row Blake has two out of three singers in the finale and there's a good chance he could have his third straight win with Danielle Bradbery
. He can pretend to be humble all he wants, acting like he does nothing and Danielle's success is entirely due to her hard work, but we know the truth. We know that Blake Shelton is the real winner and Danielle might as well be called Generic Country Teen Girl #2.Top 3 Performance Rankings>>
But maybe I'm putting the cart before the horse. Maybe there was a groundswell of Blake hate and Usher love and Michelle Chamuel will shock the world with a win (after all, she is the medicine we need, according to her coach). Or maybe pigs will fly, Hell will freeze over and The Swon Brothers will win.
Before we get to the results, we have a two-hour finale filled with guest performances by Cher, Christina Aguilera, Pitbull, Florida Georgia Line, Nelly, Bruno Mars, Bob Seger, Hunter Hayes and OneRepublic.
This is The Voice
season 4 finale live blog!
Adam Levine looks like he's dressed for a piano recital.
Also, today is Blake Shelton's birthday. Of course it is. Because everything about this entire season has been all about Blake. My fingers are crossed for Miranda Lambert doing a Marilyn Monroe-esque "Happy Birthday" performance tonight."Feel This Moment" by Pitbull and Christina Aguilera
Xtina gets a huge reveal on the top of a series of monitors that makes it look like she's playing Q*bert. You know what, I think this season was good because I kind of miss her. This season has been so much about Blake that I look forward to Hurricane Xtina returning for season 5 to suck up all the oxygen in the room and make everything about her. That's why Blake has been allowed to dominate: Usher and Shakira don't have big enough egos.
Shakira says the standout last night was the caliber of talent all season. Um, that's NOT an answer. Adam Levine backs down from his claim that Danielle will win by saying it's so close and anyone can win. Really? Can The Swon Brothers win? Blake claims he doesn't care about the three-peat. Adam calls him a liar, which he is. The Swon Brothers with Justin Rivers, Holly Tucker and Amber Carrington: "Stars Tonight" by Lady Antebellum
The boys are bringing back these three country artists for their big performance. Those are really there only three options from the Top 16, and I'll be curious who Danielle is left with. But I will say that if the final three actually get to choose who comes back to perform with them, I really like that part of The Voice
. It highlights the friendships and mutual appreciation that develops behind the scenes. As with everything the brothers do, it's fun and entertaining.
Christina Milian shows us some fan impressions of the coaches. Little kids play Blake, but the best is some dude who does a spot-on impression of Adam telling everyone to be quiet so he can say he pushed his button first (taking time out to say "I love you, too" to a random audience member who shouted something at him).Bromantically Challenged
Now we get a special video showing how Adam Levine and Blake Shelton's once magical bromance hit a rough patch this season, and Usher is the new man in Blake's life. It's the most hetero gay love triangle on TV! But by the end of the next performance, Adam is sitting on Blake's lap, so all is well."Counting Stars" by OneRepublic with Michelle Chamuel
The producers are great at finding perfect duets for the finale. Michelle fits into this song like a hand in a glove. This is certainly her genre and it's the kind of music she'll probably be doing.
In a pretty funny video, Blake shows off that he can do Usher's coaching techniques. He makes The Swon Brothers work out with Shake-Weights and he makes Danielle Bradbery look at herself in a fun house mirror before doing some Karate Kid
chopstick practice to catch her notes. The Swon Brothers + Blake Shelton = Comedy Gold. When The Swon Brothers lose, I'd like them to get a reality show."Cruise" by Florida Georgia Line with Nelly
OK, yeah, I get it. This is a very catchy little country song. I recently spent some time in Florida with my kid sister, and this is the kind of stuff I imagine she listens to with all of her friends while driving around looking for some creek to go tubing in. But I still don't understand why Mr. "Hot in Herre" is singing on this song. It's like Brooks and Dunn featuring Lil Jon.
Garrett Gardner, Josiah Hawley, Kris Thomas and Vedo: "Ain't Too Proud to Beg" by The Temptations
I get why Kris and Vedo are here, but it feels like they just shoved Josiah and Garrett in with them because there was nowhere else to put them. To his credit, Josiah actually does the best job with this Motown classic and reminds me why I wish he lasted longer. As an added bonus, Holly Tucker plays the sax for no apparent reason other than she can.
Danielle Bradbery with Amber Carrington, Caroline Glaser and Sarah Simmons: "All-American Girl" by Carrie Underwood
Wow, Amber is pulling double duty as a friend. And it's so nice to see Caroline again. This is a pretty solid line-up of four talented young women. But for my money, it highlights the fact that Sarah and Amber outsing the ever-loving crap out of Danielle. Carson Daly calls the performance "the definition of adorable."
The Voice Confessional
In a best of the rest segment, we see Michelle Chamuel doing a sock puppet dance party and Usher splitting his pants. The stars, as always, are The Swon Brothers. We see more of them in drag and we learn Colton once got a perm so he could look like Matthew McConaughey. Seriously, someone needs to sign them up for a reality show. CMT? Spike? These guys are massively watchable."Treasure" by Bruno Mars
See, Sasha Allen and Shakira, this is how you make disco seem current and cool. Bruno Mars is definitely the new Lenny Kravitz, meaning in 20 years he'll be starring in movies based on a YA book series about children killing each other.
"Night Moves" by Bob Seger with The Swon Brothers
This song is a guilty pleasure of mine, so I can't help but love it. However, it does highlight that The Swon Brothers are more of a karaoke/bar band and less of a current act. I mean, Michelle duets with OneRepublic and Danielle gets Hunter Hayes, but they get a 68-year-old dude? I bet he's older than Danielle's grandparents.
Shakira's Speak and Spell
We then see a montage of Shakira using big words like "juxtaposition" and "diaphanous." To prove that she knows English better than the other coaches, we see that they can neither spell nor define most of her words. There's a politically incorrect joke about immigrants doing things that Americans can't somewhere in this segment, but I'm not sure what it is.Cathia, Judith Hill, Karina Iglesias and Sasha Allen: "My Lovin' (You're Never Gonna Get It)" by En Vogue
Judith and Sasha deserve better. No offense to Cathia and Karina, but they aren't in the same league. Not that it matters, this is just another filler performance to give everyone in the Top 16 something to do.
A Day in the Life of a Contestant
Michelle Chamuel asks hair and make-up what the least they can do is. It's cute how little she cares about her appearance while Danielle Bradbery's favorite part is trying on outfits in wardrobe. Carson Daly plays Oprah by giving everyone new cars, even 16-year-old Danielle, so now she just needs to get her license."I Want Crazy" by Hunter Hayes with Danielle Bradbery
See, this is much better than Bob Seger. Hunter is young, current and cute as all get-out. And you know Danielle and all her friends are, like, so OMG in love with him. They're like the prom king and queen of Nashville High. Fun Fact; Today Blake Shelton celebrates his 37th birthday and that makes him as old as Danielle (16) and Hunter (21) combined.
Michelle Chamuel with Josiah Hawley, Vedo and Cathia: "We Can Work It Out" by Stevie Wonder
Aww, she brought back all of Team Usher. I'm not wild about it (other than Josiah), but I appreciate the sentimentality. It's fine, but I imagine this was more about Team Usher reuniting and bonding than about trying to make the best performance. I still think Josiah should've gone on American Idol
instead, because a guy that hot with that strong a voice would win it without breaking a sweat.
What Would Winning Mean?
In the final Voice confessional, everyone talks about what it would mean to win. It would be a dream come true for The Swon Brothers. For Michelle Chamuel, it's more about the hard work everyone else has done to help her than the contract itself. Danielle Brabdery wants to win for her friends, mom and Blake."Woman's World" by Cher
Um, something died on her head. I think it might be a capybara. That can't be what it's supposed to look like, can it? I can't focus on the song (which is perfect if you're dancing at 1am in a drag club) because her hair is just...it's just...I mean, WTF? Like, seriously, Who told her that would be a good idea?
THE FINALE RESULTS
OK, after 115 minutes, it's finally time to get down to business.The artist in third place is...The Swon Brothers!
So far, so good. That's honestly a whole lot better than they should've been.The winner of The Voice season 4 is...Danielle Bradbery!
Well, that was expected. No surprise, no shocker, it's just Danielle, who we all knew was going to win several weeks ago. And Blake Shelton gets the three-peat on his birthday. It's a testament to doing the same thing over and over again without taking risks. Is that good for The Voice
in the future? I don't think so. But now we get o see if Blake Shelton was right and Danielle becomes the first genuinely successful contestant from this show.
In a sweet moment, Carson tries to get Danielle to sing as the credits roll, but she's so overcome with emotion that she can't.
That does it for The Voice
season 4. See you in the fall for season 5 with the return of Cee Lo Green and Christina Aguilera, and hopefully far less country singers.(Image and videos courtesy of NBC)