The bloated The Voice finale is here. Even though the information we really care about happens at the tail end of the broadcast in the last 30 seconds, the final episode of The Voice season 9 is two hours long. It should be filled with performances, interjections from the judges, celebrity appearances and, of course, Carson Daly awkwardly mugging to the camera. Oh, they also should announce a winner sometime during the hot mess…

Remember, this a live blog, so make sure to get every excruciating detail of the whole thing by refreshing every 10 minutes or so. Join us in saying a (mostly) fond farewell to The Voice season 9!

The Voice Recap: The Final Four Perform >>> The results of our own prediction poll has Jordan with a sizable lead, getting over half of the votes. Emily Ann is trailing him with around 30%. Jeffery and Barrett are barely a blip on the radar. 

The iTunes charts seem to confirm everyone’s feelings because Jordan is dominating at the number one spot overall, though Emily Ann is placing at second (overall) with “Burning House.” Both of them have beat Adele, interestingly. As we know, though, the iTunes charts aren’t everything and we will just have to wait and see if The Voice confirms what we all think will happen.

The Top 24 Open the Show

Am I the only one who feels bad every time reality shows do this type of performance? The remaining contestants are always given the spotlight and the “losers” get to pick up the slack. It doesn’t help in this instance that 50% of the people with solos sound 100% worse than they did when they left the show. It just makes you wonder if The Voice gave the artists enough, if any, practice time.

Barrett Baber and Zach Seabaugh Perform “Forever and Ever, Amen”

As much I disliked Zach’s voice in the competition proper — and if you have read my recaps, you know I really disliked it — even I have to admit he sounds good here. Maybe Zach would be better served in a country duo, rather than solo singer, role. Regardless of where Zach’s career goes, this is a much better opening number than the train wreck that was the Top 24 taking the stage. 

Coldplay Performs “Adventure of a Lifetime”

I was ready to write this performance off, not because I dislike Coldplay. I really like Coldplay, actually. The display screens are playing such bright and obnoxious visuals that it’s giving me a headache. Then the monkey dancer shows up. (I know they’re technically apes, but monkeys sound better and, really, these are just poor human dancers in plastic costumes.) I’m not sure what to make of Coldplay’s performance, but you can’t say this isn’t memorable. It’s nightmarish but also memorable. 

The Country Godmother

This is interesting. The Voice comedy bits are usually more miss than hit. This really doesn’t buck the trend. It goes on a bit too long and it’s clear many of the contestants’ talent lies in singing, not acting. This does give us Dolly Parton as the country Godmother, so there is that; I mean, any Dolly is a good thing.

The Voice Soul Singers Take the Stage

The Voice is really scraping the bottom of the barrel, aren’t they? This sounds excellent and, honestly, all five of these artists should form a group. They just were eliminated so long ago on that I forgot even half of them were in season 9. I suppose I’m happy that The Voice gave these singers a spotlight they never really received in the live shows, but then I remember how much time is left in this finale. 

A Montage of Gwen Tears

This is a much better comedy bit, mostly because it isn’t so painfully scripted. I genuinely believe that the artists had a unspoken bet/battle to try to make Gwen cry with their performances. I love any time The Voice shows the genuine comradery between the coaches, which they definitely do here showing the other coaches teasing Gwen about her crying.

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Emily Ann Performs with Ricky Skaggs

These are the type of Voice performances that I actually look forward to in the finale. It’s just plain cool to see the contestants perform with people they admire, especially when they have mentioned the person previously in the season. Emily Ann has said Ricky’s name more than a few times. This isn’t exactly my cup of tea or favorite genre of music, but Emily’s joy is infectious.

Jeffery Austin and Madi Davis Perform “Tears Dry on Their Own”

This is another good performance by a finalist and eliminated contestant. Madi and Jeffery’s voices don’t match quite as well as Barrett and Zach’s did. It’s still decent enough and they do a great job with their respective solos. I’m pretty sure Gwen’s crying again watching them perform. 

Missy Elliott Performs “WTF (Where They From)”

This is a big step from Coldplay’s performance. The bar was pretty low, though. Coldplay just seemed to throw as much weird crap on stage to seem edgy and different. Missy Elliott (and Pharrell) have an actual point of view and artistic creation in this performance. It’s interesting and memorable without trying too hard. I don’t even like the song much, but I think this performance is a lot of fun.

Usher and Jordan Smith Perform “Without You”

Another of Carson’s “dear friends” takes the stage. (Sidebar: how many of those “dear friends” of Carson do you think actually hate him?) This pairing doesn’t make quite as much sense as Ricky Skaggs and Emily Ann. I highly doubt Usher was the top of Jordan’s idol list. Their voices do match up nicely. It’s also a nice reminder of what a good voice Usher has, since he hasn’t done much of anything lately. Is there any doubt that Jordan is going to win this thing at this point?

Sam Hunt Performs “Break Up in a Small Town”

I suppose this is no more random than Coldplay performing, but god is it tiring. My patience is wearing thin, even though I find this song somewhat enjoyable. At this point in the finale, I’m even getting excited when Carson shows up because there is hope that there might be some actual results. I suppose we can enjoy Sam Hunt for now because at least he’s not Bieber.

The Contestants Do a Scavenger Hunt

You know what is neither fun to watch nor brief and breezy? A scavenger hunt and a commercial. You know what The Voice decides to do next during the finale? A scavenger hunt and a commercial. The final four go on a stupid scavenger hunt on the Universal lot that ends with them being “surprised” by a free car — a free car that has so many amazing features. Just make it end already!

Jeffery Austin and Tori Kelly Perform “Hollow”

Finally, something that is actually relevant to the main reason for this finale. Jeffery is able to take the stage and sing with someone he admires. This is a pairing that makes more sense than Usher and Jordan. It’s also pretty amazing. Jeffery (probably) isn’t going to win. After watching this performance, I definitely wouldn’t be upset if he did, though I really wouldn’t be upset if any of the final four win.

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Barrett Baber and Wynonna Judd Perform “No One Else on Earth”

This might be the weakest of the contestant and idol duets. This is to no fault of Barrett’s, but Wynonna doesn’t quite sound like she used to years ago. It’s fine for what it is, but it’s not great. This is probably just the fatigue of watching a way-too-long finale talking, though.

The Weeknd Performs a Medley of His Hits 

I was worried from Carson’s introduction that this was going to be Bieber. Mercifully, I’m spared (for now). The Weeknd also steals Missy Elliott’s crown for best celebrity appearance of the night, though. Some might not like The Weeknd performing a sampling of hits rather than just one song. I really appreciate the change of pace. I think the Weeknd can be easy to write off because of his catchy but simplistic hooks to his songs and the fact that he can’t even spell ‘weekend’ properly. This performance really exhibits his strengths as an artist.

Jordan Brings Back a Gaggle of Contestants

I guess there are no limits to who you can bring back when you are the heir apparent to the crown of The Voice season 9. I’m not complaining, really, because Journey is best sung in a group. It just seems weird considering that Jeffery and Barrett only brought back one artist to sing and Jordan has five. If nothing else, this reminds us what a shame it was that Mark Hood was eliminated so early in the competition. 

Emily Ann Brings Back Some Girls

Oh, never mind; apparently, there are special accommodations made for second place too. Emily Ann also gets to bring back a bunch of former female contestants. Some of them go all the way back to the Knockouts (I think). The song is good, even if I don’t remember half of these girls; I’m a little distracted by Ivonne’s hair. Am I the only one who thinks she has a Princess Leia thing going on up there? Sorry, all my thoughts are being filtered through a metaphorical Star Wars funnel in anticipation of the new movie.

Justin Bieber Performs “Sorry”

Ugh, we all knew it was coming, but it doesn’t make it any better. I’m utterly baffled by the appeal of Justin Bieber. It is not just his reputation outside of his music; I just can’t stand him. There is nothing remotely entertaining in this performance and Justin’s constant smirk just repulses me that much more. At least The Voice is about to end it all with some results, finally.

The Winner Is…

The results finally arrive and they are exactly as expected. Jeffery comes in fourth. Barrett makes it to third place. It’s down to just Emily and Jordan, as we knew it would be at the end. Drumroll please…

Jordan Smith is the winner. Emily Ann comes in second. No one is remotely surprised. Can we talk about Carson awkwardly trying to give Jordan the meaningless trophy and him having no interest in it? That alone is enough to make me feel good about Jordan’s win.

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The Voice season 10 premieres Monday, February 29 at 8pm on NBC.

(Image and videos courtesy of NBC)

Derek Stauffer

Contributing Writer, BuddyTV

Derek is a Philadelphia based writer and unabashed TV and comic book junkie. The time he doesn’t spend over analyzing all things nerdy he is working on his resume to be the liaison to the Justice League.