Finally, after a season of great music and great performances, it has come down to these final three artists: Josh Kaufman, Christina Grimmie and Jake Worthington. Here is everything you need to know about tonight’s penultimate episode of Season 6 of The Voice.
Tonight each artist will sing three songs, one of which is a song they performed during their journey from the blind auditions to the finals that their fans have picked to hear again. First up is Christina Grimmie singing Miley Cyrus’ "Wrecking Ball," the tune that got her a four-chair turn in the blinds. She’s as good now as she was in Week 1 of the competition, and the coaches are suitably impressed.
Next, the first of the coach-artist duets, as Usher and Josh Kaufman team up to sing "Every Breath You Take," the classic from the Police. The smoke machines are working overtime as the two give the song a breathy, soulful twist that has the crowd hollering with glee.
Host Carson Daly takes a minute to talk to JB Smoove and Keenan Ivory Wayans of the upcoming "Last Comic Standing." Then it's Jake Worthington’s turn to take the stage to sing his blind audition song, Keith Whitley’s "Don’t Close Your Eyes." Keith Whitley songs are always tinged with a bit of melancholy, and Jake does it justice. Afterwards the coaches are impressed by the difference between his first stab at the song and this one. Jake has come a long way since the beginning of the season.
After a commercial break, Shakira and Blake sing a duet of her song "Medicine," a country tune she wrote for her latest album, "Empire." The fiery Colombian was inspired to take a shot at country music after her Season 4 duet of "Need You Now" with Blake, and she’s showing off some chops. Blake might be her backup singer if she ever does an entire country album.
Josh Kaufman returns to the stage to sing a song from one of the battle rounds, Stevie Wonder’s "Signed, Sealed, Delivered I’m Yours." This was the battle he lost to Delvin Choice, which got him stolen from Team Adam to Team Usher, and now he’s in the finals while Delvin was eliminated. It's an irony and Adam still can’t believe he let Josh go. Adam, dude, it’s done.
Besides, the Maroon 5 frontman doesn’t have time to grieve. He’s going up onstage to sing a duet with Christina Grimmie. They take on Gotye’s huge hit "Somebody That I Used to Know." Not surprisingly, Adam takes the song's high parts while Christina gets in a couple of her signature big notes.
We’re back to Jake, singing his big solo of the night. Blake has given him Richard Marx’s 80s hit "Right Here Waiting." Interesting choice – it’s not a country song, but the coach saw something in his artist’s performance last week of Bryan Adams’ "Heaven," another slow 80s ballad. The other coaches are suitably impressed, with Usher calling it "a spotless performance." Careful Usher, you don’t talk up the other guy’s artist too highly.
Next, it's time for the other two coaches to take the stage. Adam and Usher nail D’Angelo’s "Untitled (How Does It Feel)," a soul tune written in honor of the great Prince. Then we move on to one more duet between a coach and artist. It’s Jake and Blake to sing "A Country Boy Can Survive" by Hank Williams Jr. It's a snarling, scary country classic that, as Blake explains, every country artist needs in his arsenal. It’s a twangy song, to which Jake and Blake add an intensity that makes it even more dark and brooding. Good country always has an edge.
We focus next on Christina and her showstopper solo song: Elvis' "Can’t Help Falling in Love." It's yet another daring choice for Christina. Knowing she had the lowest vote total of the final three in last week’s semifinals, she can’t play it safe if she wants the win. She does a beautiful, slow arrangement of the already-slow song, accompanied by violins. Violins? Elvis wouldn’t know what to make of that, but it’s beautiful nonetheless. The coaches are blown away by her fearlessness and her committed performance.
Closing out the night is Josh Kaufman. We watch a video package as Josh undergoes his final rehearsals under a very intense Usher, scenes that include running laps around The Voice stage. Then it’s time to sing Adele’s "Set Fire to the Rain." Any Adele song is a challenge, but this is one to which Josh easily rises. By the end, his coach is on his feet cheering and hollering. Carson asks the coach for some comments on the performance and Usher goes on so long that the host has to cut him off so he can squeeze in the details about voting before the credits roll.
One more night, and we crown this season’s Voice. Let the voting and downloading commence!
Jake Worthington, Christina Grimmie and Josh Kaufmann perform solo and with their coaches for America's votes.