It's no secret that this wasn't The Voice's best year, but thankfully the quality of the finalists was never compromised by this season's exorbitant changes. As we approach the finale, we'll soon be asked to choose between three — not four — artists: Team CeeLo's Nicholas David and Team Blake's Terry McDermott and Cassadee Pope.
So who has what it takes to win?
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Nicholas David, Team CeeLo From the very beginning, Nicholas stood out from the crowd with his soulful rendition of "Stand by Me." And with Melanie Martinez and Amanda Brown out of the running, Nicholas is the only artist remaining who has proven he knows how to put a unique spin on (fairly overdone) songs, making them sound fresh and fun once again.
But Nicholas is so much more than his quirky style or sonorous croon. From soulful seductive to feel-good '80s cheese, the Minnesotta native has shown he can do it all. Though Nicholas is at his best when exposing the huge heart he keeps hidden under his beard and '70s swag. I'm not ashamed to admit that during Nicholas' performance of "You Are So Beautiful," CeeLo wasn't the only person with tears in his eyes.
Though Nicholas has my vote, I still struggle to imagine the type of music he'd make topping charts or selling out arenas. Then again, I never would have thought that opera singer Chris Mann would prove to be one of the most successful Voice alums, so maybe there is great hope for Nicholas' post-Voice career. Plus, Nicholas is the most endearing contestant remaining. But is liking someone as a person enough reason for them to win?
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Terry McDermott, Team Blake Terry's probably been the steadiest competitor throughout the season, which also makes him the most predictable. Since his first blind audition where he sang the iconic "Baba O'Riley," Terry has tended to stick with what he knows — classic rock. But after a few weeks, I started to wonder if Terry had the same versatility as the rest of the artists. Thankfully, Blake came to the rescue with his fix-it for everything: a good ol' country song.
When Terry performed Blake's own song "Over," his vocal abilities were showcased in a way we'd never experienced before. Instead of a belting anthem, Terry slowed things down with the emotional ballad, giving viewers time to appreciate his vocal clarity. Though it wasn't Terry's best performance, it did serve as a huge turning point for the way he was perceived.
Then last week, Terry had his true breakout moment by taking on one of this season's most risky covers: "Let It Be."
In an interview with Wetpaint, Terry revealed he was the first person in the United States to perform the Beatles classic on television and boy, he did not disappoint! When covering a song as beloved as "Let It Be," artists often set themselves up for failure but Terry's risk paid off. The question then becomes: can he top it this week or will he simply resort to another predictable rock anthem ("Surrender" and "We Are the Champions" are still untouched this season, much to my pleasure)?
There's no denying Terry is a great talent, but I often find him a little boring. Do you think his vocal precision alone is enough to earn him the win or is he lacking the necessary artistry?
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Cassadee Pope, Team Blake With her two-toned hair and pop-rock angst, Cassadee recalls the league of women who dominated the early 2000s music scene. While there's no denying she has the pipes to pull off songs like Avril Lavigne's "My Happy Endings" and Michelle Branch's "Are You Happy Now?" it was only when Blake pushed Cassadee out of her comfort zone that she truly started to shine.
In performing her first country song "Over You," Cassadee's teen angst was transformed into vulnerable sincerity and we were able to see her as her own artist for the first time. With the help of Blake, Cassadee never left her pop-rock roots behind, but went on to keep putting her unique spins on country tunes.
After her impassioned (and impressive) rendition of Keith Urban's "Stupid Boy," Blake explained why he kept pushing Cassadee in the country direction. "She has the ability to connect with a lyric like nobody else I've seen on this show," Blake said. "It's so perfect for you because nobody else on this show can do what you just did at that moment."
And call her Rebel Wilson, because Cassadee is pitch perfect!
Cassadee seems almost like a shoo-in to win at this point, but though she's made her mark doing country, Cassadee remains a pop-rock girl at heart. It then becomes unclear which direction she would take her music if she won. And while I love her country twists, if she returns to her Avril copy-cat ways, does Cassadee really deserve it?
Who do you think should win The Voice? And who do you think will win? Sound off in the comments below!
The Voice wraps up its third season Monday and Tuesday at 8/7c on NBC.