Well, this is it. Season 8 has come to a close, and a winner has been crowned. But who has America chosen?
There were all sorts of performances in this two-hour finale, both from special guests, the entire top 20, and our coaches. It was an exciting night, but no moment more exciting than when the results were finally revealed.
In a sweet tribute to B.B. King, our four coaches performed their own rendition of King’s classic, “The Thrill Is Gone.” They all sounded great, but this was obviously most in Christina’s wheelhouse. She went to town, teaching a class in soul, while wearing a fantastically sparkly dress. Pharrell kind of sang-talked his parts, in that charming way that he has. Adam took on a guitar solo, and while it was a good effort, Adam Levine is no B.B. King. It was great performance, but it really needed some Lucille.
Christina Aguilera: Master of Impressions
Christina didn’t get to play much in the finale, since she no longer has a horse in this race, but they DID let her play around a little bit, doing a lot of impressions. She put her Mickey Mouse Club experience to good use, playing Miley Cyrus, Lady Gaga, and Shakira, among others. She completely nailed her Cher impression, which makes sense, given their time together in Burlesque. She also threw in some digs at fellow former Mouseketeer Britney Spears. Well done, Xtina.
In a nice tribute to this season’s advisor, the top 20 sang a medley of Fun! songs. Our final four, Koryn, Meghan, Joshua, and Sawyer, started off with “Carry On,” before being joined by the rest of the top 20. Lots of vaguely familiar faces in there, but it was great to hear from some of our season 8 favorites once again. It’s been a great season, with some really incredible talent.
Bring Back Performances
Joshua brought back some incredible talent for his “bring back” performance: Corey Kent White, Kimberly Nichole, and his teammates Deanna Johnson and Brian Johnson. They performed The Black Crowes’ “She Talks to Angels,” which was a great bit of nineties nostalgia, as well as a great rock ballad for all five vocalists. It was great to hear our old friends again, and they all seemed to really enjoy the performance.
Meghan Linsey bonded with teammate Sarah Potenza right off the bat, so it was no surprise she chose Sarah, and only Sarah, to join her onstage for her bring-back performance. It was also no surprise that they chose Janis Joplin’s “Piece of My Heart” for their duet, because they are two of the Janis-iest Joplins to have ever graced The Voice stage. Meghan really let Sarah take center stage, which was nice of her, but we didn’t vote Sarah into the finals, we voted for Meghan. Plus, Sarah lacked that trademark Janis scream at a crucial point.
Koryn formed her own “super girl group” with India Carney, Lexi Davila, Caitlin Caporale, Tonya Boyd Cannon, and Mia Z, to perform Mark Ronson and Bruno Mars’ “Uptown Funk.” It’s always good to see a good girl group, especially one that’s wearing this much denim. For some reason, no one seemed to be enjoying the song quite as much as Koryn, who was completely rocking out.
Sawyer brought back his pals Mia Z, Brooke Adee, and Lowell Oakley for a performance of Jonny Lang’s “Lie to Me.” They were basically a blues super-group, singing the perfect song. They all seemed to be having a great time, and sounded great together. Maybe they have a real future as a super-group? Additionally, if Sawyer has contributed nothing else to this show, (which obviously he has), it’s bring artists like Ray LaMontagne and Jonny Lang to America’s attention.
Koryn Hawthorne and Kelly Clarkson
Kelly Clarkson may be the original American Idol, but she’s found a home at The Voice, appearing numerous times as both an advisor and guest performer. She took the stage tonight to perform Etta James’ “I’d Rather Go Blind” with Team Pharrell’s Koryn Hawthorne. Both ladies are more than qualified to take on the classic song, and together they put on one hell of a show. When it was over, Kelly was inspired to say, “She can sing, y’all!” High praise, indeed.
Sawyer Fredericks and John Fogerty
Sawyer freaking Fredericks has all the luck. Not only does he get his idol Ray LaMontagne to lend him a song for his first single, but then he gets to perform alongside the legendary John Fogerty in the finale. They played a medley of Creedence Clearwater Revival hits: “Born on the Bayou,” “Bad Moon Rising,” and “Have You Ever Seen the Rain.” The last song was very familiar to Sawyer, as he sang it with Noelle Bybee in the battle rounds. Sawyer Fredericks has already experienced more in his 16 years than the rest of us are likely to experience in a lifetime.
Joshua Davis and Sheryl Crow
It’s been a little bit since we’ve seen Sheryl Crow, but it was great to see her again, singing alongside Team Adam’s Joshua Davis. The performed her song “Give It to Me,” and while it was a great performance, I think we all would have preferred to have heard almost any other Sheryl Crow song. Another nineties throwback would only have improved the night. That said, Joshua and Sheryl’s voices blended beautifully, even if hers did overpower his at points.
Meghan Linsey and Kelly Clarkson
Kelly Clarkson returned to the stage to perform with our other fierce female finalist: Meghan Linsey. They performed Kelly’s new single, “Invincable,” and both girls were pretty much evenly matched. It’s another great Kelly single, but the best part is, Kelly always seems to genuinely enjoy performing with these artists. Meghan may not have earned a, “She can sing, y’all,” like Koryn did, but we’ve been watching the show. We know she can sing.
Special Guest Performances
Season 8’s Team Blake mentor Meghan Trainor returned to The Voice to perform an acoustic take of her song “Dear Future Husband.” There was a ukulele and a bunch of lamps involved, so truly, how could you possibly go wrong? It’s a catchy song, easily relatable, and is sure to be another hit from the “All About That Bass” hitmaker.
Adam took the stage with his Maroon 5 bandmates to debut their new single, “This Summer’s Gonna Hurt Like a Mother****er.” Seriously. That’s what it’s called. And if Adam Levine’s summer is gonna hurt like a mother****er, then surely there is no hope for the rest of us. It’s your standard catchy M5, although this one does have a touch of Fall Out Boy to it, especially in the chorus. We’re likely looking at the anthem for summer 2015.
Luke Bryan graced us with his presence to perform his new single “Kick the Dust Up.” Its always a treat to see Luke Bryan, though a little disappointing to see him without his trademark baseball cap. Also disappointing that it looked like his sleeved were duct-taped to the rest of his shirt. But he’s a great performer, and “Kick the Dust Up” is another hit, sure to turn cornfields around the country into a party. Unsurprisingly, Luke’s buddy Blake was bopping right along.
Ginger Jesus Ed Sheeran blessed The Voice stage with a performance of his new single, “Photograph.” And even if you thought you could handle that, you likely were not prepared to see bits of the music video, featuring adorable Baby Ed. It was an emotional attack on all fronts, in the eyes and ears. Here’s hoping season 9 of The Voice is just all Ed Sheeran contestants, auditioning for a panel of four Ed Sheeran coaches.
…And oh yeah, the results.
Host Carson Daly of course waited until the last five minutes to get around to revealing the results of last night’s vote. Very quickly he revealed the results, starting with fourth place: Koryn Hawthorne. Third place went to Joshua Davis, meaning it all came down to Meghan Linsey and Sawyer Fredericks. Coach Blake, the winningest coach in The Voice history, and Pharrell, only in his second season, without having yet had a winner.
After a dramatic pause, Carson revealed that Sawyer Fredericks was the winner of season 8, meaning the first win for Coach Pharrell, who was thrilled. Sawyer’s parents joined the ecstatic teen onstage as he sang his victory song, and debut single, “Please.”
Congratulations to Sawyer Fredericks! The Voice returns in the fall for season 9.