So we’re down to three on The Voice.
And, in many ways, it’s an unlikely final three.
Six singers on Season 5 of The Voice turned four chairs during their blind auditions.
Only one — Tessanne Chin — has survived to perform in Monday’s finale.
Jacquie Lee? Only two chairs turned for her audition. And if you were going to pick an inexperienced teen to make it this far, the early nod probably would have gone to Holly Henry. Or Caroline Pennell. Or her Team Christina teammate Timyra-Joi.
Will Champlin entered the competition with an impressive musical resume. And, heck, his father was a member of the popular rock band Chicago. But he was overshadowed on audition night by returning rocker James Irwin and Ashley DuBose, both of whom turned four chairs.
Yet Monday night, it’ll be Tessanne, Will and Jacquie Lee squaring off for The Voice title. And it looks like the most wide open dash for the title since back in Season 2.
The rankings …3. Will Champlin (Team Adam): Credit Adam Levine’s intuition. Back in the live rounds, he had to choose between saving Preston Pohl and Will. Preston was the former member of a Christian rock band who had generated lots of early buzz with his raspy vocals. But Adam decided to save Will, who had already needed saves to continue on the show after losing to James Wolpert in the battle round and Matthew Schuler in the knockout round. Yet when the live shows began, he wound up outlasting Matthew and James. Talk about an unlikely road to The Voice finale. Will’s most important performance came on Top 8 night, when he tackled the R&B classic “At Last,” proving he was one of the best male vocalists on the show and besting everyone else that week by landing in the Top 10 on iTunes. He was back in the Top 10 on iTunes with last week’s version of Fun’s “Carry On,” making him the only singer among the remaining three to have earned bonus points with two songs entering the final night of voting. Oh, he also lost those white-framed glasses he wore during his blind audition somewhere along the way. Good move. They looked gimmicky. And Will has proven anything but gimmicky with his performances, especially over the past month.
Go here for a look back at all of Will’s performances on The Voice.2. Jacquie Lee (Team Christina): How in the world did she pull this off? I mean, after her blind audition, there was more talk about her boots than her voice. Tessanne and Will grew up around music. Jacquie admits her family “isn’t musical at all.” Will released three albums pre-Voice; Tessanne released one and sang background for a reggae legend. Jacquie? Well, she won an amateur Idol competition back home in New Jersey. And she was hoping to release an EP sometime soon. Yet, despite that disparity in experience, here she is in The Voice finale. How did she do it? Well, watch that blind audition again and you’ll notice something special about Jacquie. The coaches were slow to turn … very slow … and the 16-year-old wasn’t flustered at all. She kept belting out Amy Winehouse’s “Back to Black,” then flashed that million dollar smile of hers when Christina Aguilera and Blake Shelton finally did turn around. Christina summed up Jacquie the best a couple of weeks later when she described the teen as a kitten who turns into a tiger on stage. The tiger has delivered amazing vocals on “I Put a Spell on You” and “Love is Blindness,” but might have delivered her most important performance last week singing “Angel” with its much slower tempo. It proved she can do more than just belt like she “swallowed an old woman” (Cee Lo’s words) once she hits the stage.
Go here for a look back at all of Jacquie’s performances on The Voice.1. Tessanne Chin (Team Adam): The young woman from Kingston, Jamaica, was a contender from the moment she sang the first note of Pink’s “Try” during her blind audition. The coaches knew it too. Everyone was buzzing about how quickly they turned for Matthew Schuler’s blind audition. Well, three judges spun their chairs after the second line of Tessanne’s song; Blake joined them as soon as she launched into (or should I say tore into) the chorus. Adam Levine predicted she could easily win the show. Well, it hasn’t been easy. Tessanne was matched against excellent singers in the battle and knockout rounds — Donna Allen and Ashley — and prevailed both times. But viewers have been slower to warm to her than they were to the last two Voice winners (Cassadee Pope and Danielle Bradbery). Take Top 12 night: Her version of “My Kind of Love” was only 57th on iTunes when voting ended. The other finalists landed much higher. But it all came together last week when she closed the show with “Bridge Over Troubled Water” and wound up at number one, the first time that’s happened this season for any singer. Why should she win? She’s handled the widest range of material. She’s handled everything thrown at her — and some of the song choices have been questionable — wonderfully. And she’s the best voice on a show called The Voice.
Go here for a look back at all of Tessanne’s performances on The Voice.