This is the week we've been waiting for all season, as Chris Blue, Jesse Larson, Lauren Duski and Aliyah Moulden go head to head and battle it out to be named the season 12 winner of The Voice
. Since Gwen Stefani is without a team member in the competition, who will she be cheering on in the finale?
The four finalists are each performing three times -- a regular cover, a duet with their coach and an original song.
Aliyah Moulden ("Never Be Lonely")
Aliyah and Blake Shelton begin work on recording her first single, "Never Be Lonely," a spunky pop song about a young crush. This bubblegum teen song represents the type of music Aliyah wants to make, and it's well-suited for her age but a far cry from some of the challenging songs we've seen her cover throughout the season. Gwen makes the best point, though, that regardless of the difficulty level of the music, it's commendable that Aliyah maintains the integrity of her young age.
Jesse Larson ("Takin' It to the Streets")
Jesse's up with his individual cover first, and he chooses a Doobie Brothers classic. What a long way he's come, from his one-chair turn to the finale with Adam Levine. This time around, he opts for a simplistic performance with his guitar, which he takes the time to jam out on with a brief solo toward the end of the song. Alicia Keys calls his voice pristine and praises the authentic pairing of Adam and Jesse, who is a refreshingly unique artist in this competition.
Chris Blue and Alicia Keys ("Diamonds and Pearls")
Chris teams up with his coach to perform one of music's most beautifully written songs, and I'm hoping that Alicia keeps her promise that this isn't the last duet the pair will do. Right off the bat, Chris showcases a gorgeous lower register that we've rarely heard from him, and it's chilling when blended with Alicia's silky smooth tone.
Lauren Duski ("The Dance")
Lauren and Blake reflect on her journey so far in the competition and marvel over the astounding performance in the semifinal round that topped the iTunes charts.
For her last individual cover, she takes on a Garth Brooks song that's vital in the history of country music. Continuing with the tone of simplistic stage performances, Lauren knocks it out of the park yet again. She personalizes the melody in all the right places in order to make it her own.
Aliyah Moulden and Blake Shelton ("Dancing in the Street")
Blake switches gears from country to sing the universally known classic tune "Dancing in the Street." It's obvious that this is the best moment in Aliyah's brief 15 years of life so far, and Blake looks like an adorable, proud papa, even though his awkward dance moves are reminiscent of the token uncle at a wedding reception. Their voices aren't the most organic, complementary combination, but the performance is a blast.
Chris Blue ("Money on You")
For his first time recording in a studio, Chris and Alicia work on his original single that reminds him of when he first met the love of his life. Please take all of my money for this album right now because his original music is everything I've been hoping it would be. "Money on You" has a catchy tune and a juxtaposition of both new wave pop and classic beats utilized by artists like Bruno Mars. Of course, we get to see some of his signature dance moves, and Chris has never looked so confident and cool.
Jesse Larson and Adam Levine ("Let's Go Crazy")
Jesse and his coach come at us with another Prince favorite. But for this duet, we get the party jam, which they tackle with their rocker attitudes and matching guitars. I'm not sure why, but hearing Adam Levine say "dearly beloved" gives me chills. No one is having as much fun as these two in their duets because who wouldn't love to have a jam session inspired by one of the greatest of all time?
Lauren Duski and Blake Shelton ("There's a Tear in My Beer")
The country duo were bound to dig into the archives for their collaboration, but their song choice is actually surprising for this one. Hank Williams Sr. and Jr. both performed this twangy favorite, but now it's hard for me to imagine the tune without the rich sound of Lauren's voice.
Jesse Larson ("Woman")
Jesse's new single was written for him by one of his idols and inspirations. If you had asked me which contestant would release a slower tempo for their original song, Jesse is probably the last one I would have guessed. "Woman" is bluesy, warm and the perfect vibe to embody his style. After he finishes with a killer high note, Adam makes a defiant speech about getting back to the integrity of the show by voting for Jesse's voice.
Aliyah Moulden ("Signed, Sealed, Delivered (I'm Yours)")
Aliyah, host Carson Daly and Blake reflect on her journey as the youngest finalist in this season of The Voice, and the highlights are remarkable to see. Blake decides to take Aliyah's style back to the roots of her debut on the show to showcase how much growth we've seen from her. Her spunk and spark take over the stage during this performance, and it's clear to me that this girl might hit the charts hard no matter what place she comes in.
Lauren Duski ("Deja Vu")
Lauren has written her own first single to debut, which is an emotional ballad about seeing whispers of a relationship after it's gone. I'll admit right here and now that I am the furthest thing from a country music fan. In fact, I don't like much of it at all, but this song is just absolutely breathtaking. At the conclusion of her performance, Blake congratulates Lauren on writing her first hit single, and he's likely not wrong. It might be safe to say that Lauren just sang her second number one song on iTunes and a win for season 12 with that performance.
Chris Blue ("Rhythm Nation")
Chris, Alicia and Carson reflect on his road to the final four, noting that with Shania Twain as a guest coach, Chris earned the first-ever five-chair turn after a performance. For his last song of the season, Chris tackles one of Janet Jackson's most famous songs, tipped with a bit of edgy rock and dance moves that only he can replicate. It's also worth mentioning how socially relevant this song is today.
So that's it for this season's competition, and you have several options to choose from when downloading a song to cast your vote. Which coach and artist duet was your favorite? Regardless of who wins, which contestant do you think is releasing the best new original song? Let us know your thoughts in the comments section below.
(Image and videos courtesy of NBC)