After Monday's live final performances on "The Voice," it’s pretty clear who the show hopes will be crowned the champion on Tuesday.
Danielle Bradbery was given the prime slots and closed the show Monday night. Before she’d even uttered her first note of “Born to Fly,” Adam Levine already had anointed her the winner and Blake Shelton, the 16-year-old's coach, had said (again) that she was one of the most important artists they’d ever seen walk across the show's stage.
And just in case the sentiment was unclear, both stars left the show’s viewers with an unmistakable last impression.
“What else can I possibly say? Your perfection is almost boring me at this point. It’s too perfect,” Adam said.
“As your coach, I’d like to sit here and say coach-y type things, but at the end of the day … I’m one of the millions of people out there that you have wrapped around your finger,” Blake said. “Thank God that you came to 'The Voice' to debut yourself, because you are such an important person in music and I can’t say enough about you.”
Some might argue that this is quite a lot of praise to put on a teenager.
Nevertheless, “The Voice” spared nothing in giving her the chance to shine.
Danielle sang in the back half of every one of the live performance shows, and that wasn’t about to change this late in the game. On Monday, not only did she sing last, she was involved in three of the final four performances. If late impressions are what woo voters, she got her fair share and then some.
Her three songs were by Patty Loveless, Pam Tillis and Sara Evans, continuing the Blake strategy of keeping Michelle squarely in the country lane. It’s not the most fascinating approach to song selection in the world, but it works for the superstar every year and it did again on Monday.
The Swon Brothers, on the other hand, finished all three of their individual performances before Danielle took the stage for a second time. Except for a random group performance with the rest of the top 12, they were done for the night with 40 minutes left in the show. It doesn’t take a conspiracy theorist to guess that the likable Okies on Blake's team weren’t the top choice of whoever made the schedule.
That’s nothing new for the brothers. They’ve taken the opposite road from Danielle, having performed in the first half of every live show and survived where others in that position have faltered. They were again nothing but fun. And they did get Shakira to wave a little “Go Okies”pennant – although considering that she followed that by wearing Michelle-like glasses and a tiny cowboy hat to honor Danielle, she was mostly trying to get some airtime on a night where she had no remaining singers of her own to support.
Michelle Chamuel had the most memorable performance of the night with “Why” by Annie Lennox. Part of the song was sung to an image of her in a mirror, which fascinated Blake to no end. She and coach Usher said more nice things about each other, and the hopeful still has the most range of any singer in the competition.
But for “The Voice,” range isn’t as important as genre. Though Usher did his part by having Michelle reprise Taylor Swift’s “I Knew You Were Trouble,” she’s an indie-rock girl in a country competition, and that likely means a runner-up finish and a front-row seat for Danielle’s coronation Tuesday.
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