Guys have won the first two seasons. Will they end up splitting the vote now that they created a three-way finale? Cassadee has been outselling the other two by wide margins on iTunes. She is a pro who fronted a band before and comes across sa polished and vocally pristine. She’s up against Nicholas, a bearded soul man who opted for Cee Lo-level glitz tonight and Terry, an excellent 80s rocker in the wrong decade. I’m going to play it safe and call this for Cassadee.
Also, the opener with “Hallelujah” and the contestants and coaches holding the names of the Newtown dead was appropriately touching and effective in its brevity.
1) Nicholas David (”Great Balls of Fire”/Jerry Lee Lewis mashed up with “Fire”/Jimi Hendrix, Team Cee Lo) – I haven’t been following this show all season but is this really what Nicholas is about? He has a good voice but is he Vegas? All that literal… fire.. This is something Taylor Hicks would have chewed up and spit out. But Nicholas seems like way too serious an artist to make this work. Cee Lo would have fit in this, as well. Maybe his coach wants to make him like him? Grade: B
2) Cassadee Pope (”Over You” Miranda Lambert/ Team Blake) – A smart reprise because she can pop-ify anything, including this country song and I read that this sold gobs of downloads before and was on the iTunes chart for a good period of time. Grade: A-minus
3) Terry McDermott (”Dude (Look Like a Lady”- Aerosmith with Blake in duet /Team Blake) – Fun, perfectly innocuous. I am personally surprised Terry made it this far. He’s a very good cover singer is all I can fathom. Grade: B/B-plus
4) Nicholas David (”Lean on Me” Bill Withers) – This reprise was a good pick. He brings sweet white soul to the equation in a way Michael Bolton never could. Grade: A-minus
5) Terry McDermott (”Broken Wings” Mr. Mister) – Clearly, there is no attempt to make him modern in any sense with his song picks. He picked a boring Mr. Mister song. It’s a perfectly respectable version, as he always seems to do. But poof! I almost immediately forget about it. Grade: B
6) Cassadee Pope (”Steve McQueen” Sheryl Crow, duet with Blake) – She’s entertaining and her voice has a sweet, plaintive tone to it. Although this is theoretically a duet, Cassadee gets most of the vocals, which was a smart move on Blake’s part. Grade: A/A-minus
7) Terry McDermott (”I Want To Know What Love Is’ – Foreigner) – This reprise is the best I’ve ever heard him. He at least brings something interesting vocally to this 1980s ballad (and yes, he sure likes thos 1980s rock ballads.). There are a few flat notes interspersed. Grade: B-plus/A-minus.
Nicholas David (”Play That Funky Music” Wild Cherry duet with Cee Lo) – Yes, more indulgence from Cee Lo, who not coincidentally has a Vegas show set up in 2013. Go go dancers. Check. Glittery suit. Uh huh. Cirque du Soleil tightrope performers. Yup. A Cee Lo Mini Me? Didn’t see that one! Cheesy as all get out! Grade: B-plus
9) Cassadee Pope (“Cry” Faith Hill) – Clearly, she wants to be the next Faith Hill with her country crossovers. She brings all the power and emotion to the table that should set her up for a win. Should is the operative word here. Grade: A/A-minus