The final performance show on The Voice featured strong finishes from the final three contenders: Jamaican diva Tessanne Chin, California musical whiz Will Champlin and New Jersey teen sensation Jacquie Lee.
All showed off their evolution as artists, performing three songs during Monday’s episode, including duets with their coaches, during which the contestants held their own, and then some, against their celebrity mentors.
A winner will be crowned on the show’s finale Tuesday.
Adam Levine and Christina Aguilera are the only coaches remaining in the competition and both got what they wanted in the final battle as their artists mastered big songs, including the show’s youngest singer, Lee, who offered a showstopping closer on the Dreamgirls power ballad “And I Am Telling You I’m Not Going.”
“The amount of talent you have in that little body, for being 16 years old, is unbelievable,” Aguilera told Lee, with whom she has forged a deep bond over the past few weeks.
“To see you evolve on the show – sister, that was amazing,” three-time winner Blake Shelton told Lee.
While she delivered on Amy Winehouse‘s “Back to Black” and held her own against Aguilera as they teamed up on “We Remain,” Lee will have a tough time besting Chin, 28, who at her coach’s insistence took on Whitney Houston‘s iconic hit “I Have Nothing.”
Chin, who said she was performing it in “tribute” to the late singer, owned the song, ending it with a shimmering cascade of gold fireworks behind her.
The crowd wouldn’t stop cheering and Levine seemed lost in the performance, admitting he had no words, just “emotions.”
“It’s sacred ground. We lost Whitney too early. So many people stay away from her [songs] because it’s incredible, one of the best vocals ever recorded impossible to replicate,” Levine said, noting, however, that Chin was up to the challenge. “You are just capable of anything and it blows me away. I know in my mind and heart you are the winner of this show.”
Not out of contention, and doing his family and fans proud, was the show’s remaining male singer, Champlin. The musician continued to show off his confidence and skill – and quirky-sweet edge – as a solo artist.
After moving between judges, being stolen and saved over several early weeks, the 30-year-old showed why he still belonged in the competition, especially when he joined Levine for a duet of Elton John‘s “Tiny Dancer.” In every way – look, presentation and voice – he proved Levine’s performance equal.
“You have been nothing but devoted,” Levine praised Champlin, noting his deep respect for the singer’s work ethic. “I think we are cut from the same cloth.”
Levine told Champlin that no matter how the competition shakes out, “I consider this a victory for you. You’ve won already.”