(LOS ANGELES) — The top four on The Voice took the stage Monday night for part one of the season 17 finals, with a record contract on the line. For the first time in the show’s history, all four coaches have an artist in the finale.
Team Blake Shelton’s Ricky Duran, Team Gwen Stefani’s Rose Short, Team Kelly Clarkson’s Jake Hoot and Katie Kadan, from John Legend’s team all performed three times. Each artist performed a new cover song, a holiday duet with his or her coach, and an original song.
Ricky Duran kicked off the show with a cover of Tom Petty’s “Runnin’ Down a Dream.” Blake praised his artist, saying “Ricky, you never let any of us down,” adding that Duran “comes out here and rolls up his sleeves and gets the job done.
Jake Hoot performed his new single, a song he co-wrote, called, “Better Off Without You.” During rehearsal, Clarkson, his coach called the song “rad,” explaining, “It’s so catchy and so relatable.” Added Kelly, “It’s hard to impress me nowadays everything sounds different in country music. It sounded contemporary but paying homage to what country music stands for.”
Next up, Katie Kadan joined Legend for a duet on the holiday blues classic, “Merry Christmas Baby.”
Team Gwen’s Rose Short debuted her new R&B single, “Steamroller,” a song that Short, a former corrections officer who quit her job after eight years to pursue a solo career, told the story of her life. “I just had to bull doze my way through,” she revealed to Stefani during rehearsal. Shelton thought it was the best match of a song to an artist he’d ever heard on the show.
Ricky Duran returned for his duet with Blake Shelton, “Run Run Rudolph,” the holiday standard popularized by Chuck Berry.
Team Legend’s Katie Kadan left it all on the stage with her smokey debut single, “All Better.” Following the performance, Kelly said she’d add the song to her “sexy playlist.” Legend noted that it was the “perfect marriage of her style with a more modern production,” and Kadan “sold that song so beautifully.”
The evening continued with back-to-back duets from Clarkson and Hoot on Sarah McLachlan’s “Winter Song,” and Rose and Gwen on Stefani’s original holiday tune, “My Gift Is You.”
Next, it was Jake Hoot’s turn to take the stage with a cover of Lonestar’s 2003 hit, “Amazed.” After the live performance, Kelly joked about how lucky was to nab Jake, who was a one chair turn, because she “didn’t have to fight anyone” for him.
Kadan returned to deliver her last performance of the evening, a cover of the Aerosmith power ballad, “I Don’t Want to Miss a Thing.” The performance drew an extended ovation from the audience. “I can’t get a word in, because people love you so freakin’ much,” joked Blake. Legend said working with Katie this season was “magical.”
Ricky Duran changed things up a bit with his original song, “A Woman Like Her” — an acoustic ballad co-written by Lady Antebellum’s Charles Kelly — which combined country and pop. John Legend predicted it would be the most streamed original of the night. Blake dubbed the performance Rick’s best of the season.
Team Gwen’s Rose Short closed out the show, leaving her “soul on the stage,” with a cover of Aretha Franklin’s version of the Elton John tune, “Border Song.” Legend applauded Short for providing the show with “a beautiful moment.” Gwen declared, “Sometimes God puts a little extra drop of cool, a extra drop of talent, and He definitely did that with you. You are a magical human being.”
The winner will be crowned on Tuesday night’s two-hour season finale, which begins at 8 p.m. ET on NBC. Little Big Town, Lady Antebellum, Dua Lipa, Black Eyed Peas, Luke Combs, Adam Lambert, Yolanda Adams, Gary Clarke Jr. and Jennifer Hudson, among others, will be the musical guests.
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