At last, Season 11 gets to the Live Finals. Josh Gallagher, Billy Gilman, Sundance Head and Wé McDonald are the last singers standing. For the final round, each contestant sang three songs: one a cover song, one a duet with their coach, and one original song that will become their first single. Some quick housekeeping: Four singers were eliminated last week: Ali Caldwell, Aaron Gibson, Brendan Fletcher and Christian Cuevas. With the elimination of Caldwell and Gibson, coach Miley Cyrus’ team is completely eliminated.
So here we go with the final four:
Singer #1: Billy Gilman (Team Adam Levine). Cover song: “My Way” by Frank Sinatra; Duet: “Bye Bye Love” by the Everly Brothers; Original Song: “Because Of You”.
Billy has been at or near the front throughout the season, and nothing changed after these performances. His “My Way” cover was killed, and the single seemed tailor-made for him. As for the duet, it was fine. Before I go any further, I believe the duet performances are a waste of time; songs to help fill the show’s two-hour running time. If I were in charge of the show, those duets would not count toward the votes that pick the winner. As it is, I hope they are given a lesser weight than the cover song and the original single.
Singer #2: Josh Gallagher (Team Adam). Cover song: “Jack And Diane” by John Cougar Mellencamp; Duet: “Smooth” by Santana featuring Rob Thomas; Original song: “Pick Any Small Town”.
I may be one of the few who is still wondering how Gallagher made it to the finals. I certainly thought that either Caldwell or Fletcher were better than him. However, America voted to save him, so here he stands. As for his performances tonight, they were alright. His original song may have been his best performance of the night; the coaches have said all season that he sounds like an artist that would fit in on Country radio, and the song definitely fits the format.
Singer #3: Wé McDonald (Team Alicia Keys). Cover song: “Don’t Rain On My Parade” by Barbra Streisand; Duet: “Ave Maria”; Original song: “Wishes.”
From the beginning of the season, McDonald has been one to watch. If she wasn’t the favorite, she was certainly pretty close. However, I don’t know if she did enough to win with these songs. The cover of the song from the musical Funny Girl seemed to me to be her best performance of the night. Her original song sounded like a song Alicia would have sung; most likely on her new album (which I have not heard in full as of yet, but it sounds like some of the songs I have heard from it). It will be interesting to see if she can get enough votes to put her over the top.
Singer #4: Sundance Head (Team Blake Shelton). Cover song: “At Last” by Etta James; Duet: “Treat Her Right” by Roy Head & The Traits; Original song: “Darlin’ Don’t Go”.
Sundance has been consistently solid throughout the competition. I haven’t heard a bad performance out of him all season, and he continued to be good last night. His cover of his father’s song with Blake was the best duet of the night for me; even if I don’t think they should count for much, that was a good performance. He took “At Last,” a song that so many female singers have sung on these types of shows, and gave another very good performance. His original single was pure Sundance: it reminded me why I liked him right from the start of the show. Does he win? I think he has a shot.
Well, there you have it. All that is left now is counting the votes…and one last two-hour show that will be filled to the brim with celebrity performances, finalist performances, group performances with some of the previously eliminated singers, and most likely a performance from the coaches. All that hoopla for what could easily be revealed in two minutes. I will write a brief wrap-up post with the winner’s music video for their debut single to be posted on Wednesday morning.
(photo from Creative Commons via Eva Rinaldi-available for reuse).