by Carly Mallenbaum, USA TODAY
Is the rocking Scotsman, the country/pop/rock chick or the bearded soul man The Voice?
On Monday night's performance show, Terry McDermott, Cassadee Pope and Nicholas David sang for the win. The singer with the most votes after the show wins the competition.
Before the top three competed for the last time, the finalists joined the coaches, host Carson Daly and several singers voted off Season 3 for a tribute to victims of the Sandy Hook school shooting. The group sang Hallellujah and held cards with the names of the fallen.
Then, it was time for the final three's final three songs: one new song choice, one duet with a coach and one reprise of a tune they'd previously sung on the show.
First up was Team CeeLo Green's Nicholas. Though he usually performs slower songs "with a message," as he says, the Minnesota man lit up the stage with an energetic Great Balls of Fire/Fire mashup. He started playing at a piano with fire coming out of it, and he worked the pyrotechnic stage with big impassioned eyes and karate kicks. Blake joked that regardless of whether Nicholas wins, "you'll be expecting a call from the Rockettes." CeeLo said to his finalist, "Your honesty is always appreciated, but your fire tonight burned this house down."
Team Blake's Cassadee (obviously) reprised her successful song Over You, which was written by her coach. Her rendition of the song ended up debuting on the Billboard Hot 100 a few weeks ago. The second time around she chose to sing a different part of the song, but the performance was just as effective, especially in the aftermath of the Connecticut tragedy. "It's perfect" and "starts the healing process," said Blake. Christina Aguilera said Cassadee can sing "pop, country, anything," because her voice is so good.
Next Terry hung out with his family and Blake, his coach, because they have a "mutual appreciation of great music and a good time," said Carson. To Terry's surprise, his dad, whom he hadn't seen in years, also came to visit in a taped segment. Back on the live show, the mentor/mentee duo sang Dude Looks Like a Lady. Terry's clean vocals shined in the song, while Blake played an air guitar in the crowd. Then a surprise guest played a real electric guitar in the crowd. Adam Levine did look like a lady in a long brown wig (he looked like Cassadee at first glance) but his bare chest and tattoos gave away his identity.
Nicholas was back to replay his "defining moment." It was Lean on Me, performed from a wooden piano (this time not set afire) with background singers behind him on wooden benches and tables. He closed his eyes and let his smooth voice move the crowd. Adam said, "Doing that song justice is a hard thing to do," but your "version of that song is killer." CeeLo, getting sentimental, said, "I sit here in awe of your ability. You move me."
Terry was back to sing his son's favorite song, Broken Wings. The beginning of the song was awkward, as Terry began in the third verse, and then switched to the first verse halfway through. "In the beginning, something was going on," said Adam, but Terry powered through. "You friggin' nailed it," said Adam. Blake, ignoring the mishap, highlighted Terry's Dude Looks Like a Lady performance and said, "You make these classic rock songs sound new again."
Cassadee got to hang out with Blake and her family in a taped segment. "God definitely broke the mold when he made Cassadee Pope," gushed Blake. Then the two sang Steve McQueen, with Blake on guitar and Cassadee working the crowd. At one point she was speaking from a megaphone and bopping around in her red flannel.
The song Terry chose to repeat was I Wanna Know What Love Is. He was the first voted through after performing the rock ballad before. This time, he was surrounded by female violinists and tall box lamps that changed colors. Though his voice sounded as good as usual, he seemed bummed by time the song ended. Christina commended Terry's work ethic, saying he's "still bringin' it home every single time." Blake thought the performance was better than Terry's first rendition of the song.
Nicholas, in his taped segment, joined his family (including "Nicholas' gal," as the lower third called her) and his coach on the couch. Back onstage, he and CeeLo sang Play that Funky Music with their funky voices and go-go dancers. They were later joined by a dancing mini-CeeLo, who looked like the quirky judge. The little guy, named Milo, was dressed in the same zebra-print pajamas as CeeLo and easily stole the show with his fantastic dance moves.
Closing the show, Cassadee sang Faith Hill's Cry. Emerging from a giant chuppah of leaves, she owned the song with her glittery gold train and soaring high notes. The song was the perfect pop/country mix for a girl who has proven successful with those songs. Adam said Cassadee was "amazing," and Blake said, "I never heard you sing as good as you did tonight."
The winner will be revealed on Tuesday (9 ET/PT).
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