Tuesday’s finale of The Voice featured two things we haven’t seen in years. The first was a Top 4 that wasn’t packed with teens. The second was first and second place finishers that have been favoured to win from the beginning, earning their spots thanks to talent and not popularity. It’s something we almost never see in reality singing competitions, but was a welcome change of pace. Season 16 of The Voice ended on Tuesday with Team Blake’s country singers Andrew Sevener, Dexter Roberts and Gyth Rigdon missing the top spot, with Team Legend’s superstar Maelyn Jarmon taking home the trophy. No need to flip our coffee table, the right person won.
As always, the finale featured the return of members of the Top 13, with performances that are not only a nice way to give the ousted contestants more screen time, but also act as a reminder that aside from the odd outlier (Maelyn), the Top 4 could have featured a number of talented combinations. Jej Vinsoon in the finale? Yup. LB Crew? For sure. Lisa Ramey gone too soon? Too soon. Shawn Sounds? We’re still not ready to talk about that robbery.
The finale also boasted an awards show-level roster of performers, outdoing itself and delivering one of the best lineups in the history of The Voice finales. Honestly, we’re having trouble thinking of an actual awards show that had a better lineup this year. It was a who’s who of the biggest names in pop right now, including Taylor Swift and BTS, which together represent literally half of all records bought this year, plus a few random and welcomed gems. We don’t know why Hootie and the Blowfish were on stage to perform “Let Her Cry,” but like Darius Rucker’s voice, that song holds up 25 years later.
Unfortunately, one standard The Voice still hasn’t let go of is the ‘funny’ filler videos for the finale. These ranged from the tolerable, like John Legend’s song about being blocked, to the unwatchable, like the dogs pretending to be the coaches. Why must we endure a video montage of Kelly Clarkson building a club house? These videos are so bad they make Kelly Clarkson unlikeable, and she may be the most likeable person on TV. Can’t we just watch rehearsal footage or, I don’t know, a video of paint drying?
One finale staple that we do love is seeing the final four contestants getting to sing with big-name artists. Andrew Sevener was the first performer of the night, hitting the stage with his musical hero Travis Tritt and soaking up every moment. This was Andrew’s moment and we loved living vicariously through it. The country singer ended his time on The Voice in fourth place, but definitely took home top prize for ‘Most Excited To Be Here.’
In third place was Dexter Roberts, who shared the stage with country legend Toby Keith. The good ole boys performed “That’s Country Bro,” which is the actual title of the song and not something we made up. It’s essentially the honky tonk version of Billy Joel’s “We Didn’t Start The Fire,” but less educational.
Gyth Rigdon closed out the show, a fitting spot considering Gyth was the first artist in the Blind Audition this season. That’s what we call a full circle moment. Gyth performed “Hold My Hand” with Hootie and the Blowfish, making them the only band to perform twice on Tuesday night. So, maybe someone dropped out and Hootie pulled double duty? Or maybe it was our lucky night. Like “Let Her Cry,” the 90’s hit “Hold My Hand” is still a bona fide jam.
All season we’ve been trying to figure out who Maelyn Jarmon sounds like. Of course, she has her own incredible and unique sound, but there were whiffs of Florence Welch, an essence of Adele, a hint of Maggie Rogers. Put it all together and what do you get? Sarah McLachlan. DUH to us. The Canadian icon brought her toned arms of an angel to The Voice stage to perform a duet with Maelyn and made us wish the performance doubled as a surprise announcement that she’s bringing back Lilith Fair. This woman needs to be on stage duetting with other women. It’s magic.
And now we patiently wait for Maelyn Jarmon’s debut album and pray it isn’t being held up in reality show purgatory.