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'The Voice' finale: Carter Rubin, Jim Ranger, rest of Final Five sing for the crown. Who will win?

Cydney Henderson, USA TODAY
·6 min read
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It's down to the Final Five.

After an unprecedented season riddled with COVID-19 restrictions and social distancing, "The Voice" is one night away from crowning its new champion.

"I’m a little sad. This is an entire season now, and I haven’t been able to give you one hug," Blake Shelton said to his finalist Ian Flanigan. "When COVID is over, I am going to fly to wherever you are and I’m going to give you a big hug."

The only thing that separated one of the top five finalists – Carter Rubin, 15; Desz, 30; Flanigan, 30; John Holiday, 35; and Jim Ranger, 38 – from hoisting "The Voice" trophy was two final performances on Monday.

Each artist was tasked with performing a cover and an original song. Each coach is represented in the finale, but Shelton has a slight advantage with two finalists, as opposed to Kelly Clarkson's, John Legend's and Gwen Stefani's solo singer.

Here's what happened during Monday's finale:

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Team Stefani's Carter Rubin

The Long Island, New York native, who received a two-chair turn in the Blind Auditions, kicked off the show with an emotional performance of Miley Cyrus' "The Climb" to represent his journey on the show.

"You are so special and gifted and so natural. I’m just so happy to be your coach," Stefani said. Blake Shelton added, "Even though I’m supposed to be your competition…I’m a fan."

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Rubin said he can relate to his original song "Up From Here," because "we all have highs and lows in our life." ("As long as we go down together, we can make it up from here.")

"I don't think America understands… to be 15-year-old and to be so incredibly calm and cool," Stefani said. "Thank you for trusting me. You are a beautiful person, inside and out."

Team Clarkson's Desz

The Houston native, a four-chair turn, took everyone to church on her original song "Holy Ground." Legend said she "summoned this holy energy" with her powerful song that spoke to the challenging year of 2020. ("It's not the end of the world, but it sure does feel like it.")

It left Clarkson in tears.

"I needed that song," an emotional Clarkson said, trying regaining her composure. "You did such a beautiful thing, but everyone needs that message right now."

Clarkson called Desz "hands down the greatest vocalist I’ve worked with on this show." Desz replied, "I feel like I won when you turned your chair."

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Desz wanted to switch it up on her cover. She tapped into her "emotional" and "vulnerable" side on the rock classic "Landslide" by Fleetwood Mac.

"She actually picked this song," Clarkson explained. "I am going to be honest with you, I was like, 'What?'" But Desz won over all the coaches with her "Desz-ified" rendition.

"I’m not crying anymore, I compartmentalized all feelings," Clarkson said. "You do things vocally that no one I know can do… It’s all the things that I desire to be as a vocalist and honest to God will never reach."

Clarkson assured her finalists that despite tomorrow's results, "just know that you sang your butt off on this stage."

Team Legend's John Holiday

The Rosenberg, Texas native, a three-chair turn, said his original song "Where Do We Go" was inspired by his new fans. ("Feeling your Fahrenheit, I’ve never been more alive.")

"The Fahrenheit of the love the fans are giving me, I don't want that to go away," Holiday said. "So where do we go? We only go up."

Clarkson said she was impressed with Holiday's "Celine Dion lungs."

"You have been so versatile through this competition," Legend said. "It’s magical to see all the things you are able to do."

Holiday's "Voice" journey came full circle during his last performance. The opera-trained singer said he saw a "halo" over Legend when the "Wild" singer turned for him during the Blind Auditions. He closed his run on the series with Beyoncé's "Halo."

"There’s no one like you," Legend said. "You continue to show America more of yourself every single week. You put yourself out here every single week."

Team Shelton's Ian Flanigan

The Saugerties, New York native, who only earned one chair turn, took on a country classic: Jamey Johnson's "In Color." He performed on a stage covered in black-and-white family photos. ("A pictures worth a thousand words, But you cant see what those shades of gray keep covered.")

Legend applauded Flanigan's "distinct character that’s in your voice."

"I don’t know if Ian is from the past or from the future," Shelton said. "There’s never been anyone who sounds like you, man."

Flanigan's original song "Never Learn" is a tribute to all parents.

"As a parent, this is exactly how you feel when you have a kid coming up," Flanigan explained. "You can show them all the parts of the world but you just hope that they never know the hard parts of it all."

Flanigan sang: "I can teach you how this cruel world turns, but I hope you never learn."

Shelton dubbed his voice a "friendly monster."

Team Shelton's Jim Ranger

The Bakersfield, California pastor, who received three chair turns, slowed it down on his original song, "Last." Ranger said it reminded him of his marital journey with his wife. ("There will be rainy days but don’t forget to laugh. That’s how you make it last.")

"I’ve been married 18 years," Ranger said. "I feel like (the song) captures that idea of making it work no matter what."

Shelton, who is engaged to his fellow "Voice" coach Stefani, was attentively listening: "It’s almost like you were giving me advice here… now I know how to make it last."

Legend said Ranger's "heart comes through everything you sing and everything you do."

Ranger closed the show with Joe Cocker's version of the Beatles' "With a Little Help From My Friends." It was easily the most captivating performance of the night.

"That was your best performance on this show," Clarkson said. That felt like that could have been your original… Way to live your best finale life."

Shelton said he "timed it just right."

The winner of Season 19 of "The Voice" will be revealed during Tuesday's two-hour finale (8 EDT/PDT).

This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: 'The Voice' finale: Final Five sing for the crown. Who will win?