'The Voice' Final 3 Recap: Josh Kaufman Sets Fire to the Stage
It's hard to believe there was a time when top three Voice contestant Josh Kaufman was considered an underdog. It's even harder to believe that he almost went home in the Battle Rounds, before Usher swooped in, stole him, and gave him a second chance. Why? Because after Josh capped off Monday's final three showdown with a literally fiery performance of Adele's "Set Fire to the Rain," it's difficult to imagine that he won't win Season 6.
The candles. The flames. The white suit. The fleet of violinists. The crazy vocal acrobatics. The intriguing, Alison Moyet-esque androgyny of his voice. The knee-drop. This was theater. This was epic. This was the heaven-and-hell performance of the night, of a star, of a champion.
"You were lost and found. This is the representation of what The Voice is. It cannot happen that this guy doesn't win The Voice. You are the winner," declared Josh's proud coach, Usher. Usher may have been right. I sure hope he was.
Josh's fellow finalists, Christina Grimmie and Jake Worthington, had their own impressive moments this Monday — each doing one encore song chosen by America, one coach pick, and one coach duet — but neither burned up the stage quite like Josh.
But the competition definitely did heat up this Monday. Read on for the full recap…
Christina Grimmie – Christina got four chairs to spin around with her original "Wrecking Ball" audition. It was great then, but I am a little surprised that America picked it for her reprise performance instead of, say, "Hold On, We're Going Home." Anyway, I don't recall Christina's "Wrecking Ball" being so hair-metal the first time around. This was a real headbangers' ball — pyro explosions, hair extensions, fingerless gloves, spiderweb graphics, and a whole lot of Halford/Dio-style screechiness. Christina was hell-bent for leather, indeed. Shakira called Christina's upper register "just insane." Christina's coach, Adam Levine, told her, "I felt like I was watching you perform your single on an incredible awards show. You're that good." I mostly liked this; hey, I like hair-metal! But it did feel a little forced, a little fake. I don't really buy Christina as a rocker chick. She's no Kat Perkins.
Jake Worthington – Jake also reprised his first audition. No, not "Keep Your Hands to Yourself." That was Season 5, and that didn't go so well. He did his Season 6 comeback song, the song that inspired a three-chair turnaround, Keith Whitley's "Don't Close Your Eyes." This was way better than his Blind Audition. He performed like a CMT-ready pro, and inspired his coach, Blake Shelton, to give him a standing ovation. Usher praised Jake's hard work and perseverance. Shakira told him, "You've gained credibility, and credibility is such an important factor in country music." Adam seemed to throw a little shade by calling Jake the type of singer whose voice doesn't "break glass," and he sort of gave him a kiss-off by saying, "It's been fun to watch you, man" — but he was generally kind. Jake is not necessarily my personal pick to win, but his growth this season has been remarkable, and I think he could have a real career after this show, regardless of whether he places first, second, or third.