Monday’s episode of “The Voice” opened on a somber note as host Carson Daly spoke of the terrorist attack at an Ariana Grande concert in the United Kingdom that left 22 people dead and hundreds injured. “Before we get going on this huge night of performances, on behalf of everybody here at ‘The Voice,’ our hearts go out to the people in the Manchester, England. Lives have been lost, and many hurt. You are in our thoughts. We are thinking about you.”
Four artists — Chris Blue, Lauren Duski, Jesse Larson and Aliyah Moulden — battled it out in the final. Each sang three times with a cover, an original song and a duet with their coach. Duski and Moulden may have the edge as they are on Blake Shelton‘s team and he has won five of his 11 seasons on the show. Larson is mentored by Adam Levine who has gone 3 for 11 while Blue is coached by Alicia Keys, who lost her previous season of the show.
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Chris Blue ( “Money on You”)
This dance song was crafted by a quartet of talented tunesmiths who have collaborated with some of the top talents in music: Mike Dupree, JHart, Scribz Riley and Talay Riley. And it was overseen by Fifth Harmony‘s producer Tinashe Sibanda.
Lauren Duski (“Déjà Vu”)
Duski was the only one of the four to have co-written her original song; she worked with Daniel Doron Henig and Cody Tarpley on this power ballad that chronicles the aftermath of a breakup.
Jesse Larson (Woman”)
Larson got into the final after winning last week’s Instant Save with a Chris Stapleton song (“Tennessee Whiskey”). Tonight, he tackled an original track by the country star that showcased his distinctive style.
Aliyah Moulden (“Never Be Lonely”)
This teen talent had fun bopping to this tune by singer/songwriter Jake Hagood (“Goodbye”) who has produced hits for Cody Simpson and Lucy Hale.
Chris Blue (“Rhythm Nation”)
Blue had the biggest number of the night with his version of this 1989 Janet Jackson crossover hit. He managed to make her signature song his own, adding some of his unique dance moves in the middle of a performance that had the crowd cheering. His coach was his biggest cheerleader: “You can come out and do one of the most iconic songs in the world, and you can handle it.”
Lauren Duski (“The Dance”)
Duski displayed her country credentials by taking on this 1990 Garth Brooks classic and reinventing it. Her coach was thrilled with the result: “One of my favorite songs ever, and literally you made me feel like I was hearing it for the first time tonight.”
Jesse Larson (“Takin’ It to the Streets”)
This 1976 Doobie Brothers hit was the first to feature lead singer Michael McDonald. Larson nailed this soft rock hit and his coach was delighted: “I think the coolest thing about this guy is that he does it all with such a humble attitude, that he just goes up there and kills it every night. I think he’s the most consistent. I think he’s the most interesting.”
Aliyah Moulden (“Signed, Sealed, Delivered I’m Yours”)
Moulden has done many Motown songs over the season and she finished with this 1970 chart-topper by Stevie Wonder. Her coach sang her praises: “Every time you get on that stage, you make people smile and you make them forget, for a minute, their life.”
Chris Blue & Alicia Keys ( “Diamond and Pearls”)
This artist and coach were perfectly matched on this 1991 Prince ballad that hit No. 1 on the R&B chart and made it to third on the Billboard singles round-up. Their voices blended together beautifully and Keys allowed Blue to shine throughout.
Lauren Duski & Blake Shelton (“There’s a Tear in My Beer”)
Hank Williams had written and recorded this country tune in 1950 but never released it before he died in 1953. His namesake son added his vocals to the track and the video version of this collaboration won top honors at both the ACM and CMA Awards in 1989. Duski and Shelton worked equally well together.
Jesse Larson & Adam Levine (“Let’s Go Crazy”)
This was the second Prince classic to get the duet treatment. This 1984 rock song was featured in the hit film “Purple Rain” and was a staple at Prince’s concerts throughout his career. Larson had worked for Prince in the past and his tribute to his one-time mentor was moving.
Aliyah Moulden & Blake Shelton (“Dancing in the Street”)
As with her solo cover, Moulden went with another Motown classic for her duet with Shelton. The two had fun with this 1964 No. 1 for Martha and the Vandellas that was far removed from the usual country fare sung by Shelton.
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