Chris Blue won season 12 of “The Voice” over frontrunner Lauren Duski in the closest vote in the history of the show. Duski, who was coached by five-time past champ Blake Shelton, had been tipped to win Tuesday’s finale based on her performances Monday night. She claimed the two top slots on iTunes with her original song “Deja Vu” and her cover of the Garth Brooks classic “The Dance.” And Duski was the only one of the final four to co-write her would-be winner’s single.
Blue, who was mentored by Alicia Keys, had also scored two songs in the iTunes top 10: he was in third with the original “Money On You” and ninth with his cover of Janet Jackson‘s “Rhythm Nation.” Adam Levine‘s artist Jesse Larson had made it to fifth on the chart with the original song “Woman”; he ended up in fourth place. Shelton’ other act, Aliyah Moulden, may have only been in the seventh slot on the chart with her original fare “Never Be Lonely” but she managed to edge out Larson for third.
Below, read our recaps of their performances in Monday’s final and then vote in our poll as to which artist was most deserving to win “The Voice.” Be sure to sound off on your favorite in our comments section.
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.