The finale for Season 18 of “The Voice” will air Monday with a number of firsts for the long-running series. Due to ongoing lockdown and stay-at-home orders, the live shows were replaced with the playoffs this season with the artists recording their performances at home in advance. Each Monday the coaches joined host Carson Daly for a virtual show where each performance was unveiled to America. In addition to the first ever virtual playoffs, this season’s finale includes five finalists for the first time.
In the finals are a champion from each team and a fifth artist saved by America last week. Kelly Clarkson‘s champion is Micah Iverson, the only male vocalist she brought to her team from the Blinds. John Legend reached the finale with CammWess, an artist that began on Team Legend but was stolen to Kelly in the Battles and then returned to John after the Knockouts. Nick Jonas will compete with Thunderstorm Artis, a four chair turn that began on Team Legend but has since found a better footing with Nick. Blake Shelton goes into the finale with two artists: Todd Tilghman, the four chair turn that began the season with his blind audition on episode 1, and Toneisha Harris, America’s save to be the first ever fifth finalist and another four chair turn.
Below are our power rankings of the five artists competing to be named the Season 18 champion. At the top is Thunderstorm who we have thought all along will take Nick straight to the top and make him the third rookie coach in a row to win in their first season (Kelly and John both did!). Check out our thoughts and then let us know yours in the comments and on the reality TV forums.
1. Thunderstorm Artis (Team Nick)
(Blind Audition: “Blackbird”; Battle: “Stay”; Knockout: “Preach”; Live Playoffs: “Summertime”; Semifinals: “Home”)
If this show is truly and only about the best voice then Thunderstorm shouldn’t be our season-long frontrunner, but because it also about who is the best musician and who is the strongest in their artistry, he is. Each week Thunderstorm unveils a new aspect of his creativity and shows a new side to his voice. Without a doubt this is Thunderstorm’s competition to lose, but unless he completely fumbles his song choice or vocal I can’t imagine he won’t earn the crown we’ve promised him for weeks!
2. Micah Iverson (Team Kelly)
(Blind Audition: “All I Want”; Battle: “Someone You Loved”; Knockout: “Graveyard”; Live Playoffs: “You Song”; Semifinals: “I Will Follow You Into the Dark”)
If Kelly intends on surpassing Adam Levine with a fourth winner from her team, she’ll have to do it with the only guy that made her team in the Blinds this year. Micah would be the youngest male winner since Chris Blue won six seasons ago at the age of 26, but there’s probably never been someone more capable of doing it since Chris! He appeals to the audience in so many ways–he’s handsome, has a gorgeous voice and has been able to convey warmth and charisma without the benefit of the studio crowd to cheer him on.
3. Toneisha Harris (Team Blake)
(Blind Audition: “I Want to Know What Love Is”; Battle: “Good as Hell”; Knockout: “Diamonds”; Live Playoffs: “Stronger (What Doesn’t Kill You”); Semifinals: “Because You Loved Me”)
As the artist saved to become the fifth finalist, common wisdom would be to rank Toneisha last and yet we can’t help but see a real path for her to win. As the only female vocalist in the group she’ll have a leg up in that she’s less likely to split votes. While she’s been one of the more inconsistent performers among them, her performance of “Lovin’ You” in last week’s Instant Save was her best performance of the season. She’s arriving at the finale on a high note and with a real shot of becoming record-extending seventh champion.
4. CammWess (Team Legend)
(Blind Audition: “Earned It”; Battle: “Señorita”; Knockout: “Say Something”; Live Playoffs: “Ain’t No Sunshine”; Semifinals: “Rainbow”)
The problem with predicting CammWess is that he had his best performance of the season three weeks ago in the Knockouts. At the time he was on Team Kelly and lost to the now eliminated Megan Danielle. That he’s survived to the finale is no surprise because he’s the best vocalist in the group, but I have to admit that “Rainbow” was not a high point for him. If he can temper his nerves and deliver another vocal as stunning as “Say Something” then he’s got a real shot at being one of the top two and even the winner.
5. Todd Tilghman (Team Blake)
(Blind Audition: “We’ve Got Tonight”; Battle: “Ghost in This House”; Knockout: “Anymore”; Live Playoffs: “Glory of Love”; Semifinals: “Love, Me”)
I think Todd played all his cards in his semifinal performance. Including his kids in his performance was a stroke of genius and an epic play on the heartstrings of America, but what can he do in the finals to raise that bar? His appeal is that he’s so different from the other four finalists and the closest thing to last year’s champion Jake Hoot that’s left. I’m curious to see whether he’ll take a risk for the finals or if he’ll continue to play it safe.
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