The two-hour show was filled with epic performances from Justin Bieber, Snoop Dogg, Gwen Stefani, Maroon 5, Kelsea Ballerini, Thomas Rhett and more!

Keeping it old school with all the voting done and tabulated, “The Voice” delivered a two-hour show to set up the final five minutes of the show when we’d be introduced to our Season 20 winner.

Cam Anthony, Jordan Matthew Young, Kenzie Wheeler, Rachel Mac, and Victor Solomon gave everything they had Monday night to win America over. Tonight, as a non-competition bonus, we got to enjoy them taking the stage with their Coaches.

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The night also featured an incredible lineup of guest stars Justin Bieber, Adam Levine and Maroon 5, Gwen Stefani, Snoop Dogg, Kelsea Ballerini, OneRepublic, Lauren Daigle, Thomas Rhett, Saweetie and Ben Platt.

Will any of these finalists go on to make such big names for themselves that they can come back and perform on a “Voice” finale? Notably, no alums from the show’s previous 19 seasons dropped by to join in these festivities — and at least some of them have found some success.

Who joins the ranks of Javier Colon, Cassadee Pope, Tessanne Chin, Jordan Smith, Alisan Poarter, Brynn Cartelli, Jake Hoot, Todd TIlghman and Carter Rubin? Will they go on to make their mark in the industry with this winning moment being played over and over again anytime someone talks about their career? Only time will tell.

Fair warning, since I’m safe at home, I’m probably going to be a little harsher than my colleagues Kelly Clarkson, John Legend, Nick Jonas and Blake Shelton.

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“COMEDY” FILLER

Blake Texts Adam

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Just a cute video and reminder of the odd couple friendship Blake made with Adam during all their years together on the show. We totally believe that Blake would be the annoying one pinging Adam at all hours of the day and night while the too-cool rocker just couldn’t care less. Oh, and speaking of odd couple connections Blake has found on the show…

King of "The Voice"

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Usually these comedy bits are just meh at best and absolute cringe-fests at their worst. But we actually found ourselves chuckling at Blake’s time on the show going to his head and making him more of a pain to work with than usual as he takes over the show. We particularly liked his “Blake Button,” even if it’s operation seemed a little obvious. One advantage this show has over “Idol” is that it’s humor is stronger, and a lot of that has to do with the energy Blake brings.

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Kelly Takes on Fencing

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Kelly has been such a great addition to the energy of this show, with her joyfulness and down-to-earth humor and charm, she’s the perfect “foil” for Blake Shelton (see what we did there?). In many ways, we think she’s an improvement over Adam in this role opposite Blake. This was a fun little skit with overachiever Kelly in the classroom and then proving herself as a fencer.

“Welcome to Team Legend”

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An overly dramatic “Behind the Music”-type fake exploration of what it took for EGOT winner John Legend to write the earworm that his contestants loved to hear, and fellow Coaches quickly grew to loathe. The voice-over narration was what really sold us. This was so over-the-top and ridiculous, we kind of fell in love with it.

Nick’s Training Montage

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LIke something out of the “Rocky” franchise, Nick showed off what he’s capable of in the gym and as an athlete. He even dressed like Sylvester Stallone’s Rocky Balboa as that signature song played and he proved that it doesn’t matter if he’s never won this show — like all of his fellow Coaches this season have — because he’s got the drive and is willing to put in the work. Compared to the other Coach skits, this was probably the weakest, though we did get a kick out of seeing Rachel being put through her paces a bit, too.

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MUSICAL FILLER

Gwen Stefani f. Saweetie

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(“Slow Clap”) This is how you kick off a live show, with an incredible performance from a former Coach — and sweetie to the Coach — with great stage production. Both ladies looked incredible and sounded great (if they were performing live … we’re not so sure). But we loved the whole visual spectacle, and even Gwen taking Saweetie’s time to perform a quick costume change for no reason other than that she could.

Kelsea Ballerini

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(“Half of My Hometown”) A nice surprise as Kelsea Ballerini presented her newest single was the inclusion of Kenzie Wheeler on the stage with the band and happily singing backup with her. The song has a sweet message about small town life, the challenges of clinging to tradition and the old ways and embracing the changing world around them. Kelsea gave a really sweet delivery on this one, and then got to celebrate picking on Blake when she filled in briefly for Kelly earlier this season.

OneRepublic

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(“Run”) Once again, the staging was where it’s at for this performance of the group’s new single. Getting a peek at just how much backstage area there is on this show, which has a pretty big onstage area, as well, gives us just a glimpse of how big these productions are, with so many moving parts. This one was clearly live with a lot of bombastic energy and enthusiasm carrying through. It was definitely visually interesting from top to bottom, with some fun backstage choreography.

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Lauren Daigle

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(“Hold On to Me”) There may be no one better right now than Lauren at delivering these kinds of songs. She sings from such a vulnerable place, but with such an uplifting message of hope and belief, you can’t help but get drawn on and taken on that journey of inspiration with her. It’s a rare gift and a testament to her incredible talent that she can carry our hearts along with hers.

Snoop Dogg f. DJ Battlecat

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(“Sittin on Blades”) Whether people were critical of Snoop being a mega-mentor on a singing competition or not, there’s no denying that he knows how to put a song together, deliver a catchy hook and bring it when it comes to entertainment value. He ad-libbed a  few lines of this in the most adorable way with one of his backup singers and made sure that groove never stopped moving from top to bottom. He knows how to make commercially successful music and put on a good live show, so why wouldn’t he be suited to offer his years of wisdom up?

Justin Bieber

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(“Peaches” / “Hold On”) If “The Voice” was trying to convince us this was a night of live performances, they probably should have convinced Biebs to hold off on shaving his head until after this performance aired. Whenever this actually happened, Justin was on point vocally and in his stage presence. It’s great to see him back in top form, in a better place in his life and able to get back to what he loves like he never missed a beat.

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Ben Platt

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(“Imagine”) One award away from joining John in the elite EGOT club, Ben could achieve that with the film version of “Dear Evan Hansen,” which would mean he’s won all of his major awards for one project. For those not as familiar with him, this was an absolute tour de force of vocal ability, with Ben absolutely soaring like an angel through this pop song clearly infused with his musical theater background. Still, what an incredible voice he has, one of the best to grace this stage all season.

Thomas Rhett

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(“Country Again”) A song about finding yourself again in your roots and your heritage, Thomas really delivered with a beautifully authentic message. It’s also a song that resonates for a whole different reason as America starts to emerge from a year of Covid-induced quarantine. We all lost a bit of who we were and what made us ourselves, so it feels good to step out and start to find ourselves again in who we’ve always been.

Maroon 5

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(“Beautiful Mistakes”) It’s disappointing they couldn’t figure out how to get Megan Thee Stallion in the studio so she could actually join Adam and the band for this performance. She actually had the most exciting part of the whole song, as the rest of it feels a little too sing-song and repetitive for us. The whole routine stayed at one level, when we know Adam is capable of really delivering a much more exciting vocal than this.

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COACH DUETS

Rachel Mac & Nick Jonas

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(“Best of You,” Foo Fighters) We were absolutely digging on this coffeehouse version with incredible vocals and harmonies from both Rachel and Nick. It was actually stronger and more impactful in those quiet moments than before it blew up into its rock iteration for a few lines. They were fine in those moments, but we’d have been happier to stay in that intimate mode the whole way through. It was beautiful in those portions.

Victor Solomon & John Legend

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(“Someday We’ll All Be Free,” Donny Hathaway) We already knew from their Blind Audition duet that Victor and John’s voices harmonized together beautifully. They’re such kindred spirits musically, when it comes to what drives them, what moves them and how they share their gift with the world, this had no other choice but to be a powerfully moving moment. Luckily, it delivered just that.

Kenzie Wheeler & Kelly Clarkson

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(“When You Say Nothing at All,” Keith Whitley) Kelly wisley let Kenzie take the lead on this as his voice is such a natural fit for the original. She harmonized above his lead vocal beautifully, and did her thing as expected on the few lines she did take, but mostly Kelly seemed to use this as an opportunity to remind us all just how marketable and ready for country music Kenzie is right now — it’s just too bad voting was already over. Still, it was a great duet performance.

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Jordan Matthew Young & Blake Shelton

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(“All My Ex’s Live in Texas,” George Strait) Two things happened with this performance. It was clear that Jordan can deliver a classic country track with a sense of fun and charm. He and Blake traded off flawlessly. It also told us that he’s much stronger when he’s leaning more into his Southern/classic rock and bluesy side as that’s when we can hear his true passion.

Cam Anthony & Blake Shelton

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(“She Drives Me Crazy,” Fine Young Cannibals) Roland Gift’s are not easy to pull off without sounding like you’re putting on a voice, but Cam slid right up there effortlessly. We’d have never known he never knew this song until this performance if he hadn’t told us. It’s an odd pairing, but it worked with Blake only joining him on the more traditional chorus. And it just proved again what a versatile and exciting artist Cam is.

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RESULTS

For us, this season, it really comes down to Cam or Kenzie, with Rachael as a slight dark horse. She is the only woman in the competition and has visibly grown more than any other artist this season, and we know the voting audience loves that.

But Kenzie has been a fan-favorite since the beginning, cementing himself quickly as one of the — if not the — strongest country singers this show has ever delivered. Cam, on the other hand, is one of the best all-around artists we’ve seen.

Blake went so far as to controversially declare that Cam would become the first real superstar to come out of “The Voice.” It can’t be controversial if he’s right, though, in that “The Voice” has not yet delivered the likes of a Kelly Clarkson or Carrie Underwood or Jennifer Hudson or even Adam Lambert upon the world.

If we were the ones deciding the winner, it would be a no-brainer and it would be Cam. We’d put Kenzie second, followed by Victor, Rachel and Jordan. But you were in charge, so what did you do?

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5th Place: Victor Solomon deserved better than fifth place for his overall season, though we have to concede that he had one very off performance in Monday night’s show.

4th Place: Rachel Mac got the fourth place we expected her to get. She had an incredible season and has grown so much at 16 years old. If she pushes herself hard enough and continues to work hard, she could yet find her way into this industry.

3rd Place: Jordan Matthew Young took third place, which is a better showing than we expected for him. When he’s in his element, he really is an incredible vocalist and we could see him finding his way into a band.

That means our picks for Top 2 arrived just there. No matter what happens from here, Kenzie will go on to make an impact in country music. Cam almost needs this win more for the industry at large to take a chance on him (they’re far less supportive than country music). Also … as we said, he’s more deserving. So did he do it?

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2nd Place: Kenzie Wheeler has been such a consistent force this season, rocking that “unicorn” of mullets and bringing true authenticity to every performance. He’s going to be fine coming out of this. Hell, he may become a superstar in his own right.

1st Place: Cam Anthony is easily the most deserving winner, so we couldn’t be happier to see American get this one exactly right. Now, the important thing is to not let him fall between the cracks and get forgotten about by the time Season 21 rolls around this fall. He’s just too good to not be given a real shot at making it in the industry.

“The Voice” is slowing down to only one cycle per year, but will be back in the Fall for Season 21 with Ariana Grande joining Blake, John and Kelly.


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