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‘The Voice’ Finale Part 1 Recap: Team Blake Shelton’s Cassadee Pope + Terry McDermott Turn in Stellar Performances

Blake Shelton
Charley Gallay, Getty Images

Kudos to ‘The Voice,’ for opening the first night (Dec. 17) of the two-part Season 3 finale with all of the coaches and contestants singing ‘Hallelujah’ while holding up cards with the name and ages of the innocents who were shot in last week’s Connecticut school shooting. It was a beautiful and touching moment. Turns out, the performances on the episode followed suit.

Coach Blake Shelton, who has two contestants in the finals in the form of Cassadee Pope and Terry McDermott, watched his team members do him proud. At this point, we think it’s too close to call. Either hopeful could take this whole thing.

Pope reprised her version of Miranda Lambert‘s ‘Over You,’ which was her strongest performance of the season. Shelton co-wrote the song with his wife about his late brother, so the song is extra poignant for him. Pope fares best when she sings pop-country, since her voice tells a story, which is a crucial element of the genre. Tonight, she wore a sparkly gown and it once again felt like we were seeing her at a country awards gala. She looked and sounded the part.

Adam Levine loved how she has developed her voice as an instrument through the course of the season, while Shelton said, “You know how I feel about that song and you singing it. It’s perfect. Watching the song always seems to be appropriate.” He referenced last week’s tragedy, saying, “America’s heart is heavy right now and the song is about healing. Removing me and you from it, it was a great moment. It starts the healing process. It’s was music does and can do. You amaze me.” Amen to that, Blake!

Later, Pope and Shelton took the stage together to perform a rousing rendition of Sheryl Crow‘s ‘Steve McQueen.’ Pope swapped out her glam gown for a pair of painted-on jeans and a red flannel, showing her rugged side. Her voice was crystal clear and commanding, and she played off Shelton perfectly.

Pope closed the show by covering Faith Hill‘s ‘Cry.’ Again, she has been shifting more towards the pop-country side of things, drifting steadily away from the pop-rock side she showed when we met her. Dressed in a short but gorgeous gilded gown with a full train, she took down every note of the song; not one was missed or flawed. Pope had to perform three times tonight, but her voice got stronger and more enchanting with each passing performance.

Shelton also took the stage with his other team member, Scottish rocker McDermott, whose voice is almost too perfect. They performed a rowdy cover of Aerosmith‘s ‘Dude Looks Like a Lady.’ That was the first time we saw Terry during the evening and he came outta the gates, swinging!

McDermott next performed ‘Broken Wings’ by Mr. Mister. Levine pointed out that there was something not quite right with the microphone or the equipment in the beginning of the song and despite that little malfunction, McDermott didn’t falter. He recovered on the quick, and nailed it, which is the mark of a great performer; we thought he forgot a lyric! His coach said that every time McDermott steps on stage or holds a mic, something epic happens.

The rocker also revisited Foreigner’s ‘I Want to Know What Love Is,’ accompanied by strings. McDermott could really provide a jolt to rock ‘n’ roll with that ‘Voice.’ Christina Aguilera acknowledged his work ethic, since he had to belt out three songs in less than two hours, yet he came out and won her over every time with his pitch perfection. Shelton thought McDermott sang his best this evening, despite several amazing performances this season.

It’s gotta be tough to be Blake Shelton right now. Both of his contestants have a very strong chance to win.

Tune in tomorrow (Dec. 18) to find out if Pope or McDermott can take the title of Season 3 winner of ‘The Voice’ from Team Cee Lo Green‘s Nicholas David.

Next: 10 Best Country Covers on 'The Voice'

Watch Cassadee Pope Perform ‘Over You’

Watch Cassadee Pope + Blake Shelton Perform ‘Steve McQueen’

Watch Cassadee Pope Perform ‘Cry’

Watch Terry McDermott Perform ‘Broken Wings’

Watch Terry McDermott + Blake Shelton Perform ‘Dude Looks Like a Lady’

Watch Terry McDermott Perform ‘I Want to Know What Love Is’

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