After re-airing last night’s performances, The Voice kicked off the real second half of season 10’s live finale. Tonight, Carson Daly announced which artist and coach won season 10. But with the finale slated for two hours, the episode was more about the performances than the actual results which were, as usual, saved for the final seconds of the live television event. Coaches Christina Aguilera, Pharrell, Adam Levine and Blake Shelton each had an artist in the finals this season, which was not the case last season. This time around, it was anyone’s game to win.
But before Daly could get to all that, there were plenty of dazzling performances to fill the time. Little Big Town got it all started with a performance of their new single “One Of Those Days.” They don’t have the best stage presence given their level of fame, but Pharrell was grooving to it and actually hopped up on stage to dance along. By no coincidence, he produced the song, which is a sharp deviation from their typical country sound and will be featured on their upcoming album Wanderlust.
“It definitely does not get old working with Pharrell,” Hannah Huston said of her coach in a highlight reel of their journey together this season. “Pharrell has taught me I can be as goofy and weird as I am,” she added. Huston then performed “Crazy” with former The Voice coach CeeLo Green. It was an awkward pairing, but Huston sounded great.
The four finalists all got to bring back their favorite fellow contestants from the season to perform with, starting with Team Christina’s Alisan Porter. Porter brought back her The Voice roommate Kata Hay, Paxton Ingram and Ryan Quinn to sing “Straight On” by Heart. Hay and Porter were particularly well matched, and it was fun to see Porter dig into such an over-the-top rock hit. It was one of the better group performances of the night.
After what was essentially an advertisement for Snapchat where Aguilera talked about her favorite ways to use the app on set, the performances continued with Laith Al-Saadi performing “Rocky Mountain Way” with one of his music heroes, Joe Walsh. It was another fun, high-energy rock performance from Al-Saadi that highlighted his guitar playing skills.
In a video package, Team Blake’s Adam Wakefield noted that Shelton was the first person to really believe in his his abilities as a musician. Wakefield’s confidence has certainly grown over the course of the season.
Sia took the stage with her dancers to perform “Cheap Thrills.” It was an entertaining performance, and Sia is an incredible vocalist, but it wasn’t very exciting given the fact that she gave a nearly identical performance on American Idol’s farewell season exactly two months ago. The Voice is behind the times on that one.
In a confessional montage, the four finalists discussed what winning would mean to them. Al-Saadi talked about playing music in bars for years and how The Voice was finally the key to pushing his career to the next level. Wakefield reflected on how he envisioned playing for a huge crowd when he was just a kid. Huston never imagined to make it this far. “No matter what happens, I’ve had the best time of my life,” Porter said. Aguilera reiterated that she believes Porter to be the definition of The Voice.
Wakefield then performed “Willin’” with Alison Krauss, and it was a solid bluegrass duet even though it brought the energy in the room down a bit.
The Voice then poked some fun at Levine before Huston’s bring back performance. Huston performed with Brian Nhira, Bryan Bautista and Caity Peters, singing “When We Were Young” by Adele. If Huston’s goal was to pick people who would make her voice stand out as the most powerful, she certainly accomplished that.
After revealing Shelton’s apparent love for placing bets on set, The Voice finale continued with Zayn performing his single “Like I Would.” It was a great performance of one of the best tracks from his debut solo album, Mind Of Mine.
Shelton then took the stage to perform “She’s Got A Way With Words” from his new album If I’m Honest, which is out now.
For his bring back performance, Al-Saadi brought Katie Basden and Shalyah Fearing to sing “Georgia On My Mind.” Al-Saadi noted that he believed Fearing could have won this season. He also intended to bring back Owen Danoff, but he was unfortunately sick. They were very different artists, but they sounded good together. The song choice worked for all of them.
“It feels like a real connected,” Al-Saadi said of his relationship with his coach, Levine. He noted that he feels like he really made the right decision in choosing him as a coach.
Porter then came back to the stage to sing “Unlove You” with Jennifer Nettles. Porter really does have the best voice of the four finalists, and she has proven week after week just how versatile she is.
Wakefield brought back Nick Hagelin, Mary Sarah and Justin Whisnant for his final performance of season 10. “She’s the real deal, country-wise,” Wakefield said of Sarah. Together, they all sang “Gimme Some Lovin’.” The performance got the energy levels back up again, and Sarah and Wakefield were particularly good together.
Vocal powerhouses Aguilera and Ariana Grande then performed “Into You” and “Dangerous Woman.” Their duet, especially on the second Grande hit, was a standout performance of the night.
In her reflection montage on her relationship with her coach, Porter pointed out how much she and Aguilera have in common as two big vocalists and mothers. “She’s one of the coolest people I’ve ever met,” Porter said of Aguilera. “This is her moment,” Aguilera added.
Daly then brought the finalists to the stage to finally deliver the results. He first announced the fourth-place artist: Team Adam’s Al-Saadi. Al-Saadi defied expectations by making it this far in the competition. The finalist in third place was Team Pharrell’s Huston. There were no surprises with those results.
The Voice cruelly cut to commercial, but after the break, Daly made the big announcement. “Oh my god,” Porter candidly said in the seconds before Daly crowned the champion. The winner of The Voice’s tenth season was Team Christina’s Porter, making Aguilera the first female coach to win The Voice. Wakefield was the season’s runner-up. The season ended with Porter singing her original single “Down That Road.”
This article originally appeared in THR.com.