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'The Voice' finale: It's all Cassadee Pope

Cassadee Pope performs during "The Voice" Season 3

Cassadee Pope performs during "The Voice" Season 3 finale, shortly before she was named the winner. (Dec. 18, 2012) (Credit: NBC)

Tonight's finale of “The Voice” is going to be a little anti-climactic, isn't it?

Of course, last year's results ended up being quite a surprise when Jermaine Paul, who placed fourth on the iTunes sales chart, ended up winning the show. However, one of the many rules changes on this season weighs the sales of songs differently, offering a massive bonus if a contestant has a song finish in the sales Top 10.

That just makes the outcome of tonight's finale that much more obvious: Cassadee Pope is going to win.

Pope's version of Faith Hill's “Cry” is currently No. 1 on the iTunes chart, ahead of Bruno Mars and Taylor Swift. Her version of Miranda Lambert's “Over You,” which reached No. 1 when Pope first performed it weeks ago, is currently No. 7. Terry McDermott's version of Mr. Mister's “Broken Wings” is currently No. 6 and also eligible for the bonus. Nicholas David doesn't have any songs in the Top 10. (His medley of Jerry Lee Lewis' “Great Balls of Fire” and Jimi Hendrix's “Fire” is currently No. 18.)

The sales figures pretty much reflect the performances. David was good on “Great Balls of Fire/Fire” and a reprise of his soulful take on “Lean on Me.” He was even good on “Play That Funky Music,” though his coach Cee Lo Green kind of upstaged him, showing how a great voice can be soulful and interesting. David is close to that, but not quite there.

McDermott was slightly better. He finally gave his classic rock approach a bit of a modern twist, adding a bit of world beat to “Broken Wings.” His reprise of “I Want to Know What Love Is” was better than the first go round, though still a bit too sharp and nasally on the chorus. His duet with coach Blake Shelton on Aerosmith's “Dude (Looks Like a Lady)” really made no sense, though. Not only did McDermott, looking more like a Scottish Bryan Adams than ever, and Shelton come up short when compared to Steven Tyler's original vocals, but how exactly did they think this was going to generate votes for him?

Neither one came close to Pope. The former Hey Monday singer has a powerful voice and a winning personality. Coach Shelton has cannily combined that with a shift toward the country music that appeals to so many voters on these TV singing competitions. Whether Pope sticks with this shift remains to be seen, but her take on “Cry” was gorgeous and her version of “Over You” was as emotional as ever. Shelton said that, considering the tragedy in Newtown, Conn., the song would help with the healing. Perhaps, but the show's tribute to those killed at Sandy Hook Elementary — a moving version of Leonard Cohen's “Hallelujah” — was even more moving.

Will Pope become “The Voice's" first winner who is also a winner with music fans across-the-board? It's possible.

WILL WIN Cassadee
SHOULD WIN Cassadee
ACTUALLY WON Cassadee (2. Terry; 3. Nicholas)

Tags: The Voice , Cassadee Pope , Terry McDermott , Nicholas David

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