One voice has (finally) risen!
The Voice closed out its third season on Dec. 18 by granting one contestant a deal with Universal Records, bragging rights for their celebrity coach and, oh yeah, $100,000. (Not too shabby!)
So who was crowned the NBC reality hit's third winner by the end of the night: Nicholas David from Team CeeLo Green or one of Blake Sheltons contestants, Cassadee Pope and Terry McDermott? Plus, coach Christina Aguilera celebrated her birthday!
And the winner of The Voice season three is Cassadee Pope, pop rocker who used to front the band Hey Monday! Yes, this is Blake's second win in a row! His other top-three contestant, Terry, came in second, with Nicholas coming in third place.
Though they all couldn't win, the final three got to perform with some big names in the industry: Nicholas, the competition's resident soul man, got to share the stage with Smokey Robinson for a duet of "Cruising." The Killers' stopped by to perform with their new single "Here With Me" with Cassadee, who later performed with Avril Lavigne and joined recently engaged Kelly Clarkson and team member Terry for a rendition of "Catch My Breath." Clarkson briefly mentioned her fiancé (She giggled while saying "my fiancé!" So cute!), Brandon Blackstock, revealing she watched last night's performance show at his parents' house and says she was "in awe." Terry later joined Peter Frampton for "Baby, I Love Your Way."
As for the night's other performances, Rihanna opened the show with a pretty tame, but nonetheless strong performance of her hit single "Diamond" and Bruno Mars debuted his new single "When I Was Your Man." 'Twas good!
Of course, the show did have to address to very big departures: "I'm kind of sad," Adam Levine says of finale, which will be Cee Lo and Christina's last episode, as they are taking a breather during season four. "This has been such an amazing experience…It's bittersweet." Later, all four coaches took the stage for an emotional performance of Green Day's "Time of Your Life," aka that song you and your friends listened to nonstop during your senior year of high school.
We also got our first look at Usher and Shakira with returning judges Blake and Adam, with a sketch involving the new judges sitting in the backseat of Blake's car. Though they argue over what to listen to at first, they all start singing "Total Eclipse of the Heart" together. It's awesome.
(E!, NBC and Universal Records are all part of the NBCUniversal family.)
Do you agree with America's choice? Did you like the first look at Usher and Shakira? Sound off in the comments!
(Originally published Dec. 18, 2012, at 8:14 p.m. PT)