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'The Voice' Recap: Christina Aguilera vs. Adam Levine in Top 3

The Hollywood Reporter

The Voice is just about ready to name its next winner, but not without a final plea for votes. With Blake Shelton and Cee Lo Green sitting out of the finale for the first time ever, the competition has narrowed down to Christina Aguilera's Jacquie Lee, Will Champlin and Tessanne Chin, both under Adam Levine's wing.

After the four coaches "Pour Some Sugar on Me" with Def Leppard's Rick Allen, Phil Collen, and Vivian Campbell, the top 3 singers each sang three songs: blind auditions, a duet with the coach and a final solo performance. Here's how they did:

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Chin added plenty of new riffs to P!nk's "Try" with which she first auditioned, first standing in back of the audience and later jamming out comfortably alongside the guitarist onstage. Though we wished for more of the tender grit the song calls for, her coach praised her voice and overall personality, while Green openly called her the fan favorite and endorsed her with, "You deserve it all, darling."

The Jamaican rocker then took the stage with Levine for The Beatles' "Let It Be," a song that showcased her more subtle vocal abilities and then took a reggae detour mid-song. For her final performance, Levine had her tackle Whitney Houston's "I Have Nothing" as a tribute, and after only rehearsing the song once. As she sailed through the ambitious vocal demands, her coach said in his heart that he knows Chin is the winner.

Champlin revived Gavin DeGraw's "Not Over You" with more vocal and physical comfort onstage than he's had all season, but seemed a bit disconnected from the audience as he still closes his eyes nearly too often. Levine commended his constant work ethic, while Aguilera mentioned his tendency to get inside his own head too much throughout the season. We're not sure if she meant to mention it as a good or bad thing, but we couldn't help but agree.

After the son of the Chicago band member then paired with Levine for Elton John's "Tiny Dancer," he then took a relatively subtle approach to Bryan Adams' "(Everything I Do,) I Do It for You," and ended the song on his knees, in front of his family in the audience. Shelton, speaking for the first time in the two-hour episode, appreciated the angle: "That might have been a good play, because it was solid all the way through, and you didn't have to glitter it up." Levine also said Champlin is a winner for having made it this far. We wished he would've accompanied himself on either the piano or the guitar for this final performance, because he's also such a strong instrumentalist.

Lee went back to Amy Winehouse's "Back to Black," her blind audition pick. While she has shown week after week that she can hit the big notes – as she did when she first debuted with the song – she over sang this rendition with a few too many high notes that overshadowed how strong her lower register is as well. Yet Aguilera took the post-performance moment to praise her supportive family, thanked her for making her job such a joy.

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The 16-year-old powerhouse then joined Aguilera for her coach's Hunger Games: Catching Fire song, "We Remain," not without a couple harmonizing problems on Aguilera's end. But Lee later closed the episode with "And I Am Telling You I'm Not Going" from the musical Dreamgirls, full of her own big vocal moments. Shelton had the last word of the night, saying, "This is one of the best coach-artist pairings that I've ever seen, after five seasons of doing this."

The top 3 also united for Jackson 5's "I'll Be There" before performing their final ballads.

The Voice's two-hour finale airs Tuesday night at 9 p.m. on NBC, featuring performances by Lady GagaCeline DionNe-Yo and OneRepublic.

What did you think of tonight's performances? Who do you think will win The Voice, and who do you think should win? Sound off in the comments below.

Twitter: @cashleelee

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