The Voice: Season 4's 25 Best Performances!

Doesn’t it seem like just yesterday that The Voice kicked off Season 4 with the addition of Shakira and Usher, the absence of Xtina and Cee Lo and a new crop of contenders angling for Cassadee Pope’s place on the Iron Throne Swivel-Chair Throne?

And yet, here we are on finale night, waiting to hear whether the crown will rest on the head of Michelle Chamuel, Danielle Bradbery or The Swon Brothers.

RELATED | The Voice Season 4 ‘Live Finals’ Recap: Who Should (and Will) Win It All?

To make it this far in the competition, all three acts had to outlast a very, very deep crop of diva-centric contenders — Amber Carrington, Judith Hill, Sasha Allen, Sarah Simmons and Grace Askew, just to name a few. And to celebrate the Top 3’s accomplishments — and pay tribute to their vanquished rivals — I’ve taken the liberty of counting down the 25 Best Performances of Season 4.

RELATED | The Voice‘s Sarah Simmons on Rolling Stones & Gotye Covers, Soundtrack Dreams and More!

So click through my picks below, then tell me where I got it right, where I royally messed up, who I unforgivably snubbed and for which contestants I chose the wrong performances. And for all my Voice news, recaps, commentary and videos — including upcoming Q&As with the Season 4 Top 3 — follow me on Twitter @MichaelSlezakTV!

Comments are monitored, so don’t go off topic, don’t frakkin’ curse and don’t bore us with how much your coworker’s sister-in-law makes per hour. Talk smart about TV!

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  1. Karen says:

    Lovely list. Though I really loved Midas Whale’s ‘Folsom Prison Blues’ audition, and would have added that as well. (P.s. I’m loving all the well-deserved Michelle and Amber entries)

    • Joline says:

      Danielle with “Grandpa” as her standout performance of the season? Really?? Sorry, MS, but your list is a mess! Grace Askew is rated too high, Swon Bros with “Danny’s song” too low and I love Amber too but not sure she deserved so many spots.

      • Tyler says:

        I agree. Really, Slezak?! You put Grandpa #5? Oh, I get it–it was all a joke. Just like this season of The Voice.

  2. Dan (Haleyloony) says:

    Even though I agree with your #1 and 2 picks, I thought Skyfall, True Colors, and Before he Cheats were way too low while Grandpa was way too high.

  3. Steven says:

    Ummm, Josiah Hawley’s The Man Who Can’t Be Moved was incredible. Definitely top 10.

    • Eric7740 says:

      I agree!!! That was his best performance and a great rendition of the song! The first Voice single I downloaded this season was Josiah’s “The Man Who Can’t Be Moved”!!!

  4. Dan (Haleyloony) says:

    Grandpa #5? I think it should 15 or lower. To me, that is not her best performance, and definitely not better than Stay.

  5. Bunny Lou says:

    Top was definitely Always on My Mind by Judith.

  6. Robyn says:

    Grandpa should not even be in the list.

  7. Cleo says:

    How the hell is grandpa on that top 25? I practically ran from my TV at that point

  8. oh lord somebody paid somebody off to include pageant girl. Lord, this finale is like Bradbery’s sweet sixteen party from her oil-rich dad. You know, it’s not good when your “special guests” so outshine the supposed “talent” on the show – hell even the kicked-off ones outshine the chum here. Blech. I’m only here for the Cher at this point.

  9. ziona says:

    I think the picks are spot on except for grandpa. Having said that, I am really beginning to respect the singers on idol 2013 because a lot more performances there were quite epic.

  10. Ilana says:

    I agree with almost every one, except the number one spot…. i think that Amber murdered that song, wich Adam sings so beautifully…

  11. mia says:

    I do miss Grace Askew – we never really got a chance to know her. But will definitely pick up her albums.

  12. HT says:

    Honestly, Amber and Michelle were the only reasons I kept on watching The Voice this season.

  13. A says:

    Hands down, no performance this season was better or greater than Judith Hill’s What A Girl Wants. There are definitely a lot of close seconds and thirds, but What A Girl Wants is still the best moment of this season for me.

  14. HTGR says:

    umm no

  15. Canadian Fan says:

    Too many spots for Amber Carington. Way more than the winners. She was eliminated at top 5, remember? How come Sasha Allen did not get much notice, they were evenly matched. Another biased and very imbalanced pick Slezak. BTW, your least favorite – Danielle -just won!!! She was crowned the Voice! Her ray!!!

    • dan says:

      I also think the Amber vs. Sasha battle-round was fantastic and deserves to be in Slezak’s list. That is what led Adam to pick Amber and then Shakira stole Sasha (with Usher fighting for her as well).

    • dan says:

      The Amber vs. Sasha battle-round needs to be in Slezaks’ top 25. That is what led Adam to pick Amber while Shakira picked up Sasha (after fighting for her with Usher).

  16. Adrian Arciniega says:

    I don’t think you ever posted the American Idol season 12 top 25 list.

    • Danny says:

      That’s because there weren’t 25 good songs to pick from. If it was a combined list, Janelle would have had 2, Angela 1, and that’s about it. Candice & Kree were consistantly decent, but I don’t feel either of them had one of those moments.

      This will be the first year that the Voice singers do better than Idol singers, and with good reason. Janelle was my favorite Idol. She wouldn’t have been in the top 10 on the Voice. Candice was my 2nd favorite Idol. She wouldn’t have come close to winning the Voice either.

      • Danny says:

        I wish there was an edit button. I want to clarify. Janelle and Candice had the talent to do well on the Voice. Had they got the coaching/production & gotten the positive energy they could have done real well. I mean it as if they sang on the Voice w/ all those sleepy ensembles they always had on Idol they’d be gone pretty quick. If they were actually on the Voice they could have done well.

        At the same time, take (pick your favorite Voice contestant) and put that person on Idol this year, that person probably would have bored me like most of the rest of the Idol songs did. Those tired songs, terrible judges, negative energy, and sleepy ensembles did the Idol contestants no favors.

      • Dan (Haleyloony) says:

        I know you are entitled to your opinion, but there were enough songs to pick from. Also, Candice most definitely had moments, and Kree too.

  17. Cagney says:

    So happy to see Amber in the top spot on your list of best performances. She was the standout talent of the season for me. “Stay” made me take notice.

  18. I think Amber and Sasha’s battle of Try deserves a spot. Their performance still sticks with me the most.

  19. Tammy says:

    I preferred Warren Stone’s Colder Weather. It’s the only Voice performance I have ever downloaded.

  20. Emily says:

    The second Amber got voted off last week is the second I stopped caring who would win. Thank you for recognizing her amazing talent to transform songs and cross genres. I cannot wait to buy her album!

  21. “I luv dis 4eva”

  22. Kavyn says:

    My favourite performance was Christian Porter’s and Swon Bro’s knockout song. I still listen to it all the time. Especially since Porter sang it again solo on his youtube channel, so I can actually download the entire thing :D!

  23. Christy says:

    My favorite performance of the season was Amber’s “Skyfall,” followed by Sarah’s “Wild Horses.” Glad both are on the list albeit lower than they should be in my opinion. :) I think “At Last” by Sasha should be on here somewhere. Several of Judith’s are lower than they deserve.

  24. Nate Vince says:

    What about Sasha’s Bad Girls? Or At Last? Or Judith’s You’ve Got A Friend In Me? But Stay is the reason why I started to love Amber. Sad was good. But I think Judith’s audition was better.

  25. The Beach says:

    I’ve got some major disagreements with this list, Michael.
    Judith: Definitely not that hashtag song. Always on My Mind or You’ve got a Friend
    Warren Stone: Colder Weather
    Danielle: Just about anything but the Grandpa song.
    Swons: Who’s Gonna Fill Their Shoes
    Nothing by Grace Askew

  26. andrew.reynolds says:

    I think Grenade and Just Give Me A Reason by Michelle deserve the spot more than Raise Your Glass.

  27. Danny says:

    My fav of the season was the Final Results show’s Night Moves. That’s because Bob Seger himself was there. If it wasn’t for that, my take on the 25 best would be there were so many very good ones that it’s hard to rank them. There were no Haley’s or Allison’s who blew away the competition. There was no Amanda who had the best song of the year by a mile. They were all pretty evenly matched from the top 8 or so on down.

    There’s a whole slew of songs I’d never heard of that I liked. All in all it was a fun season to watch.

  28. I would have put Sarah Simmons’ “Angel “and “The Story” in the top 5. But Amber Carrington’s “Sad” and “Stay” are masterful as well.

  29. Apricot says:

    Totally with you on the Amber love, but I would put “Stay” at #1, “Sad” at #2, and Sarah’s “Wild Horses” at #3. :)

  30. Bob says:

    Some how you missed Sasha’s “At Last”. I would have listed that in the top 3.

  31. debi says:

    I am a huge Danielle fan, but Grandpa is by far my least favorite of all the songs she sang on The Voice.

    • Timmah says:

      I’ve got no problem with Grandpa being on the list, but yeah there should have been so many others like Mean, Who I Am, Heads Carolina, etc. But everybody’s entitled to their opinion, and clearly Danielle was not one of Michael’s favorites.

      • MC says:

        That’s an understatement. Lol! I think he’s actually mocking Danielle by choosing Grandpa. I don’t know any Danielle fans (including myself) who had that one among their favorites.

  32. dani n. says:

    Judith at the piano what song was was a great performance

  33. Coryrox78 says:

    I’ve only ever downloaded performances from Cassadee Pope, but I loved a lot of Amber’s despite the fact that the song choices weren’t always great. I see her hitting the airwaves pretty quickly. I think Sasha is destined for a Broadway show. It will be good for Danielle to start working with some materials that’s relevant to her age group. Love Michelle too, and I’m hoping Usher can really help her succeed. If the Swon’s were playing a Swoncert in town I’d go check them out. Overall, I think it was very talented group this season and I can’t wait for more!

  34. smkenz says:

    I think Michelle’s “Grenade” and “Just Give Me a Reason” should be on there, or at least one of the two. Also, Josiah’s “The Man Who Can’t be Moved”.

  35. chica112684 says:

    Danielle only won because America’s loves WASP’s, and that’s what she was. There’s no way the nerd beats the prom queen, and the fact that’s she’s 16 helped. Michelle will out sell her in the long run, as will Amber, Judith, Sarah, Sasha, and probably the Swon bro’s.

    • Yes, America’s love WASP’s, that is why two black dudes won the first two seasons (and an Asian came in second, and a Hispanic third the first season; maybe Jermaine only won the second season because the other three split the WASP vote). And are willing to put any money on your “Michelle will out sell her” proclamation because I will willing to put my entire net worth on Danielle, all $263 of it. I would even be willing to give you 2:1 odds.

  36. MC says:

    I have a list of fifteen favorite performances from season four. I have included anything from the blinds to the finale that really made an impact (technically, emotionally or both) on me. I even have a studio performance after the top fifteen, but here we go:

    15. Walking in Memphis – Patrick Dodd (blinds): Awesome. I didn’t love too many blinds this season, but this one did the trick. Very possibly the best male voice of the season imo. I’m hoping Adam will find time to work with this guy.

    14. What A Girl Wants – Judith Hill (blinds): I think everyone enjoyed this one. Am I the only one who still listens to her duet with Michael on “This Is It?” That’s one of the best duets ever!

    13. Sunday Morning – Josiah Hawley (blinds): One of the more entertaining blinds for me. I still like it now. The guy is more than a pretty face imo.

    12. Fallin’ – Morgan Twins (blinds): Amazingly good. These young women deserve a career in music. Easily one of the best blinds for me.

    11. Eternal Flame – Amber Carrington/Danielle Bradbery (duet): Good showcase for two of the better pure singers in the competition. Excellent song! One of my all-time faves.

    10. Put Your Records On – Caroline Glaser/Danielle Bradbery (battle round): Caroline’s most brilliant and pretty vocal imo. A very enjoyable duet. Worth some replays.

    9. Sad – Amber Carrington: I admired this track, clearly one of Amber’s best.

    8. Stay – Amber Carrington: Same as above.

    7. Angel – Sarah Simmons: Gorgeous and very moving. This was easily her best for me.

    6. Just Give Me A Reason – Michelle: One of my absolute favorite songs. Beautifully interpreted. The one song that really fit her voice imo. It was a polished, professional vocal.

    • MC says:

      5. Oh! Darling – Sasha Allen: Check your pulse if you don’t respond to this one. Very possibly the showstopper of the season. Sasha’s best imo!

      4. Imagine – Garrett Gardner: I love how Garrett respected the original, but still made it his own. One of the most classy and effective vocals of the season. Captured the true spirit of the song!

      3. Maybe It Was Memphis – Danielle: This one really put Danielle on the map for me. It is a gorgeous vocal and evokes the gentility of the South. The redux was also great on the finale.

      2. Heads Carolina, Tails California – Danielle: The most fun, sprightly performance of the season for me. The vocal is energetic and infectious. Danielle hits every note while moving more than usual in this one.

      1. Born To Fly – Danielle: This is a slice of vocal perfection and Danielle really nails this one.

      • MC says:

        Honorable mention goes to Danielle’s version of “A Little Bit Stronger.” Really deserves the top 15 as well, but wanted to make this as diverse as possible.

        Best Studio Version – I know some people might ask, “What’s so special about Danielle?” Consistency and purity of voice are two of her best qualities. You might lose yourself in Danielle’s studio of “Put Your Records On.” It is fabulous and showcases why Blake and everyone on The Voice is so excited about her career.

        • thedeviledadvocate says:

          Blake must have watched Idols season 10 and 11, because both Scotty and P2 stayed in their wheelhouse on nearly every performance, and look where it got them. If Danielle has Scotty type success in Nashville that will be a good thing for the Voice.
          Put Your Records On was awesome, and I believe that is an R&B song, so technically, not all of Danielle’s songs were country.
          In her duet with Hunter Hayes, she lit up. She looked 16, and it was nice to see her having fun, without the pressure of trying to win. I think that will be the Danielle we will see in the future. A year after her season, Lauren Alaina was vastly improved on stage, for that matter, so was Carrie Underwood.
          I think Danielle has “it”, whatever it is LOL. I’m quite certain she will be the most successful Voice winner, and with a little luck, the sky may be the limit for this girl.

  37. Don Viajero says:

    Not a bad list. I actually agree with most of your choices, though not necessarily the order in which you put them. I also would have picked different songs as Danielle’s best and I would not have included either Grace Askew or the Midas Whale-Patrick Dodd song. Anyway, my top 15 are:

    1. Amber Carrington- Stay (Top 16)
    2. Sarah Simmons – One of Us (Blind Aud)
    3. Michelle Chamuel – Grenade (Top 8)
    4. Amber Carrington – Skyfall (Top 8)
    5. Judith Hill – What a Girl Wants (Blind Aud)
    6. Michelle Chamuel – I Knew You Were Trouble (Top 6)
    7. Sasha Allen – Before He Cheats (Top 6)
    8. Amber Carrington – Sad (Top 5)
    9. Michelle Chamuel – True Colors (Top 16)
    10. Judith Hill/Karina Iglesias – It’s A Man’s Man’s World
    11. Sasha Allen – At Last (KO Round)
    12. Danielle Bradbury – Maybe it Was Memphis (Top 16)
    13. Swon Brothers – Danny’s Story (Top 5)
    14. Savannah Berry – Safe and Sound (Blind Aud)
    15. Vedo/Jessica – Locked Out of Heaven (Battle)

  38. moses says:

    amber carrington is the next carrie underwood