Of course we learned on Tuesday night's season finale of
But that revelation wasn't handed to us straight off the bat. Nope. We got the results only in the last five minutes of the show. Before that we sat through nearly two hours of performances by a disparate batch of musicians -- new and old and very old.
Chamuel joined OneRepublic on the band's "Counting Stars," and could definitely be counted among the stars onstage. Doing her bendy-kneed stomp in shiny red pants, she was impossible to look away from -- and she even inspired OneRepublic's lead singer to do a few of her signature moves.
The Swon Brothers, meanwhile, had a dream-come-true moment forming a trio with Bob Seger in a performance of his "Night Moves." "That might have been the coolest thing we've done, period,"
Previously eliminated contestants were brought back to sing with the top three finalists and in groupings on their own. We got funny glimpses into Shelton's bromance with
And then, just before the end, we got the other thing we'd been waiting for: a live performance by Cher.
Cher! Old enough to be Danielle Bradbery's grandma but looking, if not quite like her sister, at least like her youthful aunt, the iconic performer appeared in one of her trademark out-there getups (blingified leather; fishnet; wacky, chickenish hair), flanked by gyrating dancers, to debut her new single "Woman's World," in what was billed as her first live TV performance in more than a decade.
Was she singing live? Who knows? Maybe, I guess, over a backing track. But honestly, it hardly mattered. Watching her out there doing her thing, albeit slowly, at age 67 -- a year younger than Seger, I should point out, but then he'd remained seated during his performance -- was riveting regardless.
Equally fascinating were the inscrutable looks on the judges' faces as they watched her perform. What was that we saw on them? Curiosity? Concern for Cher -- or for their own future?
Still, it was rewarding to be reminded, on a show in which new musical careers are launched each season, that those careers don't have to be a flash in the pan. A handful of performers can make their time in the spotlight last a lifetime. Cher is living proof.