From left: Terry McDermott, Cassadee Pope, Nicholas David and host Carson Daly
12/18/2012 AT 05:30 PM EST
The final three contestants
on The Voice
are all cautiously optimistic – and pretty exhausted – as they head into Tuesday's show, where one of them will be crowned the season 3 winner.
"It has been a long haul. I got an ear infection two days ago," Team Blake's Terry McDermott said after Monday's show.
"It feels like it's been a constant battle the last few weeks."
While he'll be happy to get some rest, McDermott said he'll miss singing for millions of people each week. "I'm actually quite sad," he said. "You manage to get up every week and perform on this wonderful stage. There is a certain energy about it."
Favorite Cassadee Pope, who's also on Blake Shelton
's team, said she's excited after Monday's show. "I feel great," she said. "I feel really good. I loved the tribute [to the Sandy Hook shooting victims] at the beginning. It just set the mood for the whole night. I just felt so thankful to be there."
Asked how she feels being a front-runner, she replied: "That's really nice. I hope so. I've worked really hard, even before this show. If I don't win, I know it's up to me now to take this platform and take it to the next level."
The third finalist, Nicholas David of Cee Lo Green's team, also has mixed feelings about the season coming to a close. He'll miss the national stage, but is happy to get back to his family.
The hardest part of the journey? "To be away from my kids," he said. "It's been the longest time I've been away from my gal. We've been together almost every day basically since we met. That's been seven years. But it's been a blessing, too."
All three contestants praised each other's abilities. "I thought they were unreal," Pope said of David and McDermott. "Nicholas really showed his quirky, crazy personality with his dance moves and high kicks. And Terry is a powerhouse. I'm going to miss hearing him every night. He is just unreal. And he became one of my best friends."
"I thought Cassadee was phenomenal," said McDermott. "And Nicholas David, with flaming piano singing Jimi Hendrix, that will be something that stays with me for the rest of my life."
"We haven't stopped," David said. "I'm just proud and blessed to be in this company."
Reporting by JESSICA HERNDON