Perhaps it is not surprising that Blake Shelton, The voice‘s winningest and most popular coach, triumphed for one ninth time on Tuesday’s grand final – after all, Blake had a 60% chance of winning, with three singers in the last five. In fact, I had predicted that Team Blake’s “pure country” contestant, a 22-year-old Georgia crooner with the extraordinarily Opry tent-worthy name Bryce Leatherwood, would take the Season 22 title. (I should also regretfully point out that I predicted the entire standings of the final, from fifth to first place, but I’ll get to those results in a minute.)
What did making Tuesday’s final surprising and historic, however, was the fact that Bryce was the first Instant Save contestant to ever win The voice. And Bryce was even saved more than once this season: first during the Battle Rounds, by his coach, and then during the top 16 show’s Instant Save sing-off, as a viewer-voted wildcard.
Bryce peaked at just the right time this week, however, with Monday’s dazzling, personality-plus cover of Elvis Presley’s “TROUBLE.” predicting that Bryce would win. And in the closing minutes of Tuesday’s final, just before host Carson Daly announced the results, Blake predicted that Bryce would be a country star no matter what.
“You already made it, man. You literally already made it,” Blake proclaimed. “I know my genre and I know the country music fans out there. You’ve got a career ahead of you, dude. Congratulations already.”
As for Tuesday’s other results, Team Blake’s indie song stylist Bodie had to settle for second place, while the nation’s vote seemed to be split between Team Blake’s Brayden Lape, a green 16-year-old who has just turned two year sang. year and deservedly finished last, and Team Camila’s country rocker Morgan Myles, who placed third. Omar José Cardona, another Instant Save contestant who made it to the finals against all odds, was arguably the strongest technical singer in the top five – as his coach John Legend put it, he was “the voice’ — but a hackneyed, choreography-heavy Michael Jackson number on Monday’s live competition show could have left him stuck in fourth place.
But all is not lost for any of the top five, especially Morgan and Bodie. For example, third place Morgan’s own coach, Camila Cabello, placed third on another TV talent show, The X Factor USA, with Fifth Harmony, but became the biggest star of that Stateside series. And Camila secured Morgan, the only woman inside The voice Season 22’s top five: “This is such a crazy industry, and it’s hard being a woman in this industry, but no matter what happens tonight, you have such incredible talent. You moved me. You moved us all.’
And the best guest performance of Tuesday’s finale was a cover of Duran Duran’s “Ordinary World,” dedicated to the LGBTQ+ community (including those killed in the Club Q shooting in Colorado), by a man who did quite well after finishing second. on another singing show: american idolfrom Adam Lambert. like adam, The voice runner-up Bodie has a knack for taking risks and creating his own songs (Bodie’s “Golden Hour” tour de force was voted by Blake as possibly “the best performance I’ve ever seen on this show”), so does he would have a bright future.
As for the future of The voice, the show’s 23rd season, which premieres next spring, will be Blake’s last; he will be joined for one last hurray by his old friend, returning coach Kelly Clarkson, and two new cast members, Chance the Rapper and The X Factor UK veteran Niall Horan. Will Blake win one last time and go out with a perfect 10 win total? Watch this space, and see you then.
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