It’s the moment that Carson Daly spends the entire season prepping for: it’s time to announce the winner of The Voice! In this case, a moment clearly means an extended episode of recaps, packages, live performances and buildup to an announcement that should really take 10 seconds, but in Voice world, takes two hours. Three, if you’re counting the pre-Finale recap episode for those who needed the extra coverage (a.k.a. INSANE PEOPLE).
Usher, Adam Levine and Blake Shelton still have horses in the race (these horses’ names being Josh Kaufman, Christina Grimmie and Jake Worthington, respectively), and Shakira is just along for the long ride.
Kicking off the show, Voice “family” members OneRepublic perform “Love Runs Out.” Front man Ryan Tedder had a much larger role in the Season 5 finale, penning Tessanne Chin’s sendoff song “Tumbling Down,” so this limited involvement was a bit of a downgrade. No matter: The Voice is a moving target of rotating rules, so there’s always next year!
Team Blake’s Jake Worthington performs Kenny Chesney’s “Summertime,” and brings back some of his favorite contestants to join him. It’s a walk down Wait, Now Who’s That Again? Lane to see some of those he bring backs onstage (try picturing Ryan Whyte Maloney and Morgan Wallen accurately without looking them up), although Kat Perkins, Kristen Merlin and Audra McLaughlin sound as though perhaps they should have made it to the finals over Jake. Just sayin’.
Watch out, Taylor Swift, because Ed Sheeran shows some definite onstage chemistry with Team Adam’s Christina Grimmie. The two perform a sweet duet of “All Of The Stars” as part of Sheeran’s multi-performance episode.
Super (but not super enough to be in the finals) group Delvin Choice, Jake Barker, Stevie Jo, Morgan Wallen and Patrick Thomson make a Voice stage encore performing “She’s Gone” by Hall & Oates. Team Usher’s Josh Kaufman could really step this performance up a notch, but he must be saving it all for his upcoming duet with Robin Thicke.
The country keeps rolling when Justin Moore performs “Lettin’ the Night Roll.” His stage moves rival those of Jake & Blake, which, for those not paying attention this season, are not quite at Usher level.
Josh Kaufman’s bring-back performance features T.J. Wilkins, Stevie Jo and Sisaundra Lewis – not a bad selection of former contestants! The foursome sings Nico & Vinz’s “Am I Wrong?” and all is well until they are literally upstaged by backup dancers. Incidentally, Nico & Vinz are amongst the stars lighting up the audience, and look positively thrilled to see their song being performed for national television.
Mentor Ed Sheeran makes his second (and final) performance of the evening, and Carson makes his final reminder that Sheeran’s new album, x, drops June 23. There are no amateurs to be found onstage when he performs “Sing,” although every teenage girl in the live audience (read: the whole live audience) harmonizes with squealing.
Partnering up with southern rock band Alabama, Jake Worthington sings “Mountain Music.” Win or lose, the country singing teen looks utterly thrilled to have this milestone moment in his young career. Plus, when he reaches a point in his life when he’s not sure if it’s appropriate to dye just his hair, just his facial hair or both, he’ll know with whom to consult!
Season 6’s divas return to sing a KidzBop version of Rihanna’s “Umbrella.” Dani Moz, Deja Hall, Tess Boyer, Melissa “Call me MJ” Jimenez and Madilyn Paige deliver a lackluster performance of a song Christina Grimmie could have killed, thus ensuring voters have no regrets about eliminating them before the finals.
Josh Kaufman partners with Robin Thicke to sing “Get Her Back” (wonder toward whom Thicke is aiming that one). Thicke is oddly encouraging of Josh, telling him, “There you go,” as the song ramps up. What’s more, he even solicits clapping from the notoriously off-beat audience. The duo manages to overcome the clap-ocalypse, though, and delivers a fun, soulful show.
Slipping in one last dose of country before Season 6 comes to a close, Tim McGraw sings “City Lights.” The iconic country crooner does not disappoint his core fans, and dons his signature black leather cowboy hat as The Voice Variety Hour(s) chug on.
Christina Grimmie brings back her Season 6 besties, Bria Kelly, Tess Boyer and Jake Barker (a.k.a. the popular table), to sing Lorde’s “Team.” It would have been nice to see Grimmie go bigger with her last Voice performance, but she knows full well that the votes are already tallied. That, and Adam totally promised her a place on his label win or lose, so the vocal chords are officially on hiatus until the deal ink dries.
In the final performance before the much-anticipated results, Voice mentor Chris Martin and the rest of Coldplay perform “A Sky Full of Stars.” It’s like Thom Yorke’s dancing meets Avicii’s Vegas production team meets the Billboard Music Awards tech capabilities… or just a man who had been subsisting on an all-kale diet for 10 years finally letting loose with a consciously uncoupled happy dance. In a word: awesome.
Unfortunately, there is no reprisal of Christina Aguilera and Lady Gaga’s Season 5 duet to cap off the night, so the results will just have to do. Ready?
3rd Place: Team Adam’s Christina Grimmie. A spot on Adam Levine’s label is a decent consolation prize, though.
2nd Place: Team Blake’s Jake Worthington. Wait a minute… does this mean someone other than Blake Shelton or Adam Levine is going to coach a winning team??
The winner: Team Usher’s Josh Kaufman! Why yes this is the first win for Coach Ursh! A shocked Josh reacts while his wife and child join him on stage.“I can’t even talk,” he says, breathlessly. “I’m overwhelmed. I’m surprised. I’m happy. I’m relieved.”
And you’re also off to catch a red eye to perform on TODAY Wednesday morning, Josh, because of a little something called NBC synergy! Welcome to your life post-Voice: NBC owns you.
And thus, another season of The Voice wraps. Josh Kaufman certainly has the vocal chops, but will he be the champion who finally extends his success beyond the show’s tour and an appearance on the following season? Oh, let’s just give him a moment of glory before jumping into that debate. Yay Josh!
Ok, moment over. Have at it!