And the winner of season 22 of “The Voice” is…

Coach Blake Shelton wins

Coach Blake Shelton wins “The Voice” for the ninth time with season 22 country singer Bryce Leatherwood. (Photo: Trae Patton/NBC)

It is perhaps unsurprising that Blake Shelton, The voicethe winningest and most popular trainer, triumphed for a ninth times in Tuesday’s grand finale – after all, Blake had a 60% chance of victory, with three singers in the bottom five. In fact, I predicted Team Blake’s “pure country” contestant, a 22-year-old Georgian crooner by the extremely Opry-worthy name Bryce Leatherwood, would win the Season 22 title. (I should also point out with jubilation that I predicted the whole classification of the finalfrom fifth to first place, but I’ll come back to those results a bit.)

What did making Tuesday’s final surprising and historic, however, was the fact that Bryce was the first Instant Save contestant to win. The voice. And Bryce has actually been saved more than once this season: first during the Battle Rounds, by his coach, and then during the show’s instant chant of the top 16, as a viewer-voted wild card.

However, Bryce peaked at just the right time this week, with Monday’s dazzling, dazzling cover of Elvis Presley’s “TROUBLE,” and at the end of that top five performance night, Blake’s wife and co-trainer, Gwen Stefani, was predicting that Bryce would win. And in the final minutes of Tuesday’s final, just before host Carson Daly announced the results, Blake predicted Bryce would be a country star no matter what.

“You already made it, man. You have literally already made it,” Blake proclaimed. “I know my genre and I know country music fans. You have a career ahead of you, man. 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 appeared to be split between Team Blake’s Brayden Lape, a young Green from The 16-year-old who had only been singing for two years and deservedly came in last, and Team Camila country-rocker Morgan Myles came in third. Omar José Cardona, another Instant Save contestant who made it to the final against all odds, was arguably the strongest technical singer in the top five – as his trainer John Legend said, he was “the vocals” — but a cheesy, choreography-heavy number from Michael Jackson on Monday’s live competitive show might have stalled him in fourth.

But all is not lost for any of the top five, especially Morgan and Bodie. For example, Morgan’s own third-place trainer, Camila Cabello, actually finished third on another TV talent show, The X Factor United States, with Fifth Harmony, but became the biggest star to emerge from this series in the United States. And Camila assured Morgan, the only woman in The voice Season 22 Top 5: “It’s such a crazy industry, and it’s hard to be a woman in this industry, but no matter what happens tonight, you have incredible talent. You moved me. You have moved us all.

And the best guest performance in Tuesday’s finale was a cover of Duran Duran’s “Ordinary World,” dedicated to the LGBTQ+ community (including those murdered in the Colorado Club Q shooting), by a man who is doing pretty well after becoming the finalist in another singing show: american idolIt’s Adam Lambert. Like Adam, The voice Bodie has a knack for taking risks and making songs his own (Bodie’s “Golden Hour” tour de force has been said to be possibly”the greatest performance i have ever seen on this show” of Blake), so that he too can have a bright future.

As for the future of The voicethe show’s 23rd season, which will premiere in the spring of next year, will be Blake’s last; he will be joined for a final hurray by his old friend, returning trainer 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 walk out with a perfect 10 win total? Watch this space, and see you soon.

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