The Voice, a reality singing competition that feels like it’s always in the midst of airing, has apparently come to a season close last night. The NBC competition show has wrapped up season 22 and crowned a new winner: country singer Bryce Leatherwood.
“Bryce, your voice is so pure and warm. You just execute everything with precision and confidence and ease,” John Legend told Leatherwood during last night’s episode.
Blake Shelton, Leatherwood’s coach throughout the season, added, “You’re 22 years old, and I don’t know how much experience you have on stage. It seems like you’ve got about 40 years of experience. You’re one of those guys that’s like a George Strait. You deliver and you’re solid and people react to that.”
During last’s night episode, Leatherwood took the stage to offer his own renditions of Keith Whitley’s “Don’t Close Your Eyes” and Travis Tritt’s “T.R.O.U.B.L.E.” In the end, he beat out fellow finalists Bodie, Morgan Myles, Omar Jose Cardona, and Brayden Lape.
Leatherwood’s win marks another notch in Shelton’s belt as a pioneer coach on the series. Over the course of the show’s 22 seasons, Shelton has mentored ten of the winners, making him the most successful judge/coach on the show. Shelton has one more chance to win as a coach before he departs the series at the end of season 23 to take some time to really do “nothing.”
Unlike some of its predecessors (American Idol, X-Factor, etc.), The Voice has a knack for crowing winners that rarely make any impact on the charts or the music culture at large, despite their cash prize and record deal. Nonetheless, it looks like the judges will keep spinning those red chairs and coaching musician hopefuls through perfecting a cover–because it’s The Voice!