Jermaine Paul was crowned winner of The Voice on tonight's season two finale. The 32-year-old native of Spring Valley, New York, and member of country star Blake Shelton's team on the show, beat out runner-up Juliet Simms with a mere four percent lead in the total vote.
"I just want to say thank you for all the people that voted for me," said Paul, who earned $100,000 and a record deal with Universal Republic. "My wife, my children, my father, my mother, my mother-in-law."
Shelton did not comment after Paul was announced the winner, however he did embrace his contestant, look him straight in the eye and exclaim, "You did it!"
Paul quickly became a frontrunner in the competition with his powerful, soul-drenched vocals. The singer had previously been a background vocalist for Alicia Keys. Numerous times throughout the competition host Carson Daly made reference to his evolution by stating Paul was "no longer a background singer." Paul's breakthrough performance came in early April when he put a soulful spin on Bon Jovi's "Livin' on a Prayer";last night he gave an impassioned rendition of R. Kelly's "I Believe I Can Fly."
The season finale included live performances by all four finalists – including third-place finisher, Tony Lucca, and fourth-place finisher, Chris Mann – all of whom were joined by many of this season's since-departed contestants. Justin Bieber gave the first live performance of his new single, "Boyfriend," while iconic crooners Hall & Oates performed their 1977 classic "Rich Girl," country trio Lady Antebellum sang "Wanted You More," and rapper Flo Rida served up a medley of his hit single "Wild Ones" and new cut "Whistle."
The evening however, was all about Paul. "I just want to say thank you for everybody that supported me from day one," he added. "God Bless y'all."
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