It’s been quite a season of The Voice for country fans, with three of the four finalists leaning heavily on the genre. But in the end it was Knoxville, Tennessee, native Chris Blue, a pop and R&B singer, who took the crown. The final contestant chosen in the blind auditions, Blue also gave coach Alicia Keys her first win on the show. In a close voting race, Blake Shelton’s team member Lauren Duski took the second-place spot. Aliyah Moulden, also of Team Blake, came in third, and Jesse Larson, the only member of Adam Levine’s team to make the finals, took fourth place.
“And when you think you’re not good enough, someone, somewhere does,” said Blue of his experience on The Voice prior to being crowned the champion. “Winning the show for Stephanie, my fiancée, would mean I didn’t give up on her,” he added, visibly emotional. Earlier in the show, Blue sang a poignant version of R.E.M.’s “Everybody Hurts” with Usher, while Duski teamed up with Little Big Town for a stirring rendition of the group’s Number One hit “Better Man,” off of their latest album The Breaker.
Other standout moments from the live finale included semi-finalist country singer Brennley Brown singing “Yours If You Want It” with Rascal Flatts, and Larson and former coach CeeLo Green performing Earth, Wind & Fire’s 1975 hit “Shining Star.” Miley Cyrus, another Voice alum from the red chairs, performed her new single “Malibu,” dedicating it to Ariana Grande and those affected by the terrorist attack at Grande’s show in Manchester, England.
Cyrus will be back in one of the coaches’ seats when The Voice returns this fall for its 13th season, along with regulars Blake Shelton and Adam Levine, plus newly-announced coach Jennifer Hudson.