Nashville, Tennessee, native Chloe Kohanski won season 13 of The Voice in a star-studded finale, giving her coach Blake Shelton his sixth overall victory. Still, with ensemble guest appearances and dream-making duets for the contestants, none of the final four – including Red Marlow, Brooke Simpson and Addison Agen – went home without at least a little glory.
Each of the finalists performed with an icon representing their respective genre, while several established stars performed their hit singles and several contestants from this season returned to sing without the inhibition that comes with possibly being eliminated. The first to reappear were Adam Cunningham and Keisha Renee, who joined pop singer Bebe Rexha for a soulful rendition of “Meant to Be,” her recent hit with Florida Georgia Line. Immediately following was Charlie Puth doing his single “How Long,” joined by nattily-dressed coach Adam Levine on guitar. The crowd erupted when the performance ended with Puth and Levine lying on the stage floor next to one other.
Intermittent in the set were jokey skits of the coaches dealing with their faux rivalries. One portrayed a “country-off” between Blake Shelton and Miley Cyrus – Cyrus won when she lassoed Shelton in mock spaghetti western fashion. Kelly Clarkson, the original American Idol, gave a performance of her song “Medicine” that was made all the more significant by her upcoming position in the Voice coach’s chair in 2018.
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Also significant was Kohanski’s “White Wedding” duet with Eighties new wave legend Billy Idol. From her blind audition onward, she’s had a proclivity for retro rock music and seeing her head bop with Idol was surreal even as a viewer.
Despite Kohanski being one of the most popular contestants, she’s also been a standout in that she’s a raspy-voiced, rock-leaning singer where many competitors this season have veered toward R&B or country. Her final words to her coach Shelton before she won were the perfect summation of what it means to be an outsider on The Voice: “Blake’s encouragement means everything. You just told me, ‘who you are is enough.'” It’s no wonder he’s the coach who has guided the most contestants to victory, and now he can claim one more.”