'The Voice' Finale Recap: Tessanne Chin Wins Season Five - Rolling Stone
Home Music Music News

‘The Voice’ Finale Recap: Tessanne Chin Wins Season Five

Lady Gaga and Paramore among a parade of star performers

It’s Adam Levine‘s world, we just live in it. At the very least, The Voice coach and sexiest man alive is having an outstanding year, especially now that he can add “two-time winner” to his extensive résumé.

Yes, after three seasons of The Voice bordering on becoming The Blake Shelton Show, Team Adam came out on top once again – the first time since Season One – as Tessanne Chin took the Season Five crown.

Rolling Stone’s Complete Coverage of ‘The Voice’ 

Chin’s win isn’t surprising considering the show lobbed Levine a season-long, slow-pitch softball so that he could hit a homerun. But was it the right play?

Slow-but-steady Chin, who peaked at just the right time and pulled ahead in the past few weeks, bested runner-up Jacquie Lee from Christina Aguilera‘s team and third-place Team Adam also-ran Will Champlin.

Just a few weeks ago, it seemed like Champlin had a shot at winning (until his own coach threw him under the bus, that is). Then, out of nowhere came Jacquie as a fan favorite, despite her ridiculously over-the-top rendition of Janis Joplin‘s “Cry Baby.” Before that, don’t forget, Matthew Schuler, James Wolpert and Cole Vosbury were all way ahead of Tessanne on the iTunes songs chart.

It’s been quite a rollercoaster ride, for sure. But America – by way of Tessanne’s native Jamaica and the show’s producers – chose Chin to be the next in line to try to make a name for herself outside of the comfort zone of a show that doesn’t have a good track record of launching bona fide stars.

While Tessanne offers an interesting media hook as the first mixed-race non-American (she’s Jamaican, lest we forget) to win a major U.S. reality singing competition, it doesn’t seem like she has much commercial appeal beyond that. Can she sing? Of course. The woman barely hit a bad note all season. But powerhouse female vocalists are a dime a dozen these days, especially ones that come from reality TV, so she’ll really have to step it up to stay afloat.

So far, Season Three winner Cassadee Pope is the show’s biggest star, but she’s no Carrie Underwood. In Season Four, the show banked on winner Danielle Bradbery, whose recently released debut album only sold 41,000 copies in its first week. So Chin doesn’t have to reach very high to become a success story. But it doesn’t bode well for her that during the finale, right before she was declared the winner, a commercial aired for the February premiere of Season Six. Because The Voice isn’t about the winner, it’s about watching The Voice. So, yeah, bon voyage, Tessanne! You’re already in their rearview mirror.

And while Tessanne’s win was dubbed the big moment of the night, the two-hour finale was more like watching the Grammys than a results show as star after big-ticket star paraded onstage to perform: Lady Gaga, Celine Dion, Paramore, OneRepublic, Ne-Yo and Aloe Blacc.

Aguilera even took the stage with Gaga on “Do What U Want” as a consolation prize for not being “the first female judge to win this thing.” Plus, they reunited the top 20 contestants in various forms for various songs, which only made us wish Schuler or even Kat Robichaud had stuck around longer and made the competition more interesting.

Tessanne capped off the night by singing an original song written for the winner by OneRepublic’s Ryan Tedder, à la American Idol. Titled “Tumbling Down,” it didn’t make a lasting impression – and neither did this season of The Voice. But, hey, there’s always next season, right?

In the meantime, sound off: Will Tessanne Chin be the next big thing? 

Previous recap: Could Jacquie Lee Win?


Powered by
Arrow Created with Sketch. Calendar Created with Sketch. Path Created with Sketch. Shape Created with Sketch. Plus Created with Sketch. minus Created with Sketch.