Universal Records added a new artist to their roster Tuesday night (May 8) when Jermaine Paul of Team Blake was named season-two champ during the finale of “The Voice,” which also featured some major star power appearances from the likes of Justin Bieber and Flo Rida.
“I just wanted to say thank you for everyone that voted for me,” the former Alicia Keys backup singer said on the sparkler-filled stage, before giving credit to his wife, children and parents. “God bless y’all, man. Nobody but Jesus, man, nobody!”
It was a close call, as host Carson Daly revealed just moments before the announcement that only a mere 4 percentage points separated Paul and runner-up Juliet Simms.
Kicking off the two-hour episode was a brief contestant introduction with Paul, Simms, singer/songwriter Tony Lucca and classically trained Chris Mann, before segueing into a recap of the previous night’s live final round and some thoughts from each of the judges about their contestant.
But it wouldn’t be a big ol’ finale without some collaborative performances from our season’s favorite former contestants, so Paul rallied up Jamar Rogers, James Massone and Pip to lead the pack on a cover of the Jackson 5′s “I Want You Back.” It was a solid effort that most importantly proved why Paul stands as the last remaining singer of the bunch and won the contest.
After a montage of silly bloopers from the panel (proving that Xtina is surely more than just full of sass) and a quick commercial break, Simms of Team Cee Lo joined Flo Rida for a medley of his singles “Whistle” and “Wild One.” Missing in action was singer Sia, but Simms took over for the Australian crooner’s chorus, temporarily walked away from her rock element and jumped to some fist-pumping Top 40.
Team Xtina’s Chris Mann brought back his lady favorites Lindsey Pavao and Katrina Parker for an appropriate cover of the Verve’s “Bitter Sweet Symphony,” and the couple complemented Mann’s lively onstage urgency.
It may have been an intense evening for the contestants, but “The Voice” kept the show lighthearted by dedicating an entire segment to Shelton and Levine’s on-camera bromance with highlights of their cutesy interactions. “It is clear that Adam has a crush on me, and Miranda is a little bit jealous, but I think it’s cute,” Shelton joked about wife Miranda Lambert.
Hall & Oates were up next to sing their classic “Rich Girl” alongside the men of the evening: Tony, Jermaine and Chris. As the duo jammed out to their 1977 hit, the trio of finalists crooned on the side as background vocalists to the iconic act.
Living out one more performance were former contestants Naia Kete, Cheesa, Kim Yarbrough and Sera Hill with a performance of “Superstition” by Stevie Wonder. Full of energy, attitude and smiles, the quartet blended their distinctive voices for a great number. But it wasn’t enough to outshine Juliet Simms’ group performance alongside Erin Willett, RaeLynn and Jamar Rogers for a cover of the Beatles’ “With a Little Help from My Friends.” It was the best of the all-star performances and brought all the judges to their feet for standing ovations.
NBC doubled up when they brought some buzz for the season finale of “Parks and Recreation” as Cee Lo took to the set of the comedy sitcom and had the cast cater to his guest appearance and, of course, the famed swivel chair.
Lady Antebellum repped for country music when they appeared for a performance of “Wanted You More,” but the biggest rumble of cheers went to Justin Bieber, who served up a flashy debut performance of his hit “Boyfriend.” As teased a few weeks ago, the teen superstar took the stage for an elaborate production of his lead single. Entering through the floor, the pop singer walked down an alley of bright lights and spent much of the number as the center of attention for a crew of dancers with misty smoke seeping in between his choreography.
Before the Biebster took center stage, Team Adam’s Tony Lucca re-emerged for his main number of the night with Jordis Unga to sing Fleetwood Mac’s “Go Your Own Way.” It was a friendly throwback to the competition’s battle rounds, as the two played off each other’s lines and catered to different parts of the stage before joining together for an ending hug.
What did you think of Jermaine winning “The Voice”? Let us know in the comments!