By Emilie Cruz
Weeks of grueling competition came to an end Tuesday night (May 20), as Josh Kaufman was crowned the season-six champion of “The Voice.”
Not only did the soulful singer best his competitors, Team Adam’s Christina Grimmie and Team Blake’s Jake Worthington, to land a recording contract with Universal Music, but Kaufman’s win also marked a first in “Voice” history. Team Usher’s win ended the five-season reign that saw only Levine and Shelton’s artists winning the singing competition.
OneRepublic kicked off the star-studded night with a performance of their newest single “Love Runs Out,” a song that champion Kaufman sang during the competition. Country star Justin Moore hit the stage to sing his hit “Lettin’ the Night Roll” before country all-star Tim McGraw debuted a brand new song called “City Lights.” Then it was Brit invasion as Ed Sheeran jammed out to “Sing,” and Coldplay performed their latest hit “Sky Full of Stars.”
But it wasn’t just about the biggest names in music – no, the big names of tomorrow, also known as the top 20 artists of “The Voice” returned to the stage as well.
For their “Bring Back” performances, Worthington brought back buddies Kat Perkins, Kristen Merlin, Audra McLaughlin, Morgan Wallen, and Ryan Maloney for a fun-in-the-sun performance of Kenny Chesney’s “Summertime,” while Grimmie brought back her BFFs Tess Boyer, Bria Kelly, and Jake Barker for Lorde’s “Team,” and Kaufman assembled the soulful T.J. Perkins, Sisaundra Lewis, and Stevie Jo for Nico and Vinz’s “Am I Wrong?”
Past male favorites Delvin Choice, Wallen, Jo, Patrick Thompson and Barker gave a soulful performance of Hall & Oates’ “She’s Gone” that earned a standing ovation from all four coaches, while the fierce females of season six Dani Moz, Boyer, Madilyn Paige, Deja Hall, and Melissa Jimenez took on Rihanna’s classic “Umbrella” that got Shakira on her feet.
It wasn’t long until we were reaching for our box of Kleenex, though, because Grimmie joined forced with Sheeran to sing his “The Fault in Our Stars” track, “All of the Stars.” The incredible acoustic performance was backed by equally impeccable duets by Worthington and Alabama with “Mountain Music,” and Kaufman and Robin Thicke with the beautiful plea “Get Her Back.”
But soon the music faded and the lights dimmed as the top three were rounded up for the moment of truth. Grimmie was announced the artist in third place, but did not leave with her head down, for coach Levine expressed great interest in signing her to his own record label at the start of the show.
With just Team Blake’s Worthington and Team Usher’s Kaufman as the final contenders, host Carson Daly declared Kaufman the winner, and ended the reign that seemed to suggest that only Levine and Shelton could carry an artist to victory. But as the congratulatory confetti falling and his family stood by his side, it was clear that this victory was one many firsts in Kaufman’s career.