Most of us assumed Lauren Duski would win Season 12 of The Voice last night (May 23). After all, Blake Shelton is the winningest coach–five champions-in the show’s history. And country singers seem to be particularly popular on the show. There have been two female country winners–Cassadee Pope (S3) and Danielle Bradbery (S4). And a couple of male country crooners have taken the crown, including Craig Wayne Boyd (S7) and last season’s (S11) Sundance Head.
But instead, Alicia Keys marked her only The Voice win with soul singer Chris Blue. The thing that sets the Knoxville worship leader apart from the other The Voice winners, as The Washington Post noted–Chris was featured in the last blind audition. In fact, he was the very LAST blind audition (Chris sang “Tracks of My Tears”). At that point, only Alicia had a place on her team that needed to be filled.
In the last four consecutive seasons of The Voice every winner (Sawyer Fredericks, Jordan Smith, Alisan Porter and Sundance Head) were showcased in the premiere. The same goes for Season 1 champ Javier Colon and Danielle Bradbery from Season 4. Lauren, who came in second place, also appeared in the first episode.
Right after winning The Voice, Chris and Alicia spoke with reporters at a press conference backstage. Check out their reaction to the win and more right here.
On Chris’ win, Alicia said, “Chris has a really uncanny ability…he really delivers. It’s emotional and it’s powerful. He shows all sides of him. I’ve been really proud of that. He is going to grow into one of the greats, I really believe it.”
Alicia talked about how she came to choose Chris. “There was a time, it was way at the end…we were pretty tired. What else was left? People would tell me, ‘Go for what’s good! Don’t worry!’ I knew they were sick of me. I just couldn’t do it.” Alicia knew something special was coming. “I waited and I waited…when Chris’ footsteps walked out I was…’This is it, I feel it.’ And then he sang. I never felt so happy in my life.” Alicia knew nobody else could turn. “At that point I just laid back and listened. At the right moment, I just hit that button and turned around.”
On whether Chris’ winners single “Money on You” is the kind of music we can expect from the singer in the future, he said, “Absolutely. Stuff that makes you feel good and enjoy life. Coach has been preaching to me the whole season–make sure you produce something that you feel. When I heard the song…before I opened the text message I knew that was the one right there.”
There was a second song that Alicia prefered, but while Chris thought the song was good, he said to his coach, “There’s something about this song that really speaks to me.” When they broke down the song on piano together, Alicia realized that Chris was right. “It’s great when an artist knows what they want,” Alicia added.
On his powerful performance last night of “Everybody Hurts” with former The Voice coach Usher, Chris said, “That was an amazing experience. I want to praise Usher for the person he is.” Chris was impressed with Usher’s character. He chose the song to give people solace amid the terrible news that came out of Manchester Uk on Monday. He gave Chris advice, “I don’t want you to try and sing this song. I want you to emotionally embrace [it].”
The presser ended on a light note. On beating five time winner Blake Shelton? “It’s been a great dream of mine…to put a whoopin on Blake Shelton,” Alicia quipped.
Blake’s team member Lauren Duski would have been a worthy winner. But over the course of the season, Chris Blue has presented an all-around ability to entertain–from moving ballads to R&B joints. And that voice! He really has a style all his own. Congratulations to both Alicia and Chris.
Fun fact: Chris auditioned at an open call!
Chris Blue’s winning moment
I’m not worried about Lauren. I have a feeling Blake will take her under his wing as he has previous winners like RaeLynn and Danielle Bradbery.