Here we are, guys. Another season of The Voice is in the books, and just as Twitter is still reeling from the whole “Yanny/Laurel” debacle, this year’s results match right up with what some people heard and perhaps not at all with what others (ahem) thought came through those mics last night and the weeks leading up to this.
For me, Kyla Jade was the favorite for the Season 14 win. She was never in danger of elimination, her progression throughout the show was solid, and she had/has the professional experience to inform a serious career in this business in a way that none of her contemporaries in this finale do. Her old boss Jennifer Hudson even turned up tonight to stand by her side and sing, rather than letting her take up the rear, as she’s done so many times before as a backup singer. Alas, it’s more of a symbolic gesture than anything in the end because to the rest of America, it appears the teens have taken the lead in recent weeks, tearing up the iTunes charts with their original singles and impressing everyone with their panache and individualism.
After a night filled with buffer performances — including Chloe Kohanski’s new single “Come this Far” and the return of a few season favorites like Wilkes, Rayshun LaMarr, Sharane Callister, and Christiana Danielle — the results finally come through, and no one is less surprised to hear her name called off for fourth place than Spensha Baker. She’s physically nodding in acknowledgement of the inevitability before Carson Daly even gets it out of his mouth; she still seems pleased to have gotten this far and believes coach Blake Shelton when he says she’s on the right path, even after this is done. Then, it’s Kyla Jade’s turn to take a conciliatory hug from Blake (apparently, she’s very good at giving hugs, but this one has to be less cozy than most) as her name is read off for third place.
That leaves Britton Buchanan and Brynn Cartelli in the final two, which means that if Carson Daly reads off the winner’s name with any pause on the initial syllable, there are bound to be some confused kids here on this stage.
With Britton Buchanan, it’s been his steely all-American artist persona coupled with his very throwback audio-aesthetic that’s carried the day, even when he had to be saved from elimination before. With Brynn Cartelli, though, her appeal lies in her ability to age up every time she hits the mic and lay down some dreamy, warm notes that make her such a natural match for tonight’s double duet with Julia Michaels.
Brynn started out this show when she was just 14 years old, and while there’ve been some off nights along the way to this point, she’s shown enough potential and sophistication to win over America. Britton obviously has a formidable fan base of his own, but Brynn’s got the win. Not too shabby for a girl who had to sneak away in between classes to get some practice time in.
(As a bonus, first-time coach Kelly Clarkson also gets to collect the win on her first run on this show as well, so huzzah for her, too.)
So, here we have it:
Fourth Place: Spensha Baker (Team Blake)
Third Place: Kyla Jade (Team Blake)
Second Place: Britton Buchanan (Team Alicia)
WINNER: Brynn Cartelli (Team Kelly)