The Voice finale recap: And the season 17 winner is...
What a time this has been! What a journey we have gone on! Know that I am virtually holding hands with each of you because from the very first Blind Audition (it was Katie Kadan, if you can believe) to this moment, we have lived through some things — tears, laughter, more tears, grimacing, probably, and yes, tears again. Am I the only one crying during this show? Honestly, that tracks. But we’ve done it, folks. It’s all led us here, to the season 17 finale of The Voice, to the moment when we all get to watch Jennifer Hudson perform “Memory” from Cats. Oh sorry! I meant the moment when the new champion of The Voice will be crowned. But that other thing will be pretty cool, too.
Before Ricky Duran, Rose Short, Katie Kadan, or Jake Hoot is named our winner, there are two hours worth of live performances. Shall we chat highlights before we get down to business?
Things kick off with some of the most soulful male singers from season 17 — Alex Guthrie, Max Boyle, Will Breman, and Shane Q — singing “Gimme Some Lovin'” and reminding me how much I truly missed Alex Guthrie and Max Boyle’s angel voices on this show. Throughout the two hours, we’re visited by more season 17 alums, including Cali Wilson, Gracee Shriver, Kat Hammock, and Marybeth Byrd, who put on a little country show with “Neon Moon,” and Myracle Holloway, Hello Sunday, and Joana Martinez, who join forces for “Keep Me Hangin’ On,” complete with some girl group choreography. It is truly a bop.
Of course, the pros come out in full force this evening as well, and by that I mainly mean the Black Eyed Peas roll onto the stage and put on a v. cool light show with dance group iLuminate. Okay, also Lady Antebellum performs their new single “What If I Never Get Over You,” Dua Lipa joins us to make a case for why roller skating should be a thing again, and Luke Combs helps us celebrate the season 17 artists and their families with “Even Though I’m Leaving.” We even get a little holiday-themed visit from season 16 Voice champion Maelyn Jarmon, who sings “Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas” and reminds us why she was the right choice last season. Finally, I’m happy to report that although the Cats movie looks like one of my nightmares come to life, Jennifer Hudson singing “Memory” does not disappoint in any way whatsoever, inject it into my veins, please.
The finalists get to team up with some pros as well: Katie Kadan and Adam Lambert — a true dream pairing, let’s be real — perform his version of Cher’s “Believe” and I guess we’re all forever changed as human beings now? Elsewhere, Rose Short and gospel queen Yolanda Adams sing “In the Midst of It All” and by “sing” I mean “bring the house down.” Ricky Duran also gets to sing with an idol of his when he takes the stage with Gary Clark Jr. to perform “Pearl Cadillac.” I cannot stress this enough: Don’t sleep on “Pearl Cadillac.” And finally, Jake Hoot gets to make country dreams come true when he joins the Little Big Town crew to sing their new song, “Over Drinking,” a true anthem for the end of 2019.
All of that was fun — The Voice knows how to throw a party — but let’s get to what we all came for: The season 17 results!
In fourth place: Rose Short (Team Gwen)!
In third place: Katie Kadan (Team Legend)!
Runner-up: Ricky Duran (Team Blake)!
Which means that Coach Kelly Clarkson earns her third win and Hooters across the world can rejoice — the winner of The Voice season 17 is our country crooner Jake Hoot!
A rotating chair-full of judges search for the next great superstar singer on this NBC reality show.