The right contestant is crowned the winner in the last five minutes of a two-hour performance-packed finale.
The Voice Winner Josh Kaufman
Credit: Tyler Golden/NBC
The Voice - Season 14
S6 E26
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Phew. I’ll come right out and say it: the right person won The Voice.

Although Christina Grimmie would have been a perfectly welcome winner, it was Josh Kaufman who emerged victorious, and frankly he deserved it. I have no doubt that Jake Worthington will go on to be mentored by Blake for years to come, and Christina will find similar success by signing with Adam’s record label (as he announced on tonight’s THREE-HOUR finale).

Well, technically, it was only a two-hour finale, because no self-respecting singing competition would dare devote more than five minutes of a possible 120 to actually revealing the results. Thus, we were left with a whole bunch of random…things that happened tonight before the winner was revealed.

Thing #1: That iTunes Glitch

Your comments about the peculiar absence of Josh’s incendiary Adele cover “Set Fire to the Rain” were heeded. Right at the top of the night, Carson acknowledged that an iTunes glitch was to blame, and as such, all iTunes downloads over the 14-hour voting window were removed, which apparently didn’t even affect the outcome (if I understood correctly, which I’m sure I didn’t).

Thing #2: OneRepublic Sings “Love Runs Out”

Is it awkward to have the real artist perform a song that that Josh has already sung? No, not really, because the brilliant Ryan Tedder should be a sex symbol and instead he’s just one of those faceless rock stars who isn’t as famous as he deserves to be despite having the haircut, talent, and ability to pull off leather.

Thing #3: Christina Grimmie Gets a Record Deal

Yes, you heard right. Regardless of Christina’s place in the competition, Adam Levine vowed that he would sign her to his record label after the show. That’s thrilling, to be sure, but doesn’t that just eliminate the whole point of the competition? Or the nature of the grand prize, at least? Back in the Idol days, if a record deal was on the table for a runner-up…things might have been different (I miss you Tamyra Gray). Still, I’m happy for Christina, who—honestly—will probably be the most successful of all three if she lands a nice Tedder hook and a smooth summer song.

Thing #4: Group Hug

Blake and Adam rally the troops for one superstar hug to mark a sweet goodbye for two of the four coaches, because heaven forbid we have more than one woman or non-white guy on the panel at one time. (This also applies to Shark Tank.)

Thing #5: Jake Brings Back The K’s

For Jake’s ‘bring-back’ performance, he elects to resurrect Kat Perkins, Kristen Merlin, Audra McLaughlin, Morgan Wallen, and Ryan Whyte Maloney. (I have to wonder how these bring-backs were chosen, whether it was at random or a type of schoolyard selection method, or perhaps even a Hogwartsian Sorting Stetson.) The gang performs “Summertime” live from the set of Mary-Kate and Ashley’s Holiday In the Sun, and they strike up a nice ensemble rapport that reads like a college production of Grease.

Thing #6: Christina Meets Ed

Mere hours after I suggested that Christina wouldn’t invite Taylor Swift to a sleepover, she’s moved in on Tay’s BFF Ed Sheeran! You can tell the audience likes their tender duet of “All of the Stars” because they’re swaying their arms back and forth above their heads. They don’t ever do that, right? They haven’t done that for every single performance on the show, right?

Thing #7: The Five Rejected Guys (Patrick, Delvin, Morgan, Stevie Jo, Jake)

Wow, remember these fellas? There’s Rowlf and Dreads, and Shaggy and Scrappy-Doo, and Jake Barker! I missed you guys. I kind of forgot about half of you, but those were good times, the ones I do remember. There are five completely different levels of attraction among this bizarre boy band, which I will dub “Some Direction.”

Thing #8: The Lifestyles of Usher Raymond

In this undeniably random segment, Usher offers his slogans: “Evolve or evaporate.” “This is your moment.” “Don’t give them a reason.” “Now or never.” He talks about waffles, candy, and eating raw cabbage. He calls Blake a “hairless Chewbacca.” He says amazeballs. I feel like I learned both so much and absolutely nothing at all.

Thing #9: Someone Named Justin Moore Performs

I had to look up his name.

Thing #10: Josh Brings Back SissyLew

Josh’s ‘bring-back’ involves T.J. Wilkins, Stevie Jo and Sisaundra Lewis for “Am I Wrong,” a song apparently by two guys named Nico and Vinz who must be in the NBC family in some fashion because they’re in the audience for some reason. Sisaundra keeps it cool and, really, we don’t hear much from her this evening. I imagine she’s still a little bitter about not winning, or perhaps she’s on vocal rest until she auditions for America’s Got Talent later this year.

Thing #11: Ed “Sings”

YES! Great song, great song. It’s a month-and-change old but I plan to jam out to this tune over the next few months, as Ed Sheeran’s “Sing” is prominently featured on both my Summer ’14: Party and Summer ’14: Tan playlist, a transcendence not easily achieved. The performance is swell, although someone needs to address Ed Sheeran’s hair at some point before he tries to kidnap Oliver Twist or invoke parlay.

NEXT: Things 12-22, including umbrellas, mountain men and Tim McGraw

Thing #12: The Districts Salute Their Tributes

I don’t think loyalty between teams is a thing on the show, but Carson wants it to be when he tries to get the members of each respective team to cheer on their surviving cohorts. Bria and Tess keep it diplomatic and express their love for everyone, thereby proving that a possible great addition to future seasons would be an enhancement of team spirit. I’m sure there’s an old Wild & Crazy Kids producer out there who can consult.

Thing #13: Mountain Men

In true country fashion, Jake pairs up with the friendly grandfathers of Alabama for “Mountain Music,” and one of the guys has an amazing green violin that makes it all worth it.

Thing #14: Ri-Ri Gets Represented

If you forgot the names of half of these girls who come out to sing “Umbrella,” you’re not alone. It’s been a hot second since we’ve seen some of them, and while it was nice to see Tess, Dani and Deja, it took a second for me to register that I was looking at Madeline (taking on an entirely different approach to the song from the rest of the girls). Meanwhile, poor MJ didn’t even blip the radar. I hardly recognized her without her baseball cap and visual sass.

Thing #15: The Last Confessional

As we approach the end of the episode, the top three get one last chance to record their final thoughts, which are nice and emotional and INTERRUPTED when everyone gets a car! Carson does his best Oprah when he gives them each a Kia, which prompts Josh to call his wife and Jake to give it to his grandma. But you know Christina’s driving that thing to the nearest Taco Bell the second she can.

Thing #16: Adam’s Favorite Things

Another bizarre montage involves the many times Adam has said something is his “favorite.” I suppose it’s a very timely message, considering we’re living in a world of “literally” and “can’t even” and “the worst.” I should also mention that at some point there was a throwaway montage of Shakira being Latin, but I forgot where it was in the show so let’s just call it Thing #16.1 and move on.

Thing #17: Josh and the Boy Wonder

Ah, Robin Thicke. Welcome back to the fold. It’s been some time since we saw the former advisor, and hey, he’s shaved his head! (Or maybe he just lent his hair to Ryan Tedder). It seems weird to pair Josh with Robin considering they would be immediately direct competitors in the real music scene, but they duet on “Get Her Back.” I’d say it’s Josh’s worst performance, although I hardly think Josh is to blame for it if you catch my drift. I’m still trying to get over Duets, Robin.

Thing #18: Tim McGraw Shows Up

That makes three country artists tonight with the arrival of country icon and Four Christmases star Tim McGraw, performing his new song “City Lights.” It’s perfectly fine, if you like that sort of thing, which I’m assuming many, many, many, many do.

Thing #19: Christina Brings Back Bria

Before you assume anything, let me be frank: I actually think this was the best performance of the night. Lorde’s “Team” is a pretty chill little tune, and the foursome of Christina, Bria Kelly, Tess Boyer and Jake Barker managed to turn it into a really enjoyable quartet. Jake makes the most of his time in the spotlight by dancing, and Bria, surprisingly, did not get on my nerves, mostly.

Thing #20: Blake and Jake

I’ve sung my praises of this legendary relationship already, but I’m elated to end the season with one last look at the most lovable duo of the year. I’d love to be a member of their texting chain, which I’m assuming has tons of old-fashioned smiley faces and uses of words endin’ in apostrophes.

Thing #21: Coldplay Sings

Coldplay really wants this new song to happen. It’s not going to happen.

Thing #22: THE RESULTS

Finally, we get to the meat of the evening: the reading of the results. Sure, it only took us 115 minutes to get here, but surely none of us have anything better to do on a Tuesday night. Carson takes the stage with the top three and informs us first of the third place player: Christina Grimmie. She’s thrilled to have been signed (or, to have been promised to be signed) to Adam’s label so she visibly doesn’t even seem phased by not winning. We then find out that Josh is crowned the winner, and with just a few quick shots of his family and a briefer-than-brief reaction from Josh himself, we’re out. Done.

I certainly am tired of the reality show trope of not spending any time with the winner or the runners-up (poor Jake didn’t even get face time) once the final results are announced. Are we purposely deprived so we’ll tune in to Today? Yes, maybe. But I’d like to have lingered a little longer and gotten a proper goodbye to the season.

Will Josh go on to mainstream success? That’s a question to ask, for sure. None of the past Voice winners have really done much of anything since they won, but it’s always nice to be optimistic and hope that perhaps Josh will be the one to achieve success. And hey, I still think Christina Grimmie stands a chance to be the most successful of any of them.

It’s been fun, Voice Season Six. You were largely forgettable and very repetitive, and you didn’t exactly form any magical memories for me, but you allowed me to analyze you with copious pop culture references, and for that I’m thankful. And for you, commenters, who have kept with me this whole season, thank you! I know half of you hate me and think I am a tone-deaf loser just because we disagree, but I love you anyway. Thanks for coming along on this ridiculous recap ride with me. Drop me a line whenever you want! I’m here for you, sweet babies. I’m always here for you.

Episode Recaps

The Voice - Season 14
The Voice

A rotating chair-full of judges search for the next great superstar singer on this NBC reality show.

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