Anthony was crowned the Season 20 champ of during Tuesday’s finale, handing Blake Shelton yet another title. The last original coach on the NBC singing competition adds to his record as the winningest coach in the show’s history with eight wins under his cowboy belt.
Anthony and Shelton, an “unlikely pairing” of a soulful artist and country legend, shared a long embrace as confetti showered the stage, which may be the duo’s first hug on air amid eased COVID-19 regulations.
“This has been the time of my life,” Anthony said before thanking his coach for allowing him to “explore my artistry…and have as much fun with it as possible.”
Shelton was the one thanking Anthony for putting “The Voice” on the map during the singing competition’s 20th season in 10 years: “You being on this show and giving us the chance to be a part of your journey has changed the show forever and we’ve been needing that.”
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Shelton has fellow coach Nick Jonas to partially thank for his win. (Even though Shelton will never admit it.)
Anthony earned a three-chair turn during the first night of Blind Auditions after wowing Shelton, Jonas and John Legend with his soulful sound on Sam Smith’s “Lay Me Down.” Anthony said he was “looking to get John to turn” because “his voice is pretty similar to mine,” but Jonas had other plans. He blocked Legend, preventing Anthony from joining the R&B legend’s team.
“Everybody is betraying me. I expect this from Blake but Nick deftly blocked me and I’ll never forgive him for that,” Legend said during the Blinds. After the Top 9 semifinal performances, Legend added: “Every time I hear Cam sing, it breaks my heart that Nick would use his block (on me) in such a way.”
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When the votes were tallied, Wheeler (Team Kelly Clarkson) finished in second place; Young (Team Shelton) came in third; Mac (Team Jonas) in fourth; Victor Solomon (Team Legend) in fifth.
The two-hour season finale felt like a concert, with more than a dozen guest performances and post-competition duets with the Top 5 and their coaches.
Jonas and Mac paired up for a rocking rendition of Foo Fighters’ “Best Of You,” marking the first time the legendary band has ever “approved for someone to use their song on ‘The Voice,'” which Jonas called a true testament to Mac’s talent.
Solomon looked right at home next to Legend on a soulful rendition of Donny Hathaway’s “Someday We’ll All Be Free.” Solomon called the duet “a dream come true” and a “full circle moment”: He sang Legend’s ‘”Ordinary People’ in the eighth grade talent show that I won,” auditioned with Legend’s “Glory” during the Blind Auditions in front of the EGOT winner and closed out his run with a duet with Legend.
“Victor and I started singing together on this show,” Legend said, referring to their impromptu duet of “Ordinary People” during the Blinds. “So it makes perfect sense that we are closing this season singing together in the finale.”
Wheeler and Clarkson finally got the opportunity to sing together on Keith Whitley’s “When You Say Nothing at All.” Clarkson dubbed their partnership “Ken-ly,” a mash-up of their first names, like their mash-up of country and pop on the Whitley classic.
Shelton had double duty Tuesday with two finalists. He tackled Fine Young Cannibals’ “She Drives Me Crazy” with Anthony, despite being “pretty different when it comes to singing.” The cowboy then went old school with Young on George Strait’s “All My Ex’s Live in Texas.”
“I don’t think you have any exes in Texas, but that just makes one of us,” Shelton joked.
The NBC singing competition also brought back some familiar faces who, as host Carson Daly put it, are “forever in ‘The Voice’ family”: Former coaches Adam Levine, Gwen Stefani and Kelsea Ballerini.
Levine, an original coach since the show’s 2011 debut, departed from the hit NBC singing competition after 16 seasons in 2019, returned with Maroon 5 for “Beautiful Mistakes” featuring Megan Thee Stallion. “It wouldn’t be a 10-year celebration of ‘The Voice’ without bringing back one of our original coaches,” Daly said.
Stefani, the reigning “Voice” champion, performed “Slow Cap” with rapper Saweetie. Ballerini, who filled in for a sick Clarkson during the Battles earlier this season, teamed up with Wheeler for her new single, “half of my hometown.”
“(Clarkson) could have called anyone…but the fact that you called me meant the world,” Ballerini said. Clarkson dubbed her “the best honorary Team Kelly coach EVER.”
OneRepublic, who performed at the inaugural “Voice” finale 10 years ago, took viewers backstage with their song “Run.” Lauren Daigle sang “Hold On To Me” backed by a choir, and Snoop Dogg brought the tropics to the studio with his 420-inspired single “Sittin On Blades” with DJ Battlecat. (The 16-time-Grammy-nominated rapper served as a mega-mentor during the Knockouts.)
Justin Bieber cruised onto the “Voice” stage in a classic sports car to perform his laid-back mega-hit “Peaches” before bringing a vibrant light show on his single “Hold On.” Ben Platt, star of “Dear Evan Hansen,” showed off his singing on his new single, “Imagine.” Thomas Rhett joined virtually for a performance of “Country Again.” (Rhett served as an adviser for Team Clarkson in 2018.)