Ladies and gentlemen, we have a new Voice champion! The NBC singing competition crowned its season 11 winner, as only one of the four finalists — Billy Gilman, Sundance Head, Josh Gallagher and Wé McDonald — was left standing by the end of the Tuesday, December 13, extravaganza. (Spoilers ahead!)
In the end, the show’s title went to Sundance, a country singer who charmed his way into voters’ hearts with his down-home charm, giving coach Blake Shelton his fifth win. Former child singer and front-runner Billy took second, while Wé landed in third, and Josh was fourth. With a distinctive long beard and dry sense of humor, Sundance routinely was among the top of iTunes charts in recent weeks, hinting at his strong support, even though some fans assumed Billy was the one to beat.
Read on for Us Weekly‘s in-depth recap. And be sure to start at the bottom to get it in chronological order.
11:00 p.m. ET: Us’ reporter watched as Sundance took his hat off and waved to the crowd at the close of the show. He held up his trophy, and everyone cheered.
10:59 p.m. ET: Sundance performed original song “Darling Don’t Go” as white and pink confetti fell. The newly crowned winner adorably referred to his wife, Misty, as the champion.
10:57 p.m. ET: Sundance wins! It’s Team Blake’s fifth win. Sundance is so happy that he’s wiping his eyes, and he got a big hug from his proud coach. Adam gave a hug to second-place finisher Billy, who had been seen as the front-runner for most of the season.
10:55 p.m. ET: Us’ reporter was on hand as all four coaches high-fived each other during the final break. Miley got on stage and talked to Billy, and Sundance got a little makeup touch-up.
10:53 p.m. ET: Third place goes to Wé! “I won already,” she said.
10:52 p.m. ET: Time for the results! In fourth place is Josh.
10:50 p.m. ET: Blake has crazy piano potential, and he learned from master piano player Alicia. “Blake shows real promise,” Alicia said.
10:49 p.m. ET: Bruno Mars got everyone standing with his hit “24K Magic,” which he started from the coaches’ chairs. It would have been the night’s highlight if KISS weren’t such a powerhouse.
10:44 p.m. ET: During commercial, Us’ reporter noticed that Miley took a girl from the audience, held her hand and walked with her for introductions to Adam, then Alicia, then Blake. They all hugged the girl — it was very heartwarming, and Miley proved that she really is the sweetest. Meanwhile, Alicia was taking photos with her KISS guitar.
10:39 p.m. ET: Sundance reunited Team Blake co-members Courtney and Austin for “Ain’t Worth the Whiskey.” Sundance said, “I wanted to bring the team back to rock it one last time.” The supporting cast seemed to be especially enjoying it because of their teammate. Only 20 minutes to results!
10:35 p.m. ET: Billy teamed up with Kelly Clarkson for “It’s Quiet Uptown.” It was clear Billy’s voice is versatile — he sang well with a variety other singers. “Give it up for Billy, y’all,” Clarkson said.
10:27 p.m. ET: Next was a fun sitcom parody by the coaches, with a lot of Gwen — who was given center stage — and no Miley. And Blake had a pet pig because, sure.
Then Josh and Adam talked about their bond, although there seemed to be a bit of fun tension between the two. Josh made light of Levine’s arms-to-the-side stage move, and Adam said, “Don’t ever do that again,” when Josh jokingly started doing the running-man dance.
10:23 p.m. ET: Us’ reporter spotted Miley turning to say, “Oh, my God!” to Alicia after “Love Lockdown” finished — the “Wrecking Ball” star clearly loved the rendition. Miley then went on stage to hug Darby before heading backstage.
10:16 p.m. ET: We felt the love during Wé doing Kanye West’s “Love Lockdown” with her top-12 friends Aaron, Darby and Brendan. “Expect the unexpected,” Wé said of her group.
10:05 p.m. ET: During Sundance’s performance with rock legends KISS, Us’ reporter watched as Miley head-banged before standing up and then dancing hard. Alicia loved the KISS tunes and danced in her chair, not to mention that Adam was actually smiling! We wouldn’t be surprised if he was a bit jealous of Sundance at that moment.
10:04 p.m. ET: Highlight of the night so far! KISS teamed with Sundance to rock their hits “Detroit Rock City” and “Rock and Roll All Nite.” With pyrotechnics going crazy, Sundance delivered strong verses with his heroes like it was rock-and-roll fantasy camp. All the coaches were up and singing, with Alicia doing some moderate head-banging. And she and Miley even got pieces of the smashed guitar as souvenirs. “One for the books,” as Carson Daly said.
10:02 p.m. ET: Second Gwen Stefani mention of the night. Blake said he’s dating “the most stylish girl in the world” — but he’s sick of his fashion being mocked by Miley. “Just be yourself,” Blake said. “Because nobody can do it better than you.”
10:01 p.m. ET: During the commercial break, Us’ reporter spotted a fan saying he loved Hannah Montana, with Miley joking, “And not me?” Plus, a girl from the crowd said her favorite song is “The Climb,” and the star gave her a peace sign. This all happened as Miley was singing and dancing to “Gold Digger” on the loud speaker.
9:57 p.m. ET: One last round of Voice confessionals, meaning it was time to get emotional! Wé said she was “fighting for family. I want this for you.” And Billy teared up when talking about underdogs.
9:56 p.m. ET: Josh and Cam tore up a smoky, cloudlike performance of Cam’s big hit “Burning House.”
9:54 p.m. ET: All coaches love their singers, but Alicia’s relationship with Wé is clearly something special. We even got to see a picture of the then-16-year-old finalist when she met Alicia. “She’s just a little munchkin I want to eat,” Alicia said.
9:44 p.m. ET: Us’ reporter noticed that the artists looked seriously pumped after “Proud Mary,” and they were all hugging and cheering each other on. During the following commercial break, the coaches all surrounded Miley’s chair and took a group pic! At another point during the break, a little girl from the crowd screamed that she loved Alicia’s music, and a delighted Alicia replied by waving and enthusiastically offering, “Thank you!”
9:40 p.m. ET: Us’ reporter caught Miley immediately standing for “Proud Mary” and was dancing and singing along. Meanwhile, Alicia turned wheels in her chair during the performance, and later was singing along, dancing and cheering.
9:39 p.m. ET: Viewers were treated to a split-style performance of “Proud Mary” with top 12 singers Christian, Courtney and Serayah. It started unexpectedly soulful, featuring Billy’s silky harmonizing with Christian. Then the performance picked up with more of a rock sound, the way many people probably remember “Proud Mary.”
9:37 p.m. ET: Sting performed his song “I Can’t Stop Thinking About You” with an EDM-style video screen background. We’re going to guess this was a favorite segment of moms everywhere.
9:35 p.m. ET: Alas, Miley isn’t be coming back next season as a coach — but she was a lot of fun to watch. Hers was “the most fun chair in the house,” Miley said. She explained that she went into the season with a strategy. As the only coach without a singer in the top 4, however, it may not have worked. We also learned Miley’s quick way of talking is spiked with country slang. “I speak country,” Garth Brooks quipped. “She speaks deep country.”
9:31 p.m. ET: Miley was smiling and laughing as her video package was played. Later, Us’ reporter spotted her turn around and appear to tell her sister that some guy is hot and strong! That is, we think that’s what she said as she pointed to guys on stage.
9:28 p.m. ET: The show played “This Is How We Do It” during a commercial break, and Us’ reporter spotted Adam dancing in front of Blake’s chair. Adam’s hands were on Blake’s desk, and the Maroon 5 star was swaying to the beat when Montell Jordan‘s tune began.
9:26 p.m. ET: Now this was a duo. John Legend lit up the room with his song “Love Me Now” off Darkness and Light, duetting with Wé. They had great chemistry together, looking at each other and holding hands. It felt like a genuine love tale between the two.
9:25 p.m. ET: In case it was any mystery, we learned Sundance and Blake get along together like old friends. What was especially impressive was how accurately Sundance does a good Blake laugh, comparing his coach to Count Chocula. Blake said, “He is so dry.” And Blake combed Sundance’s long beard.
Us’ reporter spotted the coaches all laughing at the Count Chocula joke, and they looked at Blake during the Sundance package.
9:19 p.m. ET: Well, no veil today on Miley. But this is some musical lineup — with 78 Grammys combined! We start off with a duet between Stevie Wonder and Ariana Grande, doing “Faith” from Sing. The top 12 came out to join on backup. Their voices from different generations sounded good together.
9:16 p.m. ET: Us’ reporter observed during the commercial break as Adam got some makeup retouched, Miley got her hair fixed and checked herself in a compact, Alicia took photos and talked to a producer, and Blake went backstage.
9:14 p.m. ET: Let’s get this party started, Voice people. The finale kicked off with a Ferris Bueller’s Day Off parody skit, starring famous rival coaches Adam and Blake. In the bit, Adam said he doesn’t want to do press for the show, and he’s going to play hooky, à la Matthew Broderick in the ’80s movie.
Adam had a wet mohawk, Ferris’ lines, a gig singing Wayne Newton on a Universal City tram and a lunch at a fancy restaurant. “I love to impress,” Adam said. “I just hate Blake Shelton.” He distracted Blake by saying, “I didn’t know Gwen was here.” Blake promptly wondered off, saying, “Gwen? Gwen?”
9 p.m. ET: Christmas is coming early for The Voice fans, as the NBC competition series is about to crown a new champion! There are still four strong contenders heading into the season 11 finale Tuesday, December 13, but only one team can emerge victorious, and Us Weekly’s live blog will be following all the action with minute-by-minute updates.
Which coach — Blake Shelton, Alicia Keys or Adam Levine (Miley Cyrus is out of the running) — will be able to celebrate the victory? All of the remaining singers have something different to offer, but Billy Gilman may be the favorite — after all, Justin Bieber endorsed him on Twitter!
Billy’s camera-friendly, shiny persona and rock-solid skills — combined with an industry background — is a natural match for voters. The Team Adam singer will be tough to beat, considering he has roots in country music, and voters have a soft spot for the genre.
Then there is Team Blake’s Sundance Head, a country crooner of a different variety — the good ol’ boy with a genre-perfect voice and affable personality. Sundance has been routinely a big seller in iTunes charts in recent weeks.
Wé McDonald is the fan-favorite alternative to all that country. She brings an entertaining and highly relatable energy to the finale — at 17, Wé is fun to watch, talented and just getting started. The Team Alicia standout could be a formidable force for years to come.
Despite a season of great performances, Team Adam’s Josh Gallagher, the final four’s third country singer, is perhaps recognized as not being as much of a threat. But you never know what could happen!
Tell Us: Who are you rooting for to win?
The Voice finale airs tonight, Tuesday, December 13, at 9 p.m. ET. Be sure to refresh this post throughout the finale for frequent updates.
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