'The Voice' Winner Crowned in Shocking Finale
The second chapter of "The Voice" came to a shocking close on Tuesday night during a star-studded live event on NBC. Guest performances from Hall & Oates, Lady Antebellum and a young up-and-comer named Justin Bieber only delayed what the night was really about: choosing a winner between rocker chick Juliet Simms, popera artist Chris Mann, R&B crooner Jermaine Paul and soft-rock journeyman Tony Lucca.
In the end, it was former backup singer Paul, of Blake Shelton's team, who came out on top in a surprise upset over media frontrunners Simms, who followed in second, and Lucca, who placed third in front of Mann in a close vote.
With a big rock voice, Paul delivered powerful renditions of songs by Bon Jovi, Phil Collins and Journey and closed out his run by hitting classic soul and pushing an R&B ballad and a country tune toward gospel.
"I wanted to show how many things I could do," Paul said after Monday's show, which once again captured the father of four getting emotional when confronted with the concept of singing as a means to provide for his family.
That emotional connection obviously played heavy in him winning the crown. He often picked songs that he felt were a reflection of the way he saw life and how he felt about his wife and children. He told Billboard that before he performed Collins' "Against All Odds," he took the in-ear monitors out during the introduction so that he would not get caught up in the story. "That song was how I felt about my wife," he told Billboard at the time, "and I wanted to make sure the emotion was in the song."
Throughout the competition, much has been made of his working as a backup singer for Alicia Keys. Using his full name of Jeremiah "Jermaine" Paul, he sang on her track "Diary" and the "Unplugged" album as well as on the Luther Vandross tribute "So Amazing." After the competition ended, Keys tweeted her support for the victor: "@JermainePaul deservesssss all of this!!!!! He has more talent in one hand....;-)))) congratulations brotha!!!!!!! Shine shine shine!!!!!!"
As a member of the group 1 Accord, he was signed to Shaquille O'Neal's Twism Records. He has also recorded with Joss Stone, Mary J. Blige, Brandy and Kelly Price.
Paul's prize for winning? Like last year's winner, Javier Colon, he snags a recording contract with Universal Republic and $100,000.
Before Paul was named the winner, Tuesday's finale was heavy with performances, kicking off with Justin Bieber and his live television debut of "Boyfriend." Flo Rida followed up the teen superstar by debuting his own single "Whistle" and bringing out finalist Juliet Simms to duet on "Wild Ones." The rest of the finalists joined Hall and Oates on stage for a throwback with "Rich Girl," and Lady Antebellum brought country to "The Voice" with "Wanted You More."
Many former "Voice" contestants also returned to the stage last night, with James Massone, Jamar Rogers and Pip joining Jermaine Paul for the Jackson 5's "I Want You Back." Meanwhile, Juliet Simms bringing back a slew of eliminated pals -- Jamar Rogers, RaeLynn and Erin Willett -- to join her on the Beatles' "With a Little Help from My Friends." Tony Lucca chose only Jordis Unga to help him on "Go Your Own Way," while Chris Mann was joined by Lindsey Pavao and Katrina Parker for the Verve's "Bittersweet Symphony."
Although Carson Daly had promised on previous episodes that the finale would feature a performance by all four judges, no such performance happened. Instead, an eliminated contestant from each team -- Naia Kete, Kim Yarbrough, Cheesa and Sera Hill -- took the stage for Stevie Wonder's "Superstition."