'The Voice' Crowns Season 11 Winner
Season 11 of The Voice came to a close tonight, with a two-hour event built around the final results, which were determined by voting and iTunes downloads. Coaches Adam Levine, Blake Shelton, Alicia Keys and Miley Cyrus were all in attendance for the live finale, even though they didn’t have much to do other than participate in the obligatory, time-filling prerecorded segments. As is now tradition, the finalists also got to bring back some of their favorite contestants to perform with them.
Singing “Faith” from the upcoming animated movie Sing, Stevie Wonder and Ariana Grande kicked off the performance-packed finale with the season’s four finalists: Team Alicia’s Wé McDonald, Team Blake’s Sundance Head and Team Adam’s Josh Gallagher and Billy Gilman.
Gallagher got the bring-back performances started, singing with Austin Allsup and Brendan Fletcher, who Gallagher described as “kooky and wacky” like him. They sang “My Kind Of Party” by Jason Aldean.
Reflecting on his The Voice journey, Head admitted that his coach Shelton used to make him nervous. Shelton said his artist has a lot in common with him, praising Head’s dry sense of humor. “He’s a really sweet person, and I know he really generally wants to see me successful,” Head said of his coach.
McDonald took the stage next to sing “Love Me Now” with John Legend. It was a good match, and Legend blended with McDonald much better than Keys did last night.
Sting sang his new single “I Can’t Stop Thinking About You.”
For his bring-back performance, Gilman called on Christian Cuevas, Ali Caldwell, Courtney Harrell and Sa’Rayah. Together, they made a powerhouse group, singing “Proud Mary” and injecting the finale with some much needed energy.
McDonald reflected on her relationship with Keys, which Carson Daly described as one of the closest coach-artist bonds that the show has ever had. Keys has really taken the young singer under her wing, helping her realize her full potential. “I’m really happy that I made it this far with Alicia,” McDonald said.
Josh Gallagher and Cam sang a lovely duet next. After a montage of the artists and their coaches all talking about what a win would mean for them, The Weeknd performed, singing “Starboy.”
Head and his music idols, Kiss, gave an explosive performance. It was dependably over-the-top.
McDonald brought back Aaron Gibson, Darby Walker and Brendan Fletcher to sing an interesting arrangement of “Love Lockdown” by Kanye West.
Gallagher reflected on his time on Team Adam. This season marked the first time Levine took a country artist to the finals, which definitely gives him a boost in his ongoing playful rivalry with Shelton.
Next, Gilman and Kelly Clarkson sang “Quiet Uptown,” Clarkson’s track on the Hamilton mixtape that released earlier this month.
Head brought back fellow Team Blake artists, Allsup and Harrell. They sang “Ain’t Worth The Whiskey.”
“My favorite thing about Billy is his unwavering commitment to music,” Levine said during the montage dedicated to their journey together. Singing “24K Magic,” Bruno Mars took the stage after. There was still plenty of time to kill before the actual results.
And then, the time finally came. Daly started by announcing the finalist in fourth place: Gallagher. He made his exit, leaving the top three to anxiously await the rest of the results. The artist in third place was McDonald, making for a major upset. So it was down to Gilman and Head.
After a commercial break, Daly made the final announcement: The winner of season 11 of The Voice was Sundance Head. Gilman came in second. Shelton has now delivered a champion five times over the course of the series.
The Voice’s 12th season debuts in February 2017. Gwen Stefani will coach again, and Cyrus is not returning. What did you think of season 11?
This article originally appeared in THR.com.