It was the end of an era Tuesday night (May 23) as The Voice crowned its 2023 winner, and coach Blake Shelton hung up his cowboy hat for the very last time.
After months of blind auditions, tears, cheers, battles, and a few baffling moments, five contestants duked it out for the second night of the two-part grand finale.
On night one, which beamed out Monday (May 22) on NBC, Gina Miles, Grace West, D.Smooth, Sorelle and Noivas respectively graced the stage for solo performances.
Tonight, each of the finalists teamed up with their coaches for a duet. And faced the final countdown.
One theme that bubbled away through the season had focused on Shelton, and whether the outgoing nine-time winning coach would leave the reality TV show on a high note.
For this swansong, Shelton had twice the opportunity of his rival coaches. On Tuesday, he performed with Noivas on Michael Buble’s “Home,” and with Grace West on Blake’s own hit “Lonely Tonight.”
Would he, could he do it again and guide an artist to glory? Flat answer, no.
As the 23rd season wrapped, it was Niall Horan’s teammate Gina Miles who took the trophy.
The youngster from Sacramento, CA, broke hearts with a rendition of “Nothing Compares 2 U,” Prince’s classic 90s number made popular by Sinead O’Connor, and a cover of Taylor Swift’s “Style.”
When she dueted with Horan on Billy Joel’s “New York State of Mind,” The Voice viewers had seen enough.
Horan, the debutant, enjoys the rub of the green. Blake, who had a near miss in his quest to crack double figures, might call it the luck of the Irish.
“I’ve been wrestling with this for a while, and I’ve decided that it’s time for me to step away from The Voice after Season 23,” Shelton said in a statement. “This show has changed my life in every way for the better, and it will always feel like home to me. It’s been a hell of a ride over these 12 years of chair turns, and I want to thank everyone at The Voice from NBC, every producer, the writers, musicians, crew and catering people; you are the best.”
His exit statement continues, “It takes a lot of work, passion, and adult beverages (Ha!) to pull off a live show twice a week. I’ve made lifelong bonds with Carson and every single one my fellow Coaches over the years, including my wife Gwen Stefani! I have to give a huge shoutout to the singers–the ‘Voices,’ who come on this stage season after season and amaze us with their talent, and a special thanks to those who chose me to be their Coach. Lastly, it’s about y’all, the fans, who watch and support these Artists, us Coaches, and everyone at The Voice who are chasing their dreams. It would not happen without you!”
Shelton got ever-so-close. His teammate Grace West finished second and Kelly Clarkson’s singer D.Smooth completed the podium.
The victorious Miles collects a six-figure cash prize and a recording contract with Universal Republic Records. Check out the big reveal below.