MANILA, Philippines – Jermaine Paul, a backup singer of Grammy winner Alicia Keys, was crowned the winner of the second season of the US talent search “The Voice” on Tuesday night (Wednesday morning in Manila).
Paul, a member of the team of judge Blake Shelton, took home a recording with Universal Republic Records and a cash prize of $100,000.
Paul collapsed into a hug from Shelton and wiped away tears as he thanked his wife, children, and all of the people who voted for him, ending his speech by exclaiming “nobody but Jesus!”
He received embraces from his family as he sang R. Kelly’s “I Believe I Can Fly” – which he sang on the finals a day earlier -- to close out the show.
Rocker Juliet Simms, who was picked by judge and mentor Cee Lo Green over Filipino-American Cheesa Laureta, finished in second place after a well-received final performance of “Free Bird.”
Host Carson Daly revealed that Paul edged out Simms by fewer than four percentage points.
Adam Levine’s bet Tony Lucca finished in third place, while Chris Mann from Team Christina Aguilera was fourth.
Last year, Levine's contestant Javier Colon was declared the winner.
Going into Tuesday’s results show, Simms was the heavy fan favorite to win.
“I was rooting for Juliet all the way. She has the most amazing grit and soul to her voice. But of the remaining three, Jermaine seemed the most genuine and worked super hard. So while I'm sad for my fav Juliet, and will still buy her albums over any others, best of luck to Jermaine,” Peebles commented on Entertainment Weekly’s live blog.
“I was shocked. I wanted Juliet to win, but Jermaine was just as good,” Andy also wrote on the magazine’s live blog.
Aguilera on her official Twitter account congratulated Paul. “We ALL believe we can fly when you sing. Simply extraordinary,” she said.
Former contestants perform
The finale of “The Voice” also featured performances from the eliminated contestants, including Laureta, who sang “Superstition” with Kim Yarbrough, Naia Kete and Sarah Hill.
Simms teamed up with Erin Willett, Raelynn and Jamar Rogers on “With a Little Help from My Friends,” while Lucca did a duet with Jordis Unga on “Go Your Own Way” by Fleetwood Mac.
Mann, Lindsay Pavao and Katrina Parker performed “Bittersweet Symphony,” while Paul took on the Jackson 5 classic “I Want You Back” with Pip, James Massone and Jamar Rogers.
Paul, Mann and Lucca also performed with Daryl Hall and John Oates on the duo’s big hit “Rich Girl,” while Simms teamed up with rapper Flo Rida.
The two-hour finale also included a performance by Grammy-winning country group Lady Antelbellum and the world premiere performance of Justin Bieber’s latest single, “Boyfriend.”
Rival to 'Idol'
"The Voice" became one of the most-watched TV shows in the United States earlier this season, and was seen a challenge to Fox's top-rated singing show "American Idol."
During the season, it proved very competitive against "Idol," especially in the coveted 18-49 viewer group where the two shows are in a close race to be the most-watched program.
But "Idol" draws many millions more total viewers than "The Voice" -- an average audience size of 19.2 million this season compared to 14 .8 million for "The Voice," according to figures from the two TV networks. – With a report from Reuters