Country Singing Golden Girl Danielle Bradbery Wins The Voice At 16, What Did You Do In High School?

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Poor Usher, if only he had known that Nashville is a city and not a state, then maybe he could have been the coach of season 4's winner of The Voice. Instead, the honor went to the now 3-time defending champion Blake Shelton when his 16-year-old wunderkind Danielle Bradbery was named The Voice.

Oh, and apparently winning the show gets you more than just the most ominous-sounding winner's title in the history of reality television; you also get a recording contract! I guess that kind of seems like a given now that I say it out loud…or write it down…but I've been watching all season, and this week was the first I'd heard of it.

Literally every celebrity ever made an appearance on the finale, including former judge Christina Aguilera, Hunter Hayes, Bruno Mars, One Republic, and Cher. Plus, there were performances with previously eliminated contestants including my girl Sarah Simmons, but don't worry, I won't go on any rants or start singing her praises. Again.

Other finale highlights included wishing Blake Shelton a happy birthday approximately 300 times (Seriously, I think Carson Daly was playing a drinking game with someone), a Blake Shelton-Adam Levine bromance video montage, and a segment were Michelle Chamuel revealed Usher's saying “Teamwork makes the dream work,” which I find to be almost as catchy as his earlier catchphrase to promote glasses-wearing Michelle, “4 eyes on the prize.”

For those of you wondering how there was time to cram all of that in, the final spanned 2 nights and 4 hours, which, even as a Voice lover, was far too long for me. And apparently it was a bit too long for Carson Daly, too. Just under 90 minutes in to the final show, Carson announced before the commercial break that we were “just minutes” away from revealing the winner. He then realized that the show was only 75 percent over and changed his tune after the break saying the reveal was less than 30 minutes away.

Ultimately, the finale concluded with the crowning of prodigy country singer Danielle Bradbery. Congratulations Danielle! Before I get to fully celebrating you, I do want to highlight some performances from the other finalists, Michelle Chamuel and The Swon Brothers. I think that's only appropriate since the spirit of The Voice really does seem to be more about nurturing and encouraging aspiring singers than it is about winning, which, personally, I think is pretty cool.

Each of the finalists performed 3 songs on Monday night: a repeat of their “defining moment” performance from the season, a duet with their respective coaches, and a new song selection. Truly, all of the performers aced it, showing few signs of nerves. Here are my noteworthy performances for the week from the runners up.

The sibling duo The Swon Brothers finished third this season. They charmed their way into our hearts with their harmonized country crooning and effortless charisma. While I think their best performance of the final week was their encore performance of “Danny Song,” I'm showing you the video for their new selection, “I Can't Tell You Why” because WHO KNEW THEY COULD SING IN FALSETTO LIKE THAT? This totally makes me wish they'd broadened their range outside of country songs a bit more throughout the season so I could hear what else they can do.

Second-place winner Michelle Chamuel has won fans over all season with her passionate voice and the relatable, humble personality. I'm choosing Michelle Chamuel's performance with Usher of “One” for her must-see song because I think they're the cutest coach-teammate pair on the show, so it seems only fitting.


Now, it's time to celebrate our title winner with two videos from her final performances. The first is Danielle's “defining moment” song, “Maybe It Was Memphis.”  As Adam Levine pointed out, Danielle was consistently amazing for the entire season, but while she never had a bad moment, something about this particular song is just too perfect when Danielle sings it.

And finally, I leave you with Danielle's performance of “Born To Fly.” This was her new selection for Monday's performances, and it was also the song she was supposed to sing moments after winning The Voice. And by moments, I mean they actually wanted her to sing bout 15 seconds after they announced her win, which of course she was totally unable to do because she was so excited. Maybe they should have announced her as the winner a bit earlier so she had time to compose herself before trying to sing.

But I suppose it is a rare thing in today's world of scripted reality TV to see someone so genuinely happy, so we enjoy the genuinely natural moment. Anyway, here's her performance of the song from Monday night. Enjoy, and congrats again to Danielle!

(Photo: Tumblr)