The Voice: Bryce Leatherwood Wins Season 22

Morgan Myles from team Camila Cabello, Omar Jose Cardona from team John Legend, and Bryce Leatherwood, Bodie, and Brayden Lape from team Blake Shelton competed in the season 22 finale of The Voice.

The Voice -- Live Semi-Final Top 8 Eliminations Episode 2219B -- Pictured: (l-r) Bodie, Omar Jose Cardona, Morgan Myles, Bryce Leatherwood, Brayden Lape -- (Photo by: Trae Patton/NBC)
The Voice final five. PHOTO: TRAE PATTON/NBC

Congratulations, Bryce Leatherwood!

On Tuesday night, the 22-year-old inhabitant of Statesboro, Georgia, was named The Voice season 22 champion.

With Leatherwood’s victory, coach Blake Shelton now has a record-tying nine victories. Shelton will leave the popular NBC singing competition series after the upcoming season for the first time in 11 years.

The coach-contestant team spoke with PEOPLE after the competition about their thrilling victory, which Leatherwood claimed he never anticipated.

Knowing that people adore Bryce Leatherwood is just so inspiring, he added. “People adore what I believe in. People adore my songs and my singing style. The fact that America chose me surprised me. Simply put, I believe that my purpose in life is to make others happy, and today, America made me happy. I’m overjoyed to have won Season 22 of The Voice.”

Omar Jose Cardona of team John Legend, Morgan Myles of team Camila Cabello, and Brayden Lape and Bodie of team Shelton were all defeated by Leatherwood.

Also Read: New And Returning Coaches From The Voice Season 23

Shelton, 46, sang his hit song “Hillbilly Bone” earlier in the evening with Leatherwood, whom he compared to a younger version of himself.

Bryce reminds me a lot of myself, Shelton remarked. “I suppose I can relate to the fact that everything is still in front of him right now, and he has no idea where this is all going to lead. I remember dreaming to one day just hear myself on the radio when I was that age. All of my heroes at the time could be heard on the radio, therefore my goal would be achieved if I could only hear myself. He’s about to enter a jungle that is quite different from the one I experienced, but he’ll do fantastic.”

At 22, Shelton said he “wasn’t as well-spoken as Bryce is.”

He declared, “Bryce understands what he wants and what he wants to do—already he’s doing it. “Everything works out as it should,” said Blake, who was 22 years old and “I guess still a little bit of a disaster.”

Shelton even claimed that there was nothing about his path that he “would change.” He remarked, “I mean, it’s been a fantastic ride.”

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Since Leatherwood, who wins the Voice and receives a record deal with Universal Music Group and a $100,000 grand prize, is just beginning his own path, Shelton claimed he told him, “Listen, man. A lot of things are going to be hurled at you.”

He said, “I’m always here for him.” “People adore and support him because he won the show. It’s difficult to believe that there are people out there who don’t even watch The Voice, but he must now make difficult decisions about how to best convey his music to the people that voted for him and then locate the ones. They must be experiencing some sort of issue!”

Leatherwood stated that he has already begun to “save a lot” with the money from his grand prize.

He said, “You never know what life can throw at you. “My family deserves a lot for Christmas, so I suppose I may spend a lot of money on them.”

I’m delighted I’m like a brother to him, Shelton said as he embraced Leatherwood after hearing that.

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After the live event on November 22, Leatherwood previously discussed his tight friendship with the country artist in an interview with PEOPLE.

He stated, “He’s a great friend and a fantastic coach.” He is undoubtedly someone to whom I can identify in a variety of ways, and I believe that he recognizes a great deal of himself in me.

He said, “I aim to be somebody like him someday.” “I would be doing really well,” you say.

Leatherwood grew up operating tractors and enjoying country music on his grandfather’s farm near Woodstock, Georgia. Leatherwood, a recent graduate of Georgia Southern University, originally gained notoriety and income by performing music at campus bars.

Leatherwood’s blind audition resulted in three coaches turning their chairs when he sang Shelton’s rendition of Conway Twitty’s “Goodbye Time.” He debated for a while before deciding on Shelton as his coach.

As the instant save artist chosen by the American public to move on to the Top 13, Leatherwood began the Live Rounds. He is the only artist to ever win The Voice with an instant save.

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After making an immediate rescue, Leatherwood continued to impress the judges and audience by singing songs like “If Heaven Wasn’t So Far Away,” “Sand in My Boots,” and “Amarillo by Morning” by George Strait.

Leatherwood believes he will be able to take on Shelton’s upcoming USA network show Barmageddon now that he has won The Voice. Five bar games are played between two celebrities in each episode.

Regarding his potential celebrity match, Leatherwood joked, “Michael Phelps, leave him alone.”

Shelton, though, said that fellow country musician Luke Bryan “sucks at everything” and that he was going to suggest him instead.

Shelton promised to go “the extra mile” next season to reach 10 victories on The Voice before quitting the program.

I’ll push it as far as I can, he added, “whatever falsehoods I have to tell, whatever cheating has to happen as long as it passes the legal department of NBC.” “I’m in dire need of that tenth prize. Without it, my house looks like s—. Who desires an odd amount of awards? Not me.”

Blake Shelton’s spouse and fellow Voice coach Gwen Stefani previously told PEOPLE that she would “be married to the guy that won 10 times” if Shelton won.

Shelton reminded everyone with this: “To Gwen Stefani as a coach, I want to dedicate this victory. What do you say? Do you think I’ll get some points for that? Put it between quotes!”

After a busy Voice season, Shelton expressed excitement for this year’s Christmas with his wife and family in Oklahoma.

He said, “Gwen and I are both thrilled about that.” “It truly feels like we’re in a Hallmark movie when we travel back to Oklahoma for Christmas. Our journey ends in the countryside, where we discover a snowstorm. We are unable to exit. each of those. I can’t stop watching those flicks.”

Although Shelton claimed he doesn’t really “know how” New Year’s resolutions “operate,” he still has Leatherwood on the radio as his top wish for 2023.

I’d like to be traveling down the highway in my pickup listening to a country radio station when the DJ announces, “Up next is Bryce Leatherwood, the guy who just won The Voice,” the contestant who recently won. “I need to know that. Although I’m not sure if it counts as a resolution, that is my wish.”

In 2023, Leatherwood hopes to “change more lives with my music and with my personality.”

The Voice season 21 winners Girl Named Tom, Kane Brown, Kelly Clarkson, Maluma OneRepublic, Adam Lambert, and BRELAND all performed during the finale in addition to the announcement of the new winner.

The live season 22 finale of The Voice aired on NBC on Tuesday at 9 p.m. EST.

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