The Voice ended things on a high note last night (May 8) when former Alicia Keys backup singer Jermaine Paul was named season two winner.
Only four percentage points separated him from the runner-up, Juliet Simms. It was a tight race and even host Carson Daly was kept in the dark when it came down to the final results.
“I was going to look and see who the winner was, [but] at some point during the afternoon I decided I wanted to be as surprised as humanly possible,” Carson recounted this morning on AMP Radio. “So the stage manager Gary handed me the envelope with minutes to go and I learned just a couple minutes before everyone else did.”
Paul, who led a rendition of the Jackson 5′s “I Want You Back” during the finale, had a hard time holding back his emotions when he heard his name called, but he sung through the tears.
“The last five minutes of the show, you could not have scripted that any better and it was all just so organic,” Carson said. “And he just was crying and he was singing and hugging, and his parents were there. What you just heard, all of his emotion and his message, it was great.”
Jermaine’s remained an underdog throughout the entire season. When he stopped to chat with AMP Radio on the red carpet after the big finale, he was overwhelmed by all the attention. “I’m on cloud 13! It feels so good just to be here and you know to have this opportunity and just to be talking to you guys.”
Both Alicia Keys and coach Blake Shelton couldn’t have been any prouder of Jermaine, tweeting their support for the husband and father of four.
Fans of Juliet Simms, who performed “With A Little Help From My Friends” during the finale, shouldn’t be too disappointed. Carson explained there’s a silver lining to coming in second place.
“When Juliet Simms wakes up this morning, she has, if not the exact same, very close to the same opportunities to make it in music. She’s going to get in any meeting she wants today, if she wants to go meet with rock producers, whoever she wants. She’s going to be able to have that same clout, but she’s got zero pressure.”
Last night wasn’t just about Jermaine and the other three finalists. The episode featured performances from rapper Flo Rida, country trio Lady Antebellum, pop mega-star Justin Bieber, and Hall & Oates, who added a touch of classic pop with their No. 1 single from 1977, “Rich Girl.” Winner Jermaine Paul and contestants Chris Mann and Tony Lucca collaborated with Hall & Oates on the performance. Watch below.
–Sarah Carroll, 97.1 AMP Radio, Los Angeles; additional editing by Jillian Mapes, CBS Local