Who won ‘The Voice’ season 9? Did anyone upset Jordan Smith?

THE VOICE -- "Live Finale" Episode 918B -- Pictured: Jordan Smith -- (Photo by: Trae Patton/NBC)

THE VOICE — “Live Finale” Episode 918B — Pictured: Jordan Smith — (Photo by: Trae Patton/NBC)

By RODNEY HO/ rho@ajc.com, originally filed Tuesday, December 15, 2015

The anointed one. That has been crooner Jordan Smith‘s path since early this season on “The Voice.” And no surprise: he took home “The Voice” crown Tuesday night.

Charming country singer Emily Ann Roberts, as expected, came in second. Fellow country singer Barrett Barber was third. Jeffery Austin, who had to fight for the fourth spot, landed in fourth.

Overall, this was a strong final four and if Smith hadn’t been such a juggernaut, the other three would have been worthy victors.

Now the big question: can any record label turn these singers into stars? Or will they be quickly forgotten like many past “Voice” winners? The 22-year-old Smith has shown incredible download sales power, even upending Adele’s “Hello” a couple of times. Perhaps if they market him properly in the Christian pop world, he could be huge.

Results shows would last five minutes if it was just about who won. So NBC had to fill the other one hour and 55 minutes. There are several ways to do that. Here’s the checklist of what “The Voice” producers did:

  • Group sing from the top 24: “Lean In” provides solo moments for the top 4 and several of the others, including Atlantan Riley Biederer.
  • Duets: a tribute to Randy Travis by Barrett Barber and his buddy and Marietta teen Zach Seabaugh with “Forever and Ever Amen.”

Read my coverage of Zach last week while I was in L.A.

  • Big name acts promoting new singles: Coldplay performs “Adventure of a Lifetime.” Country star Sam Hunt later does “Break Up in a Small Town.” The Weeknd, one of the biggest acts today, offers up a medley of his hits. And Justin Bieber sings his hit “Sorry” near the end.
  • Comedic bits: Blake Shelton pretends to be part of a “country mafia” with guest appearances by Brad Paisley, Dolly Parton, the other judges and contestants such as Zach, who does a funny spit take.
  • Mini-group sings by genre/demographic? Five of the black singers (including Atlanta’s Regina King) croon a delightful “Love Train.”
  • Cutesy thematic recaps: Judge Gwen Stefani cries a lot! Adam: “I will never cry on the show.”
  • Superstar/contestant combos: Ricky Skaggs and Emily Ann Roberts do a spirited old-school “Country Boy” with some jammin’. Later, Jordan Smitih joins prior “Voice” judge Usher for “Without You.”  Then it’s Jeffery Austin with Tori Kelly for “Hollow.” Barrett Baber and Wynonna Judd sing “No One Else on Earth.”
  • Finalists pick songs to sing with an earlier contestant: Jeffery and Madi Davis cover Amy Winehouse’s classic sounding “Tears Dry On Their Own.” Jordan chooses Evan McKeel, Amy Vachal, Korin BukowskiRegina Love (his “spirit animal”) and Mark Hood for Journey‘s “Any Way You Want It.” Emily does Rascal Flatts’ “Summer Nights” with Ivonne Acero, Nadjah Nicole, Riley Biederer, Morgan Frazier and Shelby Brown.
  • Judges dueting with big-name acts: Pharrell Williams works it with Missy Elliott on a new single “WTF.”
  • The Final Four Confessionals: Each finalist talks about the experience and the judges pimp them, too. “It’s so surreal to think I’m here in the finale,” Smith said.
  • Love thy advertisers: At Universal Studios, each of the four finalists win a Nissan.
  • Blatant time wasting: Pharrell races go karts with the other judges. Adam wins. Adam in a video is loved by everyone, including himself.

 

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